Congratulations To Cuban Socialists – 95% Of Cubans Want Economic
Growth, 13% Think They Have It
Tim Worstall , CONTRIBUTOR
I have opinions about economics, finance and public policy.
Other than the very few remaining deluded lefties out there there’s no
one who thinks that the Cuban government has done a good job these past
6 decades so this finding shouldn’t be all that much of a surprise. Said
government, that Castroite revolution, managing to fail in the basic
mission of all governments everywhere, to produce whatever it is that
the population would actually like. It’s also not that much of a
surprise what the Cubans themselves would like, a bit of economic
growth. For one thing we’ve noted about humans over the millennia is
that they rather like full bellies, sound roofs over their head and a
sense that things will be even better for their children. Again, not
things known to be in great supply these past 6 decades in Cuba.
“…a rare survey of 840 Cubans conducted in the country late last year
by an independent research group, asking for opinions on topics from
free speech to diplomatic ties to crime.”
Not what the government says people should want, not what the government
says the people are going to get, but what do the people actually want?
You know, the sort of things we get to impress upon our rulers at
election time in a free country. And what is it that Cubans would like?
“What emerges most clearly from those interviewed is a desire to enjoy a
more certain, and robust, economic future.”
We might even say that they’d like to have an economy and the hell with
the perils of capitalist exploitation in fact:
“And yet Cubans seemed to have little faith in their government’s
capacity to deliver on those goals. Only three in 10 felt the economy
would improve in the next three years. And just 13 percent said the
current economy was good or excellent.”
Or as the headline puts it, 95% of Cubans want economic growth, only 13%
think they’re getting it and only 30% think they will get it. This is
not a great vote of confidence in Raul now, is it?
The fuller survey results are here.
“Many Cubans feel stuck in the current economic climate. Overall, just
13 percent of Cubans describe the condition of the Cuban economy today
as good or excellent, 35 percent say it is fair, and 46 percent say it’s
poor or very poor.”
Few Cubans think the economy is going to improve anytime soon. Three in
10 say the condition of the economy is going to get better over the next
three years, 8 percent say it is going to get worse, and 47 percent say
the economy will stay about the same.
Yes, yes, we all know, the Cubans are different. They’ve not got that
same greed for personal comfort as the rest of us and what about that
free health care!
The correct answer to which is that all of Europe now has free health
care for those who need it and none of us had to shoot the bourgeoisie
(even though several places did that’s not where we’ve got the health
care from) nor ship hundreds of thousands on tire tubing through shark
infested oceans to get it. So perhaps there’s something wrong with the
justification of the poverty, mass emigration and shootings by that
Cuban health care. Just a possibility, eh?
As to why what was a relatively rich part of the world in the 1950s is
now one of the poorest places in the Western Hemisphere that’s
easy–truly foul economic policy. Cuba tried to operate with a planned
and priceless economy. This does not work. The only economics we have
available to us which does actually work–work in the sense of providing
full bellies, roofs and the possibility of a better tomorrow for the
children–is a market economy using prices to guide resource
allocations. There are different flavours of this available to us, most
assuredly, from Hong Kong’s laissez faire through to Swedish social
democracy but it’s worth noting that Sweden is actually more free market
than the US or UK.
And yes, there is a lesson here for the rest of us. We can indeed have
interesting discussions about what sort of free marketry we wish to be
but we’re not going to have a functional economy if we’re not some
version of that market economy.
Source: Congratulations To Cuban Socialists – 95% Of Cubans Want
Economic Growth, 13% Think They Have It –