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Thread: Recession of 2008 and impact on the DR

  1. #3541
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    Quote Originally Posted by playacaribe2 View Post
    Chip:

    Sorry to disappoint you...but...many of the other "agendas" here have to do with a little balance to Pichardo's photo arrays and his constant PR posts, and his responses that some of us view as being but a small part of the "real" DR. But, I actually think he enjoys his role here as head cheerleader.
    LOL, I agree.

    There have been many of us in the recession thread who have pushed back when Pichardo has tried to tell us how we don't know how "biz" works in the DR....and that even though the malls are empty, that is not not how those store owners really make their money. Or that the DR is on a gold standard with its currency, or that IMF is the DR's banker because they give better terms, or that all the schools will have laptops and be wired for internet, or that the DR soon will not need Chavez' subsidized oil because soon those new biomass fuel plants will be ready and every car will run on ethanol made from sugarcane, or that the peso will soon be 25:1 against the dollar, or the DR has never defaulted on its debt, or......
    I enjoy reading your posts and comment on them not to instruct you because you know all I write from your own economic experience but to add to the wealth of economic knowledge already presented. This thread began nicely but as usual it has degenerated into nonsensical name calling. Once I've added some comments to your insightful post, I'll be moseying back onto the RECESSION thread the place I have made my resident home, LOL. On second thought, I'll take this post and answer over there where the noise level is low, the sparrows are singing and the air is fresh. This thread has outlived its usefulness.

    Exactly, when progress comes at the expense of the macro-economic stability of a nation then collapse and ruin is at the end of that path. For 30 years there has been a push towards modernization of the Dominican state. This modernization has accelerated at break neck speed in the Leonel Fdnz period. Many view this as a sign that the best times are ahead yet it has come with a price. That price has been the progressive destruction of the DR currency namely the peso and as a result inflation.

    They have sacrificed the medium of exchange in exchange for infrastructure and modernity. This will end badly. As the peso continues to deteriorate it can only put more pressure on the majority. Their wages will stagnate, may rise some but can never rise to the point of meeting inflation. As the working classes lose more purchasing power, the state can continue at break neck speed with its building projects. As the peso weakens, the state can continue on its agenda of more roads, more bridges and more trains.

    Its funny but the state can continue on its path of so called economic growth to the point that those it is alleged to help will be unable to afford anything. In other words, their purchasing power will be so crushed that it will be little solace to see all the trains that are running and roads that have been constructed. The state calls that progress. As long as buildings are going up then the DR is doing just fine. It's a Pyrrhic victory.

    Any attempt to defend the peso will be met by an immediate recession leading to a depression. Its an inverse relationship. If the peso were to be stabilized it would be met by a severe contraction within the DR economy. As the OP has conclusively shown small to medium businesses are in the toilet bowl having to accept a secondary payment default option in order to secure some sales, some invoices, some purchases. That's no sign of a dynamic economy. That's more a sign of trying to hold the dam together which is about to burst.

    Some great perspective has been given by the OP in his day to day business dealings here in the DR. Additionally, Shalena has added her two three or four centavos on the state of some of the hospitals. These are counter weights to the pie in the sky claims and photos Pichardo would like us all to believe.
    Most definitely!!! I enjoyed the OP posts greatly. He is in direct contact with these medium to small businesses because he tries to sell them ad-time. He conclusively has shown how the business environment has deteriorated and business sentiment has all but collapsed. The only entity actually doing anything is the state itself and we all know how that has come about. It's been through an endless array of loan schemes, bond placements, IMF aid, etc. They've been facilitated in an oil for food program reminiscent of Iraq. They've received cold cash through remittances.

    The reality that there is any upper class at all within the DR has been enabled by all of these aid programs. If the DR had to pay for fuel in dollars, there would hardly be an SUV on the road like it used to be. Gasoline would so expensive that there would be a very small fraction of vehicles on the road today. And that's when gasoline would be available. There would be massive shortages. The DR rich have no reason to look down on the DR poor. Thanks to the poor and their remittances from the US the exchange rate is much lower than what it would be if there were no remittances coming in. The DR rich should thank the DR poor but don't.

    Pick likes to harp on how much more there is now versus Trujillo's time. It's for one simple reason and that's the differences between the two. You have a million Dominicans sending dollars and euros back home. Back when Trujillo you had none. You have free gasoline today from Chavez. Back then you had none. You have IMF aid that always comes in to save the day. Back then you had none. If you subtract these aid programs the DR would resemble Trujillo's DR with very little goods, few cars and a much smaller economy. That's the difference.

    It's the support that the DR receives today versus yesterday. It's what has created the conditions for so many vehicles to be on the road, houses to be built, govt projects to go through. Without it you would have few to no cars on the road. The exchange rate would be through the roof without the influx of remittance dollars and IMF aid to keep it at its level. Even though with all this, it is declining to zero despite all the support it has received. It just shows you how wasteful the govt is. Remove the support and you have Trujillo's DR once again.

    Pictures of malls, johnny rockets, Wendy's etc., are but a small part of the DR and do not come close to supporting his dynamic economy theory. In fact, he may be acting unwittingly like many of those Dominicans returning home who toil all year for their one chance to impress everyone with how successful they have become in America. You know, the ones who arrive wearing borrowed jewelry with lots of photos of "their" new Lexus that belongs to someone else, spending money like they are rico....all to return to the US to slave away for another year to do it again. That is what Pichardo's photos remind me of. They are the facade to the real DR.
    It's a silly proposition but it's a fact. Dominicans fake it to impress.

    The real DR as many of us have pointed out, is a country taking on more and more debt without a plan. They have a borrow, spend and pretend mentality. Yes they have everything Pichardo's pictures point to, but below the surface they are playing a pretend game.....like oh so many of those returning Dominicans at Christmas.
    This is an incredible truth. Despite all the support it receives the DR economy is still unable to produce a viable economy which grows based on savings and investments. It just goes to show you despite millions upon millions coming in remittances, all the dollars it does not have to use for fuel imports, all the dollars as a result has not prevented the DR from tacking on a massive amount of loans. This will sooner than later crimp the DR in the arse big time.

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  3. #3542
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    In the coming weeks, J. P. Bottega of the Santa Cruz Sheriff's Office plans to donate out of date police gear to police in the Dominican Republic as part of a wider effort to help police there.

    It includes gas masks, black riot helmets, radio holders and bulletproof vests.
    See something doesn't add up here. On the one hand, you have Pick and Nails posting pretty pictures of the new DR. They love to showcase this new and improved DR by clearly selecting views of the capital which back up their claims. You'd think from their clearly selective vetting process you were looking at a European capital and not the DR. The problem is that those pics don't go hand in hand with today's DR1 news clip where the DR police are viewed as beggars by the international community.

    The DR police are on the receiving end of handouts in the form of used police equipment the type which is discarded into the garbage can if it were in the USA. Don't get me wrong I see the donations as a noble effort but it points to the true nature of the Dominican state. The DR state can build roads, bridges and the like because it comes from loans that define the usage of the lent money. The DR state has no means or money to equip the DR police, at least all of them, with modern equipment nor pay them a decent wage.

    You might get a new SUV here and there but the fact that ex-pats and retired US Dominicans residing in the DR see the need to give tells all. The DR police like the firefighters (are there any???) earn a pittance of a wage and to add insult to injury have no means to combat crime effectively nor put out fires. If your house catches on fire rely on 19th century modes of extinguishing fires. Neighbors will form a chain of delivery as one water filled bucket gets passed onto another. Of course, if there are buckets available and water which usually is not the case.

    It doesn't end there. The poverty within the DR is so great that there is a market for used cleaned out paint buckets. Yes, the paint buckets which are discarded here into the garbage can has a market in the DR. You see these are used to carry water and bathe in. Since the ruined finances of the DR state are so great, they have not the means of providing pressurized water to its inhabitants. We are talking those of the capital. The rest of the country is basically a fend for yourself mentality. If you need assistance from the state, expect a "ese es tu problema" solution. But let me return to the police for now.

    Leon Alter, president of the International Law and Security Association, has been organizing the donations from New York City police, Canadian law enforcement and other agencies. The small group has former military members from several counties who now live in Cabarete.

    Alter said the group is trying to help police because they lack sufficient government funding.

    "The local police here earn approximately $150 per month and can barely pay for their own food, let alone a pair of handcuffs or a bulletproof vest, wrote Alter. "We are doing our best to outfit and improve the manner in which the local police operate."
    It's a noble effort but one which will not resolve permanently their crisis. The DR police like the firefighters and most civil servants do not have the means to carry out their job efficiently. This is more than proof that the DR state is bankrupt. The IMF will not lend money to states to meet payroll. They will tell the state what the money is to be used for. In the DR's case it is to stabilize the exchange rate in the form of correcting their balance of payments deviations and other technical macro-economic concerns. Meeting payroll is not one of them.

    If the DR state could borrow money to meet payroll they most definitely would. It would be the greatest marketing ploy to ensure votes. But, they can't. There is no money lenders that would lend the DR state money to meet payroll week after week and month after month. I mean at that point it would be quite obvious that the state is truly bankrupt. That would lay bare the reality of the DR govt. So, those matters are conveniently shoved under the rug. If no one in the intl. community sees this they can keep getting loans for their trains, roads and bridges.

    These monies come from development entities be them public or private. The DR state is assisted internationally to develop its infrastructure. They don't have the means to build from what they produce nationally because generally speaking they produce very little. If their income was sufficient, they wouldn't have to be soliciting so many loans be it aid or otherwise. You'll get some income from sugar, agro-goods, tourism and the like but the bulk of their sustenance comes from international handouts like remittance money and free gasoline from Chavez.

    Oh and of course IMF aid that has to come in perpetually so as to keep preventing a collapse of the DR state. They always come in when the time is right and ripe for such an event. The DR state is in a perpetual near collapse state. The IMF aid given is proof of this. It always happens time and time again ever since the first currency collapse in the mid '80's when the peso in a matter of weeks went from parity to 1/3 its value.

    The IMF prevents an all out collapse by infusing the state which much needed currency because without it it would fall flat on its face. So the next time you see some pretty pictures of how well the DR state is progressing remember the little ole police force who doesn't earn enough to even feed themselves adequately. It's not their fault. This just points to the true nature of the DR state and its covered up bankrupt nature. It can't stand on its own two feet. It is but one example. Pick any govt institution or dependency and you'll see the same.

    Pick is right about one thing though. In Trujillo's time you had none of what you have today. Yes, back then you didn't have all those pretty pictures that Pick posts. You couldn't. Trujillo would have been embarrassed to accept so much money from international aid agencies. He would have not taken IMF money either. I think the IMF began after WW2? He would have felt like a beggar in his inability to create a state that lived within its means.

    Today's DR cares nothing of the sort. It has its hand out to everything that comes its way. That's why the Trujillo DR was much smaller as compared to today even when accounting for population. Also, a collapsing world economy has taken rates to near zero and money is widely abundant unlike in those past time periods. So, a combination of factors not present in Trujillo's time accounts for "stellar" growth.

    Despite all that, Trujillo with what the DR produced did many public works and built the DR from a collection of cacique run fiefdoms into a modern unified and centralized state. Of course per Pick the poverty levels were greater but there was no one in the exterior sending remittance money. There was no one living in Nueba Yol sending money to build homes, open up businesses that go bust within a year. You had few vehicles because gasoline was not given freely like Chavez does in exchange for black beans and moldy pasta. That's the difference.

    So the next time you view pics of towers and trains running in the background keep in mind the true state of the Dominican state. They look beautiful. I love to look at it but that doesn't change one iota what is really going on behind the scenes. If building high-rises and trains solved the socio-economic ills of a nation, you'd scant have a poor nation around. It doesn't. These add debt to the total stock of debt that's already out there. They can't change the debt levels which continue rising. They can't stop the peso from going to zero. They can't stop food prices from rising and they produce employment for a time only.

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  5. #3543
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    Yup! Suuuuuuure! We're still waiting for Doom and Gloom since 1/15/2008 *when this thread got started...

    Let's see 1/15/2009? DR still here!

    Hmmmm... 1/15/2010? Nope! Still going!

    Ehhhh! 1/15/2011?!? Nice try! But no!

    Hah! 1/15/2012?!!!! Exports growing faster than Imports! Nope! Still strong!

    We're closing in fast to 1/15/2013! Hey! Maybe the 13th is the bad luck year? I doubt! We don't have that superstition here!

    Oh! Wait! Ain't the world as we know it supposed to finito by this year end anyhow? Nahhh! We Dominicans are too ignorant to know about Incas, Mayas or Aztecs's stuff... Let alone their super duper calendar...

    Keep trying! Who knows!

    A US meltdown and not much happened here...
    A EU meltdown and not much happened here...

    A country that's moving fast and furious from Oil as means of transportation, energy production and commerce? Come the Oil shock from war elsewhere, we'll weather the storm as usual. After all we were born with on/off power as a matter of daily life here, unlike a lot of other better positioned countries!

    The US is facing a major crops crisis from the record hot temperatures... The DR is a breadbasket!

    You can now buy a certified Dominican melon in Japan!

    Very soon the DR will produce its first factory line manufactured and assembled vehicle in the country! Don't let it shock you to death!

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    ONEC president Antonio Ramos stresses the illegality of the imports in violation of Law 458 that dates back to 1973. He said that the business of importing used clothing increased from 1,800 tons in 2005 to 22,000 in 2011, enough to fill 1,200 containers.
    And here I thought that the DR was according to Pick and Nails actually decreasing poverty rates and growing at a breakneck speed. Well, actually not! I like many others here know the truth. Poverty has not decreased but increased along with the increase in population. If the DR poverty rate was actually decreasing you'd see a marked decrease in the importation of used clothing. Not only has the rate increased but it has done it at a rate well over 1000%. The amount of used clothing in a mere 6 years has grown over ten times.

    The funny thing about all this is that most if not all occurred during the miracle years of the LF regime allegedly when all that supposed growth occurred. Like I've said before the growth was not real in the sense that it is all debt based. Money is borrowed by the govt and spent into the economy. This gets added as a positive GDP report. The problem is that the liability side is not counted. That debt money subtracts from future economic growth by subtracting money which can be used to grow the economy and instead is used to pay down the debt, if that.

    Most of the time more debt is necessary to pay back previous debt. It is rolled over which is fine in an environment of falling rates. When the game changes a rising rate spells doom for a nation thoroughly reliant on debt to fuel growth. That's when it all ends. So what pretty pictures Pick posts are a result of all the debt the govt has tacked on. With this report it is obvious that the general population does not have any discretionary income being dependent on the cheapest means to clothe themselves.

    "This is not about trying to help poor families, as some would like to make it seem," he said. He said that this practice contravenes the DR-CAFTA agreement. "We are not against dad sending clothes to his daughters. We are against the trade that also destroys small businesses," he said.
    Well more proof that there is no thriving and dynamic economic engine but a nation which grows when debt is obtained. As long as the money spigots are turned on the economy grows. When the money spigots are turned off the economy chokes. Of course those money spigots are available for the govt only. Small business is facing exsanguination as the used clothing business if allowed to continue will in the words of ONEC president be destroyed.

    Totally surreal and unbelievable!!! When an established sector of the economy such as small businesses feels threatened by such a low income market such as used clothes, it tells how depressed small business is. Small business constitutes a major piece of the economic pie. If that slice is threatened with destruction by an informal sector then it tells you how the general economy is truly doing. It is in a depression and all we await is final collapse.

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  8. #3545
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onions/Carrots View Post
    Totally surreal and unbelievable!!! When an established sector of the economy such as small businesses feels threatened by such a low income market such as used clothes, it tells how depressed small business is. Small business constitutes a major piece of the economic pie. If that slice is threatened with destruction by an informal sector then it tells you how the general economy is truly doing. It is in a depression and all we await is final collapse.
    Furthermore, it tells you all you need to know about the economic viability of said offical small business........ that they can be put out of business when someone sends reasonable quality used clothing over.

    I cannot fathom why those same small businesses have not filled that gap themselves a long time ago, actually fulfilling an apparent economic and societal need, instead of ripping off the populace with cheap and bad quality clothing from 4th rate manufacturers.

    Now they start crying when their offically sanctioned ripoff is about to become untenable... if it wasn't so depressing it would be hilarious.

    This is exactly the kind of thinking that makes the COL in the DR much higher than in many 1st world countries
    Last edited by MerengueDutchie; 08-07-2012 at 05:00 AM. Reason: spelling

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  10. #3546
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    I agree almost completely with O and C about the scenario here but do not agree about the collapse.

    The underground, illegal economy - the drug money, prostitution, illegal gambling, arms sales, trafficing money has to find a way back into the system... and that is not going to collapse.

    and the DR is a perfect place to do the laundry.

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    Over half of Dominican workers earn less than RD$10,000

    While the National Congress discusses the bill on public salaries, which will increase the wage bill for state bureaucracy, according to data from the Social Security Treasury (TSS), as reported by Diario Libre, 53.6% of Dominican workers earn less than RD$10,000 a month.

    The data showed that as at June this year, the social security system had a registry of 1,390,286 workers, of whom 745,528 earned salaries under RD$10,000.

    There were 237,540 employees earning between RD$10,001 and RD$15,000, which was an increase of 10.32% over last year and represents 17% of total employees.

    Earning between RD$15,001 and RD$20,000 were 115,977 employees, an increase of 2.31% and 8.3% of the total.

    There were 73,829 earning between RD$20,001 and RD$25,000 which represented a decrease of -4.17% over the same period last year, whereas those earning over RD$25,000, some 217,412 employees, showed the biggest increase at 17.55% and represent 15.6% of the total.

    According to TSS data, the number of business registered in the system had increased by 3,174 to 45,720 with the biggest growth in the small business sector.

    According to economist Miguel Ceara Hatton, as the average size of a Dominican household is 3.7 people, household income below RD$16,000 a month should be considered as poverty, and below RD$7,086 as extreme poverty.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



    Je je je!!! Keep this above in mind for when we move to the e-currency! When employers can't any longer pay and report to their benefit for their employee's share of taxes and mandated benefits!

    Long will be gone the bonuses, the off the check envelops, etc... LOL!!!

    Notice how registered biz went with the biggest growth in the small business sector! These guys are the bulk of the lion's share in unpaid taxes and employee benefits!

    Notice how the 25,000 and up has moved up in reporting as impresoras fiscales and payroll accounts are now audited for medium and large companies unlike before!

    The next step for DGII is to target from the medium to small biz sectors! First the impresoras and then the payrolls!

    Watch and learn!

    But the real nail in the coffin will be the move to e-currency! There will be no hiding! LOL!!!

    Now check this:


    0. Poverty: USD$316 or less to live like 10.4% of these households
    1. Low income: USD$527 to 922 to live like 30.6% of these households
    2. Low middle class: USD$922 to 1,186 to live like 13% of these households
    3. Middle class: USD$1,186 to 4,216 to live like 26% of these households
    4. Upper middle class: USD$ 4,216 to 6,588 to live like 13% of these households
    5. Upper class: USD$6,588 to 26,351 to live like 5% of these households
    6. Rich/wealthy: USD$26,351 + to live like 2% of these households


    "According to economist Miguel Ceara Hatton, as the average size of a Dominican household is 3.7 people, household income below RD$16,000 a month should be considered as poverty, and below RD$7,086 as extreme poverty. "

  13. #3548
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    Now if you want to have fun with data:

    Clase alta: 6% de la población (570,000 personas / 142,500 hogares). (2009)
    (Here they use 4.03 people per HH)


    5. Upper class: USD$6,588 to 26,351 to live like 5% of these households (2011)
    6. Rich/wealthy: USD$26,351 + to live like 2% of these households (2011)


    5 + 6 = 7%

    Clase media-alta: 17% de la población (1.6 millones de personas / 400,000 hogares).
    (Here they use 4 people per HH)


    4. Upper middle class: USD$ 4,216 to 6,588 to live like 13% of these households


    Clase media: 20% de la población (1.9 millones de personas / 475,000 hogares).
    (Here they use 4 people per HH)


    3. Middle class: USD$1,186 to 4,216 to live like 26% of these households


    ***And here is where they fused the LOW MIDDLE INCOME with the LOW INCOME class:

    Clase baja: 47% de la población (4.5 millones de personas / 1,125,000 hogares).

    (Here they use 4 people per HH)


    1. Low income: USD$527 to 922 to live like 30.6% of these households
    2. Low middle class: USD$922 to 1,186 to live like 13% of these households

    47% - 13% = 34% (2009)



    Indigencia: 10% de la población (950,000 personas / 237,500 hogares).
    (Here they use 4 people per HH)


    0. Poverty: USD$316 or less to live like 10.4% of these households


    ---------------------------------------------------


    1,390,286 workers total reported to the TSS


    In wages under RD$10,000 were745,528employees = 3.7 PPHH = 201,494 HHs

    RD$10,001 and RD$15,000 were 237,540 employees = 3.7 PPHH = 64,200 HHs

    RD$15,001 and RD$20,000 were 115,977 employees = 3.7 PPHH = 31,345 HHs

    RD$20,001 and RD$25,000 were 73,829 employees = 3.7 PPHH = 19,953 HHs

    In wages of over RD$25,000 were 217,412 employees = 3.7 PPHH = 58,760 HHs

    Totals of households accounted under reported formula as of TSS =
    375,752 HHS


    Total real account of Households as of census = 2,380,000


    Difference of totals on HHS = a lot!

    Now read up and see that the real DR economy is largely informal, much bigger than the formal and tax reporting one!

    Check how HHS with two low income waged breadwinners of 10,000 pesos for a total of RD$20,000 a month = USD$ 500's:

    1. Low income: USD$527 to 922 to live like 30.6% of these households

    Check how HHS with two breadwinners on the 10 to 15 bring in some 30,000 home = 700's USD.

    2. Low middle class: USD$922 to 1,186 to live like 13% of these households

    Check how limiting the breadwinners to only two in a HH of the 40,000 = 1,000's USD.

    3. Middle class: USD$1,186 to 4,216 to live like 26% of these households

    Check how limiting the breadwinners to only two in a HH of 50,000 = 1,300's USD.

    3. Middle class: USD$1,186 to 4,216 to live like 26% of these households

    Check how limiting the breadwinners to only two in a HH of over the one before = Anything from above this!

    4. Upper middle class: USD$ 4,216 to 6,588 to live like 13% of these households
    5. Upper class: USD$6,588 to 26,351 to live like 5% of these households
    6. Rich/wealthy: USD$26,351 + to live like 2% of these households

    Notice how I limited the breadwinners in each HH to an absolute 2 and not the reality of HHs in the DR which is 3 or more!

    If you only add an extra income in each one, you'll see the changes right away.

    Another aspect is the informal economy, the one that does not report to the TSS or taxes for that matter. The ones that don't carry out banking transactions, keep payrolls or report anything at all.

    This is by far the largest economic sector in the DR!

    Add to that the well embedded art of tax evasion in the DR!

  14. #3549
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    Je je je... Se quedaron calculando con los dedos! LOL!!!

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    Default "PEE" Expells more "$HIT" Than A "Christmas Goose"!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Can I say that on DR1??????
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