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New Sight for Cubans: Blizzard of Pink Slips

Sandokan

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New Sight for Cubans: Blizzard of Pink Slips
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/08/world/americas/08cuba.html?_r=1

By REUTERS
Published: October 7, 2010

HAVANA (Reuters) — Cubans faced a harsh new reality this week — dismissal slips — as the government began paring state payrolls in a cost-cutting move that has created job insecurity for the first time in years in the Communist country.

Workers were being laid off in countless industries, from hospitals to hotels, and in the biggest action to be made public so far, employees at a state-owned enterprise, the Special Protection Services Company, were told that the company would be shut down and 23,000 people let go.

It was the beginning of President Raúl Castro’s plan to cut 10 percent of the government’s work force, or about 500,000 people, by April in the most significant overhaul attempted since he succeeded his older brother, Fidel Castro, in 2008.

The layoffs, intended to improve efficiency and reduce Cuba’s budget deficits, are the first major job cuts since the 1960s. About 85 percent of the Cuban labor force works for the state, or more than five million people, many of them in unproductive jobs. The country’s population is about 11 million.
The monthly salary of the average Cuban is 429 pesos according to the National Statistics Office (ONE). This is equivalent to $20 according to the official estimate. The lost of this modest income of $0.67 a day will have a grave impact on their daily live.

The low salary earned at the jobs provided by the regime is not enough, and the employees have to find ways by wheeling and dealing on the black market to make ends meet. They can’t live with those low wages and the food provided in the ration book; so they are force to “resolve”, euphemism for stealing, to feed and clothes their families and survive. I believe that this “new reality” is going to be a clear step towards the inevitable failure of the regime.
 

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Cuba has been in the process of collapsing since Fidel came to power.

The only reason it took this long was that for a long time Cuba was being propped during the cold was with billions from the USSR ans even now they have their hands out to Russia who promised about $350 in aid earlier this year.

A major boom to that stagnate economy would take place if they would do whatever they had to to get our Government to lift all restrictions and go back to being a net exporter in agricultural products and Rum etc. It would help our economy too, I believe.

The people of Cuba are not now nor have they ever been our enemies.
 

Sandokan

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Cuba has been in the process of collapsing since Fidel came to power.

The only reason it took this long was that for a long time Cuba was being propped during the cold was with billions from the USSR ans even now they have their hands out to Russia who promised about $350 in aid earlier this year.

A major boom to that stagnate economy would take place if they would do whatever they had to to get our Government to lift all restrictions and go back to being a net exporter in agricultural products and Rum etc. It would help our economy too, I believe.

The people of Cuba are not now nor have they ever been our enemies.
Castro brothers’ regime is a permanent basket case, completely hopeless, unable to take care of itself. There is no decent health care for Cubans without dollars, food is scarce and now not even meager paid employment is guaranteed. They aren’t concerned about the welfare of the Cuban people.

I think that laying off 500,000 government employees is an indication that the regime may be in the process of collapsing. Dictatorships are maintained in power by privileged elite, and when they start downsizing, they start to lose control over the people and consequently their power.
 

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Well, Michael Moore contends their healthcare system is superior to ours.
 

Jetboogieman

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Well, Michael Moore contends their healthcare system is superior to ours.

To be fair.

For those who can't afford Health Care in America he's not wrong :)

(America has the best Health Care in the world... if you can afford it or your insurance company doesn't dump you off your plan for an arbitrary reason)
 

Sandokan

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The dictatorial communist regime is starting lost its grip over the Cuban people. Very soon the people will realize that they are the greatest threat to the regime power and rule. They will start flexing their muscle and all be over in the near future as the regime comes apart.
 

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A cording to Raúl Castro, “The Cuban government and its enterprises might have more than one million excess workers on their payrolls.” (Raúl Castro admits that Cuba has one million excess jobs - Cuba - MiamiHerald.com)

To the total open unemployment of “more than one million,” it would be necessary to add the "hidden unemployment," kind of underemployment, and the latent one. An approximate calculus of the open, hidden and latent unemployment could surpass the number of 2.5 million people unemployed in today's Cuba.
 

apdst

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To be fair.

For those who can't afford Health Care in America he's not wrong :)

(America has the best Health Care in the world... if you can afford it or your insurance company doesn't dump you off your plan for an arbitrary reason)

You're a South African, living in Canada. How the hell do you know?
 

Sandokan

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The Cuban official unemployment rate has steadily declined from 7.9 percent in 1995, despite the fact that in that year the Cuban Confederation of Workers (CTC) estimated that there were from 500,000 to 800,000 unneeded workers in the state sector, a surplus miraculously cut by 97 percent in 1997. Furthermore, after a modest expansion, the private sector that could generate new jobs has contracted since 2002; 219,000 sugar workers were dismissed in that year due to the restructuring of the sugar industry (Mesa-Lago and Pérez-López 2005).
During the mid-90s equivalent unemployment fluctuated around 25-30%, according to calculations conducted by the Economic Commission of Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL), based on the low productivity achieved in 1989.
Suffice it to say here that, in 2002, the government counted as “employed” 764,000 people who (1) were paid to study, (2) were dismissed from their jobs and being retrained, (3) received unemployment compensation at home because of shut down enterprises, or (4) worked part time in backyards and urban gardens. All these people equaled 16 percent of the labor force, and, because they are counted as employed, the unemployment rate was artificially cut (Mesa-Lago 2005a).” - The Cuban economy today: Salvation or Damnation? By Carmelo Mesa-Lago.
The regime claim of the virtual achievement of full employment with a 1.6 percent unemployment rate in 2008 is a statistical fabrication, corroborated by the 500,000 starting to be lay off this year, and another 500,000 more later on.
 

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As much a I hate all the isms, Socialism/Marxism/Communism/Obamanism all of them there is a possible solution to Cuba's and it pains me a great deal to say this but it would help Obama in the process.

If I were Raúl Castro I'd call Obama and set up a meeting and propose that they get together to talk about normalization of relations between the two Nations.

Obama is such a narcissistic media whore he'd jump at the chance to make a big splash in the press over such an occasion.

If he were smart Raúl make sure that everyone knew it was his idea and not Obama's. That way he could go down in Cuban history as the man who saved the Nation from sure ruin.

Normalization could open up trade and revitalize the sugar industry and create jobs in tourism and bring in much needed cash not to mention that we just gave the Palestinian terrorist $200 million in aid Cuba could be good for that much and then some as our new good buddies.

We don't have anything against the Cuban people only their leadership and politics.

A visionary could make this work and it it wouldn't hurt our economy and could eventually help by creating a trading partner where some products now being built in China could be make in Cuba at a cheaper cost not only in labor but in shipping.

The only down side is Obama would do his best to make it sound like it was all his idea all along, and would give him more support at a time when it's best for America if his approval ratings continue down the drain.

But I'm trying to think about the people in Cuba who were lied to when Fidel took over and the price they have had to pay for buying the lies just as some are doing here and now with Obama.

One of my best friends in life was born in Cuba and escaped and he helped me a great deal many years ago, and I know for a fact there are plenty more where he came from.

Too often when we think about a Communist Country we forget that the majority of the people in those Countries are not Socialists or Communists and have learned the hard way that those forms of Government kill people and retard growth. Something a great number of people here seem to want to learn the hard way, or they would be fighting this redistribution Socialism/Marxism being shoved down out throats.
 

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As much a I hate all the isms, Socialism/Marxism/Communism/Obamanism all of them there is a possible solution to Cuba's and it pains me a great deal to say this but it would help Obama in the process.

Normalization could open up trade and revitalize the sugar industry and create jobs in tourism and bring in much needed cash not to mention that we just gave the Palestinian terrorist $200 million in aid Cuba could be good for that much and then some as our new good buddies.
In spite of the huge Soviet Union subsidies (5 billion a year for 30 years), the regime economy fell gradually into disrepair. Raul believes the communist system can be fixed using capitalist tools. The reality is that he can’t change it. The regime control of the economy caused the actual problems, which can’t be reverse by lukewarm application of capitalist tools.
 

Orion

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Well, Michael Moore contends their healthcare system is superior to ours.

In many ways, it is. Their doctors have equal training to American doctors. They are up to date on all the technologies. Pharmaceuticals and diagnostics are free there. You don't see people going bankrupt for treatment. I would say that makes them better than the U.S. in that department, even if their infrastructure is aging. :shrug:

In the case of the U.S., what's the point in having (supposedly) the most advanced and well-funded hospitals in the world if a big chunk of your population can't even benefit from them?
 

Hatuey

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In many ways, it is. Their doctors have equal training to American doctors. They are up to date on all the technologies. Pharmaceuticals and diagnostics are free there. You don't see people going bankrupt for treatment. I would say that makes them better than the U.S. in that department, even if their infrastructure is aging. :shrug:

In the case of the U.S., what's the point in having (supposedly) the most advanced and well-funded hospitals in the world if a big chunk of your population can't even benefit from them?


Adding, in Cuba, the only barrier for a heart transplant is supply. In the U.S. the only barrier for a heart transplant is 5 years worth of tuition at Yale.
 

Jetboogieman

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In the case of the U.S., what's the point in having (supposedly) the most advanced and well-funded hospitals in the world if a big chunk of your population can't even benefit from them?

DUH! Isn't it obvious. Personal responsibility. You have to work for your Healthcare, and if you don't have Healthcare, it's obvious you're just too lazy to get it :roll:
 

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The dictatorial communist regime is starting lost its grip over the Cuban people. Very soon the people will realize that they are the greatest threat to the regime power and rule. They will start flexing their muscle and it will all be over in the near future as the regime comes apart.
 

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The economy of the Neocastrismo, based on Castroism decades of experience, has been specially designed for the basic survival of the population, not for the development nor the prosperity of it.

The economy needed to maintain hold of the totalitarian power, requires a labor impoverished and very cheap, what Marx called “the reserve army of labor”, without union rights nor resilience capacity, to be able to put it to the service of second-rate foreign investors, because it seems increasingly distant the option that major U.S. and European capital will invest in Cuba unless the dictatorial regime becomes more flexible and open political space to the Cubans.
 

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I have arrived to the conclusion that when Progressives speak of civil rights, they really mean socialist rights. When the civil rights come into conflict with Socialist regimes, their support for civil rights violations by those regimes disappears. Most the time they keep silence about those violations, and sometimes they mention that it is “for the greater good.” What that means is that if you are not a socialist, something awful and sometimes deadly will happen to you in the name of “the greater good of the people.”
 
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