Wednesday, July 28, 2010

It Would Be Funny, If Not So Gruesome

I recently posted on the employment situation in Cuba as it relates to the problem of economic calculation in a socialist economy. Anyone wanting more knowledge about how socialistic economic theory actually plays out on the street is in for a treat. Here is an audio recording of a very revealing lecture called "Capitalism, Cuba, and Castro: A Report from Recent Travels by former Soviet Economist and current Carthage College professor Yuri Maltsev." Maltsev, an entertaining speaker, delivered this lecture at the Austrian Scholars Conference in 2004. I was in the audience and remember it as one of my favorites. As he says about the workings of the socialist Cuban state, "It would be funny if it was not so gruesome." In this lecture Maltsev reveals the following:

  1. The true nature of the Cuban economy.
  2. The level of quality in the Cuban health care system.
  3. Why infant mortality is so low in Cuba.
  4. Why informal economic activity is necessary for Cuban society to survive.

Listen to the lecture here.

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