Sentence of the Day

“The state has no business getting involved in a matter between two individuals.”

Raúl Castro explaining why Cuba will now allow people to sell their own cars. Only musicians and a few other specials, however, are allowed to buy a new car.


Oh, a new libertarian.

the quote is from Rahul I beleive.

What new cars get sold in Cuba? I don't suppose there's any native car manufacture there?

Not all that many. There were loads of new Chinese made coaches though, for ferrying tourists around.

Been there. Every bus is Chinese. It's strange, actually, to be in a brand new Chinese bus and every other vehicle is either a bus or an old European tinymobile.

Raul Castro, 2012 Libertarian Candidate for President!

I suspect Raúl means that in the same sense Bill Clinton meant it when he said the era of bif government was over.

"big" government.

Interesting that the US government employs Cubans at Guantánamo Bay. Is this just a cost saving measure?

Ironical with all the trouble the US takes to maintain the embargo otherwise.

Delta now offering direct flights to Cuba. I think the embargo is almost over.

Good for the Cuban people. Creating property rights is great--in cars, automobiles, etc. and moving to a market economy should increase output.

You also, though, should think about how some property was allocated during the Castro regime to true believers, and how that allocation could lead to an oligarchic society later.

Think Russia.

Unless you ask how property will devolve--and how it was allocated during the regime--you do not have a complete picture. Encouraging the Cuban people to demand transparency in state property sales would be a good start.

Now, a friend of mine, an ag economist, worked on decollectivising agriculture in eastern europe. His view was "Yeah, the appartchick got the property, but at least they protect the farm equipment from being looted and will insure that it is repaired. This will sort out after a generation or two." I reluctantly share his view.

When they open the market for new car sales, there will be some really pissed off owners of Russian autos and some really happy antique car buyers of Vintage Americana.

On the same vein, Cuban Americans can visit Cuba, but I understand not other US citizens. The Cuban Americans are reportedly funneling money to their relatives to reacquire their old family homes during this period of a non-market artificially economy. I suppose if the Cuban Americans get the old homestead back at a reduced price there will be less pressure to embargo Cuba until they return all US property. It is probably also cheaper than future litigation.

Coase would probably have something to say about this.

“The state has no business getting involved in a matter between two individuals.”

So, prostitution is legal in Cuba?

"Cuba tiene las prostitutas mas educadas del mundo."
Fidel Castro

Most people would probably agree that the state has no business getting involved in a matter between two individuals. The difference is in identifying which transactions concern only the two individuals, and which have a wider effect on the community. Is education a transaction just between the student and the school, or does it have a wider effect? Is workplace safety just between the employer and employee, or does it have an impact on the community? Is marriage just a matter between the spouses, or does it affect the wider community?

When my wife and I married, we took two weirdos off the market, thus helping everybody else avoid information costs! :-)

Oh come on...First Friedman, now Nozick. What is it with libertarians influencing Latin American dictators?

It's a start.

I know what happened. The Castros have been studying California and are scared at just how degenerate a Marxist police state can be, so they've decided to change course before it's too late for Cuba.

Seems like Raul's been reading Nozick's Wilt Chamberlain scenario.

Comments for this post are closed