If Cuba Can Reduce the Public Sector, Why Can’t We?

They’re starting out to do just that:

Communist Cuba will shift hundreds of thousands of state employees to the private sector in 2011 as the government prunes more than 500,000 workers from its payroll.

The official trade union federation said on Monday that eventually more than a million jobs would be cut.

“Job options will be increased and broadened with new forms of non-state employment, among them leasing land, co-operatives and self-employment absorbing hundreds of thousands of workers in the coming years,” the union statement said.

According to a document circulating within the higher ranks of the Communist party in preparation for the “reorganisation of the labour force” announced on Monday, 465,000 non-state jobs would be created in 2011, of which some 250,000 would fall under the category of new licences for self-employment.

It’s interesting to note that the privatisation is starting with small businesses, which are–for both political and elitist snob reasons–the bête noire of our current Administration, their propaganda notwithstanding.

Cuba is starting down the road that every country that has adopted Marxist-Leninist state socialism (with the exception of North Korea) has done.  Although it’s tempting to tell them to speed things up, it’s a tricky transition that can end well (China) or in a mess (Russia.)  They need to manage things carefully; state socialism didn’t happen overnight, has been there for a long time, and will take some time to undo.

The real problem here is that the U.S. is working its way into the situation that Cuba is working its way out of.

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