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“Our state cannot and should not continue maintaining companies productive entities, services and budgeted sectors with bloated payrolls (and) losses that hurt our economy. Job options will be increased and broadened with new forms of non-state employment, among them leasing land, cooperatives and self-employment, absorbing hundreds of thousands of workers in the coming years.”
Did the Obama administration and our Democratically-controlled Congress suddenly come to their senses? Did Republicans finally come up with a concrete agenda for the upcoming November election? Did some Tea Party candidate burnish his conservative credentials?
No, no, and no. Unbelievable as it may seem, the above statement was released by the official labor federation–of Cuba. The Communist regime has announced plans to “downsize” their public sector workforce by more than 500,000 employees, and then attempt to reemploy those workers into the private sector. And that’s just the beginning. Cuba announced that more than one million government jobs would eventually be cut, and that there will be fewer state-sector openings in the future.
The reason cited for such massive cuts? To “increase efficiency in the state sector.” In other words, the most steadfast Communist nation in the western hemisphere has embraced one of the most decidedly un-Communist philosophies of all: limited government.
Such a development in and of itself is stunning enough. But in August, Cuban leader Raul Castro pushed the stake even deeper into the heart of progressive thinking. Speaking before the Cuban National Assembly, he revealed an attitude remarkably similar to the one held by a substantial number of Americans regarding our own welfare state:
“We have to erase forever the notion that Cuba is the only country in the world in which people can live without working.”
Raul Castro has very little to worry about in that regard. Ninety miles to his north, there is a country where millions of people can live without working. It is a country where “efficiency in the public sector” is an oxymoron. It is a country which, despite a nagging recession, has increased public sector payrolls at every level of government, even as its private sector has hemorrhaged millions of jobs. It is a country being pushed to the brink of insolvency by the very same ideological bankruptcy that Cuba is now rejecting.
The latest announcement follows a curious remark made by the former leader of Cuba, Fidel Castro. At a recent lunch with Jeffrey Goldberg, national correspondent with Atlantic magazine, Goldberg asked the 84-year-old ex-president if he still thought Cuba’s economic system was worth exporting. “The Cuban model doesn’t even work for us any more,” said the former Maximum Leader.
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