Where's DR heading to?......Act, II

Don Juan

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Dec 5, 2003
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I read the post by AZB, dating back to Jan. 2003, questioning the sad state of DR's economy, when Hipolito mejia was at the height of his ineptitude; laying waste to everything he touched. King Midas, he wasn't.

My question: In spite of Leonel's many errors and follies, e g, the metro; Would you say that, today, our nation is still in a heap of doodo; hopelessly stuck in economic stagnation and gloom? Or, do you like where it's headed?
What do you foresee for the next ten years?, How long before we join first- world nations, if ever?
Will CAFTA work to our advantage?
 

Rocky

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Nobody would be satisfied with all the changes, although we are a lot better off that when the Hippo was bankrupting us.
As we modernize, we lose freedoms, taxes increase, some of that friendliness is lost, but nothing can stop progress and we have to live with it.
I just hope it never catches up to North America in my lifetime.
 

Tallman1680

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Oct 7, 2006
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I think we will be a lot better if we can continue with Mr. Fernandez as our presidente, but just in case he does not win, Candelier is the man to do the Job......
 

Don Juan

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Dec 5, 2003
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Interesting way of reasoning!

Nobody would be satisfied with all the changes, although we are a lot better off that when the Hippo was bankrupting us.
As we modernize, we lose freedoms, taxes increase, some of that friendliness is lost, but nothing can stop progress and we have to live with it.
I just hope it never catches up to North America in my lifetime.

Don't follow, we lose freedoms? How so? One would think that progress would free us from the tyranny of poverty; that it would improve our lives radically. e g, no more power failures, better education, jobs for everyone, etc.

I do agree that it comes at a price. More taxes, and, generally speaking, people become reserved and self-centered. But is that so bad?

No arguments from me, though. Most times you see it better than some of us. Care to expand?
 

Andy B

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Mejia was a piker compared to the level of theft and corruption within the current administration. As a businessman looking at my yearly net, DESPITE all the pitfalls associated with the inept administration of Hippo's regime, I was better off then. Granted his borrowing and fiscal policies almost bankrupted the country, but is it any better to be taxed to death while allowing costs to rise to an insane level? The balance sheet has swung entirely the other way now with costs far exceeding services provided. The DR has lost it's greatest competitive edge: the fact that it was a inexpensive place to live and visit.
 

Rocky

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Don't follow, we lose freedoms? How so? Care to expand?
I can only do it by examples.
Let's say you like cruising around on a motorbike with the wind blowing through your hair, then a helmet law is forced on you.
I know a lot of people would argue that it would be safer, and although I don't agree, the fact remains you're being forced to do it, and you lose some of that foot loose fancy free feeling.
Same goes for bringing your dog to the beach.
As towns grow and beach dogs might become a problem. laws are made to restrain or prohibit them.
But if you're the dude with a real kool Labrador that plays with everyone, and they all like him, now you and the folks who enjoyed the dog, no longer can.
As we grow and evolve, so do the criminals, so now when you go out really late at night or early in the AM, you risk being pulled over and harassed by the cops.
I know we need to control the criminals, but once more, we lose a bit of freedom.
It's the same throughout the world.
As terrorism has increased, flying has become a pain in the arse, whereas it used to be a thrill.
At one time, if you wanted to have a bonfire party on the beach, you'd just go ahead and do it.
But as time goes on and a few fools did foolish things at bonfire parties, now they are more restricted.
When I moved to Sosua, you would see people riding horses through town everyday.
Now, you'd be run over, if it's even permitted anymore.
Running to the airport used to be an 8 minute venture.
Now with all the cars & traffic, it could take you double that.
One could park anywhere at the airport before, now you risk getting towed away.
Soon, we will no longer be allowed to put passengers or animals in the back of a pick up truck. I know it can be unsafe, but for those of us who are not fools and are careful about it, we will lose another freedom.
Everyday, new laws are made and enforced.
I know they are necessary to control indecent people, but what about the decent people who comport themselves properly?
They get restrictions imposed on them.
Any middle aged or older person, can tell you that he/she had more freedom when he/she was younger, and the same applies here.
We "progress" into a more restricted world.
All these laws and restrictions are made to control indecent people, but the decent people get restricted as well.
I'm not suggesting I have a solution for the problem.
All I'm saying is that one should be careful what they wish for.
As we modernize, we lose some basic freedoms.
A good part of the attraction of this country, over our homelands, is/was all the freedom.
Bit by bit it disappears.
 

Rocky

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Mejia was a piker compared to the level of theft and corruption within the current administration. As a businessman looking at my yearly net, DESPITE all the pitfalls associated with the inept administration of Hippo's regime, I was better off then. Granted his borrowing and fiscal policies almost bankrupted the country, but is it any better to be taxed to death while allowing costs to rise to an insane level? The balance sheet has swung entirely the other way now with costs far exceeding services provided. The DR has lost it's greatest competitive edge: the fact that it was a inexpensive place to live and visit.
You've got to be kidding.
Hippo was destroying the economy, so you were able to benefit financially while it was happening, as all of us did, but surely you understand that it couldn't have gone on forever and that bankruptcy was imminent.
And now you would blame the present regime for higher costs, as they try to repair the damage Hippo did??
 

KeithUK

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Feb 8, 2006
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I can only do it by examples.
Let's say you like cruising around on a motorbike with the wind blowing through your hair, then a helmet law is forced on you.
I know a lot of people would argue that it would be safer, and although I don't agree, the fact remains you're being forced to do it, and you lose some of that foot loose fancy free feeling.
Same goes for bringing your dog to the beach.
As towns grow and beach dogs might become a problem. laws are made to restrain or prohibit them.
But if you're the dude with a real kool Labrador that plays with everyone, and they all like him, now you and the folks who enjoyed the dog, no longer can.
As we grow and evolve, so do the criminals, so now when you go out really late at night or early in the AM, you risk being pulled over and harassed by the cops.
I know we need to control the criminals, but once more, we lose a bit of freedom.
It's the same throughout the world.
As terrorism has increased, flying has become a pain in the arse, whereas it used to be a thrill.
At one time, if you wanted to have a bonfire party on the beach, you'd just go ahead and do it.
But as time goes on and a few fools did foolish things at bonfire parties, now they are more restricted.
When I moved to Sosua, you would see people riding horses through town everyday.
Now, you'd be run over, if it's even permitted anymore.
Running to the airport used to be an 8 minute venture.
Now with all the cars & traffic, it could take you double that.
One could park anywhere at the airport before, now you risk getting towed away.
Soon, we will no longer be allowed to put passengers or animals in the back of a pick up truck. I know it can be unsafe, but for those of us who are not fools and are careful about it, we will lose another freedom.
Everyday, new laws are made and enforced.
I know they are necessary to control indecent people, but what about the decent people who comport themselves properly?
They get restrictions imposed on them.
Any middle aged or older person, can tell you that he/she had more freedom when he/she was younger, and the same applies here.
We "progress" into a more restricted world.
All these laws and restrictions are made to control indecent people, but the decent people get restricted as well.
I'm not suggesting I have a solution for the problem.
All I'm saying is that one should be careful what they wish for.
As we modernize, we lose some basic freedoms.
A good part of the attraction of this country, over our homelands, is/was all the freedom.
Bit by bit it disappears.

I agree 100%,
It is the same in the UK. Politicians need to give more thought to the basic liberties of the sensible law abiding majority, before dreaming up overstrict laws to control a minority of criminals/idiots. When will they ever learn that these over the top laws usually only effect the law abiding. The people they were intended for usually by their own nature ignore them and dont give a damm if they get caught on the odd ocasion.
Progress/Modernisation and Fair Law is essential but the trick is to try and achieve it without encroaching on basic liberties.
 

heliace

On Vacation!
Mar 27, 2004
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Marco, you are absolutely right. I came here,for the first time, 13 years ago and fell in love with this country. I always say it ws for the cerveza, senioritas and the sea, but, the freedoms which we used to enjoy in Canada, were still available here. They are definitely disappearing and it is a shame.
Hmmm...maybe if you got a good tan....Marco for Presidente!!!
 

Don Juan

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Dec 5, 2003
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Rocky and keithUK, I understand fully what you're saying. The same lack of simple freedoms have made it difficult for me to even drive around the State of Maryland, worse in Virginia. Although, traffic is orderly and safer than in Santo Domingo, trying to obey all traffic laws, takes all the fun out of it.
I'm in a constant state of paranoia thinking about being stopped for one reason or the other. The other day, as I was trying to get to work, I was stopped and given an "order of repair" for having one of my brake lights out.
(one out of three). I was late for work, had to get a certified mechanic to fix it, had to get an inspector to confirm that it was actually done, had to bring my vehicle to a police precinct to verify the work and finally send a copy to the Md. motor vehicle administration. All within ten days or face a fine or possible car impounding. All for one lousy, 50cent light bulb.
This whole process cost me 80 bucks plus a lot of irritation and stress.
So, Yes I see what you're saying very clearly!

Keeping all this in mind, Where do you think we'll be ten years hence?
 

Andy B

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Jan 1, 2002
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You've got to be kidding.
Hippo was destroying the economy, so you were able to benefit financially while it was happening, as all of us did, but surely you understand that it couldn't have gone on forever and that bankruptcy was imminent.
And now you would blame the present regime for higher costs, as they try to repair the damage Hippo did??

Read my post again CAREFULLY, Rocky. If you do you will see that I said that under Mejia bankruptcy was imminent and fiscal irresponsibility was rampant. However my point was and is that taxes has risen to an intolerable level by the business community and most all other costs have gone through the roof making the DR NO LONGER competetive with many other comparable countries. Even DR-CAFTA will not be able to address this imbalance within 5 years despite built in fiscal reform as just stated at the breakfast table this morning by a very good friend who has been part of the DR-CAFTA team from the very beginning and is spending the weekend here with us. We too were affected by the fiscal deficiencies of the Mejia administration but the bottom line is that regardless of what happened, we were still better off at the end of the year when we counted up what was left over. And finally, to blame the current administration's heavy-handed taxation increases on repairing previous fiscal damage is ludicrous when you consider the amount of funds disappearing down ratholes like the Metro despite record tax collections far, FAR exceeding the government's projected revenues,...again part of this morning's breakfast fare. You would not believe the amount of money we're talking about here.
 

Chirimoya

Well-known member
Dec 9, 2002
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I'm not opposed to taxation when you get decent services in return, but as someone (here?) said recently: "the DR is a country where we are taxed as if we were in Switzerland but receive services as if we were in Nigeria".

A couple of days ago I was speaking to an educated, cosmopolitan and cultured professional couple who earn reasonably good money but are picking up sticks to move to another country. They gave several reasons, the main one being the rise in crime and the lack of policing should you become a victim of crime.

They also said that although they earn relatively good wages, it is a struggle to keep their heads above water.

Unlike some, they are not the type to put luxuries and appearances before basic necessities. They both have good jobs, and the husband has to do additional work on the side for them to maintain a reasonable middle class standard of living, so it's come to the point where the work/life balance has become impossible.

They are able to emigrate because one of them is a dual national, and they said that "anyone who has the option is crazy not to".

That's the middle class. I can even begin to imagine what life is like for really poor families where the minimum wage can only cover about a third of the cost of the basic economic basket, while government after government keeps them in unskilled ignorance by failing to invest in education, it explains (although doesn't justify) the rise in crime.
 

Rocky

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Read my post again CAREFULLY, Rocky. If you do you will see that I said that under Mejia bankruptcy was imminent and fiscal irresponsibility was rampant. However my point was and is that taxes has risen to an intolerable level by the business community and most all other costs have gone through the roof making the DR NO LONGER competetive with many other comparable countries. Even DR-CAFTA will not be able to address this imbalance within 5 years despite built in fiscal reform as just stated at the breakfast table this morning by a very good friend who has been part of the DR-CAFTA team from the very beginning and is spending the weekend here with us. We too were affected by the fiscal deficiencies of the Mejia administration but the bottom line is that regardless of what happened, we were still better off at the end of the year when we counted up what was left over. And finally, to blame the current administration's heavy-handed taxation increases on repairing previous fiscal damage is ludicrous when you consider the amount of funds disappearing down ratholes like the Metro despite record tax collections far, FAR exceeding the government's projected revenues,...again part of this morning's breakfast fare. You would not believe the amount of money we're talking about here.
I lack economist skills, so cannot enter into an intelligent debate, except to say that I do recognize that our present government squanders money and has it's share of corruption.
Despite that, I was ecstatic to see Hippo go, and was painfully aware that hard times were awaiting us, if this country's economy was to be saved, so I am more tolerant of the reigning regime, as we at least have a potential future.
I'm here for the long run and I don't want to see my slice of paradise disappear.
Everytime I'm hurting because of increased costs & taxation, I try to remember all the good deals I got when the pesos was out of control with ole' baldy.
 

Andy B

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Chiri, this is EXACTLY what I'm talking about: costs versus returns. I forgot to add to my last post that another guest at the hotel this morning said that DESPITE earning about 4 TIMES as much now as during Hippo's reign, he's barely able to keep his head above water. He and his working wife are part of SD's sinking middle class you are referring to.
 

Don Juan

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Dec 5, 2003
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Tallman suggested we elect Candelier to combat crime! What do you think about that??
 

suarezn

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Tallman suggested we elect Candelier to combat crime! What do you think about that??

I think that's another case of "careful what you wish for". While Candelier has a reputation for being tough, I don't think he's clean. He's got fortunes which are out of par with the jobs he's held...that wealth came from somewhere.

We all know the real reason why crime is up in The DR. It's drugs, in case you didn't know...Unfortunately I think we're too far gone and won't be able to control this for a long time. It will control itself after many years (like it did in The US) and after many of the users / pushers die off. I think the drug epidemic is just beginning hasn't reached its height by a long stretch. For instance the other day someone mentioned that Crystal Meth has not been introduced to the market yet. It is just a matter of time...I cringe just to think what's coming our way.

I can tell you that a few years back I was 100% certain that I would retire to The DR. With that in mind I built a house and started getting ready to setup some kind of business. Now after my house has been broken into twice, plus all these "laws" (bars closing at 12:00, police setting up roadblocks everywhere, etc) I'm reconsidering my retirement down there and possibly looking at some warm place in The US (i.e. Florida) or maybe even some other country like Costa Rica.

I just don't feel as safe down there anymore. I now sleep as the say "with one eye open and the finger on trigger". In addition the loss of some of those freedoms you guys discussed earlier just makes it not as desirable to visit or live there. Here in The US you have that lack of freedom, but at least you get order, cleanliness, good services, etc...so you're more willing to put up with it.

I may still retire to The DR. At this point I have a wait and see attitude as I have at least 7/8 more years to early retirement. Unfortunately Leonel will win again so I don't foresee any change other than more "laws" being enacted to control people and more taxes for the next 4/5 years....
 

Tallman1680

On Vacation
Oct 7, 2006
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Pedro de Jesus Candelier is the only person can step up to the challange and fix the corruction and crime down in our beautiful DR. Unfortunaley most of us Dominicans only listen to guys with a Trujillo like image, only fear of another Trujillo can bring back the peace and conform a lot us remember in DR.
Candelier has that image (Trujillo) and can fix things up here, he has a proven track record in crimen control and reduction.
 

suarezn

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Feb 3, 2002
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Pedro de Jesus Candelier is the only person can step up to the challange and fix the corruction and crime down in our beautiful DR. Unfortunaley most of us Dominicans only listen to guys with a Trujillo like image, only fear of another Trujillo can bring back the peace and conform a lot us remember in DR.
Candelier has that image (Trujillo) and can fix things up here, he has a proven track record in crimen control and reduction.

Hmmm...just what we need. Another Trujillo, except with Candelier we would be getting a not so clean Trujillo.

Candelier's record was good on protecting the environment, but he does not have such a good record against crime. Remember he was chief of police and in spite many extra judicial executions (Intercambio de disparos) crime continued to increase dramatically.
 

manunut

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Nov 17, 2006
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harder and harder......

its a damm sight harder to turn a buck these days compared to 10 yrs ago.
exploitation of workers foreign and local is rife by greedy foreign and local employers but they are allowed to get away with it.
something really should be done about that NOW.
most of the freedoms IMO seem more or less the same old.
stopping dogs walking ,running pestering and crapping all over the beach is one less freedom i can live with.anywhere in the world,especially if you have young children.