Economics is the study of how best to allocate scarce resources in the most efficient manner, i.e. to produce the greatest level of possible benefit to society/humanity at the lowest possible cost. Continue reading
Five years ago, Cuba was the Western Hemisphere’s only official remaining dictatorship, where one-party political rule and a closed-market, government-run economy regulated all aspects of the Cuban people’s lives.
In the five years since the first version of this piece was published, the Castro brothers’ near-absolute, 50-year grasp on power has weakened substantially: Fidel Castro has died. And his younger brother, Raul, now aged 86, has announced plans to hand over significant government duties to a younger generation.
In recent years, Cuba’s rapid economic progress has brought the previously isolated pariah state’s removal from such U.S. blacklists as its “State Sponsors of Terrorism” and “rogue regimes” designations. This, in turn, has given Cuba full-fledged membership in the Western Hemisphere’s OAS (Organization of American States). The end result is that–for the first time in the “New World’s” history–each of the Americas’ 35 nation-states now enjoys full diplomatic and economic relations with each of its 34 other neighbors. Sí Se Pudo!
With former Communist nations like the People’s Republic of China, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia having eschewed Communism in all but name only decades ago, and Cuba in the process of doing the same, the world’s only remaining totalitarian Communist dictatorship on this, the verge of year 2018, remains North Korea.
As was predicted five years ago, the gradual trend of Cuba’s thawing relationships with all of its Western neighbors, especially including its business relationships with its wealthiest two American neighbors, the US and Canada, has helped realize Cuba’s full integration into the global economy. Within the last five years, Cuba has drawn in all sorts of businesses investment: from large multinational conglomerates based out of economic powerhouses like Brazil, Mexico, and the U.S.; to small, locally owned Cuban mom & pop shops.
Having been removed from most international economic and political blacklists, especially the regional OAS group, Cuba’s government and civilians have been rewarded with prime financial aid and economic stimulus packages, as well as a fast-blossoming tourism industry.
Cuba’s economic future is bright because it still remains a widely untapped market filled with intelligent, knowledgeable, and motivated citizenry people who are ready to enjoy the fruits of the modern political, financial, technological, and medical worlds that so many of the rest of us have come to take for granted.
Outrageous! Half of these companies should have gone under, would have gone under if not for taxpayer bailouts.
It’s that time of year again. Most of the nation’s big banks have disclosed how much chief executives earned in 2012. While some had their compensation cut, others received hefty raises.
Lloyd Blankfein: $21 million
The CEO of Goldman Sachs (GS), took home a pay package totaling $21 million.
On top of his base salary of $2 million, Goldman Sachs’ board granted Blankfein a nearly $19 million bonus: $13.3 million in stock and $5.6 million in cash.
In 2011, Blankfein received total compensation worth $12 million.
He wasn’t the only one who got a raise last year. The other top four executives at Goldman were paid base salary and bonuses worth a combined $71 million.
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This needs to stop. Israel’s policy has isolated the U.S. globally.
By Ibrahim Sharqieh, Special to CNN
Editor’s note: Ibrahim Sharqieh is deputy director of the Brookings Institution’s Doha Center. The views expressed are the writer’s own.
We are now set for a third term for Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu. And, although Netanyahu’s Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu coalition seems to have underperformed expectations, a plurality of the vote will allow him to once again lead Israel’s government.
But even a somewhat moderated Netanyahu government will continue to advance radical positions that put regional and global security in danger. The question, then, is how the United States can best push another right-wing administration to behave in accordance with the principles of the international security system – and its own national interests.
Over the past two Netanyahu terms, the international community, and the United States in particular, adopted an approach based on accommodation when dealing with the Netanyahu government. The hope was that…
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