And there was less environmental damage and junk as a result.
The environmental damage done during Communism was astounding. No amount of small scale activities could make up for the vast harm done then.
Healthcare was free and easily available.
And suffering appalling shortages with a culture of bribery. It was routine for people to be asked to bring their own supplies to hospitals!
Each school had an on-site dentist.
Not much use if the dental care was rubbish, which it was.
Of course it had downsides, like no incentives to work well, hidden unemployment (people paid to do basically nothing) but technically everyone had a job.
That's not exactly a good thing. Think how much people were paying through indirect taxation (essentially wages being kept artificially low) to provide jobs for everyone.
Food in general was produced using very basic (and honest) methods.
Blimey, that's a naive statement if there ever was one. That might have been true for someone that owned pigs in a village, but the stuff that was used to produce "meat" in shops was...well.
University and higher education had a high bar. Few people were admitted.
Not quite. A lot of emphasis was placed on who you were - if you were the daughter of factory workers (and they had a good political history), you were going to get a place at the expense of someone who performed academically. There was a huge amount of manipulation in university entries, so the bar was rather connected to who you were. For instance, if you were a nobody from a city, you weren't getting into law studies regardless of how well you did academically.
These days universities are pressured to lower the bar to let more people in.
Universities are applying the pressure themselves to provide more and more nice cushy positions for their own people. It's a problem of the autonomy granted by the PZPR back in the day.
Clothes were sturdy and made of good fabrics.
And also subject to shocking shortages.You couldn't get good quality clothes easily, especially in the 80's.