1 June 2016

Masinile si sociologia in 1970 / Cars and sociology in 1970

In 1970, sociologii socalisti s-au intrebat: Cine conduce ce fel de masina? Si-au facut un recensamant... Au impartit populatia in patru cadre: muncitori, cadre cu studii medii, cadre cu studii superioare, si "altele" - tarani si pensionari. Si au studiat datele proprietarilor: nu greu de facut cand statul detinea foarte multa informatie. Si au publicat rezultatele...

Nu trebuie sa fim prea surprinsi. Marea majoritatea proprietarior de autoturism sunt cei cu studii superioare: adica cei care isi permiteau asa ceva. Trabantul e printre cele mai "proletare" masini; Renault-ul e pentru intelectuali. Mai interesant e faptul ca 1 din 12 masini erau sau la pensionari, sau la tarani. Muncitorii o duceau destul de bine. De multe ori, leafa unui muncitor fara studii depasea o leafa medie de la oras. In plus, printre "muncitori" se gaseau si sportivi, si actori, si mecanici, si chelneri la restaurantele celebre... adica, functii care castigau bine spre foarte bine. Muncitorii aveau si un parc auto mai divers. Printre masinile lor erau, desigur, modele antebelice care abia, abia se tineau pe roti; dar era si Cadillac-ul model 1967 cumparat de un miner lugojean in 1969, cu 120,000 mii de lei, de la ambasada americana... Ca fapt divers, in 1970 erau deja peste 60,000 autoturisme inscrise in Bucuresti. Desi in judetul Tulcea, nici macar o mie...

In 1970, Socialist sociologists decide to find out who owned what sort of car in Romania. So they carried out a survey. They divided the population into four categories: workers, people educated up to high school, people educated up to degree level, and unsalaried "others" (pensioners and peasants: in Romanian, as in French, the word is not derogatory). They studied the credentials of vehicle owners: not a difficult task when the State has a lot of information. And they published the results...

They are not too surprising. The large majority of car owners were degree-educated: their jobs allowed them to afford such luxuries. The Trabant is one of the more "proletarian" cars; Renaults, by contrast, were for the intellectuals. More interestingly, one in 12 cars was owned by people without salaries. The workers did well: indeed, the wage of a manual worker was often higher than an average wage in a town. Moreover, the "worker" category included sportspeople, actors, mechanics, waiters at smart restaurants: all well-paying occupations. They also had a more diverse selection of vehicles. Some would have been ancient pre-war models on their last legs; but the category also included the '67 Cadillac bought by a minor in Lugoj in 1969, from the US Embassy, for 120,000 lei - five times a teacher's yearly starting salary. In 1970, there were already over 60,000 cars in Bucharest, although more remote counties, such as Tulcea, barely had a thousand.

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