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Poland And Bulgaria: An Economic Analysis

2323 words - 10 pages

The breakup of the Soviet Union had many diverse, national and far reaching effects on global politics and economics but also (more profoundly) on the countries that had once been contained within the Union. In this paper, I will address the economic dichotomy between Poland and Bulgaria specifically, focusing on them as my case studies. I will first endeavor to showcase the existence of pervasive disparity, and will consequently attempt to judge how it was brought about— for, although the countries began under extremely similar circumstances, Poland now exceeds Bulgaria in almost every conceivable economic endeavor. This leads to my underlying question: to what degree is there economic disparity between Poland and Bulgaria, and what has caused this separation? For the purposes of this paper, I will give concrete proofs of the vast economic chasm that separates these countries, showing the strengths and weaknesses of each in turn. I will then attempt to bring understanding to what the divide stems from. By contrasting the two, I hope to uncover some of the reasons for these differences, and thereby ascertain the better course of action in beginning a country out of the two examples, and their triumphs and failures alike.
When the Soviet Union initially tore itself asunder, the many countries it had once held sway over were forced to fend for themselves without the assurances of a strong, central benefactor to insure their economic and political stability. They did indeed make their way autonomously in the world, but with varying degrees of success. The attainment of solidity was wide-ranging in its realization, and this was dependent on many factors: Poland and Bulgaria specifically show the vast difference that was possible in the outcomes of these countries, especially in economic reform— for, while Bulgaria has struggled and continues to struggle economically, Poland has progressed by leaps and bounds since it gained economic autonomy. Poland currently has a GDP per capita that is a full third higher than Bulgaria, and its overall GDP completely dwarfs Bularia on the international scale. Bulgaria’s annual rate of inflation from 1990-2012 is 34%, whereas Poland’s is at a much less distressing 9% over that same span (Statistics). According to Max Rivlin-Nadler of newrepublic.com, Bulgaria is the least affluent of all the EU countries, and is a burden and hindrance to the other countries rather than a legitimate help to them. As such, there are many who wondered at the time of its inclusion as to the wisdom of adding Bulgaria to the EU. In hindsight, it seems it would have been much more prudent to waylay its entry until it had gained its own economic stability, rather than adding it to the EU in hopes of giving it that stability. As is clearly visible, membership to the EU did not give Bulgaria much (if any) economic strength, and has thus far only contributed to the EU by straining the economies of other member countries in a case of the many...

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