Cuba to lay off 500,000 in workers paradise

posted at 2:15 pm on September 14, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

In the era of Hope and Change and big-government solutions, at least one nation has decided to downsize its government workforce and push the private sector to pick up the slack.  Ironically, that nation is not the US, but Cuba.  Raul Castro announced the decision on Monday as part of his “reforms” of the hardline Communist dictatorship:

Cuba announced on Monday it would lay off “at least” half a million state workers over the next six months and simultaneously allow more jobs to be created in the private sector as the socialist economy struggles to get back on its feet.

The plan announced in state media confirms that President Raul Castro is following through on his pledge to shed some one million state jobs, a full fifth of the official workforce — but in a shorter timeframe than initially anticipated.

“Our state cannot and should not continue maintaining companies, productive entities and services with inflated payrolls and losses that damage our economy and result counterproductive, create bad habits and distort workers’ conduct,” the CTC, Cuba’s official labor union, said in newspapers. …

At the time, he said the government “agreed to broaden the exercise of self employment and its use as another alternative for the employment of those excess workers.”

Will this mean real reform in Cuba?  Probably not.  It’s a move borne out of desperation, as the Castro brothers don’t get the kind of foreign subsidies that used to keep them afloat in the Cold War era.  They need to scale back the cost of their government, and they have two options when doing so: allow for some private enterprise, or have half a million unemployed people thinking about their misery and how to end it.

The end of the workers-paradise myth should embarrass American backers of Castro, especially those who ran for office while hailing their connections to the regime.  Maurice Hinchey falls into that category, as Capitol Hill Cubans discovered, although they get the date wrong:

This past summer, Hinchey hosted a “Maurice Goes to Cuba Event” to raise money for his Congressional race.

The invitation (seen below) features Hinchey’s friendship and efforts on behalf of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.

Perhaps for his next event, he’s considering Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or Kim Jong Il.

The invitation to the event, which was actually held in 2007, features a picture of Hinchey and Castro together:

One can make an argument for ending the embargo on Cuba without embracing a “murderous dictator,” a completely accurate description of Fidel Castro.  This picture should embarrass anyone who believes in freedom, let alone someone elected to the US Congress.

I’ll be interviewing George Phillips on today’s TEMS about his campaign to unseat Maurice Hinchey, and you can bet this invitation will be part of our discussion.   Be sure to tune in at 3 pm ET!

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Dopehead supermodels, wife-beating actors, and chubby leftist movie directors hardest hit.

Bishop on September 14, 2010 at 2:18 PM

Fidel retreats

Obama charges

Long live socialisme!

Schadenfreude on September 14, 2010 at 2:19 PM

American government to the left of Castro? Theory that we have fallen through the rabbit hole is confirmed.

rbj on September 14, 2010 at 2:19 PM

Ugh!

I suppose,Obama will hire them!

Oh wait,now the Mexicans will be in competition
for the illegal job market,er,fence hopping!

canopfor on September 14, 2010 at 2:21 PM

It’s not “unemployment,” you capitalist dog!

It’s “job options.”

Mr. Bingley on September 14, 2010 at 2:21 PM

Quick, someone call Michael Moore about the Cuban unemployment! His healthcare for his fat butt will be cut off! What will HE DO?!?!?

upinak on September 14, 2010 at 2:21 PM

Michael Moore collapses … realizes gig is up.

darwin on September 14, 2010 at 2:21 PM

Michael Moore and the DNC attack Castro from the left in 3, 2, 1…

Jaibones on September 14, 2010 at 2:21 PM

We don’t have to like the Castro’s to end the embargo.

End it yesterday.

rickyricardo on September 14, 2010 at 2:22 PM

Laying off workers in the Workers’ Paradise? How does that work exactly.

SlaveDog on September 14, 2010 at 2:22 PM

Funemployment.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on September 14, 2010 at 2:23 PM

Inflated payrolls? What? They’re smoking more than cigars over there if he believes Cuban wages are inflated.

ButterflyDragon on September 14, 2010 at 2:23 PM

Situation down there must really be awful.

Dark-Star on September 14, 2010 at 2:24 PM

Fidel retreats

Obama charges

Long live socialisme!

Schadenfreude on September 14, 2010 at 2:19 PM

Schadenfreude:)
======================================================

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_PxZyE6Jgabo/TI9iwvE7fUI/AAAAAAAAlB4/a39WPWmdtUs/s1600/theo2.jpg

From,

http://www.theospark.net/

canopfor on September 14, 2010 at 2:24 PM

HopenCHEnge!

Christien on September 14, 2010 at 2:26 PM

Well good, open trade with Cuba. It worked so well with China.

Skandia Recluse on September 14, 2010 at 2:29 PM

It should happen here.

Yeah, that’s right, I called for the firing of a half million American workers. A half million government parasites ….err, “workers”. I’ll bet anything there’s at least that much dead wood sitting around collecting a paycheck (or maybe two or three paychecks, like in New Jersey where double and triple dipping is standard).

Jerome Horwitz on September 14, 2010 at 2:29 PM

“If you elect a Fidelista, you get Fidelismo.” ~Tio Chano

Christien on September 14, 2010 at 2:24 PM

Christien: Gawd that was good,now I need a ciggerette,
even tho,I don’t smoke!:)

canopfor on September 14, 2010 at 2:30 PM

Cuba announced on Monday it would lay off “at least” half a million state workers over the next six months and simultaneously allow more jobs to be created in the private sector as the socialist economy struggles to get back on its feet.

Micheal Moore,Hollywood,and most of the democratic party hit the hardest.

I thought Mrs. Sherrod told everybody that “no one gets fired from government jobs”…..guess she is lucky she did not name her child “Cuba” instead of “Russia”.

It will be interesting to see how 500 thousand people who have been living off of the government system actually contribute to the “private sector”.

To excel in the Private Sector…you have to be driven,responsible,innovative,and productive.

This is the antithesis of government work.

Baxter Greene on September 14, 2010 at 2:30 PM

Obama’s economy is so bad even Cubans are getting laid off.

DamnCat on September 14, 2010 at 2:31 PM

Can it be?
Trouble in (Progressive) Paradise?

Chip on September 14, 2010 at 2:34 PM

Christien: Gawd that was good,now I need a ciggerette,
even tho,I don’t smoke!:)

canopfor on September 14, 2010 at 2:30 PM

it’s a good thing you don’t smoke or Bob Schieffer would hunt you down.

http://www.thefoxnation.com/bob-schieffer/2010/09/13/bob-schieffer-prods-boehner-smoking

Of course it is no problem that Obama smokes…….

Baxter Greene on September 14, 2010 at 2:34 PM

Ugh,here goes a F”n Stimulus Bailout for Cuba!!

Yes,I know,its Pure Loony Crazy Talk,but were
talk’n bout the Obama Administration!!

canopfor on September 14, 2010 at 2:34 PM

I think everyone is missing a big point here. After Fidel and Raul, there is no one else in charge. They are the entire Federal government in Cuba, pretty much the whole Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches all rolled up into them and only them. After they both die, there will be chaos.

Johnnyreb on September 14, 2010 at 2:36 PM

They need to scale back the cost of their government, and they have two options when doing so: allow for some private enterprise, or have half a million unemployed people thinking about their misery and how to end it.

Has there been any effort, any move, any decision made, based on anyones’ misery? I seriously doubt those liberal/social/communists would give on iota about someones misery, as they’ve done nothing, and given no indication since Obama’s election, that they give a rats arse about anyone, except those they can exploit for political gain, and power.

capejasmine on September 14, 2010 at 2:36 PM

“Our state cannot and should not continue maintaining companies, productive entities and services with inflated payrolls and losses that damage our economy and result counterproductive, create bad habits and distort workers’ conduct,” the CTC, Cuba’s official labor union, said in newspapers.

(emphasis added)

Wow — did Richard Trumka see this?

jwolf on September 14, 2010 at 2:37 PM

canopfor on September 14, 2010 at 2:30 PM
it’s a good thing you don’t smoke or Bob Schieffer would hunt you down.

http://www.thefoxnation.com/bob-schieffer/2010/09/13/bob-schieffer-prods-boehner-smoking

Of course it is no problem that Obama smokes…….

Baxter Greene on September 14, 2010 at 2:34 PM

Baxter Greene: Thanks for that,my jaw dropped,talk about
the MSM fixation on the right,as well as
lock-step agenda!:)

canopfor on September 14, 2010 at 2:38 PM

canopfor on September 14, 2010 at 2:30 PM

He’s got some other vids that are funnier!

Hypocrites & Fools

Versus Professor Profligacy

Versus Cinesotupotus (My fave)

and more…

Christien on September 14, 2010 at 2:39 PM

Why is the shelf life of socialism/communism only about 50 – 60 years? We’ve been around for over 200 years.

Mirimichi on September 14, 2010 at 2:44 PM

As Rush said, Cuba’s problem is they aren’t spending enough, look to the US as an example, it’s working wonders

TheVer on September 14, 2010 at 2:49 PM

Michale Moore weighs in.

Schadenfreude on September 14, 2010 at 2:52 PM

How do you lay off a slave?

mojo on September 14, 2010 at 2:53 PM

Meanwhile, in a another Worker’s Paradise, Drudge reports, Unemployment Fears Strike Dem Staffers”.

The old Worker’s Paradise ain’t what it used to be.

Lily on September 14, 2010 at 2:54 PM

The only difference between Cuba then and the US now is that you now have me….

/Barack Throckmorton Obama

ted c on September 14, 2010 at 2:54 PM

Michale Moore weighs in.

Schadenfreude on September 14, 2010 at 2:52 PM

I see what you did there..

ted c on September 14, 2010 at 2:55 PM

Michale Moore weighs in: Cuba at risk of capsizing.

Schadenfreude on September 14, 2010 at 2:52 PM

Fixed.

Christien on September 14, 2010 at 2:57 PM

How long before Cuba also passes us on the world economic freedom scale?

Pass more regressive laws and regulations, Congressional submorons.

GnuBreed on September 14, 2010 at 2:57 PM

Dopehead supermodels, wife-beating actors, and chubby leftist movie directors hardest hit.

Bishop on September 14, 2010 at 2:18 PM

Micheal Moore,Hollywood,and most of the democratic party hit the hardest.

Baxter Greene on September 14, 2010 at 2:30 PM

oops…..should have read the posts…you already had that covered.

How about I second your opinion.

Baxter Greene on September 14, 2010 at 3:02 PM

Baxter Greene: Thanks for that,my jaw dropped,talk about
the MSM fixation on the right,as well as
lock-step agenda!:)

canopfor on September 14, 2010 at 2:38 PM

You got that right……you know liberals are desperate when they start playing Mr. Nanny on National television.

Baxter Greene on September 14, 2010 at 3:05 PM

This is not a small change. A few glances at population figures shows that as a percentage of population it’s the equivalent of America firing 14 million federal workers. (We have less than 2.5 million now.)

It’s a rather staggering change and should be encouraged by relaxing embargo regulations to provide more free-market opportunities for these people. At least permit travel so that tourism can begin to grow and bring free-market ideas with it.

dieudonne on September 14, 2010 at 3:07 PM

b.b..bbbut the healthcare….*sniff* *sniff*

ted c on September 14, 2010 at 3:14 PM

Hysterical. First the ChiComs, then Putin, then the Euros and now the Castro Bros. When will Barry and the Dems catch on?

JimP on September 14, 2010 at 3:15 PM

Well good, open trade with Cuba. It worked so well with China.

Skandia Recluse on September 14, 2010 at 2:29 PM

Really; could be a ruse to do just that. They are desperate.

Let me know when they allow political parties to form up and schedule elections. Until then I see very little change for the better.

slickwillie2001 on September 14, 2010 at 3:15 PM

Cuba to lay off 500,000 in workers paradise

..but Obama, the light bringer, has been on this problem since Day One.

The War Planner on September 14, 2010 at 3:15 PM

How long before Cuba also passes us on the world economic freedom scale?

Pass more regressive laws and regulations, Congressional submorons.

GnuBreed on September 14, 2010 at 2:57 PM

Better Question—-How long before Cuba has a wet foot/dry foot policy and starts its’ embargo of American products?

dirtseller on September 14, 2010 at 3:21 PM

canopfor on September 14, 2010 at 2:38 PM
===========================================
You got that right……you know liberals are desperate when they start playing Mr. Nanny on National television.

Baxter Greene on September 14, 2010 at 3:05 PM

Baxter Greene:Madness continues!!:)

canopfor on September 14, 2010 at 3:22 PM

In an alternative universe, where the GOP actually has some b@lls, I can just the campaign ad now:

“Democrats: More Addicted to Big Government than the Commies!”

rvastar on September 14, 2010 at 3:24 PM

Proof positive that Raul is so much smarter than Osama Obama.

MrScribbler on September 14, 2010 at 3:29 PM

Sean Penn’s already drunk.

darwin on September 14, 2010 at 3:38 PM

You know … maybe Castro’s setting it up so he can ask the democrats for a bailout.

darwin on September 14, 2010 at 3:38 PM

BREAKING NEWS…….Intertube Armada headed towards the Florida Keys in 5…..4…..3….

PappyD61 on September 14, 2010 at 3:57 PM

I showed this to aco-worker who is from Cuba and she says – I have no way of verifying this because I don’t know how things work down there – but she says this is a good thing. She says it’s the same as freeing slaves because – if we are reading it right, they are no longer obligated to essentially work for the company store. they can now work for themselves and keep their wages and spend them how they want. They have been released into what passes for the Cuban free market system.

Any Cubans out there – correct me if this is wrong.

BrideOfRove on September 14, 2010 at 3:58 PM

If Michael Moore visits, will Cuba capsize? Hank Johnson said it could happen in Guam/sarc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNZczIgVXjg&feature=player_embedded

westmichchic on September 14, 2010 at 4:10 PM

Dang! That’s like 5% of their population all at once.

Oldnuke on September 14, 2010 at 4:12 PM

I believe Obama has already said that he thinks it would be poor policy to reduce government payrolls during an economic downturn. Apparently Castro has a bit more of a laissez-faire attitude than our President.

hawksruleva on September 14, 2010 at 4:40 PM

I showed this to aco-worker who is from Cuba and she says – I have no way of verifying this because I don’t know how things work down there – but she says this is a good thing. She says it’s the same as freeing slaves because – if we are reading it right, they are no longer obligated to essentially work for the company store. they can now work for themselves and keep their wages and spend them how they want. They have been released into what passes for the Cuban free market system.

BrideOfRove on September 14, 2010 at 3:58 PM

It’s like China. Castro has finally decided that his system isn’t working, and needs to let the genie of free enterprise out of the bottle. Will Cubans taste freedom in their jobs and remain otherwise cowed to the will of the state? Not likely. Freedom is addictive.

Maybe Castro believes he can use the free market to save his rule. Or maybe he’s honestly realized that Communism is a colossal failure. Either way, Cuba is moving closer to freedom; it’s just a question of how long the process will take.

hawksruleva on September 14, 2010 at 4:43 PM

he said the government “agreed to broaden the exercise of self employment and its use as another alternative for the employment of those excess workers.”

Excess workers? Cubans better watch out for the other methods of dealing with excess workers.

The attitude that it’s ok for the economy to leave out some people is taking root here, too. It’s one of the more chilling aspects of the current administration.

hawksruleva on September 14, 2010 at 4:48 PM

Why is the shelf life of socialism/communism only about 50 – 60 years? We’ve been around for over 200 years.

That’s how long it takes to run out of other people’s money (to paraphrase Thatcher).

capejasmine on September 14, 2010 at 2:36 PM

The key part is “have half a million unemployed people thinking about their misery and how to end it.”

Powder keg, burning fuse. Not out of compassion, but out of fear.

LarryD on September 14, 2010 at 4:58 PM