Here is a small illustration of why the statistics produced by Communist countries cannot be taken at face value. Please look at this table of changes in the monthly salaries that different groups of Soviet people received between 1965-1973:
What you might conclude from this table as a person unfamiliar with the Soviet reality is that the government made efforts to ensure that bureaucrats’ salaries didn’t grow as much as those of the working people. You might even admire a system that prioritized the interests of the working people over those of the Party’s paper pushers. If you conclude that, however, you will be completely wrong.
The actual salaries of the Soviet apparatchiks (meaning the amount of money they were paid every month) were not that huge. However, money in the USSR was kind of worthless anyways because there wasn’t anything to buy. What made the positions in the state apparatus so coveted was the great number of perks that accompanied them and made higher salaries unnecessary. Free high-quality housing, a free car with a driver, regular food packages with all sorts of delicacies that you couldn’t buy for any amount of money, free stays at resorts, free travel, good books, free country houses – all of this was provided to the Soviet apparatchiks by the government.
This system allowed to ensure that an apparatchik would be prepared to stoop to the most disgusting behaviors in order to preserve his job. Losing it would mean having to give up the entire lifestyle provided for free by the state. The bureaucrats who lost their jobs would discover, to their extreme amazement, that they owned absolutely nothing. Losing a job would not just mean the loss of a salary. It would entail the loss of everything the apparatchik had become used to enjoying.
Numbers mean nothing by themselves until you look at the reality that produces them.