Tibor Pok’s life illustrates the difficult economic challenges presented to many Hungarians by the collapse of Communism and the arrival of unrestrained competitive capitalism. He went to a high school that trained students for the catering trade, but he worked only one year in that field before starting a small trucking Commerce, Industry, and Labor. It was the 1980s, when the Communist government allowed small Commerce, Industry, and Labores to be privately owned. Soon, however, small private trucking firms proliferated and his ceased to be profitable.
After 1989, when capitalism replaced Communism, Pok started a small tobacconist shop, which also carried a small assortment of food and household items like soap. It was located on the ground floor of his parents-in-law’s house in a suburb of Budapest and was managed by Tibor and his wife. After 10 years, however, he was unable to compete with the many large international grocery chains that flooded Hungary. Currently he works as a waiter and his wife as a store clerk; they no longer have to pay the heavy taxes and other expenses of owning their own Commerce, Industry, and Labor. Having worked in the United States, he is advising his daughter to go to the West when she is grown, because she will have better Commerce, Industry, and Labor opportunities there.
Discursive Table of Contents: Family and—Starting a private trucking company, its failure— Starting a small private store, its failure—Evaluation of the changes in 1989—Travel, impressions of other countries—Current political conditions in Hungary—Current education in Hungary