Khrushchev, Brezhnev and the promotion of a stable society, 1952-1985

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  • Khrushchev, Brezhnev and the promotion of a stable society, 1953-1985
    • Full employment
      • The Soviet Constitution of 1977 guaranteed its citizens employment
        • Many jobs created were undemanding, repetitive and sometimes pointless
      • wages rose by 50% between 1967 and 1977
    • Job security
      • Managers often ignored low work standards as it was very difficult to dismiss someone
      • A minimum wage was introduced in 1956
      • The working week was reduced and the number of paid days holiday was increased in 1957
    • Improved material benefits
      • The Ninth Five Year Plan (1971-75) set a higher growth rate for consumer goods than heavy industry
    • The nomenklatura system
      • internal passport system
        • you could do things like study and take part in unpaid Party activism to improve your chances
    • The education system
      • Education became one of the most important vehicles to a social status in Soviet society
      • Both boys and girls had equal access to education
    • Youth groups
      • provided opportunities for the young to be moulded into committed communists
        • It was like Scouting for Communism- Oktoberists (5-9), Pioneers (10-14) and Komosomol (up to 28)
    • Social security benefits
      • Between 1950 and 1980 state welfare spending increased by fivefold
      • In 1956 the pension scheme was expanded and retirement age reduced
      • Pensions tended to be insufficient so many worked part time after reaching retirement age
    • Housing
      • The annual amount of housing space provided by the state increased from 178 million square metres in 1951 to 394 million square metres in 1961
      • Because the housing was based on pre-fabricated panels and built to a standard design the speed and cost of the buildings were good but resulted in drab and rushed housing
    • Health care
      • Quality of health care provisions was problematic
      • In 1978 there were 2000 sanatoria and 1000 rest homes linked to medical care
      • Provincial cities had fewer services and in rural areas they were primitive
    • Living conditions in the countryside
      • Incomes of collective farmers improved when the government introduced regular wages
      • By the mid-1970s, the wages of rural workers were only 10% less than their urban counterparts

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