Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 25

Thread: Debt Relief

  1. #1
    Bronze
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    1,717
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Debt Relief

    The G8 says it will initiate a new program to pay off the debt of the world's poorest countries. The justifications for this relief include that the debt is odious (meaning the people who benefited from it are not the same people who now have to pay it back, i.e. it was stolen by corrupt governments) and that these countries would never have a chance of growth were the debt to continue.

    Debtor countries to get relief include Bolivia, Guyana, Honduras and Nicaragua in this hemisphere. Why not the Dominican Republic? Are we that much better off than Honduras?

    Also, is this a good idea by itself? I'm sure Bono's heart is in the right place, but it seems to me that without a major change in the way that the World Bank, IMF and other multilateral development and trade banks do business, these countries will just re-establish the same or worse odious debts. I have not seen any new policy designed to reduce the corruption associated with private and quasi-governmental loans to the "developing" world. This means that, with this relief from old debt, corrupt governments will now have access to new money to prop themselves up - buying votes, buying the police and army and giving patronage jobs, all to be paid for later with economic disaster. To those who watch Dominican politics, this is all too familiar.

    Once again I ask, is this a bailout of Cameroon, Guinea-Bissau and Uganda, or is it a bailout of those who lent them money? And won't the unseemly conspiracy between big international banks, the IMF and corrupt governments just continue as always and put everyone right back in the exact same place in 5-10 years?

  2. #2
    Gold
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    7,716
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Psychologically I am real conflicted about this thing happening No, seriously I am... On the one hand I'm true "liberal", "treehugger", "save the whales" kind of ecstatic.. On the other, I can only think that this is such a two-edged sword.

    For the DR, the ones who made the loans are still alive and kicking, so I cannot think that debt forgiveness here can be justified under the 'spurious' clause. For some countries, it may truly level the playing field but not much more than that. A level playing field does not necessarily prepare the new teams for actually playing on it... Honduras never fully recovered after some hurricane (was it Mitch) destroyed coffee and other plantations, so, for Honduras some good could come out of this. I miss Haiti on the list but can only think that they're so far down the slippery slide that not even debt forgiveness applies to them.

    Strangely for the lenders (axis of the root of all evil), this is a very good thing. With one stroke of the pen, their dismal record is improved and even shot into the stratosphere of 'do-gooding'. "Borrow from us, we grant debt-forgiveness!" What does this message do to some young and growing quasi-dictator with his eyes on the big slice of the pie down the road.

    I just hope against hope in the minimum, that some of the poor and struggling humanity that this is intended to help, actually gets helped. Dare we have a bigger hope and trust the humanity has developed some social consciousness?

    Anyone want to place bets on which 'forgiven' country is going to get to the bank first to ask for new loans? I think the world bank and IMF recruited extra staff for Monday to deal with the overwhelming amount of new business coming in.
    Last edited by Chris; 06-12-2005 at 12:02 PM.

  3. #3
    Bronze
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    726
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I think that the Dominican Republic is one of the richest countries their is in the hemisphere we have many things like oil, gold, silver, coffee, cocoa etc etc Tourism is a great part of the Dominican Republic. No matter from what political party the president is they are going to steal and go and leave the bargain on the next president ehich is going to do the exact same thing and just fill up their pockets. It would have been nice if they would have chosen the Dominican Republic for this grant but they are not going to give to a country which is full of political LADRONES.

  4. #4
    *** Sin Bin ***
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    3,468
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    it's a set up...or is it 'set-up', or 'setup'?

  5. #5
    Grande Pollo en Boca Chica
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    4,796
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    The DR is YARDS ahead of Honduras and Nicaragua.

  6. #6
    *** Sin Bin ***
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    3,468
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Yards?

    must be BACK YARDS

  7. #7
    Silver
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    2,100
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default To your enquiring minds----

    You might give thought as to the AMOUNTS that have thus far been paid by those debtor countries. If you put a sharp pencil to the figures of the ORIGINAL loans, retire the INTEREST paid on those loans and apply that figure to the original principals, you might find that the ORIGINAL amounts of principal have been retired and what is REALLY being forgiven is the INTEREST on those original principals.

    I have no figures to back up my statement, just speculating. It is significant that the original loans carried a hefty interest rate due to the risks being present. Thus, i think that the interest paid was applied to the original principals and that the bank/lending agencies really haven't suffered as they would like for us to believe.

    I don't think anyone has really lost anything in this smoke screen maneuver.

    Texas Bill

  8. #8
    Bronze
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    1,717
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default I want whatever TexasBill is having.

    That's the second profound post from TexasBill that I've read in two days.

  9. #9
    Grande Pollo en Boca Chica
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    4,796
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mirador
    must be BACK YARDS
    Kilometers then. Or parsecs.

  10. #10
    Poll's Forum Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    8,424
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    If you compare many things about the country, such as level of happiness, life expectancy, economic growth, GDP, GDP per capita, unemployment levels (which are on the lower end of the moderate level, especially when compared to the poorest countries which have unemployment in the 60s, 70s, even 80%! Yes, its that unbelievable, and we have ours between 15% to 20% depending on the source) and a host of other factors, it becomes clear that the DR is ahead of a good chunck of the global crowd.

    In fact, the DR is ahead of tiny countries like Haiti, Cuba, and yes, Honduras, but also of gigantic countries like China, India, and Russia. All in all, 67 countries around the world are worst off than the DR, or 67% of the world's population lives in worst average conditions than the Dominicans and also have less prospects for upward mobility, etc. Despite the fact that many people in this country remain in the same economic position they were born in, in the last decade or so (despite the last 4 or so years) the Dominican middle class has grown dramatically and the poor class has been declining, though lately the poor class has been leveling because of the influx of impoverished illegal immigrants.

    The problem with the DR is not the lack of money, but priorities. I will go as far as saying that most Dominicans would be much better off if they would prioritize their spending much more efficiently. Notice how full the bars and nightclubs are across the island, even in the middle of a crisis. Hmm, seems that there is always money for drinking and partying. The same goes for the government, the lack of priorities is the issue. Many countries around the world have the problem of not enough money, we are not in that situation.

    Also, despite the optimistic facts, the reality is that the entire country is not covered in gold because money does not flows evenly here. This is evident in the infrastructure and economic activity around the country. Many areas (like the Capital, Santiago, tourist zones) are relatively prosperous with pockets of real wealth while other areas of the country have been neglected.

    Then again, Santo Domingo and Santiago are home to half the country's population and much of the other half lives in the Cibao valley and along the northern and Caribbean coasts. Inequality is a feature of the landscape, but wealth does trickle down with time. Think of this as what I call the Mercedes Benz Trickle. Initially, the rich buys the brand new Mercedes Sedan. After a year or so, the rich resells the car and a less rich person will buy it and enjoy the same luxury. After a few years, the car has been sold and resold, each time going down the economic latter. Eventually that Mercedes will reach a poor guy.

    It's true that by that time, the Mercedes will be worn down and in less than perfect shape, but a Mercedes is a Mercedes and that poor guy will be riding a car rather than donkey and in that fact, everybody's standard of living increased. Also, in terms of real estate, the rich builds mansions that with the years (as neighborhood changes, etc) the mansion will be subdivided into smaller apartments for less affluent peoples, etc. Trickle down happens with time.

    I don't think there is anybody in their right mind (well, an educated person at the very least) will deny that the DR is much wealthier today than it was in 1980s or 1950s or 1821!

    There are more cars, more apartments, more houses, more asphalted miles of road, more airports, more jobs, more income, more stores, more reliable transportation, better technology, more graduating students, more schools, more universities than ever seen in this country. In fact, there is more of everything in this country.

    The average poor Dominican lives in conditions that in much of the time Humans have been on earth would be considered luxurious. Of course, those conditions are not luxurious today, but they sure would have been in the time of Christ or during the middle ages, etc.

    The world is richer today, we are richer today thanever. Sometimes, after seeing the grim headlines, and hearing the stories, and seeing the yolas on TV its hard to realize that most people live in conditions that are simply better. Humanity has never had as good. In some countries its better than others, but on average, humanity is richer.

    Anyways, those are my 2 long cents.

    Edited to add:

    All economic and social development data of the DR resembles more a middle income country more than a poor country. As such, technically and officially, the DR is not a poor country, but a middle income country.

    On another note, if Haiti gets its debt reduced or eliminated, that would be good for us, but even better for the Haitians. The government will most likely get back into debt and a good chunck will most likely vanish, but whatever amount is invested into Haiti is a good amount for the most desperate country outside of Africa.
    Last edited by NALs; 06-12-2005 at 07:35 PM.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •