Cuba is Turning to Capitalism to Fix their Socialist Economy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 8th, 2012

Week in Review

Change is coming to Cuba.  A good kind of change.  They’re making a move from communism towards capitalism.  A move no doubt that will sadden a great number of beloved Hollywood actors (see Yes, they’re abierto: Cubans open their doors to small business by Ken Ellingwood posted 4/5/2012 on the Los Angeles Times).

Since President Raul Castro loosened the island’s commerce rules to energize the economy, Cubans all over are pondering how to get in on the wave…

The reform, announced in late 2010, is fast taking root around Havana’s weather-worn downtown and in other cities and towns, prompting Cubans all over to ponder how to get in on the wave…

The sudden wave of entrepreneurship has brought with it shades of cutthroat capitalism.

Garcia said a rival nail shop across the street was undercutting her price for a manicure, $1. But she planned to hold tight…

One vendor said he quit a decent-paying government job last year to strike out on his own, getting a license to sell hardware at the entrance to his home. His “store” is basically a chest heaped with light fixtures, electrical cables, fittings, valves and pieces of rubber hose.

The budding businessman, who declined to give his name, said his earnings of up to $20 a day top his old salary, despite the permit fee and the ups and downs of a merchant’s life…

The reform has boosted the number of small enterprises in Cuba to more than 350,000 since the government of President Raul Castro moved to coax more out of Cuba’s economy and ease the load on the treasury by shaving the bloated public payroll.

Very interesting.  More capitalism is revitalizing weather-worn downtown areas.  And it’s already lowering consumer prices.  And these stores?  Imagine that.  You can’t do that in America.  For you need permits and inspections.  You need the fire marshal to approve of your egress lighting and egress paths.  All of which costs.  Which is why his $20 daily earnings can exceed his government wages.  And perhaps the most interesting of all is the shrinking of the public sector.

My god, can it be?  Is Cuba on a more capitalistic path than America.  Yes, it can be.  First the Berlin Wall falls.  Then the Soviet Union.  Now Cuba.  What will be next?  But more importantly, how will this affect Ed Asner?  The actor who played the beloved character Lou Grant on the Mary Tyler Show?  Whose leftist socialist activism stopped few from still finding a soft spot in their heart for Lou Grant.  Our favorite curmudgeon.  Even though he loves Cuba.  And hates capitalism.  So how will the news of his socialist Cuba going capitalist affect him?  To have Cuba admit that the policies that Asner supported and believed in were wrong?  Will it change his mind?  Probably not.  He’ll probably just say that Raul is betraying his brother Fidel.  And then he’ll try to find a ‘Ted Baxter’ to yell at.

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