[Marxism] GRANMA: Cuba Has New Pay Incentive System

Marvin Gandall marvgandall at videotron.ca
Fri Jun 13 07:12:24 MDT 2008


My comment below - "Do Cuban analysts and officials really believe that the 
problem is other than a low level of capital investment in these sectors, 
and that incentives and piecework will NOT DO much to resolve the probem of 
low productivity?" - was meant to read: Do Cuban analysts and officials 
really believe that the problem is other than a low level of capital 
investment in these sectors, and that incentives and piecework will DO much 
to resolve the probem of low productivity?"

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Marvin Gandall" <marvgandall at videotron.ca>
Sent: Friday, June 13, 2008 9:06 AM
Subject: Re: [Marxism] GRANMA: Cuba Has New Pay Incentive System


> Walter posted:
>
>> GRANMA
>> June 11, 2008
>
> [...}
>> There has been a tendency in Cuba for everyone to earn the same
>> salary, a type of egalitarianism that is not advisable, said Mateu
>> Pereira. ...Mateu Pereira said the new pay system should be seen as a 
>> tool
>> to
>> help obtain increased productivity...
> =================================
> Thanks, Walter. Do you have any more detailed information (or personal
> observations) about the current pay system and some of my questions which
> follow?
>
> Clearly "everyone does not earn the same salary", and the official's
> reference to a "tendency for everyone" to do so is a reference to pay
> differentials between different occupational groups, eg. physician versus
> bus driver, which are are now presumed to be too narrow.
>
> Has Cuba been experiencing difficulty attracting young people into skilled
> professional and managerial jobs, or is there some evidence of a "brain
> drain" out of the country, despite the legal prohibitions against Cubans
> emigrating to better paying jobs abroad? Can this move to widen
> differentials be seen as part of Cuba's preparations for a more "open"
> economy, a "Chinese  turn", which would necessarily make it easier for
> Cubans to study, work, and travel abroad and for foreign companies to
> operate in Cuba - in which case, the authorities would be anticipating a
> need to both recruit and retain skilled Cubans in competition with private
> employers at home and overseas?
>
> On what basis have the Cubans concluded that productivity in less skilled
> occupations in labour-intensive industries is too low? Complaints about
> workers on construction sites, retail outlets, and government offices
> standing around with little to do used to be commonplace in the fSU, 
> largely
> because the state was committed to full employment which proved
> unsustainable in the context of the capitalist world economy. Are such
> complaints heard today in Cuba, and has that been your impression? Are 
> there
> piecework systems in place today? Do Cuban analysts and officials really
> believe that the problem is other than a low level of capital investment 
> in
> these sectors, and that incentives and piecework will not do much to 
> resolve
> the probem of low productivity? Or again, is this a prelude to the
> establishment of Chinese- and Mexican-style "special enterprise zones" 
> which
> require sweated labour and the ability to dismiss workers who fail to meet
> their quotas?
>
> This is how I'm reading the tea leaves at any rate. If this is the 
> direction
> the Cubans are going in, it's consistent with the experience of all the
> other formerly anticapitalist countries, notably the USSR and China, who
> could not overcome the pressures on them of a world economy led by the 
> more
> developed capitalist powers. I think it has much less to do with the
> character of the regime or the fine points of Marxist doctrine, which 
> seems
> to have occupied most of the discussion around this question on the list.
> Unfortunately, the Bolsheviks were quite prescient in understanding that
> unless socialist revolutions occured in the more advanced capitalist
> countries, the revolutions on the "periphery" could not last.
>
>
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