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Walter Ulbricht on the "New Economic System" of the GDR (December 16, 1965)

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What Comprises the Second Stage of the New Economic System of Planning and Management?

The second stage in the implementation of the new economic system of planning and management encompasses the time period in which we are advancing the comprehensive build-up of socialism in the German Democratic Republic. Within this time period, the long-term plan will be carried out until 1970; it will concentrate the forces needed to successfully realize the scientific-technological revolution.

This is not being done for the sake of the technology itself; rather it is an objective requirement of the economic laws of our age. Our state cannot complete its national mission without tackling these tasks. In order to increase the effectiveness of the national economy and raise the standard of living – the most important goals of the activities of the workforce – it is necessary to productively apply scientific-technological knowledge and to achieve the highest possible level with regard to the production and profitability of products that are decisive for the national economy.

[ . . . ]

To give a new quality to the long-term and the annual plan, to introduce new discoveries in the economic sciences, especially in the theory of national economic planning, into the practice of the planning organs – that is the main link in the chain of the further development of the new economic system of planning and management, that is the most significant sign of the upcoming second stage of the implementation of the new economic system of planning and management.

It is the objective interest of society, of the citizens of our republic, in its entirety, to work together to create the greatest possible growth in national income and to ensure its appropriate use.

The higher the increase in national income, the higher the effectiveness of the work of the people.

The increase in national income is the only source for an increase in investments for expanded production and for the means to raise the living standards of the workers.

The planning organs, in particular the State Planning Commission, are faced with the problem of calculating a variant for carrying out the technological revolution, one that will ensure optimum growth in the national income and will therefore open up the source for the continuation of the technological revolution.

[ . . . ]

Source: Walter Ulbricht, Zum Neuen Ökonomischen System der Planung und Leitung [On the New Economic System of Planning and Management]. Berlin, 1966, pp. 668-76.

Translation: Allison Brown

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