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Print 52 comment(s) - last by LatinMessiah.. on May 8 at 9:50 PM

The average desktop computer costs the equivelent of three years worth of wages in Cuba

After the resignation of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and the transfer of power to younger brother Raul Castro, life in Cuba is getting better for some citizens. For many years, Cuban’s were denied the things we take for granted here in the U.S. because of presidential decree.

A few weeks ago, Raul Castro lifted a ban that forbade Cubans from legally owning cellular phones and DVD players. This week, BBC News reports that Raul Castro lifted a ban that prevented Cubans from legally owning personal computers.

Desktop computers are now available in Cuba and BBC News reports that a crowd formed at the Carlos III shopping center in Havana when the first PC shipments arrived. Despite the large crowds most were there only to look on as others bought.

The average price for a new desktop PC in Cuba is reported to be around $800 and the average monthly wage in Cuba is a mere $20. That would mean an average computer in Cuba would cost most citizens over three years of pay.

Most Cubans have access to supplementary income according to BBC News, typically from family who live abroad. Despite the availability of computers on the island nation, internet access is still limited to a few locations like workplaces, schools and universities.

The Cuban government is unable to connect to undersea fiber optic cables due to trade sanctions imposed by the U.S. The internet access available in the country is via limited bandwidth satellite connections.



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RE: A nice transition, but...
By Tsuwamono on 5/6/2008 11:47:46 AM , Rating: 5
thats not a form of communism. Communism is where all wealth is shared amongst the people equally. Communism in practice usually ends up being combined with a dictatorship which is what you are talking about.

Your society(USA) is a Capitalist democracy. There are Capitalist dictatorships, Communist democracies, Communist dictatorships, socialist democracies and socialist dictatorships.

Dictatorship(also includes monarch societies) or Democracy are a general description of the government.

Capitalist/Socialist/Communist are a general description of an economic setup.


RE: A nice transition, but...
By porkpie on 5/6/2008 11:53:42 AM , Rating: 5
The USA is a semi-capitalistic Republic, not a Democracy.


RE: A nice transition, but...
By mdogs444 on 5/6/2008 12:13:35 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. The USA is a representative government in the form of a republic, with a mixed-economy.


RE: A nice transition, but...
By Alpha4 on 5/6/2008 6:10:36 PM , Rating: 5
My head hurts.


RE: A nice transition, but...
By BansheeX on 5/6/2008 12:48:00 PM , Rating: 5
Correct, but you shouldn't capitalize it. The terms republic and democracy do not correlate to Republican and Democrat. The latter are party names representing ever changing ideological platforms. A democracy actually blows hard, our forefathers considered it tyranny of the majority. If you're black and you move into a white neighborhood and everyone holds a vote to divy up your land amongst them, you lose 50 to 1. That's a democracy. In a republic, the majority can vote, but the minority has something called rights, property among them, which are to be protected regardless of democratic consensus. I don't know why "spreading democracy" has become the punchline of the day.


RE: A nice transition, but...
By mattclary on 5/6/2008 2:08:32 PM , Rating: 3
OMG, why the f... were you rated down? Guess people don't like knowing how their government was actually designed to work.

Well, you would have +6 if it were up to me.


RE: A nice transition, but...
By FITCamaro on 5/6/2008 2:40:21 PM , Rating: 1
You're correct. Pure democracies don't work in practice. Thats why the electoral college exists. Our countries founders wanted a protection mechanism in place in case the people ever tried to vote in someone who clearly wouldn't be good for the country.

Of course these days, it seems the minorities opinion matters more than the majority. The majority of this country speaks english and feels it should be the official language. The minority so far have kept that from happening. The majority of this country is Christian and doesn't care that "In God We Trust" is on the currency, the minority are trying to stamp it out and could some day succeed. Hell do public schools even say the pledge at the beginning of the day anymore? God forbid we offend the minority who don't want to say it and make them feel excluded.

In a Republic its supposed to be that the majority opinion wins but we just be mindful of the minorities rights. Today it seems we just say screw the majority, give the minority what they want to shut them up.


RE: A nice transition, but...
By BMFPitt on 5/6/2008 3:01:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Of course these days, it seems the minorities opinion matters more than the majority.
A democracy/republic assures that people get the government they deserve.
quote:
The majority of this country is Christian and doesn't care that "In God We Trust" is on the currency, the minority are trying to stamp it out and could some day succeed.
I don't get the meaning of this statement. Are you saying that a majority of Christians do or do not feel so insecure and/or power hungry that they need to have their faith recognized on currency?

And by the way, what's with the atheist tattoo on your forehead? (I'm assuming you don't have "In God We Trust" tattooed on your forehead. If you do, then my bad.)
quote:
Hell do public schools even say the pledge at the beginning of the day anymore? God forbid we offend the minority who don't want to say it and make them feel excluded.
It hasn't been officially required since sometime in the 70s or 80s I believe, when some Jehova's Witnesses got beaten and tied to a flagpole for not reciting it.
quote:
In a Republic its supposed to be that the majority opinion wins but we just be mindful of the minorities rights. Today it seems we just say screw the majority, give the minority what they want to shut them up.
So what you're saying is that a republic should really just be a democracy that pretends the tyranny of the majority doesn't exist? I, for one, am glad you were not one of the founding fathers.

If I didn't think McCain had already won the election, I'd ask how you would feel about minority rights if Obama/Clinton had 55% in both houses next year.


RE: A nice transition, but...
By MamiyaOtaru on 5/6/2008 4:36:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I don't get the meaning of this statement

Obviously. I'm pretty sure you took the meaning of his post to be the opposite of what he intended.


RE: A nice transition, but...
By FITCamaro on 5/6/2008 7:40:43 PM , Rating: 2
Glad someone picked up on it. When the majority of the citizens of a nation do not see a problem with something that doesn't even affect their daily lives.


RE: A nice transition, but...
By JonnyDough on 5/7/2008 3:04:15 PM , Rating: 1
That isn't why the electoral college exists.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_College_%28...

The electoral college exists to simplify voting. However, with modern technology we might consider doing away with it, and let every citizen actually (online from home). The problems lie within accuracy and security, which we have now anyway. Therefore, wouldn't it be better and cheaper just to vote for issues online? Why should a select few represent us all? Should we not have the right to represent ourselves? It's like talking to a priest who talks to God, because we're incapable. It's the priest who tells us we can't talk to God in the first place though...


RE: A nice transition, but...
By JonnyDough on 5/7/2008 3:10:45 PM , Rating: 2
This nation is not majority Christian. That's a misconception that Christians would have you believe, because it's proclaimed Christians that go around holding political power and making the most noise. Most atheists don't go around "speaking blasphemy". I mean, how can you? The church will either shut you up, kick you out, or ban you with politics (RIAA, ESRB, FCC, etc). Atheists don't really assemble much, it's not like we go around singing anti-religious carols together at Christmas, or wearing black on St. Patty's day in protest. We usually partake in all of the religious holidays, because someone in our family invites us to. See how nice all us Atheists are?


RE: A nice transition, but...
By JustTom on 5/7/2008 2:02:49 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, a republic just means that you vote for the people who make the laws rather than actually voting for the laws themselves. It has nothing at all to do with minority rights. In the United States property rights are theoretically protected by the Constitution, and various state constitutions and laws. There is nothing inherent about republics that ensure property or minority rights.


RE: A nice transition, but...
By BMFPitt on 5/6/2008 12:20:26 PM , Rating: 5
In Communism, Comcast would provide subpar service with no regards to its customers because it is a government-sponsored monopoly.

In the US, Comcast provides subpar service with no regards to its customers because it is a government-sponsored monopoly, and makes a ton of money doing it.


RE: A nice transition, but...
By FITCamaro on 5/6/2008 2:48:43 PM , Rating: 1
Uh no. In Communism, Comcast and other ISPs wouldn't exist. Cable TV and internet would be run and owned by the government. If a company was given the rights to handle it for the government, there would be only one company.

And if you think Comcasts service is subpar, come to my area and use the shitty company I have. I would love to get on Comcasts service. I pay $60 a month for 7Mbit internet when Comcast in the area offers 12Mbit for $45. And any day but Sunday and really late at night, I'm lucky to be able to download at 150KB/s. Plus they offer twice as many HD channels as I'm offered.


RE: A nice transition, but...
By BMFPitt on 5/6/2008 3:07:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Uh no. In Communism, Comcast and other ISPs wouldn't exist. Cable TV and internet would be run and owned by the government. If a company was given the rights to handle it for the government, there would be only one company.
Oh, my bad. I don't know how I could have mistaken Comcast for a company that is given rights to handle something by the government where it is the only company allowed to do so. What was I thinking?


RE: A nice transition, but...
By JonnyDough on 5/7/2008 3:13:53 PM , Rating: 2
Unless you live out in the country and pay $1600 for a 2 year contract of broadband wireless from Sprint that is slower than DSL (but faster than dialup!) quit complaining.


RE: A nice transition, but...
By daftrok on 5/6/08, Rating: -1
RE: A nice transition, but...
By ebakke on 5/6/2008 1:25:28 PM , Rating: 2
No, it's not.


RE: A nice transition, but...
By phxfreddy on 5/6/08, Rating: 0
RE: A nice transition, but...
By Ringold on 5/6/2008 11:15:21 PM , Rating: 2
First of all, I assume we agree nothing is pure capitalist, pure socialist, pure communist, pure anything when it comes to economics.

With that ground rule in place, I'd suggest to you that China is close. It's not communist, as the average Joe has no say. They don't have a single person as a dictator, but they do have a single political entity as one.

There may also be a Eastern European or another Pacific-area nation that happens to not be free but also have adopted free market economic policies, but having a hard time thinking of any. There have been several coups in the last couple years, so some I don't know what they are at the moment off hand.

At any rate, it's working fantastically for China, and Chinese people commonly have protests when their sense of free-market fair play is offended, such as when local governments try to put on price caps.


RE: A nice transition, but...
By Eris23007 on 5/7/2008 11:35:54 AM , Rating: 2
What about Pinochet in Chile? Clearly a dictator, and I don't see how you could argue that Chile was not capitalist during his reign...


"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA

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