The Growth of the Dominican Middle Class is Intentional

NALs

Economist by Profession
Jan 20, 2003
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Today, Dominican economist Guarocuya Félix was interviewed in RumbaFM in Santo Domingo where several aspects of the Dominican economy was evalued by him. At a certain point the discussion revolves around the Dominican middle class, which has grown tremendously in the past few decades and is responsible for much of the growth of the commercial activity throughout the country. The following quote should resonate.

"The middle class of the Dominican Republic has grown significatly in the governments of the PLD. Plus, it was the result of deliberate policies, it wasn't something rsndom… it didn't happen by chance… it wasn't that miraculously society made a mistake that resulted in the growth of the middle class. There was an intention from the part of the government to increase the middle class, reduce extreme poverty, reduce poverty in all of its dimensions…"
- Econ. Guarocuya Félix

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«La clase media en República Dominicana que ha crecido, creció de manera significativa en los gobiernos del PLD, además lo hicimos de forma deliberada, no fue algo casual... fortuito... no fue por accidente que chocamos y creció la clase media. Hubo una intencionalidad de hacer crecer la clase media, de disminuir la pobreza extrema, de disminuir la pobreza en todas sus dimensiones…»
- Econ. Guarocuya Félix

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What this means is business owners that target a mostly Dominican middle class clientele have seen their growth, the growth of the wealth of the owners and investors, because in part the Dominican government put in place certain policies that encourage the growth of the Dominican middle class. It didn't happen by chance. The comfortable lives that you now have in the DR didn't happen in spite of the DR, but rather because of the DR; it didn't happen inspite of what the Dominican government did, but rather because the Dominican government wanted for that to happen by creating the legal conditions and incentive for that to happen. The same could be said with the development of various aspects of the Dominican economy post-Trujillo. From manufacturing, free trade zones, tourism, agricultural production, etc; most of that would had never happened without the government creating the incentives for them to happen. There are neighboring countries if you want to see what is it like when the government doesn't put in place policies with the intention to develop a sector and even increase the middle class.

This is why it's unacceptable when people who's success depends due to their economic activities in the free zones, in businesses that survive on selling to the Dominican middle class, in transportation, in manufacturing, in banking, etc have a stance on certain issues that rsther than showing support forvthe Dominican Republic, instead go against it. As if the life your living now has little to do with the DR or the Dominican government when in reality the opposite is true.

If it wasn't for the Dominican government, everything in the DR would revolve around the rich since that's what would had continue to happen if things left to their own devices.

 

Big

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the majority of people that are successful and are financially comfortable have attained this through hard work and sacrifice. Not from "the government". People that rely on the government for anything other than utilities and public security are complete losers.
 

NALs

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the majority of people that are successful and are financially comfortable have attained this through hard work and sacrifice. Not from "the government". People that rely on the government for anything other than utilities and public security are complete losers.
All that hard work and sacrifice would not had yielded in a better lifestyle for most of them, because in what many of them found success was in sectors the government created artificial conditions that favored their growth and development. Without that, they would had never developed.

Things like the free trade zones is an example of that. They were beneficiaries of things like the industrial law 4 of the 1970's, government establishment of several industrial parks and selling the properties at favorable prices (often times below their true market value) to build their factories, a favorable exchange rate for the free trade zones exports (that sector depends on exports almost to 100%), etc. Without any of that there would hardly exist any free trade zones in the DR. That leads to the question, all the people that found success in the free trade zone business, what would they had done if they never developed? Go into commerce? That would increase competition in that sector and inevitably lead many that found success in the free trade zones to go bankrupt.

When it comes to the DR, the government is central to the development of many of the pillars of the Dominican economy. Things didn't happen by chance.
 

Fulano2

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How did the “zona franca” contribute to the development of the middle class?
In La Vega in the nineties it was close to slavery, long days and little money.
 
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NALs

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How did the “zona franca” contribute to the development of the middle class?
It created a few.

In La Vega in the nineties it was close to slavery, long days and little money.
The zona franca in La Vega is still open. When it was created it became normal for people from the surrounding area to find work. It was very common to hear "la zona está poniendo a la gente a trabajar." It continue to be one of the largest employers not just in the city, but in the entire province.
 

Big

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All that hard work and sacrifice would not had yielded in a better lifestyle for most of them, because in what many of them found success was in sectors the government created artificial conditions that favored their growth and development. Without that, they would had never developed.

Things like the free trade zones is an example of that. They were beneficiaries of things like the industrial law 4 of the 1970's, government establishment of several industrial parks and selling the properties at favorable prices (often times below their true market value) to build their factories, a favorable exchange rate for the free trade zones exports (that sector depends on exports almost to 100%), etc. Without any of that there would hardly exist any free trade zones in the DR. That leads to the question, all the people that found success in the free trade zone business, what would they had done if they never developed? Go into commerce? That would increase competition in that sector and inevitably lead many that found success in the free trade zones to go bankrupt.

When it comes to the DR, the government is central to the development of many of the pillars of the Dominican economy. Things didn't happen by chance.
well our ideologies are completely different. I believe a businessman that invests his blood, sweat and tears into a business is the catalyst to his success. You believe because the Dominican government-built roads and highways, they are the reason for his success. There is another large island in the Caribbean that has these types of beliefs.
 
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CristoRey

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Remittancea from abroad are a huge part of this equation yet they weren't mentioned at all. Remove them (especially during 2020 and 2021 which broke all time records) and see what you're left with. Not too pretty.

We can also add drug money in there too.
 

Sol09

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the majority of people that are successful and are financially comfortable have attained this through hard work and sacrifice. Not from "the government". People that rely on the government for anything other than utilities and public security are complete losers.
There aren't really any government programs in DR to rely on.
 

NALs

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well our ideologies are completely different. I believe a businessman that invests his blood, sweat and tears into a business is the catalyst to his success. You believe because the Dominican government-built roads and highways, they are the reason for his success. There is another large island in the Caribbean that has these types of beliefs.
So you are saying anyone that devote "sweat and tears" can be successful in Haiti? If that was the case, then there should be Haitian equivalents of most large Dominican businesses.
 

NALs

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In fact, even the presence of most of the expats on DR1 became expats in the DR after the visited as tourists. Would they had visited if the Dominican government didn't put the efforts to encourage the development of the sector? The big push for the development of tourism started sfter Miolán made a trip to Spain and was told tourism is a large reason for its development. He return to the DR with that in mind, tourism needed to be further developed in the DR.

Most of the expats here, most likely yourself included, would had never choosen the DR as a place to expatriate if it wasn't for the Dominican government in the first place. Most of them didn't even know the DR existed.

Even DR1 would had not developed to the level it has since this website depends on promoting DR tourism and the expat dommunity in the DR, that's basically it.
 

NALs

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Remittancea from abroad are a huge part of this equation yet they weren't mentioned at all. Remove them (especially during 2020 and 2021 which broke all time records) and see what you're left with. Not too pretty.

We can also add drug money in there too.
You're thinking more of El Salvador. The consumption of the Dominican middle class is significantly higher (yet) than total remittances.
 

Big

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So you are saying anyone that devote "sweat and tears" can be successful in Haiti? If that was the case, then there should be Haitian equivalents of most large Dominican businesses.
this is a Dominican thread.!
 

Big

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You're thinking more of El Salvador. The consumption of the Dominican middle class is significantly higher (yet) than total remittances.
This is a Dominican thread.!
 

CristoRey

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You're thinking more of El Salvador. The consumption of the Dominican middle class is significantly higher (yet) than total remittances.
No I'm not.
I'm thinking of the Dominican Republic and to ignore the role remittances play in this equation would be foolish at best.
 

NALs

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No I'm not.
I'm thinking of the Dominican Republic and to ignore the role remittances play in this equation would be foolish at best.
El Salvador receives remittances equals to about a quarter of its economy while in the DR it's about 10% of the economy.

By any accounts, El Salvador is not more developed or even wealthier than the DR. Why is that? They depend more on remittances. If the DR would depend on remittances as they do, there would be more commerce if we go by the thougth process of many people in this forum. Heck, by the thought process of some in DR1, El Salvador should be doing better than the DR.

Most of the consumer spending in the DR have nothing to do with remittances and that goes for most of the middle class.
 

Big

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you're an economist or a socialist? Earning money and building wealth is not done by the government. The gov builds roads and infrastructure paid for by businesses i.e. tax dollars.
 

El Hijo de Manolo

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you're an economist or a socialist? Earning money and building wealth is not done by the government. The gov builds roads and infrastructure paid for by businesses i.e. tax dollars.
He's a borist. Bor like boring. Boring like I'd rather stab my eyes out with hot pokers.
 
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