Left without alternative, human beings can be tremendously resourceful. When the soviet empire, touted as a marvel of socialist perfection and central planning, collapsed – people managed. Certainly, it was frightening. Actually, frightening is an understatement. There was some crime, but there had always been criminals. This time, international media was allowed to broadcast the activity globally. There were some very tough outcomes. The weak, infirm, and elderly were forced to rely even more upon the kindness of friends and relatives. To some, caring for those folks is an important moral obligation to give – and to others, it is an excessive expectation to be burdened with the need of someone else. But, millions did not starve. Millions did not die of disease. And, millions figured out how to survive, and in some cases thrive, in a new economic order.
Without the massive government redistribution they had relied upon for generations, many picked up the pieces and improved their lives by gigantic leaps. For example, business interests in the Ukraine felt the pressure of increasing wages, surging access to capital goods, and the inflation that can accompany an expanding economy. Those willing and able to adapt took advantage of the newly released opportunity. Those unable to function outside of the government-imposed cocoon had to find other means. Families learned to care for their own. Thousands of children escaped warehouse orphanages into the loving embrace of parents around the world.
Sure, not every single person was a winner, and some took too great of advantage. Yet, the same was said about the previous system. Only now, we could openly find out about it. The Soviet discovered that the drag coefficient of big government is, well, a big drag. As Putin pushes back toward the Soviet era, we wonder who will win now.