New England July 26 2006 to July 26 1979, Part 4.
By Bob C.
© Copyright 2007
Entertainment News.August 3rd, 1980.
Who did JR shoot?, that is the question. The New England History version of Who shot JR? was handled earlier this year, with a twist. And with no writers strike in our 1980, they had time for a different summer cliffhanger.
Soviet Intelligence. August 4th, 1980.
Mikhail Gorbachev seems to be the main leader of the Soviet Union, without the formal title. There is a group leadership dedicated to the preservation of Communism and the Soviet Union, through reforms.
It should be noted that this round of reforms, do not include openness, called Glasnost, but they do include restructuring of the economy, called Perestroika. According to a New England Future information source, called Wikipedia, the original Perestroika stipulated that state enterprises were free to determine output levels based on demand from consumers and other enterprises. Enterprises had to fulfill state orders, but they could dispose of the remaining output as they saw fit. Enterprises bought inputs from suppliers at negotiated contract prices. Under the law, enterprises became self-financing; that is, they had to cover expenses (wages, taxes, supplies, and debt service) through revenues. No longer was the government to rescue unprofitable enterprises that could face bankruptcy. Finally, the law shifted control over the enterprise operations from ministries to elected workers' collectives. Gosplan's... responsibilities were to supply general guidelines and national investment priorities, not to formulate detailed production plans.
The new Perestroika is nothing like the original. The goal is to make central planning work with better information management and management techniques. The main sources of techniques are the Japanese corporations of the New England Future 1980's, and to some extent the larger Western retailers of the 1990's.
While Western experts say that Personal Computers would tend to undermine a Communist society, it is actually a central part of their plan. They intend to build PC's based upon the IBM PC that uses the Intel 8088 chip and some sort of computer network. They plan to manufacture every component themselves, and do expect to be a few years behind the US in that area.
They plan to have every enterprise keep accurate records that are available in real-time to the Central Planners. Then they can fine tune production levels and prices to keep the economy humming along and resolve bottlenecks. There will be severe penalties for inaccurate information and for corruption in general.
Another area of Perestroika is continuous quality and efficiency improvement, with positive incentives for the workers responsible.
The central thesis to their Perestroika is that openness from above, so that central planners have accurate and timely information, and the elimination of corruption at a factory level, could fix the major inefficiencies of Communism. It would also allow experiments in production methods to be attempted with the results known, so successful methods could be rapidly replicated.
They do want to have Japanese help in their transformation, but it is recognized that Japan would require the return of 4 disputed islands before agreeing to help the USSR. The Soviet view is that they cannot be seen to give in on something like those islands, or else their control of Eastern Europe will fall apart.
Another initiative is to improve relations with China. In the New England future, Gorbachev tried this with limited effect. It was only after the collapse of the Soviet Union when China and Russia started to regard each other as allies as a counterbalance to the United States.
AP News. August 5th, 1980.
Category 5 Hurricane Allen swerved over Puerto Rico today. This was a big departure from what the storm did in the New England History. Scientists are asking if even earthquakes might start differing from those of the New England Future.
Business News. August 8th, 1980.
The new leadership of Coca Cola is trying to make its mark. They have introduced Diet Coke with aspartame, 2 years ahead of schedule, and also Cherry Coke and Dasani bottled water. They cannot try to repeat the New England future sequence of introducing New Coke and removing the existing product for sale, and then reintroducing it as Coke Classic.
Democratic Convention, New York City. Channel 4. August 14th, 1980.
We are reporting live from Madison Square Garden. The main theme of this convention has been Democratic unity. The two Ted Kennedy's, Gary Hart, even Bill and Hillary Clinton and Al Gore all rallied around President Jimmy Carter. Ted Kennedy's speeches were not The Cause Endures, about their own campaign, but instead about their belief that Jimmy Carter will be a better leader for the next 4 years than Ronald Reagan. There was no public fight about the Democratic Party platform.
US News and World Report. August 16th, 1980.
Brazil is trying to avoid defaulting on its debts. In a way, their foreknowledge is not helping them. Oil prices are high now, but widely expected to fall considerably in the mid-1980's.
Therefore one proposal to rescue Brazil's economy with the export of biofuels is not expected to work. On the positive side lenders have some patience with Brazil since most of their difficulties arise from today's high oil prices.