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Making Waves

Who's Happier?

By John Christie

 My bride and I stole away recently for a few days in Cuba. We encountered smiles, hospitality, very good weather, and a very different way of life. In all the time we were there, we heard sirens twice. The F-word once, and not from a resident. Road rage...never. Even in Havana, where traffic in spots can be chaotic. Cubans are materially and monetarily poor compared to us. An income of fifty pesos a month is considered better than average. But many of the essentials are covered by the government... A place to live, the basics of food, medical care, free education at all levels. The system actually seems to work for them...almost. But Cubans are beginning to realize there is a problem...lack of incentive. When you can make more money driving a taxi or working in a resort than as a doctor, why put forth the effort to participate in the..albeit free...higher education and training? Contrast that with OUR system, where all are NOT treated equal, but also where a huge percentage of our overall wealth, is in the hands of the top one percent. I came home with more questions than answers. Obviously, problems exist with the Cuban form of Communism. And we have problems of our own. Who's happier? The Cubans or us? I haven't decided yet.


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