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Cuba May Reassign 1/4th Of Its Workers

From a concerned Associated Press:

Jobless in Cuba? Communism faces the unthinkable

By ANNE-MARIE GARCIA (AP)

July 18, 2010

HAVANA — At a state project to refurbish a decaying building in Old Havana, one worker paints a wall white while two others watch. A fourth sleeps in a wheelbarrow positioned in a sliver of shade nearby and two more smoke and chat on the curb.

Don’t we have scenes like this in our country? Aren’t they usually public sector union employees?

President Raul Castro has startled the nation lately by saying about one in five Cuban workers may be redundant. At the work site on Obispo street, those numbers run in reverse…

Now, facing a severe budget deficit, the government has hinted at restructuring or trimming its bloated work force

If only our government would be so daring.

Details are sketchy on how and when such pruning would take place. Still, acknowledgment that cuts are needed has come from Raul Castro himself.

"We know that there are hundreds of thousands of unnecessary workers on the budget and labor books, and some analysts calculate that the excess of jobs has surpassed 1 million," said Castro, who replaced his ailing brother Fidel as president nearly four years ago. Cuba’s work force totals 5.1 million, in a population of 11.2 million.

In his nationally televised speech in April, Castro also had harsh words for those who do little to deserve their salaries.

"Without people feeling the need to work to make a living, sheltered by state regulations that are excessively paternalistic and irrational, we will never stimulate a love for work," he said.

Mind you, this is being said by a lifelong Communist. How come Mr. Obama and his lackeys in Congress cannot see this?

Indeed, the process of labor reform may already have started, albeit slowly.

Workers in the tourism sector say some of their colleagues have been furloughed during the lean summer months, while others have been reassigned to jobs on state-run farms

With the government giving no details of its thinking, rumors have spread that as many as a fourth of all government workers in some industries could lose their jobs or be moved to farming or construction. But Labor Minister Margarita Gonzalez has promised that "Cuba will not employ massive firings in a manner similar to neoliberal cutbacks."

The government has moved to embrace some small free-market reforms. It handed some barbershops over to employees, allowing them to set their own prices but making them pay rent and buy their own supplies. Authorities have also approved more licenses for private taxis while getting tough on unlicensed ones.

Meanwhile, our country is moving in exactly the opposite direction as fast as Mr. Obama can drive it.

The global financial crisis, and the $10 billion in damage inflicted by three hurricanes in 2008, have forced authorities to run a deficit of 5 percent of GDP, leaving them unable to pay back credits received from China and elsewhere

You see, even Cuba can blame George Bush. Indeed, the similarities between our countries are quite striking.

The state employs 95 percent of the official work force. Unemployment last year was 1.7 percent and hasn’t risen above 3 percent in eight years — but that ignores thousands of Cubans who aren’t looking for jobs that pay monthly salaries worth only $20 a month on average.

Salvador Valdes Mesa, secretary-general of the nearly 3 million-strong Cuban Workers Confederation — the only Cuban labor union allowed — has instead written that "reorganization" will ensure redundant workers are reassigned rather than fired.

He said the government wants more jobs in construction and agriculture

Thank goodness the Cubans have their own SEIU to lead the way.

Still, imagine the sight of ‘redundant’ college professors lecturers and community organizers going to work on a farm or in construction.

Wouldn’t Pol Pot be proud?

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, July 18th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

7 Responses to “Cuba May Reassign 1/4th Of Its Workers”

  1. proreason says:

    Things seem to be coming to a head in the US.

    We have a ruling class that has grabbed more power than they ever imagined possible and they are ruling against the will of the people…with prejudice. Nothing, apparently, can stop them as they implement their lifelong dreams of collectivist nirvana…..of course, with them as the benevolent despots who are simply forced to impose their unique knowledge on the miserable serfs who are too stupid to know better. Air conditioning, desserts, decadent houses, gas-powered vehicles, incandescent light bulbs, out of date interpretations of history….all must fall as the geniusses lead us to self-sustaining lifestyles not unlike aborigines led in the better days when kings were kings.

    Meanwhile, even the worst of the obsolete “violence-based “collectivist leaders run as fast as they can in the opposite direction, as generation 47 of collectivist failures crumble.

    Something big is going to happen soon. Americans are not a people bred to subservience. Maybe we will get lucky and November will head off a firestorm not seen since the French Revolution.

    • tranquil.night says:

      Here again another great example of our future, as the Universes of Lies and Reality continue to collide with the force of two faultines. Come November we’re going to see the equivalent of a tectonic shift. I think what’s coming into more detailed focus for Conservatives now is that November has to be only the first of many such necessary shifts. Political defeat only serves to crumble one pillar of the Universe of Lies, and rolling back the advance of others even more ingrained in our culture is daunting for the prospects of our broad coalition. Doctor Zero describes the seriousness of the agenda before the next governing body perfectly (he’s a must-read on just about anything right now):

      “Even such a half-hearted measure, simply returning us to where George Bush left us, would be the most spectacular reduction of State power in our entire history… and it wouldn’t be good enough.”

      For some who’ve been around, the “false Conservative mandate” of the ’94 election that lead to Clinton’s popular triangulation and reelection looms as a stinging lesson. Many are worried that political defeat for the Democrats will be the only result of this election; that the fundamental relationship between Government and the governed which changed in 2008 won’t ever be restored – that people really just want a check on Obama and once it’s there they’ll disengage again and our momentum will die. Indeed, the Democrats are betting on such results as well.

      It’s a towering set of mountains to climb that includes not just reducing the size of government by an amount never achieved before, but also routing the sewage lines of Washington of the corruption of malicious business, environmental, and union influences alike – everything from bad policy to bad regulation.

      It’ll take nothing short of a revolution to stop a revolution and nothing but God’s grace which sees the transition through without violence or complete systemic collapse. Rush is right: the Republicans better start evolving from the party of no and hell no into one of unapologetic private sector growth and public spending reduction. In the wake of the Big Bang following the Universe of Lies imminent implosion, there better be an alternate order waiting and ready.

    • Liberals Demise says:

      Well said……….BRAVO!!!!

    • proreason says:

      great post, tn

  2. Astravogel says:

    Reminds me of the old Soviet comment,
    “We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us.”

    • Steve says:

      That saying was actually quoted by one of the Cubans mentioned in the article in a passage I skipped.

  3. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Well, on the bright side, if the whole world flip-flops and capitalism enjoys a huge resurgence in Europe and possibly Cuba, there might be some nice places to move to while the US craters economically.


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