: So professor, how does a nice capitalist paradise like Haiti stack up against the US? How about the Dominican Republic? Take a look at the poorest nations in the world... the bottom twenty or so are all capitalist ----holes. So what does that prove?
The Dominican Republic and Haiti have always been poorer nations, and while I don't know enough about world politics to give an educated conclusion about why they are poorer, I doubt it is because they have capitalist economies. Think about the US at the turn of this century. People were pooring in by the millions and many of them had no education to get high paying jobs. They came to the US for freedom and opportunity, which only a capitalist economy can provide. I wonder which country has more religious freedom: Cuba or Haiti/Dominican Republic? Cubans are not free because their socialist gov't restricts everything they do. The freedom promised US citizens by the Bill of Rights and the Constitution yields only to a capitalist economy.
In 1900, the standard of living in the US was more like a third-world country. However, the inovation, investment, and spread of new ideas and inventions that capitalism provides has improved the standard of living in the US to one of the highest in the world. In 1900, it was a great accomplishment to graduate from high school, and today it's something that is basically expected. The US has about the best higher education system in the world today. Wonder why Nike doesn't make it's shoes in the US? Might have something to do with the fact that American labor is just too valuable! The value of labor has increased, not decreased, with time under capitalism, and the same will likely happen in other countries.
:What is unclear is the degree to which conditions within Cuba are mainly a result of poor leadership, economics, or the 39 year old embargo
Poor leadership... that's for sure! How about corruption? Mind telling me why socialist and communist governments seem to be infamous for corruption? The embargo was created because Cuba was hostile toward the US. The US was protecting itself. But things are changing. For example, Americans have more freedom to fly to Cuba now.
Would like to say more, but have to go. I'll finish later.