Monday, January 31, 2011

Private in Cuba

Check out the list of 178 activities that Cubans can now do privately for profit.  Bill collector seems perhaps the most un-socialist.  Meanwhile, people who take care of public places--both bathroom attendants and park caretakers--can now make a profit doing so.

And if you want a sense of the economic situation in Cuba, look at the list of jobs that repair something, including disposable lighters.  Yes, even those need repair in Castro's Cuba.

8 comments:

Russell Bither-Terry 1:20 PM  

When I lived there the repair guy at our residence fixed our toilet with a 500 ml water bottle. It worked, too.

Anonymous,  10:44 PM  

I am sure the list will expand to 179+. Its inevitable.

Anonymous,  10:48 PM  

Anybody know the government tax rate for these positions.

Tambopaxi 2:36 AM  

With the government laying off thousands public employees, there's really no alternative to creating these kinds of jobs, and there will be more, as Anon 10:44 points out.

leftside 5:13 PM  

50,000 self-employment licenses have already been granted in just a few months of this program running. I wish starting a business in the US was so easy... They are said to expect 1.2 million entreprenuers by 2012.

The initial 178 job classifications is certainly just the start. They were selected because they are non-essential and the necessary supplies are available. Jobs that require materials that are scarce or monopolized by the State have to wait.

If anyone is interested, the "policy guidelines" (lineamientos) the Cuban Government put out recently to "guide debate" during the the fortcoming economic reform proposals are here.

Anon, the whole Cuban tax scheme is set to be reworked soon. As on Fanuary 1, effective Jan. 1, self-employed workers making less than 5,000 CUP (US$240) a year are exempt. The rates rise progressively according to income, with highest income bracket taxed at 50 percent. If you are really interested in current thinking on tax reform in Cuba, check these remarks by Economy Minister Marino Murillo.

Randy Paul 8:42 AM  

I wish starting a business in the US was so easy...

Being self-employed in the US doesn't require a self-employment license. One can choose to merely go into business for oneself. People incorporate, form LLC's or LLP's in order to protect themselves individually from liability.

Indeed, if I wanted to be a door-to-door knife sharpener, absent any proof that required specific licensing, all I need do is report income on a Schedule C and whatever tax requirements are relevant to one's state/municipality.

As for certain professions (barber, electrician, taxi driver), licensing requirements are designed to protect consumers by requiring a demonstrated level of training and competence in their professions.

If the US doesn't require self-employment licenses, then on what basis is it easier in Cuba to start a business? Capital? If so, is Cuba supplying capital to these entrepreuners? If so, how? How different, then, is that from the SBA here?

leftside 5:06 PM  

I was being a bit fecetious Randy but the numbers don't lie. I doubt the US has EVER created so many small businesses in such an amount of time. Given their small population, 50,000 small businesses created within a span of a few months is equivalent to 1.2 million in the US.

All Cubans have to do is fill out a pretty simple form, and have it approved. People are showing up at government offices and leaving an hour or two later with their business license in hand. My point is that it is not exactly the bureacratic nightmare that we might presume exists in Cuba.

Randy Paul 10:28 PM  

I find most of your comments to be fecetious, but not facetious.

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