Monday, February 8, 2021
Wednesday, January 20, 2021
HBR was first established in 1922 by the dean of the Harvard Business School for the purpose of assisting management students by giving them the information and tools they needed to succeed. For nearly a hundred years, HBR has covered important issues across industries and countries and has earned a reputation as a dynamic and thought-provoking publication.
Described as “the eventification of an article,” The Big Idea was brought into play more than ten years ago as a way to start moving into the digital era, and also keep readers entertained and informed between the bi-monthly issues of the review. HBR provides access to The Big Idea on all channels, thus allowing readers to explore the current topic on their favorite digital platform. This can consist of written articles, podcasts, and videos, and has covered issues such as problems for working parents, climate change, and gender equality, among others.
Tuesday, December 1, 2020
Cuban Americans in Florida’s Miami-Dade County gave Republican candidate and incumbent president Donald Trump the largest number of votes the Republican Party has received from that group in 16 years, when George W. Bush was elected to a second term in 2004. While many were surprised at this result, some poll-watchers felt that it could have been seen coming for several reasons.
Many Cuban Americans have traditionally supported the Republicans due to their strong stance against Cuban leader Fidel Castro after Kennedy’s failed invasion at the Bay of Pigs in the early 1960s. In more recent times, just prior to leaving office in January 2016, Democratic president Barack Obama stopped enforcing the presidential discretion in the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966 that had afforded Cubans privileged immigration status; that left thousands of Cuban immigrants hoping to reach America stranded in Central America and Mexico while feeling betrayed.
There are also current issues that had an impact on increasing the Cuban American vote for Republicans. The alleged acceptance of socialism by Democrats also left many Cuban Americans feeling more aligned with Republican ideals.
The end result was nearly 200,000 more Hispanic votes for the Republican candidate than in the previous election of 2016.
Monday, June 8, 2020
The export of medical support and knowledge is a key hard currency earner for Cuba, but a recent article in the Miami Herald brought attention to a claim by several Cuban physicians working in Algeria that they had not received pay since March. This came just after Algeria made public that it pays $70 million to Cuba each year for the services of nearly 900 doctors, which amounts to $79,000 annually for each physician procured.
Of this amount, physicians receive approximately $900 a month, with $350 directly deposited into their Cuban bank accounts and the rest disbursed to the Cuban government in Algerian dinars. According to one physician, Cuba states as a reason for this the need to make investments in education and health. Though the physicians endure crowded conditions and have restricted movements while abroad, they largely accept this arrangement for the sake of their families. Their own earnings in hard-currency exceed the payments they would have received while working in Cuba. Thus, such service can be financially beneficial for the health-care personnel serving abroad even if they only receive a small fraction of what Algeria pays Cuba for their services.
Algeria has had a medical services provision arrangement with Cuba since the 1960s, but Cuban physicians recently expressed surprise at learning how much was actually paid for their services. The current situation, with no payments coming from a Cuban government strapped for cash, means that in many cases the physicians are simply subsisting on the food the hospitals provide them.
Sunday, May 17, 2020
A Harvard professor for more than 45 years, Jorge I Dominguez also holds both a master of arts and a doctorate in political science from the esteemed university. An expert on the internal policies and international relations of Mexico and Cuba, Jorge Dominguez has written widely on related subjects.
One of his books is The United States and Mexico: Between Partnership and Conflict. Co-authored with R. Fernández de Castron, this book begins in the early 1800s and chronicles conflicts between the US and Mexico through the modern era. Routledge first published The United States and Mexico as part of its Contemporary Inter-American Relations series in 2001. The book is currently in its second edition from 2009.
Taking a complex and in-depth look at US/Mexico relations over the decades, The United States and Mexico highlights the vital trade partnership and close relationship between two countries that share one of the longest continuous land boarders in the world. It also examines their frequently tense migration relations, as well as problematic issues such as drug trafficking, trade agreements, and various economic/environmental concerns.
Friday, May 1, 2020
A former professor at Harvard University, Dr. Jorge I. Dominguez also served as Antonio Madero Professor for the Study of Mexico. Focused on economic and trade trends, Dr. Jorge I. Dominguez continues to maintain a strong interest in developments in Mexico.
A recent Forbes article drew attention to a second recent move by president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to increase the minimum wage, this time by 20 percent. The aim is to address persistent inequalities. Despite Mexico’s economic transformation over the past three decades, in which manufacturing and exports have soared and investment has been made in areas such as automotive, electronics, and aerospace, wages are among the lowest in the OECD.
Unlike most industrial countries, Mexico still has a minimum wage that is extremely low relative to the overall economy. With the average minimum wage worker earning just $2,000 in 2018, this has allowed the country to compete with countries such as China when it comes to labor intensive, low productivity jobs. Unfortunately, a corollary impact has been a stunted market for services and goods domestically.
The new minimum wage for 2020 is 123.22 pesos per day (approximately $6.50), which if properly enforced will raise wages for approximately 10 million Mexicans.
A major issue is that many Mexican workers have informal employment with family-run businesses and receive cash salaries that are not officially reported. This may prevent the move from having its intended effect in generating broad improvements for a large segment of the population. It also remains to be seen whether the minimum wage hike will dampen activity in the formal employment sector or increase inflation.
Friday, January 10, 2020
Image from unsplash.com/photos/nfQk1YdGoNc
As highlighted in a recent U.S. News and World Report article, China’s presence across Latin America has witnessed a rapid expansion over the past two decades, with annual trade growing from $12 billion to more than $300 billion. A shift has also occurred in which China is not simply seeking raw materials across the region, but taking an active role in infrastructure and other investment projects.
This reflects a reality in which Chinese money comes without often onerous IMF and World Bank restrictions, as well as a diminishing US presence throughout the region. This has accelerated with the current US administration, which is perceived as being most interested in working to build walls and trade barriers, while reducing foreign aid. China has deftly stepped in to fill this leadership vacuum.