Socialism USA means jobs, jobs, jobs

SocialismUSACubaCROP

SANCTI SPIRITUS, Cuba - Traveling around Cuba you get a feel for how Cubans struggle every day to develop their country. As an American it makes my blood boil to see how the U.S. government blockade of Cuba helps enforce poverty and underdevelopment on the Cuban people.

I met a young American doctor on a five hour bus ride from Baracoa to Santiago. Riding through the beautiful rural countryside he told me that what impressed him most about Cuba was how, even with all the apparent difficulties and underdevelopment, he didn't see hunger and homelessness. "They all pitch in," he said. "My bus from Havana broke down and a bunch of us got off to help the driver fix it. Really. Right there on the side of the road passengers and drivers passing tools, suggesting fixes and helping clean parts. You see that spirit all over the place."

So what does all this have to do with socialism USA and jobs you ask? It got me thinking about what building socialism is all about. It really is about developing resources to solve problems. It's about basics.

Why are communists, socialists, labor and the left so identified with the fight for jobs and full employment? Sure jobs are essential to well being and living, but it goes deeper than that. What is common to most societies trying to build socialism? Look at the Russian, the Chinese, the Vietnamese, and the Cuban experience and efforts. Take a look at all the emerging countries that had to throw off the yoke colonialism or neo-colonialism to move their countries forward and provide for their people. Or look at places where the left has won local control.

In all these efforts a common thread is concentration on the basics of development - jobs, education, health care, food, and housing, agrarian reform etc. With all the problems, with all the missteps, hardships, failures and even victories of these socialist projects, each pursued policies of full employment and collective problem solving. Even in capitalist societies the left works for these basics. For example the communist parties in India became mass parties and won many electoral victories by developing mass literacy campaigns preparing people for better employment and education opportunities.

What all these basics have in common is that they center on developing the most important natural resource that every country has - its human resource, its people. This is, in part, why literacy and education are so closely linked to jobs and employment policies in efforts to build socialism.

So back to socialism USA. One thing the current economic crisis brings home is that capitalism has outlived its usefulness. It's not just that over 8 million jobs have been lost in this "great recession" or that there were already millions of unemployed and underemployed even at the height of the boom before the crisis. It is a terrible toll in human suffering to be sure. It is also a terrible waste of human brain and muscle lost every day through this terrible crisis.

All the incredible wealth and treasure locked away in the bank vaults of the giant corporations and the rich can't seem to solve the burning problems of the day. No solutions for poverty, homelessness, jobs and health care, not to mention war, global warming, aids, cancer, urban sprawl and on and on.

What terrible waste. The where-with-all and wealth exists. Smart, hardworking people we have in abundance. Simply applying the needed resources in the right places will lead to solutions.

Free education and training for all - as much as you can eat - will help produce the cultural level, the brains and muscle needed. Scientists and teachers to bricklayers and programmers to artists and doctors and all the other talents we need.

Health care for all to not only keep us well and productive, but to cure diseases and expand the horizons of medicine.

Housing, food, and recreation because comfortable, well rested and well fed workers are the most productive and are most likely to make breakthroughs in real sustainable clean energy.

You get the idea. And yes I hear you - if it were that simple then it would have been done by now, right? Well no. Capitalism has too many vested corporate/financial interests that only want to solve problems if they can make money on the solutions. Their system is preserved by restricting opportunity and consumption and dividing people with competition and discrimination. Is that a system past its prime or what? Cut back and restrict our most important resource in our greatest time of need!

The ideal for socialism is "the living is easy, the work is hard." We fight for jobs because with jobs and resources there are no problems that working people can't solve. American working people are like the Cuban people, hard working, problem solving, pitch-in kind of folks.

End the blockade against Cuba and end the blockade against jobs, opportunity at home and watch the world change for the better.

Photo: High school students on their way walking home in Sancti Speritis, Cuba town center. Scott Marshall/PW

 

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  • you talk about helping with american jobs, you then talk about how communists in india helped educate indian workers for better jobs.... i wonder if these jobs they are prepared for include the transcription, customer support, and technology jobs that shifted from america to india because of it being a cheaper work force.
    way to screw american workers in support of workers in a country you have never been to. i totally understand your "helping" attitude, you advocate "helping" americans to starve while a country like india grows ever more reliant on greedy american corporations for income.

    i also suppose you support american tax dollars supporting american workers to train their replacements in india

    Posted by ted bundy, 09/22/2010 11:47pm (4 years ago)

  • I have visited this site and got lots of information than other site visited before a month.

    Posted by Shabbeer Ahmed, 04/06/2010 2:48am (5 years ago)

  • It is strange the most socialist country in the world,China, has opened it's arms to the MANUFACTURING jobs the U.S. has sent them for Cheap labor,no OSHA and tax advantages.
    Anyone with any intelligence knows theire is no such thing as FREE services. Those FREE services are provided by TAXING the pay of those who work.
    There is a balance between Socialism and Capitalism. Capitalism does not have all the answers nor does Socialism. Sending Manufacturing jobs to other countries sure has not helped the American WORKER.
    Besides what brand of SOCIALISM do you want, Leninism,Stalinism,Maoism,or American Totalitarism?
    Seems those who advance to SOCIALISM exclude democracy, free interprise and embrace dictatorships and the suppression of any disagreement.
    If Cuba was such a hotshot state then why aren't people moving there in droves? I have personally know people who moved from Cuba and they are not standing in line to go back. There must be a reason.

    Posted by chuckwagonchuckie, 02/26/2010 12:03pm (5 years ago)

  • Cuba has made great progress in areas like education and health care, surpassing the rest of Latin America and even the rich USA. It's important to acknowledge and praise these accomplishments, achieved especially in the face of active hostility and even terrorism from the US.

    Yet Cuba apparently faces enormous challenges and by many measures remains a poor country. But "poor" is a relative term. The CIA estimates* gross domestic product per capita for the countries of the world (The World Bank estimates exclude Cuba). This measure, roughly, is industrial and social output.

    Below are values of several countries for comparison.

    GDP/capita:
    Norway $59,300
    USA $46,400
    Japan $32,600
    Puerto Rico 17,100
    Mexico 13,200
    Venezuela 13,200
    Costa Rica 11,300
    WORLD 10,500
    South Africa 10,000
    Cuba 9,700
    Colombia 9,200
    Jamaica 8,300
    China 6,500
    India 3,100
    Vietnam 2,900
    Nicaragua 2,800
    Haiti 1,300

    Note that the U.S. does not have the highest per capita output. Also that Cuba stands somewhat below Mexico, Venezuela, and South Africa but above Colombia, Jamaica, and considerably higher than China, and Vietnam.

    What does this tell us about how Cubans live? What is missing from this kind of evaluation?

    Cuba's economy isn't growing as fast as China and Vietnam's - what are the reasons?

    Cuba chose a path toward socialism, unlike China and Vietnam, that resisted market-based approaches that re-create a wealthy class.

    If we do not accept the assertion that owning several houses, cars, TV's and other material is all that "wealth" consists of, what are the appropriate measures? And at what cost do we achieve wealth?

    For capitalist countries like the U.S. the cost of our wealth has been born internally by those without jobs, or with poverty-wage jobs, by those without health care, those who are "ill housed, ill fed, ill clothed," by ongoing and often virulent racism. And abroad by war, military occupation and military bases, by ruling elites and dictatorships, super exploitation of resources and environmental destruction.

    In particular, what sort of life do Cubans want for themselves? What do they want that they are missing, how do they get there and what are the possibilities?

    And finally what is the cost for achieving a high quality of life for Cubans?


    *https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2004rank.html?countryName=Cuba&countryCode=cu&regionCode=ca&rank=108#cu

    Posted by Chester Steorra, 02/26/2010 10:36am (5 years ago)

  • That's one thing about communists, they have plenty of hard physical involuntary labor for everyone, except for the elites with the whips and the guns.

    The major difference between capitalists and communists and that the communists own you like a slave, and kill you if you try to leave the country.

    At least with capitalism, you can improve your knowledge and skills, and leave your job at any time for a better one.

    I really, really hate communism.

    Posted by Shucky, 02/24/2010 4:28pm (5 years ago)

  • I thought you were supposed to be leading a jobs campaign for the CP? How exactly are you doing that from Cuba? I hope you come back really well tanned. Enjoy your vacation.

    Posted by redone, 02/24/2010 2:22pm (5 years ago)

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