Friday 10 September 2010

Another Dream Dying?

Cuban eyes are fast shedding their scales, it would seem.

Jeffrey Goldberg, a national correspondent for The Atlantic magazine, asked if Cuba's economic system was still worth exporting to other countries, and [Fidel] Castro replied: "The Cuban model doesn't even work for us anymore" Goldberg wrote Wednesday in a post on his Atlantic blog.
It's the same old story. Comprehensive egalitarianism is never too far away from inevitable collapse, which is quite understandable seeing as it's an utterly negative way of looking at human existence. Shorn of our natural aspirations, and the restriction of potential beyond that prescribed by the state, there is nothing to look forward to except stagnation and eternal subservience. Rather like a 1970s Butlins holiday, really - great for a week, but you wouldn't want to eat the ever-murkier leftover soup forever.

An unmotivated public can be placated for a longer period of time by gift of the state's soma, of course.

The state controls well over 90 percent of the economy, paying workers salaries of about $20 a month in return for free health care and education, and nearly free transportation and housing. At least a portion of every citizen's food needs are sold to them through ration books at heavily subsidized prices.
But as other nations grow and prosper, only an entirely self-sufficient economy will be able to survive. Otherwise, sooner or later the money starts to dry up.

Cuba is eliminating cigarette subsidies to the elderly to save money. All Cubans 55 or older are allocated four packs of cigarettes a month for about 25% the normal price, but the government has announced that this privilege will end in September.

The measure is President Raul Castro's latest attempt to cut the country's spending.

Cigarettes are the latest item to be removed from ration books. Subsidised peas and potatoes were eliminated in November.
We're not just talking cuts here, either. Castro Junior has realised - as the more clever have always known - that the only thing that can truly rescue certain sections of Cuban society is the free market.

The Cuban government has issued two free-market reforms aimed at boosting its struggling economy, including allowing foreign investors to lease state-owned land for up to 99 years.

The moves, announced in the official Gazette newspaper on Thursday and Friday, are considered a significant shift for the country as Raul Castro, the country's president, promises to scale back government control of businesses.

The government has said it was modifying its property laws "with the aim of amplifying and facilitating" foreign investment in tourism, and that doing so would
provide "better security and guarantees to the foreign investor".

Another decree put forward allows the expanded sale of farm products, and could have far greater impact on ordinary Cubans.

It authorises them to produce their own agricultural goods - from melons to milk - and sell them from home or in kiosks.
It's only a start, but congratulations should be in order for Raul. What could be better for Cuba's future than the encouragement of his people to better themselves?

Unfortunately, we in the UK still harbour ideological kurd-slurpers and unreconstructed Wolfie Smiths who idolise the busted policies that Cuba is starting to rectify. For example, cast your eyes down this list of elected lefty morons highlighted by the irrepressible Goddard.

Also, never forget that even right of centre Cameron (it's rude to snigger, you know) is apparently an admirer of books written by dreamers who consider Cuba's discredited system a benchmark for 21st century living.

No matter the historical evidence that the more free the market, the more prosperous the country, still lefties queue up to experience for themselves a dreary and all-consuming economic wilderness which is doomed to failure at its inception.

Next up for the silly experiment? Well, the EU is heading in the right direction ... perhaps someone should re-release that Scorpions hit as a reminder that parts of Europe have been down the path of ideological lunacy before.


Furor Teutonicus said...


They STILL exist!!!

Mark Wadsworth said...

Castro was also recently reported as saying that inviting the Russians to station nukes was in fact a huge mistake, which I thought was a surprisingly frank admission.

TheFatBigot said...

"it's an utterly negative way of looking at human existence"

That is the key to it all.

Increased physical comfort (which is what all humans aspire to) cannot happen unless some find a way to achieve it first and then a way is found to make it cheap enough for more to enjoy.

The process necessarily requires a mechanism for ideas to be promoted and to either fail or succeed according to the judgment of potential consumers.

It also requires some to have the spare dosh to gamble on something new.

State planning does not allow for failure of an idea and egalitarianism does not allow for some to have either the dosh or the new invention before others.

The message will, of course, be lost on lefties with money. They cannot see that the fancy innovations in their expensive cars are adapted and filter down to become standard improvements to small family cars. There could be no air con in Fiestas without air con in Mercs first.

BTS said...

I've failed to locate any mention of this story on cun.. oops, bloody dyslexia.. councillor Terry Kelly's blog about this as of yet. Perhaps he missed it?