The three economic systems of the American countries are; COMMUNISM, CAPITALISM AND FREE ENTERPRISE !
Cuba is the Communist system. Total ownership of everything by the state and the group of mafia running the one permitted controlling Communist Party. In this system, the state owns the people as slaves. Controls are many. The growing of food in Cuba is not permitted by the slaves. This allows the state to control people through distribution of food and ration cards. If you as a slave, wish to move to another town, you cannot without permission from your Communist Party Block Warden Committee. Because if you moved as in a democracy with freedom to travel; in Cuba, you would lose your food ration card and lose your food supply. You are a slave and must stay where told. If anyone protests against the state controls, you become a political prisoner in hell holes of prisons for most of the rest of your life. That is another law, you cannot speak out. You can think, but even thinking against the laws is punishable if they suspect you. Communism is dictatorship, as in Kings and Queens, it is for life, for the handful of rulers at the top.
Capitalism is found throughout the Caribbean countries and also in most of the Latin countries. Capitalism can be equated with monopolies and monopoly generated concessions in economics to the favored few. Most countries are combinations in Latin America and the Caribbean, of Capitalism and Free-Enterprise. Free-enterprise in a Capitalist governing system does not last long. Capitalism stomps out and absorbs through nefarious means and legislation any Free Enterprise that becomes successfully profitable. Free Enterprise is allowed only if it is marginable, or the profits are insufficient to attract the attention of Capitalists ( Monopolists ) and the UNHOLY combination of one party autocratic states bought through campaign contributions and bribes by the capitalists. Monopolies, a product of Capitalism maintains control and prices artificially for the benefit of the monopolist capitalist and their associates the political party machine in power.
In most of the Americas, particularly Latin America and the Caribbean, sometimes the monopolies are state owned and politically party run, for jobs, funds and patronage. When they get disbursed to private enterprise, they usually form partnerships between the Capitalist/Monopolist and the autocratic political party machine. In these last few weeks, we have seen two recent examples in Belize of this in action. Autocratic political systems inherited from Empire building days of the Monarchists of Europe, NEVER create any legislation, that does not have clauses and means to micro-manage any FREE-ENTERPRISE. Or give political control, to the benefit of the political party machine and associated campaign contributing would be Capitalist/Monopolist. Capitalists remember, will stomp out all competition and free-enterprise if there is a threat to their profit, or if profit can be made from something new that free-enterprise has become successful at.
Recently in Belize, we had the stand-off battle of the Orange Walk bridge. Here the political machine, denied a renewal of license to a village bus catering to villagers working in the nearby town of Orange Walk. When the bus continued to operate without license the political police were ordered to stop it. The customers rioted, campesinos from around the area became enraged and blockaded the bridge and stopped the main artery. The political party hack, the Minister of Transport refused to give in. No one seems to know why? Though the rumors and allegations are that campaign contributions, possibly bribes and such are bandied about, speculate that the political machine wanted to create a monopoly of one bus company. The upshot was, that over a 1000 demonstrators congregated at the bridge in a remote rural location and defied the political police and eventually the army. The politician apparently ordered an escalation, police or military snipers and shooters put bullet holes in the buses and into the crowd of demonstrators. Eventually, the situation was defused by a heroic police Inspector, who convinced the political party hack to re-new the bus license. The police Inspector falls under control of the political party hack in this system, as the police force is a political police force. So, his actions were not only wise, but dangerous to his career.
In Free-Enterprise, the customer is KING. The CUSTOMER dictates whether a business is successful, or not. The CUSTOMER decides whether there should be a business or not. In this case, the village customers needed their village bus. The gossip and rumor is; the political party hack owed allegience to a bus company trying to become a monopoly. So, the idea is to stomp out the village bus service.
In a second incident last week ( late August, 2001 ) things came closer to home. My daughter was advised by the Belize Tourist Board that her license for a tourist Bak Pak Hostel would not be renewed. In this case, the option was offered that if she would demolish and remodel a brand new structure and change it into a Guest House fitting existing Tourist Board Legislation, the license would be renewed. This would have literally wiped out the business, as the choice was financially unprofitable. The intent was to destroy the business. As it currently stands, the Hostel concept from Europe does not exist for political micro-management under current legislation by a political party machine. So, they devised the solution of making the business be changed to one that fits existing legislation, it is presumed, which could be controlled. At this writing, this fight over renewing the license goes on.
In Belize, ALL legislation enables the state, in the form of a winning political party machine to interfere with private business down to the micro-management level to gain it's ends. Usually, to take over the FREE-ENTERPRISE business for someone else, as in a monopoly, or favored relative, or political party member.
The FREE-ENTERPRISE Economic System.
In the Free-Enterprise economic system, the CUSTOMER is KING. Businesses fail or survive on service and adaptability to the customer's needs, including price competition. Only the customer decides, or controlls business in a FREE-ENTERPRISE system. Governments in a free-enterprise system have to be democratic, consensual with lots of checks and balances to work. This is not the case in the Caribbean countries and Latin countries of the American Continent. They are mostly dictatorial, or autocratic one party controlled affairs.
In this free-enterprise economic system, the state has the job to prevent the formation of monopolies. To stop rampant capitalism of robber barons in collusion with the political party machine. The idea is the state must serve the people through consensus and legislation ensures a free and fair level competitive playing field.
This of course is not the situation in Belize, which is a combination of Capitalism ( monopolies ) and minor tolerated free-enterprise.
In Belize, they should probably just chuck out all the legislation and start over again, with a six district group of elected commissioners and then a national government. Then find and make new laws, at town, village, district and for national levels. The autocratic system is a failure for economic growth. It only is a plunder, exploitation and looting colonial system from the old monarchies of Europe.