Squatters vs Land Owners

leromero

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Normally I stay out of capitalism/socialism/dictatorial type disputes. I tend to have some ideas and thoughts on how things could be done better depending on how governments behave. Though really for the most part in Latin America it can pretty well be summed up as to who is paying who. To put it in simpler terms, "Money talks, Bull**** walks."

Sometime I do find little gems to read and ponder. Even though this article is from the Argentine point of view, I can see the DR in the same light. What do you think? Could this happen in the DR?

How Property Ownership Changes Your World View — HBS Working Knowledge
 
Feb 7, 2007
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Interesting article. Have only read the summary, not the research paper, though, but I agree that ownership puts people into the "haves" group from "have nots". Even if the "have" is of small value, it IS a "have". That means the life of the individual is not the one of dispair and being desperate about the future (e.g. people who have "nothing to loose"). But this goes more into sociological and socio-economical area so I stop here.
 

Hillbilly

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Jan 1, 2002
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I think a key point is this:
Corruption is another issue. "If you perceive the system to be illegitimate, the tendency is to demand justice through increased government intervention and policies,"

And that, folks, is the story of the Dominican Republic!!
"Let the government fix it!!

HB
 
C

Chip00

Guest
Normally I stay out of capitalism/socialism/dictatorial type disputes. I tend to have some ideas and thoughts on how things could be done better depending on how governments behave. Though really for the most part in Latin America it can pretty well be summed up as to who is paying who. To put it in simpler terms, "Money talks, Bull**** walks."

Sometime I do find little gems to read and ponder. Even though this article is from the Argentine point of view, I can see the DR in the same light. What do you think? Could this happen in the DR?

How Property Ownership Changes Your World View — HBS Working Knowledge

There are squatters rights here in the DR from what I have been informed.

Then your question is could the whole mess of deciding who has the real rights to the property be held up in court because of corruption, etc - I think everybody already knows the answer to that one. :)
 

Capt. Rob57

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Mar 22, 2006
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Rights

I have a friend who has owned the same property for some 10 years. At one time he had a business there. But, through urban development he could no longer use the property for lack of customers. False titles were sold. He has been trying for 3 years to resolve the problem and with the help of the U.S. embassy. The property is worth around 3 million dollars. In court Danillo said well we are poor and you are rich. So basically go to hell gringo. That is Dominican justice.
 

bilijou

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Jun 13, 2006
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leromero said:
Sometime I do find little gems to read and ponder. Even though this article is from the Argentine point of view, I can see the DR in the same light. What do you think? Could this happen in the DR?

You should read up on the renowned economist Hernando de Soto, who focuses mainly on his thesis that property rights and a formal property system are the most important characteristics in Capitalism. Clinton even called him ?the world?s greatest living economist? for his work. The interesting thing is:

Leonel?s Breakfast with Bill Clinton said:
Entonces me pregunt? que si conoc?a a Hernando de Soto, el peruano que se dio a conocer mundialmente con la publicaci?n de su libro, El Otro Sendero, en el cual hac?a un estudio sobre la econom?a informal.
No de manera personal, le respond?, aunque s? a trav?s de sus publicaciones, muy especialmente de su ?ltimo libro, El Misterio del Capital, en el que analiza el fen?meno de la formaci?n de capital en los pa?ses pobres.
[...]
Me prometi? que me pondr?a en contacto con Hernando de Soto y la organizaci?n que dirige, a los fines de que ?ste pueda visitar la Rep?blica Dominicana y cooperar con el dise?o de pol?ticas que contribuyan a mejorar la situaci?n de inequidad social en el pa?s.
-(Source: Leonel?s website)
Since then Hernando de Soto has visited to the DR. IMO when this whole ?Buy a piece of paradise in the DR? thingy starts rolling for the American baby boomers, the property system will definitely improve.
 

aegap

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Mar 19, 2005
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O, how I miss basic econ, ..

A better, more comphehensive, natural example is Europe under absolute monarchies, when the King was absolute owner of the land and could have arbitrarily taken it from his subjects at any time, and/or arbitrarily taxed it any way he wanted it to fund his adventures. A second better example would be Europe under Feudalism. Both of those had to die before Capitalism could come of age -the subjects/peasants/people revolted and killed them both..

Capitalism didn't really take off in Europe till property rights and relative rule of law were put in place.
 
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George Holmes

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Nov 15, 2006
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There are a lot of critiques of de soto, but much of this applies more to continental Latin America, so I won't go there. Needless to say, it is not a simple issue, and there is a huge amount of evidence and common sense that counters De Soto.

The point of absolute monarchies is a bit off - in european Monarchies that lack a constitution, such as the Netherlands and the UK, the monarchy still has property rights even over "private" land. In fact, the crown could not, and did not, take land from the subjects as it wished, this was something that only existed (and still does sort of exist) on paper - there are legal, political and social barriers stopping this from happening.

The relationship between the rise of capitalism and the rise of property rights is way off - they happened at different times, with no link between them. I recommend a reading of E.P Thompson.


Anyway, there are some squatters rights, particularly regarding state land, but they are almost never enforced. Perversely, and with everything else in the DR, they are only enforced for the rich and not the poor. Likewise, when the state appropriates land in the DR, as it did around Miches and also COnstanza in the early 90's, it paid compensation to the rich and not the poor.

References on request.
 

Mirador

On Permanent Vacation!
Apr 15, 2004
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QUOTE=williamo1;532867]...I We both pay lawyers. What a mess. [/QUOTE]

There's your answer, you said it yourself, amongst your almost twenty lines of text. Obviously, both lawyers are in cahoots, and the longer the feud exists, more money to them... Try a different approach. Nasty guys only understand nastiness....:pirate:
 

Manzana

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Jan 23, 2007
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There are a lot of critiques of de soto, but much of this applies more to continental Latin America, so I won't go there...
The relationship between the rise of capitalism and the rise of property rights is way off - they happened at different times, with no link between them. I recommend a reading of E.P Thompson.
References on request.

E.P. Thompson was apparently an English communist/socialist writer who died in 1993. DeSoto's main thesis on land and capital, popularized in "The Mystery of Capital" was not only published after his death but addresses an issue which only arose after his death. When the Soviet Union and it's client states collapsed in the early 90's a side effect was to carry a wave of liberalization (in the classical sense) all over the world. States divested ownership of industries, deregulated, tried to unleash the market. The results were mixed but in much of the developing world ran into problems.

DeSoto is asking: Why isn't capitalism working in the developing world? A question that didn't even arise until E.P. Thompson had been buried.

As to the rise of Capitalism and the rise of property rights - one of DeSoto's big projects is to study the rise of property rights from the 18th through the 20th century. The legal system's conversion of Land into a source of Capital occurred throughout that period and is ongoing. Capitalism coevolved through the same period and is still evolving. Perhaps you have a quite different sense that assumes these things happened at some specific time in the past rather than continuously over centuries.
 

NALs

Economist by Profession
Jan 20, 2003
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People,

Please keep in mind that Hernando de Soto's thesis is based on an experiment he conducted in the slums of Lima, Per?.

Much like Karl Marx's theory and eventual development of the Communist Manifesto is based on a unique economic situation that was present in London at the time of his life - which he witnessed and heavily influenced his way of thinking and seeing the world, one needs to take this into account prior to criticizing an entire theory based on the notion that "one size doesn't fit all", in this case all the economic problems present in the world.

What works (or doesnt work) in the slums of Lima, Per? may or may not be representative of what works or not in the rest of the world.

Having said this, I don't fully agree with him, but he does have some strong points in his argument.

Much like Karl Marx, I definitely don't agree with much of what he wrote, but again, he does have some strong points in his argument as well.

The important thing is to keep in mind where these economists are coming from. It definitely helps in understanding their arguments and in correctly interpreting them within context.

-NALs
 

George Holmes

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Nov 15, 2006
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DeSoto is asking: Why isn't capitalism working in the developing world? A question that didn't even arise until E.P. Thompson had been buried.

QUOTE]

This is not what De Soto was asking, he was asking a different question about the links between the capitalisation of land. Thompson wrote about the transformation of land from commons to private estates with the rise of industrial England, very similar to De Soto's topic, only about a period several centuries earlier. The question is what came first - industrial development or secure land rights. I suggest you actually read Thompson - the use of the work "apparently" gives you away!

Perhaps a better reference would be Polanyi (another dead writer, but that doesn't condemn him) and his ideas of land as "fictitious capital", because land (like other things such as labour) doesn't really exist to be used, bought or sold in the same way as say, a car. Anyway, the point about this and the DR is that De Soto would say that there is no "safe" real estate market, what with false titles, insecure tenancies, the expense of borrowing, inability of most of the population to get a mortgage etc, and hence the DR hasn't 'developed' too much.