Originally Posted by Drachir
Another was the fact that a 100% centrally planned economy simply does not work; or at least it does not work well enough to achieve the goals that it seeks.
It certainly doesn't work in an arms race, that's for sure. Whereas a free market economy is gonna have a whale of a time.
Another factor, one often overlooked I think, is that the USSR was host to a good chunk of the 2nd world war and consequently had to do a lot of cleaning up after, in both a literal and economic sense. America, on the other hand, finished the war relatively unscathed, with Pearl Harbor the only attack on sovereign territory.
In that respect, at least, the cold war didn't begin with a level playing field.