Unequal Exchange and Input-Output Tables
There seems to be some debate among the more academic communists over unequal exchange.
I should state my bias upfront: I am 100% convinced that it happens in almost every industry.
I remember hearing some rather poor arguments for and against it tho. I thought that a good idea would be to use IO Tables.
The nordic social democracies seem to be at the center of the debate and luckily they have robust statistical reporting. Many people seem to want to discredit the gains working people have made there by saying that they only work well because of unequal exchange. Well, after visiting Cuba I had came up with an idea.
Cuba has many similarly structured (but often much more universal) social programs as the nordic countries. It even has a similar population size to them (Cuba is 11 million people, Norway is about 5 million, Sweden 11 million, Denmark 5 million), a similarly high level of the population with technical/college/university degrees in highly specialized fields. In short, Cuba sort of fits in with the Nordics for use in comparative analysis. Seemingly the only major differences between Cuba and the Nordics are that Cuba has much more fertile land, almost no trees that can be used for lumber, a much hotter climate, and (keyly) the international blockade.
So here's my thinking: We look at the IO Tables for Sweden, Norway, etc. and treat them as a sort of stand-in/approximation for socially necessary labor time within these countries. We can then determine the relative ease with which eachh of the Nordics could provide a certain amount of a social good. Healthcare, Education, Housing, Machinery, etc.
We then give the Nordics the values Cuba has to deal with and see how well they would fair. Cuba likely faces much, much higher input costs across the board along with much higher socially necessary labor times due to outdated and/or limited machinery, etc.
Or alternatively, we could adjust the prices or socially necessary labor times of certain inputs to reflect what people who believe unequal exchange say their price would be without it and see how the Nordics fair in that case as well.
I suspect you won't get anywhere with this as people engaged in the "debate" on Unequal Exchange tend to talk past one another.
What is necessary in the Cuban case is likely the same as is necessary in the rest of the underdeveloped/overexploited world: develop the productive forces and raise the value of the labour power. And ending the embargo of course.