Failing States Index Is Wrong

millard

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To be sure, the DR has its share of problems, but to place it on the list of the top 20 states with the greatest risk of failure is to me a huge exagerration. There is simply no way that the DR is at greater risk of failing as a state than the Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Cuba. But those countries all have a lower risk than the DR.

And of the top 20 states in danger of failing, the DR ranked second (behind only the Ivory Coast) as the worst violator of human rights. It makes no sense to me that the DR has a worst human rights record than North Korea, Sudan, Sierra Leone or Liberia (though the recent mass deportations of Haitians won't help).

Are the Journal of Foreign Policy and the Friends for Peace looking at the same country that I visit so often? I had to ask myself whether I've grown so fond of the DR that I've lost my objectivity (i.e. it's really that bad but I just can't see it) OR these guys really don't know what the *!@& they're talking about. I tend to think it's the latter.

It should be noted that the DR is the only country on the top 20 list that derives a major portion of its revenues from tourism. Let's just hope that the AI crowd don't get a hold of this one.
 

principe

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We got a name for that

What the people at foreign polycrap are doing se llama hablando disparate or diarrhea bucal.
 

Chirimoya

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Not that the DR powers that be don't need to put their house in order, as far as institutionalism, corruption, and atrocious priorities are concerned, but I agree it sounds far-fetched to lump a country like the DR, which is stable and functions reasonably well, with a bunch of basket cases with serious problems of war, repression, internal conflict or mass starvation.

Who are these people, do they have any credibility and what were their criteria?
 

NALs

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Jan 20, 2003
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millard said:
To be sure, the DR has its share of problems, but to place it on the list of the top 20 states with the greatest risk of failure is to me a huge exagerration. There is simply no way that the DR is at greater risk of failing as a state than the Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Cuba. But those countries all have a lower risk than the DR.

And of the top 20 states in danger of failing, the DR ranked second (behind only the Ivory Coast) as the worst violator of human rights. It makes no sense to me that the DR has a worst human rights record than North Korea, Sudan, Sierra Leone or Liberia (though the recent mass deportations of Haitians won't help).

Are the Journal of Foreign Policy and the Friends for Peace looking at the same country that I visit so often? I had to ask myself whether I've grown so fond of the DR that I've lost my objectivity (i.e. it's really that bad but I just can't see it) OR these guys really don't know what the *!@& they're talking about. I tend to think it's the latter.

It should be noted that the DR is the only country on the top 20 list that derives a major portion of its revenues from tourism. Let's just hope that the AI crowd don't get a hold of this one.

Remember,

the world in general is anti-dominican for no apparent reason.

I can understand if Haitians are anti-dominicans and any nation that has a pro-haitian migrant lobby group in their government, but the rest of the world is simply jumping on a bandwagon with no real reason behind it.

To the world we are the evil ones in everything, thus we should just send the world to its place and do what we have to do in any given situation.

We have no friends in this world, that is a proven truth!
 

NALs

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Chirimoya said:
Not that the DR powers that be don't need to put their house in order, as far as institutionalism, corruption, and atrocious priorities are concerned, but I agree it sounds far-fetched to lump a country like the DR, which is stable and functions reasonably well, with a bunch of basket cases with serious problems of war, repression, internal conflict or mass starvation.

Who are these people, do they have any credibility and what were their criteria?
Let's just say that they have no idea of what they are talking about.

They simply jump on a bandwagon, unfortunately the bandwagon they jumped in is going in the wrong direction!

These people have obviously never been here...
 

rellosk

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While you may not agree with their conclusion, it's hard not to agree that the DR would rank high by the parameters set by "FOREIGN POLICY & the Fund for Peace". As quoted from the article:

"What are the clearest early warning signs of a failing state? Among the 12 indicators we use, two consistently rank near the top. Uneven development is high in almost all the states in the index, suggesting that inequality within states?and not merely poverty?increases instability. Criminalization or delegitimization of the state, which occurs when state institutions are regarded as corrupt, illegal, or ineffective, also figured prominently."

Uneven development is obvious. Just travel outside the tourist areas. The chasm between the rich and the poor is widening. There are multitudes of luxury properties being built, but no money spent on education.

Regarding their second measurement, you'll find hundreds of posts on DR1 describing government as corrupt, illegal, or ineffective.
 

NALs

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Jan 20, 2003
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While you may not agree with their conclusion, it's hard not to agree that the DR would rank high by the parameters set by "FOREIGN POLICY & the Fund for Peace". As quoted from the article:

"What are the clearest early warning signs of a failing state? Among the 12 indicators we use, two consistently rank near the top. Uneven development is high in almost all the states in the index, suggesting that inequality within states?and not merely poverty?increases instability. Criminalization or delegitimization of the state, which occurs when state institutions are regarded as corrupt, illegal, or ineffective, also figured prominently."
What you said does have some weight, however, there are plenty of places that have wider gaps in income and development than we do. The fact that the country is still extremely passive shows that the levels of inequality have not reached the epic proportions that would cause instability, and this calmness that generally prevails is in the presence of anarchy and chaos just across the border. If anything, the DR should be feeling a bit gittery as Haiti goes from bad to worse since general attitudes in one country tends to spread to neighboring countries, but the DR continues to be extremely passive. The only instability increases have been as a result of the alleged murder in Monte Cristi supposedly by a Haitian and reaction from many Dominicans, other than that, the country continues to go as it always have, very passive.

About the corruption, this is a topic that people are just accostumed to hear. There is always the suspicion of corruption, even if corruption is minimal in a given situation. This corruption mentality will be with this country well into the future. Look at Italy, they are considerably less corrupt than they have ever been, but the Italian government is looked upon as suspicious, corrupt, and incompetent, especially among southern Italians. This is despite the Italian government being the least corrupt in its history as a unified Italy. The corrupt issue is just part of the Dominican psyche.

This is not to say that corruption does not exist, because it does and its apparent. However, just because people scream of corruption all the time, does not mean that they are actually right 100% of the time. Keep in mind that many of the people who see the government as corrupt are corrupt themselves in their own way. They don't follow driving rules, they try to smuggle things into the country in order to avoid paying taxes, they sell liquor to anyone even underage children, they conduct businesses where its illegal and unregistered, etc etc etc. The situation goes both ways.

Uneven development is obvious. Just travel outside the tourist areas. The chasm between the rich and the poor is widening. There are multitudes of luxury properties being built, but no money spent on education.
There also are no protest about the reduction in the funds for education too. The government gives people what they want and if people would protest and cause a national strike for an increase in education spending, such spending will be increased even if its marginal. However, that does not happen, but there are plenty of demonstrations regarding power outages, the removal of subsidies, and the high cost of living. The power is in the masses and the masses are clear of what they want. Education is not in their minds at the moment.

However, moving towards the gap between rich and poor, its also true that there is a once again growing middle class. A drive in many areas of Santo Domingo and Santiago (as well as other provincial towns) are a testament to that reality. We cannot just talk about the income gap between rich and poor, because this is a society that is compose also of middle class. The rich here earns around 40 times more than the poorest people, the last time I checked, that is at par with US inequality, though the US subsidize the lives of many lower income peoples.

Regarding their second measurement, you'll find hundreds of posts on DR1 describing government as corrupt, illegal, or ineffective.
You will also find a lack of posts giving credit to the government when credit is due in a positive case, as in turning the prospect of this nation from gloom to boom.

Economic indicators are in favorable position right now, that was not so a year ago, but nobody is talking about that.

Like I said, its a two way street, but people are only going one way.
 

rellosk

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Nal0whs said:
You will also find a lack of posts giving credit to the government when credit is due in a positive case, as in turning the prospect of this nation from gloom to boom.

Economic indicators are in favorable position right now, that was not so a year ago, but nobody is talking about that.
Keep in mind this study was based on 2004 data. The current government seems to have the economy going in the right direction in a relatively short time and hopefully this will be reflected in the next study.
 

millard

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rellosk said:
Keep in mind this study was based on 2004 data. The current government seems to have the economy going in the right direction in a relatively short time and hopefully this will be reflected in the next study.
Rellosk makes some valid points, but many of the criteria on which the index are not affected by a 1-year upsurge in economic growth or even a change in administrations. Control over one's territory, presence of foreign troops on one's soil, uneven development, violation of human rights -- all of these are of an institutional nature that can't be fixed simply by stabalizing the exchange rate.

The failed states index is supposed to show those states that have the greatest risk of collapse. How can the DR have a greater risk of collapse than Ethiopia, Uganda, and even Cuba. Ecuador, for instance, has been beset by chronic political instablity over the last six years, leading to the resignation of several presidents and economic turmoil. But according to the study, it has less of a risk of failure than the DR.

There is simply no way that the DR ranks among the 20 states with the greatest risk of imminent collapse. The study seems to be the product of crunching numbers in an ivory tower, without any regard to the realities on the ground.
 

Chirimoya

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Nals, I don't think the world is against the DR. I don't think they care either way, and it's more a case of ignorance, as millard says, than malice.

Everyone should read Adriano Miguel Tejada's column in this morning's Diario Libre. He leaves the justice system off his list, but what he says is more than true.

However, I continue to insist that the DR's problems are a world apart from those in the other countries on the list, torn apart by war, internal conflict and other problems thankfully unknown in the DR.

I have to add that while Mr C and I were discussing this over breakfast, he pointed out that precisely because the DR lacks these problems, it has less of an excuse to be in such a condition, which makes it even more of a tragedy.

Mr C said:
We don't have the excuse of a war, yet we spend much more on the armed forces than we do on education. Do we really have to go through a couple of decades of civil war like they did in Central America to accept a reduction in the size of the army?
As for inequality, according to someone I spoke to recently from UNDP, the DR is right up there, among the countries with the greatest gaps in the world. When I have more time I'll try to find a source to back that up.
 

millard

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Chirimoya said:
Nals, I don't think the world is against the DR. I don't think they care either way, and it's more a case of ignorance, as millard says, than malice.

Everyone should read Adriano Miguel Tejada's column in this morning's Diario Libre. He leaves the justice system off his list, but what he says is more than true.

However, I continue to insist that the DR's problems are a world apart from those in the other countries on the list, torn apart by war, internal conflict and other problems thankfully unknown in the DR.

I have to add that while Mr C and I were discussing this over breakfast, he pointed out that precisely because the DR lacks these problems, it has less of an excuse to be in such a condition, which makes it even more of a tragedy.



As for inequality, according to someone I spoke to recently from UNDP, the DR is right up there, among the countries with the greatest gaps in the world. When I have more time I'll try to find a source to back that up.

I think this is the Diario Libre piece your're talking about. http://www.diariolibre.com/app/article.aspx?id=37197

While all these things are true, they've been going on for generations. They represent the status quo. And they don't prove that the DR is at imminent risk of collapse. If anything, Dominicans have come to accept these shortcomings as a way of life. No one is taking to the hills and forming a rebel army ---- yet.
 

Hillbilly

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Jan 1, 2002
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I have to agree with the basic premise

of most of the posters: No way the DR should be on that list

However, there is no denying:
1) Lack of transparency in government dealings
2) Huge gab between rich and poor (haves and have nots)
3) Incredible lack of education
4) Gigantic lack of public services-health, water mmmmmm electricity!

And like Mr and Mrs Chiri said the DR is nowhere near the standings of all of the other countries on that list. North Korea, most of Afica, and only three LA countries? On a list with Haiti? Colombia? Just ain't right.

HB :(:(:(
 

NALs

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rellosk said:
Keep in mind this study was based on 2004 data. The current government seems to have the economy going in the right direction in a relatively short time and hopefully this will be reflected in the next study.
You are right! I totally missed that fact.

Thus, maybe they are correct in their assesment. Even I was not too hopeful of this country under Hipomania, but once Leonel came back, well the future is not as gloomy anymore.

Thus, this report is correct, but outdated.
 

xamaicano

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It's the name, people see the word "Republic" and assume the worst. Need to get a fun Carribean name like Cuba.
 

Chris

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Ok, can everyone now accept that the DR is a 'failed state' and leave us alone to live our lives in our 'failed state'? Chavez is giving us oil, the US is giving us Cafta, it is summer and the fruit and vegetables are abundant. What-ever does this 'failed state' business mean in our context?. For the first time in a long while, I have to agree with Nals.. Oh boy, we may have unity after all. ;)
 

J D Sauser

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It feels good to agree for once... with the Forum, that is.

There is no way the DR (and in my opinion Colombia too) can belong on a list together with some countries where people die every second of starvation.
This is a blantant "galletasso" which calls for some serious "cocotasso".

... J-D.
 

daddy1

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I agree with hillbilly...

There are other countries that are far worse then D.R. will ever be, but during Hippolitos rule in 2004 the country was definately on that exclusive list, I mean he seized T.V. stations, pardoned dangerous criminals, had drug trafficking military officals, banks closed, luxurious homes built, issue suv's to his partners, and the list went on and on, they simply may be looking ahead in the long run.

The country is one election short of another disaster, The D.R. has to work hard to prove they don't make that list in the next four years or so, Fernandez can accomplish this, but his handling of the Haitian migration issues is hurting his credibility in the international community...

anyway sometimes I believe they publish these statistics to motivate the new leadership to move towards real positive changes in the country, we will see what the 2005 report will read!
 

MerengueDutchie

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daddy1 said:
There are other countries that are far worse then D.R. will ever be, but during Hippolitos rule in 2004 the country was definately on that exclusive list, I mean he seized T.V. stations, pardoned dangerous criminals, had drug trafficking military officals, banks closed, luxurious homes built, issue suv's to his partners, and the list went on and on, they simply may be looking ahead in the long run.

The country is one election short of another disaster, The D.R. has to work hard to prove they don't make that list in the next four years or so, Fernandez can accomplish this, but his handling of the Haitian migration issues is hurting his credibility in the international community...

anyway sometimes I believe they publish these statistics to motivate the new leadership to move towards real positive changes in the country, we will see what the 2005 report will read!
I agree that 2003/2004 were very different times..
 

Keith R

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Well, as usual I find myself agreeing with Chiri, HB and Chris. But shock of shocks, I also find myself (in this thread at least) with Nals! :eek: :eek: Except for his contention that the world is anti-Dominican, that is. On that point I echo Chiri:
Nals, I don't think the world is against the DR. I don't think they care either way, and it's more a case of ignorance, as millard says, than malice.