Raul Castro is pushing forward with some "reforms" in Cuba. No, not free elections or relaxing of price controls. Important things like allowing Cubans to stay in hotels. I guess this used to be illegal. According to the AP, the former policy was "despised across the island". Odd since one night in a hotel can cost 9 months of wages. Oh well, I guess if we outlawed brand new dualie pick-up trucks in poorer parts of Arkansas, people would be mad too.
Further reforms include allowing Cubans to own cell phones. This is an actual reform. However, considering it was announced along with relaxation of rules about owning computers, DVD-players and plasma TVs, I got to thinking about the implications. Something that led to the credit crisis in the U.S. was the idea that plasma TVs and Moto RAZRs were entitlements of the working class.
I have no data to back this up, but I would bet a DVD player that many "distressed families" (populist lingo for financially illiterate) in the U.S. have a big-screen TV of some kind and several cell phone plans. I guess they deserve a bail-out so as not to have to sell that TV on Craig's List. Note to self: when you launch your bank, secure major electronics as collateral from mortgage holders.
So I say "Good luck, Cubans!". In case the fine print fools you, you can not afford a $29.95/month cell phone plan if you only make $20 per month.