The Doctored Figures
21 July, 2011

All this ended up in the overwhelming corruption going rife. There were all kinds of plans, prizes medals, honors and awards, but this was all false and illusionary. Professor Simon Maskharashvili has more.


GJ – Was the man’s name Eduard Shevardnadze?

SM – Yes, it was! Shevardnadze who at that time held a post of the Minister of Interior of Georgia, ousted the chairman of the presidium of the supreme soviet of Georgia professor Giorgi Dzotsenidze – extremely educated and intelligent man,

having substituted him with Pavel Gilashvili who all his grownup life carried the hair-style and mustache like Stalin to emulate the Great Leader. There came the time of promotion of the young Comsomol cadres in Georgia who declared unrelenting war against the shadow economy and had arrested the owners of shadow businesses. Let’s have a quick look at this interesting process of the shadow business development: entrepreneur and manufacturer Lazishvili had a clandestine business, but he was also putting out certain popular and easily marketable production, he paid the dues into the budget, he happily used the money he was making for himself and he let others benefit too. This was all against the soviet socialist economic rules and regulations of course, but the fact of the underground business’s economic usefulness remained a fact. The discrepancy was truly bothering.

GJ – OK, but what was happening during the Shevardnadze rule?

SM – Shevardnadze abrogated the clandestine business in Georgia. The owners of underground businesses were all arrested and prosecuted. The private entrepreneurship disappeared and the products of private business were banished form the market. Doctoring of economic data became commonplace instead.

GJ – What do you mean by doctoring the economic data?

SM – The Soviet economy was a planned economy, based on so called five-year plans. Fulfilling those plans was a must for everybody concerned. For example, Georgia would assume the obligation to fulfill the plan of tea and wine production. To make the actual result catch up with targeted figures in the tea production, the tea croppers would almost uproot the entire tea bushes and put them into the basket instead of picking the tea leaves according to the rules. The quantity was important, not the quality because people were rewarded for quantity. The wine would be watered down and abundantly sugared to make it look more. Thus the economic data would be doctored, but the distortion of economic data would finally pay – the falsifiers would be awarded by Soviet authorities in various existing ways. What actually happened was that the entire fields of economy were damaged in the long run. This kind of treatment of the country’s economy brought the nation to the point at which the Georgian people were faced with the fact of rationing the staples.

GJ – Does this mean that the private initiative was totally eradicated?

SM – Yes, it does! All this ended up in the overwhelming corruption going rife. There were all kinds of plans, prizes medals, honors and awards, but this was all false and illusionary.

GJ – In a word, there came around the ‘Illusionary Economy’. Would this be correct to state?

SM – Yes! This was the illusion of the greatness of the Soviet system...

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