Quality of Life in the DR: Is it improving?

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ElVenao

Guest
Income inequality, poorly managed government institutions, lack of public services, broken judicial system, low-hanging fruit mentality, lack of meritocracy, high corruption levels, low quality of public schools, infant and unproven social security system, slightly above average crime and violent crime levels, lack of transparency and accountability of government officials, unreliable healthcare system, completely broken energy sector, impunity and no consequences, and the list can go on and on and on.

Many traits and characteristics of the DR are truly at a level everyone would wish it be better. The same can be said of many countries. There will always be cases and examples of countries that are way better off (Nordics, Japan, Developed European, etc.) and way worse (Haiti, Venezuela, Sub-Saharan countries, some LatAm countries, etc.). However, how have we fared in the grand scheme of things? In the past 30-40 years post-establishment of "democracy" have we experienced improvement?

I think that the average Dominican (or people who have lived in the DR for many years) has gotten into a contemplative state of observing all the negatives of living in the DR.

Focusing on the negatives and developing a pessimistic outlook in terms of living in the country is a common line of thought. I, to a fault, have fallen into this category for many years. Great frustration in the belief that we're heading nowhere as days go by, yet staying optimistic about the "hope" of a change in the future.

How do you, personally feel, the country has fared through time (not this particular government and not compared to other countries) and where is it heading forward?
 
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william webster

Guest
Interesting - I was having similar thoughts today

Still a long way to go - I fear.

My thoughts wandered when I saw a young girl carrying a baby - too young many would say.

She is no different than any other adolescent in the world... hormones start running...
but w/o any sex education or contraceptives their first experiments can be life altering.

I suppose it's just a fact of life in some countries....

They are working here on the school system - I hear

Unfortunately... the natives (for lack of a better word) are very accepting of the status quo - I feel, as I see it.

Successful change usually necessitates a grass roots push - from the bottom up.
None of that here it appears... force feeding... and that rarely is as effective
 
C

Caonabo

Guest
Income inequality, poorly managed government institutions, lack of public services, broken judicial system, low-hanging fruit mentality, lack of meritocracy, high corruption levels, low quality of public schools, infant and unproven social security system, slightly above average crime and violent crime levels, lack of transparency and accountability of government officials, unreliable healthcare system, completely broken energy sector, impunity and no consequences, and the list can go on and on and on.

Many traits and characteristics of the DR are truly at a level everyone would wish it be better. The same can be said of many countries. There will always be cases and examples of countries that are way better off (Nordics, Japan, Developed European, etc.) and way worse (Haiti, Venezuela, Sub-Saharan countries, some LatAm countries, etc.). However, how have we fared in the grand scheme of things? In the past 30-40 years post-establishment of "democracy" have we experienced improvement?

I think that the average Dominican (or people who have lived in the DR for many years) has gotten into a contemplative state of observing all the negatives of living in the DR.

Focusing on the negatives and developing a pessimistic outlook in terms of living in the country is a common line of thought. I, to a fault, have fallen into this category for many years. Great frustration in the belief that we're heading nowhere as days go by, yet staying optimistic about the "hope" of a change in the future.

How do you, personally feel, the country has fared through time (not this particular government and not compared to other countries) and where is it heading forward?
"Income inequality, poorly managed government institutions, lack of public services, broken judicial system, low-hanging fruit mentality, lack of meritocracy, high corruption levels, low quality of public schools, infant and unproven social security system, slightly above average crime and violent crime levels, lack of transparency and accountability of government officials, unreliable healthcare system, completely broken energy sector, impunity and no consequences, and the list can go on and on and on."


Is the RD the only country facing these same exact issues, or are you just being selective? Yes, I know this is an RD related webforum, but the RD is far from the only country facing these same exact issues in 2019.
 
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Cdn_Gringo

Guest
Progress in this country usually occurs in "baby steps" and is all but imperceptible unless you are directly affected by a specific change. Society will continue to sputter until education, the judiciary and Govt malfeasance undergo major reforms.
 
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Derfish

Guest
Income inequality, poorly managed government institutions, lack of public services, broken judicial system, low-hanging fruit mentality, lack of meritocracy, high corruption levels, low quality of public schools, infant and unproven social security system, slightly above average crime and violent crime levels, lack of transparency and accountability of government officials, unreliable healthcare system, completely broken energy sector, impunity and no consequences, and the list can go on and on and on.

Many traits and characteristics of the DR are truly at a level everyone would wish it be better. The same can be said of many countries. There will always be cases and examples of countries that are way better off (Nordics, Japan, Developed European, etc.) and way worse (Haiti, Venezuela, Sub-Saharan countries, some LatAm countries, etc.). However, how have we fared in the grand scheme of things? In the past 30-40 years post-establishment of "democracy" have we experienced improvement?

I think that the average Dominican (or people who have lived in the DR for many years) has gotten into a contemplative state of observing all the negatives of living in the DR.

Focusing on the negatives and developing a pessimistic outlook in terms of living in the country is a common line of thought. I, to a fault, have fallen into this category for many years. Great frustration in the belief that we're heading nowhere as days go by, yet staying optimistic about the "hope" of a change in the future.

How do you, personally feel, the country has fared through time (not this particular government and not compared to other countries) and where is it heading forward?
Well 'I came back'. I had decided to stay in the USA. I spent three years there except for a trip to Colombia and Panama for 3 months in 2017 And had said I would stay there, but came back here for my own reasons. For me it is better than the USA in many ways. What scares me here is the constant earthquakes. The 'Did you feel it did you feel it?' Bothers this old guy more than some couple from New York got bumped off because they were looking for drugs here. Traffic is a lot worse most anywhere I have been in the USA, The fat old gals waddling the streets of Chicago and Atlanta are no comparison to the perky little brown babes we see here constantly. Prices! Damn I can rent a good place with air conditioning for 8000 pesos about $160.00 a month and has air cond as well as hot water. Buy fresh fruit off a truck that delivers it to the door. Find that where ever you came from. It costs me about 20% as much to eat here than in Mississippi. Of course if one has to buy products made in the USA one pays accordingly, but if you choose to eat natural and healthy you can do so for about one fifth of what it costs if you buy at Publix in Miami or Piggly Wiggly in Nawlins.
Derfish
 
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cobraboy

Guest
Lot of different metrics and subjectivity to "improving."

I would definitely say, subjectively, that there have been significant improvements in the quality of life in the DR, especially economically and in transparency and efficiency of gubmint.

It's not perfect---no place is---and much needs to be done, but the DR is better today than in 2008.

There is a positive evolution.
 
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dv8

Guest
i've been here since 2006 so maybe not that long. i've seen quite a lot of things change for the worse but let's keep this thread on a positive note. the quality of my life certainly improved. lots of food items i never saw before are easily available now: bread flour, poppy seeds, turmeric, filo pastry and more. we have pretty much 24/7 power now and so does most of the city. the infrastructure has improved: SD received metro/teleferico, santiago got a neat bypass, bunch of new roads constructed all over DR (not so much in puerto plata province but credit where credit's due). baby steps, you know. wobbly but moving forward. ish.
 
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Matilda

Guest
I have been here from 2001 and loads of improvements. Many kids at school all day, with 3 meals a day. Teachers salaries improved leaps and bounds - not sure quality of teaching has improved mind. Lots of new roads, roads which were mud are now paved. Internet much better and more online options such as online banking which makes life much easier as well as online payment options. As dv8 says more products in the supermarkets - not that all have reached my area yet, but some have like horseradish, basmati rice, arborio rice and tahini. Still no mushrooms though. The justice system still needs work but in my second experience with them was a vast improvement over the first. Excellent medical care in Santiago and Santo Domingo. Definite improvements in many areas.

Matilda
 
K

keepcoming

Guest
Been here over 23 years now (just visited on and off prior to that) and there has been a lot of changes over the years. Technology, shopping, roads, transportation, etc... When I came the really only good/large supermarket was El Nacional, fast food was Tropi-Burger/Pica Pollo. Definite improvement with electricity. Even the airport SDQ has changed since I first arrived. Sure there are some negatives but there are many more positives.
 
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Fulano2

Guest
When I first came in 1987 there were not even flights to pop. We had to take a plane to Paris, wait four hours, and then with Air France through Guadeloupe to SD. From there with a taxi to Santiago who had two flat tires.
 
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beeza

Guest
"Income inequality, poorly managed government institutions, lack of public services, broken judicial system, low-hanging fruit mentality, lack of meritocracy, high corruption levels, low quality of public schools, infant and unproven social security system, slightly above average crime and violent crime levels, lack of transparency and accountability of government officials, unreliable healthcare system, completely broken energy sector, impunity and no consequences, and the list can go on and on and on."


Is the RD the only country facing these same exact issues, or are you just being selective? Yes, I know this is an RD related webforum, but the RD is far from the only country facing these same exact issues in 2019.
Keep reading the OP. The second paragraph of this very well written post clearly states that there are other countries that fair better and worse than the DR.

I'm glad you figured out that this is a DR related forum!
 
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beeza

Guest
Been here since 2006, here are my observations:

Positives:

General standards of living for middle class Dominicans or expats have improved.
Internet speeds and reliability have improved throughout the country.
Electricity network has improved for those on 24hr circuits.
The peso has been relatively stable against hard currencies.
The banking and bill payments system has improved considerably. EG online banking, smartphone apps etc.
Road networks have been steadily improved.
Larger variety of goods are available in the shops and supermarkets.

Neutral:

Education standards have not improved, but there seems to be more uptake with higher education, especially females.
Medicine has improved, but access to it is limited to affordability. Medicine has adopted the American concept that it is big business rather than for the health of the nation.
Bureaucracy is replacing corruption in certain aspects of the government. Previously a bribe could be paid instead of complying with multiple hoops that need to be jumped through.
Shopping in the DR is a challenge when looking for quality products at reasonable prices, but access to US online market is available with the growth of the courier companies that ship from US to DR.
The property market is not a place to invest to make money, but property ownership is open and easy to everyone with minimum risk.


Negative:

The government is ineffective and corruption is rife within the establishment. Will take generations to eradicate.
The police force is also ineffective and there seems to be no impetus to improve the status quo. Policemen are poorly paid, respected and equipped.
The standards of driving has deteriorated. Bad or illegal driving is not punished and there are more vehicles on the road.
Cost of fuel has steadily increased above the rate of inflation.
Employment law is prohibitive towards the employer. This stunts economic growth and entrepreneurs trying to grow small or medium businesses.
The justice system is broken and the DR is predominately lawless.
 
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LTSteve

Guest
Income inequality, poorly managed government institutions, lack of public services, broken judicial system, low-hanging fruit mentality, lack of meritocracy, high corruption levels, low quality of public schools, infant and unproven social security system, slightly above average crime and violent crime levels, lack of transparency and accountability of government officials, unreliable healthcare system, completely broken energy sector, impunity and no consequences, and the list can go on and on and on.

Many traits and characteristics of the DR are truly at a level everyone would wish it be better. The same can be said of many countries. There will always be cases and examples of countries that are way better off (Nordics, Japan, Developed European, etc.) and way worse (Haiti, Venezuela, Sub-Saharan countries, some LatAm countries, etc.). However, how have we fared in the grand scheme of things? In the past 30-40 years post-establishment of "democracy" have we experienced improvement?

I think that the average Dominican (or people who have lived in the DR for many years) has gotten into a contemplative state of observing all the negatives of living in the DR.

Focusing on the negatives and developing a pessimistic outlook in terms of living in the country is a common line of thought. I, to a fault, have fallen into this category for many years. Great frustration in the belief that we're heading nowhere as days go by, yet staying optimistic about the "hope" of a change in the future.

How do you, personally feel, the country has fared through time (not this particular government and not compared to other countries) and where is it heading forward?
The DR is a still a developing country. There is a lot of room for improvement especially when it comes to accountability to it's citizens, in the areas of taxing and spending. A lot of progress seems to have been made in the areas of infrastructure in new roads, trains and building. These are obviously things that a lot of people can see and make an impression that the DR gov. is doing worth while things. However, if you look closer there are still a lot of mis-connects when it comes to the priorities in this country. There is still many areas where continuous electrical supply is a problem. There are also many problems with the water supply, garbage collection and disposal and the justice system. That being said it seems the quality of life for middle class Dominicans is making slow progress. The DR seems a lot more opportunistic for it's population than many other countries in the Caribbean, Central and South America. The middle class around the world is under attack by increased cost of living and wages not keeping pace. This is true in the United States and the DR and many other countries. I don't think you can just look at the DR in a fishbowl. The average citizen seems to be surviving and thriving and that is because the DR economy has been good over a long period of time. The gov. has also been stable. There has a lot of job creation, especially in the tourist segment. Tourism has a ripple effect on improving infrastructure, creating jobs and business. There is always room for quality of life. The DR gov. doesn't always go in the right direction but at least they are not going off the tracks.
 
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AlterEgo

Guest
The changes I’ve seen since coming to Santo Domingo in 1975 ....... I could write a book. It’s like a different world. It was such a simple, and safe, time. Not only didn’t my in-laws lock their doors, they didn’t even close the front door when they went to bed. There were still 4 unmarried sons living home, who came in at all hours, so why bother? No bars on windows, porch or patio. Today that house is like a fortress.

In other aspects, the country is almost unrecognizable to me. SD essentially ended at 27 Feb, Metaldom was in the sticks, SD Este barely existed, etc. In 1978 we took a drive to the north coast. Puerto Plata was a very sleepy town, we couldn’t find a hotel. Finally someone pointed us to the Montemar, which was literally being converted from a boy’s school into a hotel. We went to Sosua the next day, one street, nothing to see, we were literally the only humans on the beach. A driftwood log or two.

Tourism was in its infancy. Punta Cana was a jungle. We stayed there in one of the first hotels in 1999-2000, isolated and nothing to do except sit on the beach and eat. We were the only Americans, everyone else came by charter from Italy.
 
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AlterEgo

Guest
I miss the black market !
OMG how could I forget that. The quality of everything was abysmal, they were desperate for anything American made. I remember a Dominican cousin and I shopping end-of-summer clearance sales in late 70s, filling suitcases with clothing and carrying the suitcases into stores to sell. They bought everything we brought in. We did that for a long time, until aduana stopped us at the airport one trip, and confiscated everything until we paid their fee. That was the last time for us, barely broke even.

Dollar to peso was 1-1, but on the street you could get 1-1.18 :)
 
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cobraboy

Guest
Tourism was in its infancy.
On a trip in 1987, we drove to Playa Grande for the day.

The weather was picture perfect...and we were the only people on the beach except for a couple of kids who called themselves "secretaries", basically go-fers.

At the end of the day we drove them home into a local barrio. One sight I will never forget was in every small home I Love Lucy reruns were playing on black-and-white TV's in the front room. Every. House.
 
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JDJones

Guest
The changes I’ve seen since coming to Santo Domingo in 1975 ....... I could write a book. It’s like a different world. It was such a simple, and safe, time. Not only didn’t my in-laws lock their doors, they didn’t even close the front door when they went to bed. There were still 4 unmarried sons living home, who came in at all hours, so why bother? No bars on windows, porch or patio. Today that house is like a fortress.

In other aspects, the country is almost unrecognizable to me. SD essentially ended at 27 Feb, Metaldom was in the sticks, SD Este barely existed, etc. In 1978 we took a drive to the north coast. Puerto Plata was a very sleepy town, we couldn’t find a hotel. Finally someone pointed us to the Montemar, which was literally being converted from a boy’s school into a hotel. We went to Sosua the next day, one street, nothing to see, we were literally the only humans on the beach. A driftwood log or two.

Tourism was in its infancy. Punta Cana was a jungle. We stayed there in one of the first hotels in 1999-2000, isolated and nothing to do except sit on the beach and eat. We were the only Americans, everyone else came by charter from Italy.

Don't get me started. The DR in the early 70's was someplace entirely different than the DR of today.
 
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KyleMackey

Guest
The changes I’ve seen since coming to Santo Domingo in 1975 ....... I could write a book. It’s like a different world. It was such a simple, and safe, time. Not only didn’t my in-laws lock their doors, they didn’t even close the front door when they went to bed. There were still 4 unmarried sons living home, who came in at all hours, so why bother? No bars on windows, porch or patio. Today that house is like a fortress.

In other aspects, the country is almost unrecognizable to me. SD essentially ended at 27 Feb, Metaldom was in the sticks, SD Este barely existed, etc. In 1978 we took a drive to the north coast. Puerto Plata was a very sleepy town, we couldn’t find a hotel. Finally someone pointed us to the Montemar, which was literally being converted from a boy’s school into a hotel. We went to Sosua the next day, one street, nothing to see, we were literally the only humans on the beach. A driftwood log or two.

Tourism was in its infancy. Punta Cana was a jungle. We stayed there in one of the first hotels in 1999-2000, isolated and nothing to do except sit on the beach and eat. We were the only Americans, everyone else came by charter from Italy.
The first international flight there was in 1984, airport was still small, a turboprop from Puerto Rico. About 3,000 passengers came through that year. PUJ might reach the 10 Million passenger mark soon.