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Jim

"A country where people risk their lives to leave is no model for society."

Sure, but that applies to many countries in the world, notably including Mexico, which hundreds of people die trying to leave every year. If this is your comparator it's not a particularly useful one. It's probably also worth pointing out that if you're doing 'comparative political economy' it may be worth trying to take into account the effect of US sanctions. But I suppose that just makes me a knobhead.

aje

Thanks for the comments, although I obviously fully agree that: (i) a subjectivist view of migration suggests that the USA is a more prosperous country than Mexico; (ii) restrictions on trade reduce prosperity.
You seem to be suggesting that Cuba wouldn't have suffered such a decline in relative economic performance if it were not for America's (somewhat arbitrary) trade policy, which favours the likes of Mexico etc. I find that pursuasive, but wouldn't increased trade with America merely obscure the structural problems by providing cheaper imports and benefiting from innovation spill-over? This comes back to my questions about Scandinavia, where I asked if the high social welfare + free trade economic model free rides on the positive externalities of low social welfare countries.
So I agree that the effect of sanctions are important, but don't feel that they are preventing a stable solution. If anything the comparison between Cuba and Scandinavia supports the arguments of economic liberals. What do you think?

Jim

a subjectivist view of migration suggests that the USA is a more prosperous country than Mexico

The question is if it tells us whether Mexico is more prosperous than Cuba. If it doesn't, maybe it isn't a very useful approach.

wouldn't increased trade with America merely obscure the structural problems by providing cheaper imports and benefiting from innovation spill-over?

Perhaps, but you can say that about any country that trades. And of course Cuba wouldn't be able to import much if it couldn't also export, so I think it would be a useful test.

This comes back to my questions about Scandinavia, where I asked if the high social welfare + free trade economic model free rides on the positive externalities of low social welfare countries.

But you didn't provide any evidence that this was the case. Is there any evidence that innovation is particularly low in Scandinavia?

If anything the comparison between Cuba and Scandinavia supports the arguments of economic liberals. What do you think?

I certainly support liberalisation* from the state Cuba find itself, but in the case of Scandinavia, I think you're over-reaching.

*With the caveat that political liberalisation should clearly take priority, as economic liberalisation imposed by a dictatorship would hardly be much better than what they have now.

Steve

Jim, economic liberalisation implies an economy that is not imposed by a dictator. Economic freedom is more important than political freedom and Cuba should do all it can to get closer to it.

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With the caveat that political liberalisation should clearly take priority, as economic liberalisation imposed by a dictatorship would hardly be much better than what they have now.

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*With the caveat that political liberalisation should clearly take priority, as economic liberalisation imposed by a dictatorship would hardly be much better than what they have now.

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