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Posted: 9/14/2010 2:35:12 AM EDT
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.

Self-employment, begun in the 1990s, covers everything from family-run restaurants to car repair shops, construction and artisans. Non-state jobs included workers hired by the self-employed, ex-state employees such as taxi drivers who would move to a leasing arrangement, and employees of small state businesses that went over to a co-operative form of administration, said sources who have seen the plan.

The plan represents the most important reform undertaken by President Raúl Castro since he took over from his brother Fidel in early 2008, and the biggest shift to private enterprise since all 58,000 small businesses were nationalised in 1968.

Raúl Castro has fostered discussion in the media and grassroots meetings on the problems afflicting the socialist economy, but he has made mostly minor changes up till now. The exception has been agriculture, where Mr Castro has leased state lands to 100,000 farmers and loosened the state straitjacket on sale of farm inputs and produce.

The government reported more than 85 per cent of the Cuban labour force, or about 5m people, worked for the state at the close of 2009. There were 591,000 workers in the private sector, with most of those being farmers and 143,000 self-employed.

The massive layoff of 10 per cent of the state labour force is scheduled to begin in October and stretch through March. New licences for self-employment would be issued beginning in October , the sources said. Geographical limitations on self-employment and prohibitions on obtaining bank credits, doing business with state entities or hiring labour outside the family, would be eliminated.

Better accounting would be demanded of businesses, and the way they were taxed would be changed. As well as taxes on income, the self-employed would pay a sales tax and 25 per cent social security tax for themselves and each employee, the sources said, while co-operatives would pay a tax on profits and social security.

The state expected tax revenue from the self-employed to jump from 250m pesos ($9.4m) this year to about a billion pesos in 2011, the sources said.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2010. You may share using our article tools. Please don't cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.


http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/4cd17af4-bf5e-11df-965a-00144feab49a.html?ftcamp=rss
Link Posted: 9/14/2010 2:41:29 AM EDT
Well, it's official. We are more communist that Russia, China...and Cuba.

I honestly never thought I'd see the day...
Link Posted: 9/14/2010 2:42:57 AM EDT
You know, "cutting 500,000 from the payrolls" means something different in communist countries.



Link Posted: 9/14/2010 2:45:21 AM EDT
Communism doesn't work, who knew?


Link Posted: 9/14/2010 2:58:31 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/14/2010 3:41:48 AM EDT

I didn't think there were 500,000 Cubans in the first place .
Link Posted: 9/14/2010 4:01:21 AM EDT
The Lord government giveth and the Lord government taketh away.
Link Posted: 9/14/2010 4:13:50 AM EDT
Originally Posted By BillofRights:
Well, it's official. We are more communist that Russia, China...and Cuba.

I honestly never thought I'd see the day...


I agree with the above. While socialist states abandon their marxist practices, we embrace it fully.
Link Posted: 9/14/2010 4:19:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/14/2010 4:19:45 AM EDT by bdgenz]
Originally Posted By shadow_walker:

I didn't think there were 500,000 Cubans in the first place .


Me thinks thats the entire population.

Stage one of a massive change is my bet.

Good luck to those poor bastards, some should study history and take a lesson (no names Mr. President).
Link Posted: 9/14/2010 6:47:59 AM EDT
85 per cent of the Cuban labour force, or about 5m people, worked for the state
Link Posted: 9/14/2010 8:19:50 AM EDT
After all the years that Castro spoke against the US, Capitalism, etc, it is quite the irony that he finally admits that Communism straight up does not work. It is also amusing that Fidel finaly came clean and said that many things were huge mistakes(the whole Cuban Missle Crisis, for one).

Further proof that Communism is a failed system. The theory sounds good on paper, but in reality, it is so flawed that Capitalism is being introduced to save the countries that tried it. Marx and his co-horts never figured one very important thing into their manifesto: Human Greed. No matter how equal you try to make things, someone is ALWAYS going to want more items/power/control/etc and those people will take control if they can.

I am still waiting for China to have a massive revolution against the Communist party as they move to Captialism. Once the rank and file people taste some sort of freedom , they want more. Their version of Jefferson, Washington, etc will arise sometime soon...
Link Posted: 9/14/2010 8:47:27 AM EDT
Originally Posted By bdgenz:
Originally Posted By shadow_walker:

I didn't think there were 500,000 Cubans in the first place .


Me thinks thats the entire population.

Stage one of a massive change is my bet.

Good luck to those poor bastards, some should study history and take a lesson (no names Mr. President).


There are 5M Cubans, so 10% are getting laid off. Some 95% work for the government.

I suspect they will lay off the most unproductive, so the people least capable of making it on their own will be out of a job. They say they will make it easier to have a buisness, but for these people, I doubt that helps.

Link Posted: 9/14/2010 8:51:10 AM EDT
Originally Posted By MetalChef:
After all the years that Castro spoke against the US, Capitalism, etc, it is quite the irony that he finally admits that Communism straight up does not work. It is also amusing that Fidel finaly came clean and said that many things were huge mistakes(the whole Cuban Missle Crisis, for one).

Further proof that Communism is a failed system. The theory sounds good on paper, but in reality, it is so flawed that Capitalism is being introduced to save the countries that tried it. Marx and his co-horts never figured one very important thing into their manifesto: Human Greed. No matter how equal you try to make things, someone is ALWAYS going to want more items/power/control/etc and those people will take control if they can.

I am still waiting for China to have a massive revolution against the Communist party as they move to Captialism. Once the rank and file people taste some sort of freedom , they want more. Their version of Jefferson, Washington, etc will arise sometime soon...



Communism only works on paper if you ignore key aspects of economics. Greed works in many ways, one form of greed is the greed of the lazy who are willing to live off the labor of others, even if that means living in poverty.

I agree that China has an issue, but their culture is sufficiently different that I don't see a Jefferson in their future.
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