By Tim Elfrink, Miami New TimesThursday, Jan 27, 2011
There's one hitch in Fidel [Raul?] Castro's plan to lug the Cuban economy closer to capitalism by laying off 500,000 state workers so they can start private businesses: None of these people have ever paid taxes before.
So how to teach a new generation Cubans that government tithes come hand-in-hand with free enterprise?
Obviously, you indoctrinate their children with a (horribly, horribly boring) video game about how cool it is to pay Uncle Castro!
Last fall, Raul Castro announced the first major changes to Cuba's socialist system in a half century. By taking a half million Cubans off the state payroll to run their own companies and slashing subsidies, the Castro regime hopes to kick start one of the world's most stagnant economies.
The problem: For their idea to work, the new business owners need to pay the government between 25 and 50 percent of their profits in taxes (and you thought Florida sales tax was bad!).
The vast majority of Cubans have never paid the government a dime. That's where the noted entertainment visionaries at the Superior Pedagogic Institute of Holguin come in, Reuters reports.
The school created a game called "Tributin" -- or "Little Tax" -- to teach youngsters
In the game, kids buy candy and then watch as a percentage of their money goes to pay for fun government programs like the Bureau of Censorship and the secret government center that invents new batteries to keep cyborg Fidel alive.
"It is a fun software to help children learn about fiscal policy," project director Dagoberto Marino tells Reuters, apparently unaware that "fiscal policy" and "fun" are not allowed to occupy space in the same sentence.
Personally, we suspect this whole program is Fidel's clever response to that Call of Duty game that pissed him off a few months ago because players have to assassinate him in the first level.
If Cuban kids grow up playing "Tributin," they'll never save up for that Xbox.