"Pay my troops no mind; they're just on a fact-finding mission."

Real Choice & The Soviet Supermarket

If you haven’t heard of a watermelon called the Golden Midget before, it’s not a surprise.

It’s one of the 1,200 heirloom varieties of watermelons we don’t often see, if at all. To get a visceral sense of what we are missing, take a look at the picture on the right (click if you want more detail).

This picture is of a list of the mouth-teasing watermelons being grown at the vegetable research extension at Washington State University.

All I can say is wow.

What choice.  I feel terribly deprived.

Like our supermarkets, the early Soviet supermarket restricted the choices available.

Why did the Soviets put a restriction on choice?  Because production and demand was centrally managed.  A small number of bureaucratic decision makers found it was more efficient to plan, estimate, produce, ship, and stock fewer varieties than more. Link

One response to “Real Choice & The Soviet Supermarket

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