Let them eat…restaurant food! Raul Castro and his gang have just slashed payroll taxes for private restaurants (“paladares”). Further, restaurants can expand their seating limits from 20 to 50. The regime has figured out that private dining spots can offer better food and service than public gruel-stations, while attracting more tourists. The Castro team noticed that lower taxes inspire more hiring and ultimately bring in more tax revenue to the broke government.
New rules also scratch the old ban on serving seafood and steak, and requiring all employees to be family members. Imagine an island with a shortage of fish.
Funny, the Cuban government is slashing payroll taxes for growing businesses, just as the U.S. government is raising costs through Obamacare. (See blog post of April 20.)
I’ve got some great photos of my grandparents enjoying Havana restaurants on their honeymoon in 1929, including the famous Sloppy Joe’s. In those days, men dined in tuxedos, and the women were draped in furs and pearls. Fidel had not yet begun plotting. Grandpa Sam and Grandma Pauline are the dashing couple on the left.
For a rollicking mystery novel about Cuba and hedge funds, check out The Castro Gene, which was named a finalist in the USA Book Awards.