Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What do Cuba and Russia understand that Obama doesn't?

Notice a trend with these two stories?

Cuba plans to fire at least half a million state workers by mid-2011 and authorize more spots in private enterprise to absorb them, according to the island's nation's official labor union.

The 3 million-strong Cuban Workers Confederation says the layoffs will start immediately, the Associated Press reports.

It says the government will soften the blow by authorizing simultaneous increases in job opportunities in the non-state sector, allowing more Cubans to become self-employed, to form cooperatives run by employees rather than government bureaucrats and to increase private control of state land and infrastructure through long-term leases.
Russia will cut its army of bureaucrats by more than 100,000 within the next three years, saving 43 billion rubles ($1.5 billion), Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said on Monday.

"We assume more than 100,000 federal state civil jobs will be cut within three years. The government has already included a schedule for cutting the number of federal civil servants in the draft budget for the next three years and coordinated it with ministries and agencies," Kudrin told President Dmitry Medvedev, who in June ordered a 20 percent cut in the number of bureaucrats.
Contrast those two stories to this:
From August 2008 to August 2010, the U.S. civilian workforce shrunk by 6.4 million, or 4.7 percent. While almost every single sector of the economy employed less workers in August than two years ago, two notable exceptions are the Federal government and the education & health services sector.*

The federal government employed 153,000, or 5.5 percent, more workers in August 2010 than it did two years ago. (During the 2010 Census recording period, Federal hiring was actually even higher, peaking in May).

*all data comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Isn't it a bit dismaying that Cuba and Russia understand what needs to be done, but our own government is going in the opposite direction?