I tried to convince an American economist to take a few hours off last weekend and do something fun. “I have to work,” she said. I then asked her if Russians or Americans were smarter. “Russians are certainly better educated,” she allowed (in our helicopter ground school, a Russian high school course in physics taken 35 years ago turns out to be more useful than a recent U.S. college degree in science or engineering (posting on the subject)). Did the latest employment report show that nearly all new jobs in the U.S. were on the government payroll? She agreed that it did. So didn’t Russian economists in the Soviet era thoroughly analyze a centrally planned economy in which nearly all new jobs were created by the government? Why would she add her feeble efforts to the Herculean achievements of the Russians 1950-1980?