Sunday, August 28, 2016

THE GENIUS OF THE CUBAN



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Published by El Nuevo Herald on August 28, 2016

Cuba, for its democratic stage, it was not only the most developed country in Latin America but was also the precursor of many economic and social projects, valid even today.
His process was gradual economic improvement, only hindered by arrival of the current political regime. Beginning the first democratic election in 1902 with President Tomas Estrada Palma, there were no funds for the military budget.
That's when it becomes public the commercial genius of the Cuban people, to make his country became the first nation to sign a treaty of reciprocity with the US, which established tax exemption to products manufactured by both countries included in this bilateral agreement.
Sustained improvement included the social welfare of the population. An example of this is when in 1936 the following proposals are implemented, among others: 1. Reinstate public services in contributions and taxes 2. Rewarding properly farmer work 3. Monitor and curb speculative abuses of corporations to protect  consumers. 4. Rectify the pensions.
In 1936 Cuba had a debt of $ 25 million. In an effort to reduce it, Cuba diversified its exports of tobacco, coffee, sugar and other agricultural products, managing to balance the US dollar with the Cuban peso.
Cuba also pioneered many other aspects, which certainly highlights the sagacity of Cubans.
For example: 1. Cuba created the system of retirement banks by sector, thus cover pensions without government expenditure 2. With the launch of Capitalization and Savings Banks, Cuba created the system of monthly savings to make down payment on a home. Thus, even the most humble worker had access to mortgage financing. 3. At the time, Cuba had reached a minimum wage, higher than the US, because the hourly wage of a carpenter or bricklayer was $ 0.82. 4. According to research Carlos Gonzalez, a Cuban economist and Palm Beach businessman, by 1930 there were 47,033 acres of undeveloped land. This justified the creation of the Bank for Agricultural and Industrial Development, which established a model by which entrepreneurs peasants benefited using a system of lease with option to purchase. 5. Cuba began a system of social justice that remains to this days. For example, equal pay between men and women (in the US still does not exist), a month bonus in December, paid 48 hours' wages for every 44 worked, payment of sugar workers daily wages according to the price of sugar and creation of Social Security, which was a model imitated by many countries as guaranteed quality medical care and superb service hospital, under a small fee deducted from the worker.
Cuban entrepreneurs founded department stores that were an example to follow throughout Latin America. Stores like the Ten Cent and El Encanto are distinguished worldwide for its elegance and service.
Cuba was also first in many other aspects, besides being the first Latin country to import a Ford car. It was also the first Hispanic country to issue a signal for color television.
Cuba has never really left behind, as history shows. Havana was always one of the most important cities in the Western Hemisphere. In 1778 already it had 51.561 inhabitants while Philadelphia, the most populous US city, had only 30,000 inhabitants in 1770. It was followed by New York with 16,000 and Boston with 15,000, both in 1776.
Unfortunately, Cuba has faced many political problems, since the government of Gerardo Machado, through the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista until the current inefficient communist dictatorship.
However, despite all these regimes, the nobility and genius of the Cuban always been revealed and all his early innovations have been and will be an example to the world.
Benjamin F. DeYurre
Economist and journalist.
 Follow on Twitter at: @DeYURRE

EX-CONVICTS CAN NOT VOTE IN FLORIDA: WHO BENEFITS ?


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Published by El Nuevo Herald on August 14, 2016

Although states like Vermont and Maine allow criminals to vote in prison, there are nine that permanently prevent the vote to convict. There are four other states, including Florida, which denied the right to vote to ex-offenders and can only be restored by a constitutional amendment. However, the greatest effect, which undoubtedly affects any presidential election in the US is the fact that nearly six million ex-convicts can not vote in elections, despite having served their sentences.
According to the lawyer Dante P. Trevisani, Florida Justice Institute, in the state is estimated that between 1.7 and 2 million people can not vote for having been convicted of a felony.
Particularly in the Miami-Dade County, the number of minor offenses punishable by law has reached a staggering 130,000 in a single year, according to the Public Defender of Miami, Carlos J. Martinez. These minor offenses including traffic fines. Given this huge amount, it is explicable then the proliferation  of lawyers representing drivers on courts.
The US has the highest incarceration rate in the world overtaking Russia and China. In the US more than 2.4 million people live in prison, which means that 734 people per 100,000 inhabitants are deprived of their liberty. In particular, the war on drugs unleashed in the 80s made the prison population increased by 800% in that decade. Today prisoners convicted drug reach 22% of all those serving sentences.
This gigantic prison population increased dramatically, not surprisingly, the financial costs of prisons. This made reasonable appearance of seven private prisons in Florida, which theoretically would make less expensive the operation of prisons. However, according to the Florida state representative, David Richardson, these private prisons enjoy more benefits, paid by the state, than public prisons. For example, private prisons have 42% more social programs for prisoners; however, public prisons only have 10% of this programming.
Of course, it is no secret that private prisons are big business. Since 2007 have increased their profits by 244%. Obviously, none of this happens at random. These companies have generously contributed to the re-election campaign of the current governor of Florida. They also have contracts with immigration and lobbiyng aggressive and expensively to maintain a quota of 34,000 undocumented immigrants nationwide at all times. (EFE)
The main problem faced by ex-prisoners is undoubtedly get a job. The others are finding housing, finance their studies or practice a profession. These are human needs that we all have, and consequently we can not deny it to those trying to re-integrate into society. Non-partisan organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Coalition for the Restoration of Rights Florida (CRDF) and Transitioninc.Org, among others, provide humanitarian aid in these cases.
An interesting aspect of the problem is that black inmates are almost 40% of the prison population and Hispanics 21% (Martí News)
It is estimated that these two groups are mostly inclined toward the Democratic Party. And once their sentences finished shall not vote. Undoubtedly, this favors the Republican Party.
In Florida it is essential to finish collecting the necessary signatures currently circulating as "petition for a constitutional amendment", so that the right to vote is restored to Floridians. It is being proposed to be included on the ballot as "Voting Restoration Amendment".
Actually, this is something right and necessary, which only strengthen the global leadership position that proudly holds our country.
Benjamin F. DeYurre
Economist and journalist
@DeYURRE

ALI BABA AND MADURO


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Published by El Nuevo Herald on July 17, 2016


In Venezuela cash monetary arrangements are known as "stews". Facetiously, several political veterans have earned the nickname "Paprika" because they are present in all  "stews".
The Guri dam in Venezuela was of such magnitude that its launch in 1976 advertised its capacity to supply electricity to much of South America; however, we see that since April this year, the electricity rationing in Venezuela was a painful reality in several cities of the country.
Socialism of the XXI century has been characterized by creating all possible unrest in the population, then offer some solutions in order to pretend that is helping the suffering people.
Maduro recently announced the end of electricity rationing and implementation of "Operation Cambalache".
Such an operation is to give air conditioners to those owners guzzling units in the three hottest states. We wonder who will benefit from this massive purchase.
In Venezuela everything has been carefully calculated to destroy the country. Since 2003 a deadly exchange of control prices was set. That is, employers could not buy what they wanted and could not sell at the right price. Consequently, it became easier to import, this is  why industrial plants were rendered useless, and even obsolete.
Of the $ 960.000 million received by Venezuela from 2003 to 2014, an estimated $ 300.000 billion went to dubious destinations, according to statements by former ministers Jorge Giordani and Hector Navarro.
Moreover, the president of the Central Bank of Venezuela in 2003, Edmee Betancourt, was even more specific: "Of the $ 59.000 million granted to import this year, between $ 15,000 and $ 20.000 million were awarded to phantom companies".
And it is that the Venezuelan government has stood by its economic mismanagement, accompanied by rampant corruption. For example, since 2003, according FEDECAMARAS, they have expropriated more than 1,300 companies, including Siderurgica del Orinoco (Sidor) from Argentine owners; Cemex, the Mexican cement, and Exito supermarket chain, which has become the Bicentennial chain. All of them went bankrupt.
As a result of this corruption in Venezuela it has emerged a new breed of super-rich, who confidently tell their relatives Democrats: "I am not Chavista but trader".
Within this breed it is common to see dozens of boys under 30 with fortunes of $ 100 million each. They are easily recognizable because they are ostentatious. Some are mid-level public servants. Others have no fixed job. However, drive vehicles of more than $ 100,000, leave tips of $ 3,000 restaurants, regularly travel to Las Vegas, Orlando and Paris, maintain costly lovers, have yachts that exceed one million dollars and have multiple investments ranging from preferred shares, land, racehorses, even entire neighborhoods on behalf of figureheads.
It is known that the great fortunes were born in the shadow of governments. A classic example is the origin of world bankers known as the Rothschild family. It is often said that their wealth began to multiply under the protection of the kings of France and the Austrian Prince Metternich Von.
In Venezuela it can happen something similar. After three generations, several names will be illustrious and its past will be "washed" with time.
No one will remember the origin of Ali Baba and his commander in chief.
Benjamin F. DeYurre
Economist and Journalist
@DeYURRE

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

THE TRUMP' VIRUS SPREAD TO THE UK



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Published by El Nuevo Herald on July 03, 2016

Since the UK joined the European Union (EU) saw their exports increased dramatically. Although in the first three months of this year, EU imports exceeded exports to it and reached a deficit record of 23,800 million pounds, the British economy is one of the world's most powerful. It is even considered the world center for finance, because there is set daily interbank interest rate known as LIBOR, which is a global reference for all banks.
In addition, there are the largest reinsurance companies in the world, as Lloyds, which is used by companies like Citizens to guarantee its operations in case of massive claims for catastrophes such as hurricanes or tsunamis.
The withdrawal of the UK from the EU could be of poor prognosis in the first two years, and even a global meltdown could be generated in the economy.
It seems that low-tolerance policy towards immigrants was what justified the Brexit. That is, the anti-immigrant wave, strongly led by Donald Trump in the US and deftly spread around the world, eventually contaminated the UK.
The British prime minister David Cameron had promised to keep immigration in less than 100,000 a year. However, the last record was 362,000 immigrants last year. For that reason, Cameron renegotiated with the EU in order not to grant contractual benefits to immigrants for four years.
The hostility of many British   to immigrants became even more evident after  March 22 this year when a terrorist attack was committed in Brussels, Belgium, killing 35 people and 230 wounded. There it was referenced that due to EU treaties, authorized immigrants have free movement within the 28 countries that comprise it, and this certainly is a magnet for terrorist attacks.
Those who supported the withdrawal of Britain from the EU argues, like Trump, immigrants punish the taxpayer, living in social welfare, cluttering health services and education, challenging job opportunities to the natives while reducing their salaries.
What happens in fact is that the employment rate in the UK was 74.1% in 2015, the highest in its history since 1971, according to the NSO. At this rate, it is unlikely to harm an immigrant natives in search of employment.
However, it is important that immigrants in the UK, over 15, have a higher education,(level university) than natives in a ratio of 2-1.
Surely, this disastrous decision taken by the United Kingdom immediately generated massive losses at major US conglomerates. Companies like Ford, Wal-Mart, Caterpillar, etc., lost millions transfering to the United States its gains in Britain, due to the current weakness of sterling pound.
Still, not all are bad news for American consumers. The price of gasoline has fallen two to four cents per gallon since then. This is due to the lack of action on speculative trading in hedge funds on the London Stock Exchange, which, as we know, collapsed.
Hardly the UK may recover in the short term as the EU itself not want to accept their terms for fear that other countries can emulate, such as France. In turn the British, with their action, eventually cripple the fledgling Transatlantic Investment Agreement between the US and the EU (TTIP). Probably, they will try to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
As the former EU Commissioner Lord Mandelson said "treaties do not come free, not cover everything and take years to implement." In his view, the UK will have less and worse treaties which previously had.
The British thought that reducing immigration would enrich the country. not realized the effect it would achieve by the reverse, that is, impoverishing the country first, so that immigrants then leave.
Definitely the Trump's epidemic reached the UK.
BENJAMIN F. DeYURRE
Economist and Journalist

HOW TO CONTROL WEAPONS SALES



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Published by El Nuevo Herald on June 27, 2016

It is said, repeated and it happens again. How long more multiple massacres? And every time appear  proponents and opponents to really control the sale of firearms .
Those who intend to continue or start in the lucrative business of selling weapons, apparently, they care little for human life of others. What is really interesting for them is that the business thrive. The rest is secondary, as in other types of businesses, such as selling cigarettes, for example, where despite proven to be carcinogenic, the still selling.
Logically, in the case of weapons, few buy them to auto- inflict harm, so, while cigarettes are harmful to the user, weapons do more damage to third parties.
There are many reasons behind massive attacks committed against a defenseless crowd, for instance, international terrorism, discrimination based on origin, race or sex, drug addiction or religion. However, they all have one thing in common: the mental imbalance.
Obviously, to commit a massive criminal attack, for whatever reason, the offender must suffer from mental disorders. Hence it follows that the treatment of mental illness should be a priority in the US and not as is currently happens in the great American nation, where there are simply no public psychiatric hospitals.
For effective control on arms sales, if there is political will and bipartisan agreements outside the business, you could do the following maneuvers:
 Examine in depth federal approval to carry weapons. That is, anyone who requires a license of this type, should make an appointment with a psychiatrist federally approved. Subsequently, you must make another appointment with a psychologist, also certified. Once these steps are achieved and after a thorough background check by the FBI, an authorization to the competent municipality where the applicant resides will be sent. The acting mayor then send the buyer the final order to acquire the weapon, after checking as a good citizen.
In turn, the armory completed the sale, send copy of the gun registry to the Mayor , to be shared with the law enforcement agency in the area.
 Any person who attempts to purchase more than 50 ammunition every three years for self - defense, should follow the same steps in the previous section. Why do we need more than 50 bullets? Are we going to war?
 Pawnshops simply should not sell firearms. Does anyone can sell cocaine or heroin? Weapons sales can't be done by anyone either.
 Illegal weapons dealers should be treated rudely. If they sell illegal weapons that end with human lives, then the life of the dealer should also be at stake in those states where the death penalty exists? At least monetary reward should be offered in neighborhoods to denounce clandestine arms dealers.
Finally, when the US Constitution was drawn up, it was ensured that the population would have access to weapons for self-defense. However, at that time there were no sophisticated weapons that exist today. In other words, the actual purchase of a variant of machine gun to protect our house is unjustified. It should be prohibited, period.
BENJAMIN F. DeYURRE
Economist and Journalist