Gorbachev's much touted "reforms" have so far produced no genuine economic improvements. Yuri Maltsev, former member of the Gorbachev reform team, summarizes the situation: "Now the West knows what we radical economists in the Soviet Union knew all along: perestroika was just another attempt to improve socialism."
None of the official Soviet reform proposals sufficiently approach the needs of the Soviet economy. Such plans either fail to link private property with completely free prices or they establish monopolistic cartels. Whatever the case, the result of the Gorbachev agenda is not a free market economy but a destabilizing mixed economy which can only promise more unrest across the republics.
Yuri Maltsev, now a fellow of the U.S. Peace Institute and senior adjunct scholar at the Ludwig von Mises Institute has proposed the following "One-Day" plan to rescue the Soviet Union by genuine reform.
(B) The public shall be able to homestead state-owned resources, with preference given to workers and farmers closest to those resources. Where this isn't possible, certificates can be distributed to the entire public which can in turn be exchanged for homesteading rights, as suggested by Czech finance minister Vaclav Klaus.
(C) In health care, education, and transportation, entrepreneurs shall be allowed to provide unregulated alternatives to the dilapidated state system.
(D) If the state needed revenue, it shall sell such remaining non-privatized assets as military and space equipment and buildings, as well as the private asses of the Nomenklatura (e.g. limos, summer residences).
(E) Publicly provided services, which will naturally be replaced over time by private provision, shall be the exclusive province of local government.
(F) All hospitals, clinics, and sanatoriums used by government officials shall immediately be given to the public.
(G) Revenues deemed necessary for funding remaining public services shall be collected and spent only at the local level. Their imposition shall be subject to local referendum.
(B) Drastic cuts in military spending and foreign aid shall not be exempt from the process.
(B) There shall be no controls on wages or other prices.
(C) No official distinction shall be made between staple and luxury goods.
(B) Through the elimination of these restrictions, the ruble shall become freely convertible into other currencies.
(C) All currencies shall be legal for monetary purposes. The privatization of the capital stock, housing, land, etc., and the resulting growth in their value, will increase both domestic and foreign demand for rubles, helping to eliminate the ruble "overhand".
(D) The State Bank of the U.S.S.R., and other government bodies, shall be constitutionally prohibited from expanding the supply of money and credit.
(E) A new financial sector should be allowed to develop according to the dictates of interested private parties.
(B) Private parties shall have the option to settle their disputes through private arbitration.