annually, but what this well five the people. We must ascertain for what purpose production is being developed.
Under socialism this development is subordinated to the interests of the people, which is attested to by facts and figures. Between 1950 and 1961 the national income rose by 183 per cent in the U.S.S.R. and by 37 percent in the United States.
The real incomes of factory and office workers in the U.S.S.R. per employed person increased annually on the average by 5.5 per cent, while on the United States, according to the most optimistic estimates, they rose slightly more than 1 per cent. Production of consumer goods in the U.S.S.R. per capita, more than doubled and the volume of state and cooperative retail trade increase 3.5 times. All this shows the advance in the standard of living of the Soviet People.
To analyse the prospects of competition between the Soviet Union and the United States it is necessary to define the concept “standard of living of the people” and the system of indices characterizing it.
By standard of living we understand the degree of satisfaction of man’s material and spiritual requirements. This includes food, clothing, footwear and other consumer goods, housing, education, medical service, sports, the opportunity for work and recreation and for developing man’s finest abilities.
A comparison of the standard of living of the working people in the U.S.S.R. and the United States is a very intricate task because of the deep social differences, essential distinctions in the economic and climatic conditions and also national traditions. That is why a thorough analysis of all the main aspects of the life of the working people in the U.S.S.R. and the United States is needed. It cannot, of course, be made in a booklet of this size, but the main tendencies can be indicated.
At present the Soviet Union still lags behind the United States in per capita consumption levels and the general level of per capita real incomes. But the Soviet people already enjoy benefits which are inaccessible to the working people in the capitalist countries. These are the absence exploitation, unemployment, crises and racial or other discrimination. Confidence in the future, free education, free medical aid, low rents, etc. are all very real benefits. All these are elements of the standard of living which ensure the moulding of the finest human traits and the all-around development of each member of communist society.
What are the prospects of the Soviet people as regards the further improvement of their standard of living?
No matter what indices are used in measuring the standard of living in the U.S.S.R. and the United States, the consumption fund in the national income of both countries must be compared. In 1961, the total consumption fund amounted to 233,000 million dollars in the United States and about 115,000 million dollars in the U.S.S.R. i.e 50 per cent of the American level.