The economy of the poor in 2023

That the Dominican economy, as reported by the Central Bank, grew 5% is not a lie, nor is it new, because on average it has been like that in the last 56 years, the issue is how much the GDP of the people has grown – not the GDP per capita – affected by an inflation rate above 8% this year, despite the 2% appreciation of the peso, something unusual – to the detriment of tourism, free zones and remittances – which only benefited those who were indebted in Dollars.

The small boat – called the Dominican Republic since 1844 – has weathered rough seas affected by the cold war, the devaluation of the dollar in the 1970s, oil price increases several times, world real estate crises, pandemics and miraculously exhibits positive indexes unexpected and its crew members, always complaining, today seem to be right when they comment on the issue of food and medicine prices, so the Government must pay attention to their complaints.

GDP as “the market value of all final goods and services produced using the factors of production available within a country in a given period,” is important, above all, to the government, the wealthy, professionals, and the upper middle class. who can adjust their income and thus improve their “personal GDP”, for the rest, subject to fixed income and on multiple occasions, to “no formal income”, inflation is the worst tax and the most serious calamity in a goaded society so that he consumes according to a pattern of rich people through the media and networks.

The Republic of 3.0 million inhabitants, rural, poor, isolated and illiterate, which fed from the conuco – in the fields – and from the “newspaper” with which food was purchased every day, no longer exists in the cities; now with 11.2 million, it is mostly urban and without places for domestic crops; its poor – in an open society with great external influence – have high consumption patterns and, although declared free of illiteracy and no one admits themselves as such, read and write – poorly – but upload photos to the network in bulk, although it rents for that clothing, otherwise, without that demonstration effect, the person believes that it does not exist.

If the national GDP is the sum of the goods produced by the country, let us consider as an example that the income produced by the work of a family is its family GDP; That amount and the possibility of getting into debt is all that is available for their monthly expenses, be they consumption, savings or investment: of course the majority – who have a basic or average income – do not have the capacity to save anything and to invest, much less .

The external crisis created, first by the pandemic and then by the war in Ukraine, which generated shortages and shortages that impact food prices – some produced in the conflict region, despite State subsidies – were felt throughout throughout 2022 when the price index reflected an unusually high increase for our tradition.

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To control this deterioration and reactivate the economy, the body that issues paper money applied a policy of low rates and placed money in the system. Now, to control inflation, it began to collect part of that money from the street and for this repeatedly increased the interest rate, with which the bills in the hands of the public in 2023, will become more scarce and expensive with effects on people who took out loans to buy houses, cars – who may lose them – and for consumption; companies also received, and this will have some impact on increases in the price of certain goods and services produced with expensive money.

In the middle of the year, the Government, for its part, seeking to protect the domestic economy, approved an exemption law to release a list of 67 basic high-consumption items for six months, without success: all increased in price, as was the case. of chicken meat, milk, garlic, flour, edible oils… and, in the end, that decision affected the producers.

The general price index that covers all the goods and services of the family based on which inflation is calculated, does not express well the fact that the increase in chicken meat to RD$85.00 or bananas between RD$ 35 and RD$40, it is double and that garlic, milk, eggs, beans, onion, oil and cod are not far away, nor that, unlike before, today, they are services and products basic necessities, paying for transportation, electricity, internet, telephone and medical insurance – which in some cases represent 40% of the income of a family of RD$30,000 pesos per month – and which previously were not part of the family budget. Nor is education, which decades ago was almost all public.

People, who always complain, this time shout to heaven not because they like to shout, but because the standard of living they already achieved using soap and toilet paper, toothpaste, conflé – cereal flakes – is in danger. And, electorally, it is dangerous because there is no farm to go to look for corn, pigeon peas, sweet potatoes, cassava, lemons or tomatoes… and almost everyone pays rent: everything comes from the family GDP, that is, from the income from work of all members and, on occasions, of remittances from relatives abroad for those who are lucky enough to have them and, although it is not their fault, the increase in prices is a “fault” that is always blamed on the Government and, to top it off, the country’s GDP seems to be somewhat lower.

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