By Benjamin Noria
HAVANA TIMES – Career motivation is the hope that workers get from their company or institution’s development in their field and their economic and commercial success. This in turn should give them enough pay to cover their basic needs, unlock their potential and make their dreams come true.
However, many workers in Cuban companies and state institutions spend all of their time on the phone talking about their private affairs. They’re already creeping out of their offices at 12 noon anyway. When a person goes to a state-owned cafe, they have to wait for the waiter / waitress to stop talking to a friend, for example, before they are served.
The main reason for this is that a Cuban worker’s salary isn’t enough for them to cover their basic needs. It isn’t enough for them to buy clothes, shoes, pay for a cellphone, get food, an air-conditioning unit or furniture, etc., and people just don’t feel motivated to produce under these circumstances.
According to Karl Marx, wages need to be enough to recover a worker’s energy and for them to be able to produce and reproduce their work.
A second reason is that a worker doesn’t move up the professional ladder based on their intelligence and their own merits. The Communist government doesn’t like intelligent people, but obedient people instead, because intelligent people can oppose them.
The explanation for this phenomenon lies in the effects of totalitarianism. A centrally planned economy, a one-party state, its dogmatic/orthodox ideology and its firm control of mass media, the army and police, are obstacles for the production of goods and surplus value.
Plus, let’s keep in mind that Rule of Law does not exist in Cuba, which makes it impossible for mechanisms to exist for citizens to demand and exercize their basic and human rights.
While it’s true that no system in the world is perfect, capitalism has been able to satisfy humans’ material, physical and spiritual needs a lot more accurately, and it is also the fastest system to find solutions when problems arise such as water, food and vaccine shortages. Everything comes from freedom: the freedom of creation, civil and political freedoms, a free market economy.
What’s more, the reality is that the same Cubans who emigrate to capitalist countries, are then able to buy cars, pay rent, their water and electricity bills, and they can also send remittances to the friends and family they left behind in Cuba, with the wages they earn.
The Castro regime is a flawed system, which has been in force for over 60 years, without producing almost anything and is still using the same technology the country used at the beginning of the Revolution. It’s their fault that Cuba hasn’t been able to be a reference of anything in the world except for cigars and rum. Cuban workers become stupefied in workplaces and their work becomes a lot more tedious with increased bureaucracy, as the government adds double the amount of paperwork for the same-old processes and services.
The Cuban government deplores consumerism. According to them, having air-conditioning at home is a consumer trend, but their dogmatic ideology stops them from realizing that having air-conditioning isn’t a luxury. In a tropical country like Cuba, with excruciating heat, air-conditioning helps people to sleep and rest better and, as a result, they’ll be able to do more at work.
The same goes for being able to drink a glass of milk and a nice slice of bread with bacon and 100% pure coffee in the morning before going to work, which is something Cubans can’t even dream about.
Last but not least, work efficiency is to produce and bring in revenue from this production, but without a living wage that can give workers wellbeing, there won’t be any kind of useful efficiency in this country.