Sluggish economic growth is only one of many problems that plague post-communist societies. In 1988, the top fifth of Russia’s population controlled 34 percent of the country’s income. The most recent number is a 47 percent share. The country’s life expectancy has only recently recovered its level in the last years of communism. If the past 75 years of Eastern Europe’s history have a lesson for growth theory, it’s that self-declared socialist states have no monopoly on inefficiency, inequity, and corruption.