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Craig Richardson on the Cuban Tragedy

Summary:
Along with a dozen other professors visiting Cuba, I was there for an educational program sponsored by the U.S.-based Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE). The theme was Cuba’s economy, society, and political system. CIEE’s marketing brochure promised a mixture of academic lectures, cultural experiences and travel to various parts of the country. Along with North Korea, Cuba is the last of the Communist regimes to actively discourage free markets, private property rights, and profit making. Although I traveled there with an open mind, I was about to experience a country in which the state’s overarching vision of equality for all has vanquished nearly every aspect of entrepreneurial dreams—and many normal human dreams, as well. This is the second

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Craig Richardson on the Cuban Tragedy

Along with a dozen other professors visiting Cuba, I was there for an educational program sponsored by the U.S.-based Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE). The theme was Cuba’s economy, society, and political system. CIEE’s marketing brochure promised a mixture of academic lectures, cultural experiences and travel to various parts of the country. Along with North Korea, Cuba is the last of the Communist regimes to actively discourage free markets, private property rights, and profit making. Although I traveled there with an open mind, I was about to experience a country in which the state’s overarching vision of equality for all has vanquished nearly every aspect of entrepreneurial dreams—and many normal human dreams, as well.

This is the second paragraph of Craig Richardson, “Cuba’s Dreams and Economic Reality,” Econlib, June 3, 2019. This is the Econlib Feature Article for June.

I recommend the whole thing.

When I was at a conference at the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) in Great Barrington, Massachusetts in late April, Craig told me a compelling story about his trip to Cuba. I asked him if he had written it up. He hadn’t. So I asked him to do so and this article is the result.

Postscript

I started editing the Econlib Feature Article in the spring of 2008 and have done so since. This is my last one. With one article per month, I lined up and edited about 130 articles. I’ve enjoyed the experience and I’ve especially enjoying getting economists and economics students to write up their ideas in a reader-friendly way.

I especially want to give a shout out to my heavy hitter, Robert P. Murphy. He always had something important to say and his articles generally required little editing.

David Henderson
David Henderson is a British economist. He was the Head of the Economics and Statistics Department at the OECD in 1984–1992. Before that he worked as an academic economist in Britain, first at Oxford (Fellow of Lincoln College) and later at University College London (Professor of Economics, 1975–1983); as a British civil servant (first as an Economic Advisor in HM Treasury, and later as Chief Economist in the Ministry of Aviation); and as a staff member of the World Bank (1969–1975). In 1985 he gave the BBC Reith Lectures, which were published in the book Innocence and Design: The Influence of Economic Ideas on Policy (Blackwell, 1986).

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