Standard of Living and Way of Life

  • W. H. Parker


Taking the material aspects of life first and starting with the basic necessity of food, there are great differences between the two countries in the matter of diet. Americans eat more and do so from a wider variety of foods. Despite their smaller population and greater agricultural productivity, they spent over $5 million in 1969 on imported food and drink, compared with a Russian foreign food bill of just under one and a quarter million. Diet in the USSR is still largely bread-based; whereas in the USA, in common with most advanced Western countries, bread has, since the 1920s, ceased to be the ‘staff of life’ and assumed a relatively minor position in the national diet. Americans eat more beef, more chicken and a much wider variety of fruits and vegetables; and these are available throughout the year, and not only seasonally as in Russia. Russians eat more cabbage, more potatoes and more fish. However, according to Brezhnev, the Soviet diet is improving, with a greater consumption of meat, milk and eggs and less bread.1


Apartment House Soviet Citizen Personal Consumption Expenditure Advanced Capitalist Country Soviet Population 
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  1. 2.
    L. Turgeon, ‘Levels of living and incentives in the Soviet and United States economies’ in Comparisons of the United States and Soviet Economies (Papers) (Washington, 1959) p. 334.Google Scholar
  2. 5.
    T. Sosnovy, ‘Housing conditions and urban development in the USSR’ in New Directions in the Soviet Economy, Joint Economic Committee, Congress of the United States (Washington, 1966) p. 545.Google Scholar
  3. 6.
    I. D. Zlobina (ed.), Gosudarstvennyy Byudzhet SSSR (Moscow, 1970) p. 242.Google Scholar
  4. 8.
    V. V. Pavrov and K. N. Plotnikov, Gosudarstvennyy Byudzhet SSSR (Moscow, 1968), p. 337.Google Scholar

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© W. H. Parker 1972

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  • W. H. Parker

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