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Old 23-09-2014, 14:20   #91
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

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Originally Posted by Reiziger View Post
Average assets per citizen, seems that house owner ship plays a big role. I know that the percentage house owners is high in Switserland and the US. In The Netherlands lots of the houses are rented.
Well, ownership in the US is largely little equity. If it's a $150,000 home and you owe $140,000 on it, that's hardly a sign of wealth. I don't necessarily consider the person making payments of $1200 per month plus $300 property taxes plus maintenance to be better off than the renter at $1500 per month.
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Old 24-09-2014, 03:50   #92
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

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Originally Posted by Wrong View Post
Whether you pay bribes or tips and visit places requiring you hire an agent is your choice. But your payments and visiting places where using an agent is mandatory affects others who follow in your path.
OTOH - Arrive well armed with the documentation on what you are "supposed" to pay, understand the rules of entry and exit, meet those rules and it is possible they do not "extort" you because there are easier fish to fry coming along soon...

However, a "facilitating" payment for "express" service may also get you along your way without undue waiting time...
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Old 24-09-2014, 06:32   #93
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

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Well, ownership in the US is largely little equity. If it's a $150,000 home and you owe $140,000 on it, that's hardly a sign of wealth. I don't necessarily consider the person making payments of $1200 per month plus $300 property taxes plus maintenance to be better off than the renter at $1500 per month.
Oweing nearly as much as something is worth, is foolish.
Some are, but not all are fools, there are more fools than there used to be.
Has a lot to do I think with buying new boats, new cars etc. Almost always people that buy new aren't buying, they are financing.
Funny thing is not that long ago, you weren't thought of owning something if you were making payments on it, wonder when that changed?
If you don't posses the title, then you don't own it
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Old 24-09-2014, 06:53   #94
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

Owning your own ocean-going boat = Freedom

Debt = lack of freedom

Financing a boat = ?
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Old 24-09-2014, 07:07   #95
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

I have long agonised over what constitutes a Bribe.

After 20 years, I have come to the conclusion that a bribe is something that facilitates a service or goods that is over and above what a person is entitled to.

A gift or payment that facilitates the receiving of a service that is yours by right or every day use, but is held up until said offering is made, is not a bribe. You are gaining nothing extra for the payment. Its an extraction that allows your day to move forward.

Example, When I worked in Zaire, (Belgian Congo) the miltary and Police are not paid for their services. So once a month "security check road blocks" would spring up. Sometimes from my office to the centre of town there would be 5 or more. We would pull up and they would ever so slowly look around the vehicle till one of us would say......."Its a hot day... here buy yourself some drinks" and give them a dollar.. we would be waved on to the next security point run by either the police or army.......

If we had to collect supplies that had been unloaded on the docks, we would have made friends with a couple of the security guys and be sure to make sure they had plenty of money to have a drink on us.... or else we might not see our cargo for weeks.

Is it fair? Life isnt fair. These guys had nothing. One of my colleagues once argued and asked for the head police officer only to find the police officer he was talking to was the head police officer.

Some days it would get you down. Some things you cant fight. The difficult bit is knowing when to, and in the end, in some countries, you aint gonna win and life is cheap.
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Old 24-09-2014, 07:08   #96
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

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Oweing nearly as much as something is worth, is foolish.
Some are, but not all are fools, there are more fools than there used to be.
Has a lot to do I think with buying new boats, new cars etc. Almost always people that buy new aren't buying, they are financing.
Funny thing is not that long ago, you weren't thought of owning something if you were making payments on it, wonder when that changed?
If you don't posses the title, then you don't own it
Definitely not wise but in the past 5 years over 25% of mortgages have been behind in payments, over 25% of houses upside down. We were under the illusion property prices always rose and buying houses with 3-5% or even no money down was common.

So the numbers in the chart are really misleading. In reality there is little ownership and lots of debt in this country. And it's prevalent from the person stretching to buy their first small house to the Athlete who finances his $5 million home.

Interesting Forbes article compared the US to China. While average income was much higher here are some shocking ratios. In both countries average assets were 8 x income. But average debt in the US was 136% of income compared to 17% in China. If you count federal debt that makes it 266%. 85% of Chinese owned a home but only 11% had mortgages. 69% in US owned homes but 70% have mortgages. Less than 1% of Chinese had consumer loans while 47% of US had installment loans and 46% had credit card balances. Only 12% of Chinese owned cars but only 6% of those financed the cars so 0.7% of the population. 75-90% of US new cars are financed. Go back three, four or five generations in the US and it probably looks a lot more like the Chinese picture.

It's the same in business too. In some countries people save and then open a small business. In the US nearly every small business is saddled with heavy debt. We buy small businesses and the vast majority of them are businesses that can be profitable but not with the debt the owner has on them. The owner isn't even getting paid for their work. So we can buy the business and it's profitable while the previous owner can pay their debt off and work for us and make more money than they did. It's not complicated. If 80% of a business investment is borrowed money, then 80% of the profits are going to go to pay the interest. But then you must add in debt repayment so soon you find 120% of the profits go to the lender.

You're so correct that you're not the owner if you owe money on it. You may be a very small minority owner. You no more own the house that you finance 97% of the purchase price than you do a rental.
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Old 24-09-2014, 07:50   #97
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

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I have long agonised over what constitutes a Bribe.

After 20 years, I have come to the conclusion that a bribe is something that facilitates a service or goods that is over and above what a person is entitled to.
Yep, that pretty much sums it up.
One thing you gotta remember though and I think this is gets to the point of the rest of your post that I cut out.

Your in their country, you may be playing ball with them, but they own the ball, the playing field and the referee.
You really think your going to win? You can play, yes, but win?
I often do the stupid American routine, often like Raindog says, they get frustrated and move on. Then I learned to get an agent, then I can just sit back, smile and act stupid, let the agent earn their money, lot less stess, just never be in a hurry.

It's not just the "Turd" world either. A few years ago I was exporting an aircraft and CBP had determined that I had to clear out of the CBP office in Miami international, I couldn't use the office in Ft Pierce like I had in the past. So off to Miami international I went in my crop duster to clear. On arriving after standing in line when I got to the desk, I was asked for my cargo manifest, I answered of course it's not a cargo airplane, there is no cargo. I was informed that they had decided the aircraft was it's own cargo therefore I needed a cargo manifest and of course those had to be filed in advance. I should go over to the passenger side of the ramp and obtain a export agent. I didn't take the hint, next was where is your passenger manifest? My answer is there is only one seat, how could I have a passenger? There answer was they had determined that the pilot is a passenger and of course passenger manifests have to be filed in advance, I need to go get me an export agent. Obviously the export agent was a friend or something and I was being told that if I paid their friend, I would get to go. Long story short, there was eventually a shift change, the new guy in charge was Retired Navy, he and I did the Retired Military thing, and poof all my paperwork was in order.
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Old 24-09-2014, 09:18   #98
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

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I have long agonised over what constitutes a Bribe.

After 20 years, I have come to the conclusion that a bribe is something that facilitates a service or goods that is over and above what a person is entitled to.

Yes! When I order food, I expect - NO! - I am ENTITLED to delivery of the food. This is hilarious, no?!?

Remember, in countries that pay reasonable wages, you don't pay extra to actually receive food in a restaurant. The diner is entitled to expect delivery of the ordered food. The price in the menu INCLUDES delivery to the table.

But if a country has a strange system where the employer does not pay a reasonable wage, then the client is expected to cover the wage shortfall, and, ok, the diner pays for the delivery, with a smile, of the edible goods from kitchen to table. Fair enough! It is a very special situation. In special countries.

The citizens of those special countries now export their system around the world. Even to those countries which have free health care, free education and a minimum wage of $19/hour. They change the expectations and cultures. Like sanctimonious missionaries in the Pacific in the 1800s.

And the law of unintended consequences, as always, has a terrible habit of striking! Beware!
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Old 24-09-2014, 09:22   #99
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

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Yes! When I order food, I expect - NO! - I am ENTITLED to delivery of the food. This is hilarious, no?!?

Remember, in countries that pay reasonable wages, you don't pay extra to actually receive food in a restaurant. The diner is entitled to expect delivery of the ordered food. The price in the menu INCLUDES delivery to the table.

But if a country has a strange system where the employer does not pay a reasonable wage, then the client is expected to cover the wage shortfall, and, ok, the diner pays for the delivery, with a smile, of the edible goods from kitchen to table. Fair enough! It is a very special situation. In special countries.

The citizens of those special countries now export their system around the world. Even to those countries which have free health care, free education and a minimum wage of $19/hour. They change the expectations and cultures. Like sanctimonious missionaries in the Pacific in the 1800s.

And the law of unintended consequences, as always, has a terrible habit of striking! Beware!
er...
ok.
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Old 24-09-2014, 10:34   #100
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

Bummer! Alas, there are "crooks" everywhere, luv! The U.S. (and other) government is laden with them, they just hide it (sometimes) a little better than other countries!

Also, I've found it incredibly helpful to- whilst traveling- have a working knowledge of languages (you don't have to be fluent!) other than English as it will a) get you SO much further when dealing with pretty much anyone you need or want to, b) it is respectful and c) people round the globe shouldn't be required or expected to speak English. Much aloha! Best in your continuing journeys out there!
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Old 24-09-2014, 11:14   #101
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

bribe

1 : money or favor given or promised in order to influence the judgment or conduct of a person in a position of trust
2 : something that serves to induce or influence

Verb:
Main Entry: bribe
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): bribed; brib·ing
Date: 1528

transitive verb : to induce or influence by or as if by bribery
intransitive verb : to practice bribery

Bribery

The offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of something of value for the purpose of influencing the action of an official in the discharge of his or her public or legal duties.The expectation of a particular voluntary action in return is what makes the difference between a bribe and a private demonstration of goodwill. To offer or provide payment in order to persuade someone with a responsibility to betray that responsibility is known as seeking Undue Influence over that person's actions. When someone with power seeks payment in exchange for certain actions, that person is said to be peddling influence. Regardless of who initiates the deal, either party to an act of bribery can be found guilty of the crime independently of the other.

A bribe can consist of immediate cash or of personal favors, a promise of later payment, or anything else the recipient views as valuable. When the U.S. military threatened to cancel a Texas relocation company's contracts to move families to and from military bases, the company allegedly gave four representatives in Congress an all-expenses-paid weekend in Las Vegas in January 1989, and $2,500 in speaking fees. The former president of the company was indicted by a federal Grand Jury in 1994 on bribery charges for both gifts.

No written agreement is necessary to prove the crime of bribery, but usually a prosecutor must show corrupt intent. Bribery charges may involve public officials or private individuals. In the world of professional sports, for example, one boxer might offer another a payoff to "throw" (deliberately lose) an important fight. In the corporate arena, a company could bribe employees of a rival company for recruitment services or other actions at odds with their employer's interests. Even when public officials are involved, a bribe does not need to be harmful to the public interest in order to be illegal.

When a public official accepts a bribe, he or she creates a conflict of interest. That is, the official cannot accommodate the interests of another party without compromising the responsibilities of her or his position.

There is not always consensus over what counts as a bribe. For instance, in many states and at the federal level, certain gifts and campaign contributions are not considered bribes and do not draw prosecution unless they can be linked to evidence of undue influence. In this regard, negative public perception of private contributions to elected officials as payola has caused most states to establish legislative ethics committees to review the public-private relationships of house and senate members. Furthermore, both houses of the U.S. Congress passed legislation in 1994 restricting gifts to no more than $20 in value.
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Old 24-09-2014, 12:03   #102
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

I contend what happens in most cases between cruisers and government officials in positions of authority is erroneously referred to as bribes. The officials who submit 'bills' with fee totals in excess of what is actually due are commiting theft. Officials demanding payment in order to perform their legal duties and obligations where their decision can benefit or deprive a sailor of a privelege to enter a country, and no other person gains or loses due to the decision, is exercising coercion in order to accrue personal financial gain. Sailors who arrive expecting this type of behaviour, who are prepared beforehand to pay are not offering a bribe. They are doing two things. First they are paying money they would not ordinarily have to pay in order to avoid coercion, not to influence the officials decision which normally rests upon an applicants eligibility to enter the country. Nationality, possession of required documents - visa, passport, vaccination records if required and vessel documentation - and in some cases record criminal convictions is all that's required. Demanding payment from cruisers with coercive threats, inferred or direct is another kind of theft, and paying brings no decision of the type normally expected through bribery. A favourable decision is not detrimental to anyone else, as for example would be the case if you win a contract bid through bribery and your competitor does not.

Second, cruisers who willingly pay in order to sidestep coercive behaviour they expect due to reports from others are facillitating the corruption. They are ensuring others to follow will face the same situation, and over time the 'price' we pay for officials to perform their legal responsibilities and duties goes up.

The whole matter of mandatory 'agency' is another can of worms.
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Old 24-09-2014, 12:15   #103
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

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bribe

------------------Snip---------------------------------------------

Second, cruisers who willingly pay in order to sidestep coercive behaviour they expect due to reports from others are facillitating the corruption. They are ensuring others to follow will face the same situation, and over time the 'price' we pay for officials to perform their legal responsibilities and duties goes up.

The whole matter of mandatory 'agency' is another can of worms.
Goodness. I think I said all that and gave an example in a quarter of the space above.

I dont "ensure" that anyone who follows me has been facilitated by a choice I made to obtain what I should have had regardless. He or she is perfectly able to make their own choice as to what their outcome will be in the situation. I will make mine based on the information I have, the necessity to move on and the threat to well being of my crew or colleagues and myself.

Sometimes you can kickback. Sometimes you cant. It never is as simple as a moral choice.

When the governments pay off the Pirates in Somalia, then you have to realise that a Colt 45 beats 4 Aces everytime.
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Old 24-09-2014, 12:31   #104
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

WOW!!!!!
Talk about a thread getting out of hand !!
I think many of the replies are from people that have not been faced with a boarding party with guns.
The mere suggestion of going to the persons Supervisor is totally wrong!
Remember you are in a third world country and the due process does not apply here especially in the DR. You do realize people do disappear in this country.
I just wanted to warn people that this is happening . Be careful and do what ever is needed to get past the demand for money over and beyond the normal receipt fees . Pay and do not try to get out of this demeaning action.
You can negoiate the fee if it is to high but pay.
Also be sure to offer a beverage to all officials and be friendly no matter
what the situation . Do not act offend or angry over demands of money .
That action will only make the matters worse.
Please be aware that many of the people that posted have not been in the DR . Each country is a little different .
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Old 24-09-2014, 12:41   #105
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

I have never been to the DR, but I have traveled extensively in Asia and some in the Middle East. What the OP describes is really a Third World phenomenon, nothing more. If you're planning to travel to "exotic" places, it's just par for the course. The poorer the country, the generally worse it is. I suspect it would have been worse if you'd made landfall in neighboring Haiti, for example.
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