Provocative, But True: Cuba's Modified-Nazi Wage Policy

Friday, April 25, 2014
By renowned economist, Professor David R. Henderson, in EconLog:

Cuba's Wage Policy: Modified Nazi

The writer of Schindler's List would understand.

The Economist writes:

"[O]n March 29th Cuba's parliament approved a new foreign-investment law that for the first time allows Cubans living abroad to invest in some enterprises (provided, according to Rodrigo Malmierca, the foreign-trade minister, they are not part of the "Miami terrorist mafia"). The aim is to raise foreign investment in Cuba to about $2.5 billion a year; currently Cuban economists say the stock is $5 billion at most.

The law, which updates a faulty 1995 one, is still patchy, says Pavel Vidal, a Cuban economist living in Colombia. It offers generous tax breaks of eight years for new investments. However, it requires employers to hire workers via state employment agencies that charge (and keep) hard currency, vastly inflating the cost of labour."

Why do I give this post such a provocative title? Because, if you recall Schindler's List, you will recall that Oskar Schindler was not allowed to pay his Jewish workers anything. Instead, he paid their wages to the Reich. My impression is that the Reich, in turn, paid the Jews nothing. That's why I refer to the Cuban government's wage policy as "modified" Nazi. I'm sure the Cuban government pays the workers something.