Sunday, May 18, 2014

Solving Income Inequality

Apparently Income Inequality (TM) has become quite an ISSUE for some folks.  THC never heard much about it until a couple of years ago (though he recently reported on the highly educated efforts of Harvard and MIT to address this pressing issue in a post of April 1, 2014), but in the interests of keeping our devoted readership informed we wanted to let you know that Michael Totten, intrepid foreign correspondent and keeper of the Dispatches blog, has, in his recent travels, stumbled upon a solution that has, until now, eluded the sheltered and provincial people of America.

At City Journal, Totten reports on his recent visit to Cuba, part of an ongoing series the rest of which can be found at Dispatches.  According to Totten, it turns out that Cuba has successfully solved income inequality by imposing a maximum monthly wage of approximately $20 a month!!  Seems like a solution that is simple, cutting through the Gordian Knot of complexity which some reactionaries throw up to avoid addressing the ISSUE.
(Havana from City Journal)
In its empathetic approach towards the issue the Cuban government has taken creative steps to ensure that inequality does not arise again particularly as the regime has selectively opened small parts of its economy to  foreign companies.  Totten reports on the experience of Melia International, the Spanish company hired to manage Havana's tourist hotels.  Before signing its contract Melia insisted it wanted to pay its Cuban workers a "decent wage" in the range of $8-10 an hour.  The government agreed, but to spare its citizens from any resulting inequity it insisted that Melia pay the wage directly to the government which in turn pays each worker 67 cents a day.  We can only applaud such dedication and the satisfaction it must provide to the people of Cuba!
(Havana from Dispatches)
Totten does claim in passing that:

Cuba isn’t a developing country; it’s a once-developed country destroyed by its own government.

But that is surely an uncharitable remark and a small price to pay for eliminating inequality!*

* Certain government officials do make substantially more than the maximum wage but we all recognize that those in the Revolutionary Vanguard need adequate resources to allow them a single-minded focus on the welfare of The People. (Havana from Dispatches)

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