Ronald Kessler wrote an article about the socialist Soviet Union. Most anyone can relate a similar story where people here in America just don't care and are just putting in their time to get paid, quality and service be damned.
Like the Democrats who want to provide coverage for all Americans, the Soviets had good intentions. They reasoned that if the government ran everything and distributed wealth equally, everyone would be happy. But like the Democrats, the Soviets were naive and shortsighted.
Under their government-run economy, Soviets had no incentive to work hard or to produce. They got paid the same regardless. Because prices of goods bore no relation to their actual cost or their value to consumers, they did not serve the normal function of regulating supply and demand.
In a free economy, if sneakers or chocolate is in short supply and in demand, their prices rise, spurring entrepreneurs to produce more. That was missing in the Soviet economy, where ponderous bureaucracies regulated supply.
As a result, entering a grocery store was like walking into a tomb. On most days, grocers had nothing to sell except potatoes and onions. When available, meat was almost entirely fat. Chickens appeared to be a different species — all skin and bones.
Milk was sour when it was purchased. Apples were tiny and shriveled. Oranges were still green. Grapes, if available, were rotten. To meet plan quotas, tea was mixed with tiny branches and leaves of other plants to increase its bulk.
To buy apples, you had to try to wedge your way into a crowd to get a peek at the prices. Then you stood in line for a half an hour to get to the cashier to pay in advance. Finally, you waited in another line for another half hour to present the chit to a second clerk, who weighed the apples and gave them to you without a bag or wrapping.
Everything was made so cheaply and maintained so poorly that virtually nothing worked properly.