When the Soviet Union collapsed, countries in the Eastern Bloc were faced with a huge challenge. They needed to take their socialist societies and convert them into capitalist ones. How did they change a country where most property was state-owned into something that was based on private property? Each country handled it differently and the results are not surprising.
Despite these challenges in the early 90’s, Milton Friedman remained optimistic, “The hopeful thing about this is that the inefficiency of the former system is so great that the new system can make great progress even though they have very inefficient sectors. Like the television sector or like some of these other sectors, it’s not a case where you squeeze the last drop out. That isn’t the problem. The problem is you’ve got a system which has been producing about a third as a much or maybe a quarter as much as the system is really capable of producing.”
Hear the difficulties and the immediate effects of these swift policy changes from Nobel laureate Milton Friedman, Tom Hazlett, and Robert Ebel in the latest episode of the Free To Choose Media Podcast, Privatization Trends.