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How A Russian’s Grocery Store Trip In 1989 Exposed The Lie Of Socialism



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Communism's failures were exposed by a trip to the grocery store. Jon Miltimore writes:

On Sept. 16, 1989, Boris Yeltsin was a newly elected member of the Soviet Parliament visiting the United States. Following a scheduled visit to Johnson Space Center, Yeltsin and a small entourage made an unscheduled stop at a Randalls grocery store in Clear Lake, a suburb of Houston. He was amazed by the aisles of food and stocked shelves, a sharp contrast to the breadlines and empty columns he was accustomed to in Russia.

Yeltsin, who had a reputation as a reformer and populist, “roamed the aisles of Randall’s nodding his head in amazement,” wrote Stefanie Asin, a Houston Chronicle reporter. He marveled at free cheese samples, fresh fish and produce, and freezers packed full of pudding pops. Along the way, Yeltsin chatted up customers and store workers: “How much does this cost? Do you need special education to manage a supermarket? Are all American stores like this?”

Yeltsin was a member of the Politburo and Russia’s upper political crust, yet he’d never seen anything like the offerings of this little American grocery store. “Even the Politburo doesn’t have this choice. Not even Mr. Gorbachev,” Yeltsin said.

[John Miltimore, “How A Russian’s Grocery Store Trip In 1989 Exposed The Lie Of Socialism,” The Federalist, November 13]


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  1. A friend who escaped from Communist-run Poland told me that when some family members were able to come to the USA for a visit, they thought a typical American food store was a “prop,” a stage-setting, not REAL.
    When he handed them an area map, told them to pick any town and any store, they did so, experienced the same thing, and were speechless.
    When they left to return to Poland, they emptied their suitcases and shipped all their clothes back, then went to a supermarket and filled their suitcases with – of all things – BANANNAS!
    They explained they hadn’t seen banannas in Poland in decades!
    So much for the “Glories of Socialism,” comrade.