Sunday, February 23, 2014

Bureaucratic Absurdities

Bureaucratic Absurdities / Fernando Damaso
Posted on February 23, 2014

Government bureaucrats like to complicate things and, in turn, the lives
of citizens. From their privileged positions of power, they do and undo
at whim.

With the matter of cooperatives, the form of work preferred by the State
for the self-employed, they have formed a terrible entanglement: they
began with the so-called agricultural cooperatives of different types,
and when they decided to leave the rural framework, they found no better
name for the new ones than non-agricultural cooperatives. They even now
have their abbreviation: CNoA. Why not call them simply cooperatives?

Another spawn is the first denominated Wholesale Market of Agricultural
Supply Products the Wheat Field, located somewhat distant from the
center of the city, with the inconveniences that that entails. In
reality it is no more than a simple Hub Market since its structure lacks
the adequate spatial arrangement for buying and selling, besides which
supply and demand do not work there: you pay the same per pound if you
buy 20 or if you buy 200.

Before the Chinese merchants sold cheaper than the Spanish and Cuban
grocers, because they formed a group and bought in bulk at lower prices,
which permitted them to give discounts to their clients. The advantage
of a wholesale market is precisely that of offering a variety of
products at lower prices than in the retail market, depending on the
volume of the purchase.

This is what permits the retail merchants, after deducting their
expenses, from not having to raise their prices for the consumer in
order to earn profits. A question: Why not equip the old central
Mercado Unico on Cristina Street, today in a state of abandon, as the
Wholesale Market?

Another: Why in the state businesses, given beneficially to individuals,
is all the attention of the supervisors from the Integral Management
Oversight (DIS) centered in each territory? When they were state-run, in
spite of their poor functionality, they were never controlled with
regards to comfort, the presence of workers, hygiene, quality of
services and their offers, as well as other aspects.

Now, like inquisitors, they fall on the individuals, handing out fines
right and left, with fees of 1200, 700 and 200 pesos, and, if they think
there is a recurrence, withdrawing the license. No one suggests that
they not control and ensure compliance with established regulations,
although these are exaggerated and sometimes even absurd, but it has to
be the same for everyone, both individual as well as state businesses.
Or is it that the state businesses enjoy carte blanche?

If you want the updating, although slow and limited, to introduce some
small improvement in the difficult lives of the citizens, you have to,
at least, eliminate the bureaucratic absurdities.

Translated by mlk.

22 February 2014

Source: Bureaucratic Absurdities / Fernando Damaso | Translating Cuba -

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