Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Next One to Fall?

Cuba is now firing public sector employees.  It reminds me of a title of a great book on the disintegration of Yugoslavia: Socialist Unemployment by Susan Woodward.  Surprisingly readable for a book that contains the words "socialist" and "unemployment" in the title, Woodward essentially argues that the existence of significant unemployment undermined the promise of Socialism and thus its legitimacy. 
“The Cuban government is going to allow and by definition encourage people to go into private sector opportunities,” he said. “What happens when some people get rich?”
“The government is going to have to determine whether it will allow and embrace success, not just opportunity,” he said.
I think that success is the least of the problems ahead.  So, Cuba is in for some hard times even if it does not have deep ethnic cleavages that are ripe for opportunistic politicians.  There are storms ahead, not just the usual hurricane season.

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