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///м53я

UAE: Land of no-tax and other questions

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Again - the choice is a false one, to say you should be exploited because you can be is revolting. When the choice is starvation or slavery then how is the choice a free one? You are saying no one has a duty to look after the inherent rights of human beings when they do - power and wealth = responsibilty. Nike has a DUTY to police their lines, they all do. To not so so is to show contempt for the human beings that make the over priced crap you sell.

 

If labour is bought and sold - then so are people. Again, slavery.

 

It's not slavery if you're making money. Any rational person would pick the option that brings them most economic good. Inherent rights of human beings? What are you talking about? Why would a worker have the right to receive money from a company? They work on an agreed contract, the company isn't obliged to hire them, just as they aren't obliged to take the job.

 

A company does what makes them the most money. In fact, I bet if you compared the conditions of Nike factory workers to those of people who work in plants that manufacture domestic goods in place such as China, you'd see the Nike workers are treated far better. Our standard of 'good' and their standard of 'good' are entirely different things.

 

Labour is something you exchange for money. Example:

 

Ahmed lays bricks for a living. He sells his ability to lay bricks at $20.00 an hour. The cost of Ahmeds labour is $20.00 an hour! He can quit whenever he wants, he is also not obliged to lay bricks!

 

An example of slavery:

 

Ahmed is a bricklayer, he is BOUGHT for $90,000.00 to lay bricks for the rest of his life whenever his owner wants him to lay bricks and isn't allowed to individually profit off his skills without his owners permission.

 

Are you serious? :eyebrow:

 

Mo, most of these massive corporations are able to pay their employees much better than they currently do. They're just trying to get as cheap labor as possible. If you are actually making the case that they cannot afford to do so and would have to then lay off workers, then you should try and find statistical support to say that there are widespread layoffs that coincide with raising minimum wage - or better yet, do you have any data to prove that there were massive layoffs when minimum wage was first introduced?

 

I know of a number of cases in my city where people who were once being paid minimum wage ($7.50), working unpaid for several hours each day, and without contracts, then protested and eventually won contracts, living wage ($11.50), and compensation for all of their work-hours, and none of them were laid off. Quite the opposite- because they couldn't be exploited for unpaid labor, the organization ended up having to hire more people.

 

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203440104574402820278669840.html

http://tutor2u.net/economics/gcse/images/work_minimum_wage_1.gif

And pick up an economics textbook. This stuff is basic economic theory.

 

When minimum wage goes up the young people working at my local grocery store in the UK usually aren't there anymore.

 

Yeah, yeah, they’re trying to develop human capital, agreed, but that doesn’t explain them paying these inflated wages, fact is, if you want to measure human capital development, you should look at the numbers of citizens employed in the private sector, the private sector does not accept the crap that the public sector is welling to take, national movements ‘emiratization’ and ‘Suadization’ are trying to change the employment structure. However, the way I see it, these movements are only trying to decrease their countries’ dependency on Arab and Asian workers. They treat an Arab worker coming from Jordan or Lebanon like a bad thing for their economy. I would have been ok with that if it weren’t for their continued fascination with ‘foreign expertise’, god forbid they give that up. Also, as a person who supports free market policies, and thinks negatively of labor unions (You orthodox, you :grin:) you should be able to see the negative side that setting quotas for the number of national workers per company and over-protecting their rights has. Wages should depend on productivity, not on your government’s willingness to mollycoddle you. Again, the wide spread rent seeking behavior.

 

Inflated wages = incentive to work = normalising work culture. Most people in the Gulf states were herders or warriors before they discovered oil, very few were traders and you had some pearl divers here and there. All redundant industries except for traders who are now the rich in these regions because their families are flourishing.

 

Yes, Dubai is doing great, cheers to Dubai, it’s a very pretty place, but hey, why don’t we look at the sectors in which the development is happening? Real estate (That’s good, infrastructure and pretty buildings, except that, it’s not really productive, real production is manufacturing and agriculture, not buildings, sir.) and services (Which can be good or bad, depending on the structure of the economy. If it doesn’t support agriculture and manufacturing, then it’s just ‘empty growth’)

 

Agriculture and manufacturing aren't necessary. However, in the UAE they are starting some agriculture projects that are "100% carbon efficient" etc. to help feed the food concerns of the nation, creating extensive fish and cabbage farms. Leave the agriculture and manufacturing to countries that already have those in place like Iraq and Egypt, let them specialise in that. Egypt and Iraq are far more resourceful in those two sectors. Besides those are secondary sectors. UAE is aiming towards tertiary sectors such as finance etc. UAE is aiming to become like Hong Kong, basically a financial hub. Hong Kong ISN'T apart of China so you can't say its part of the Chinese economy, its a SAR, basically making it autonomous.

 

In our case, it is. Being oil dependent was a curse, buddy. Not because of the oil, per se, but because the money that’s been brought by the oil has been awfully invested.

  1. The relationship between oil prices and economic growth is still very prevalent. That doesn’t exactly go hand in hand with the goal of achieving economic stability. It also increases our dependency on external forces. Just look at what happened during the 1980s, and we still haven’t learned our lesson.
     
  2. Arab investments are not efficient (We still fall in the last quarter, in terms of our investments’ efficiency) Infrastructure is not efficient.
     
  3. Also, onto Gulf investments, they were mainly directed towards western markets; inter-Arab investments can barely be mentioned. These investments (‘Sovereign wealth funds’) are not playing the role that they should have, mainly because the west wants you to invest in their markets, but only on their terms. We’ve got big bucks there, but absolutely no voting rights. Besides, if you’re interested in real development, you wouldn’t stress such investments that much, people who support these investments (And those who support those billions of dollars arms deals) hardly have pure intentions. Just look at the losses that we suffered during the last crisis.
     
  4. It’s true that Arab economies are still very young, but just compare our productivity with that of South Korea and Argentina (Countries with much less resources, and with economies as young as ours) the largest 9 oil producing Arab nations have barely half the productivity that these countries have (and the rate goes even further down for non-oil Arab countries). In fact, during the 1960s, productivity per capita in Arab countries was higher than that in Hong Kong, South Korea, and Taiwan. Whereas in 1992, our productivity fell to half theirs.
     
  5. Bottom line: Weak country + oil = tendency to become over-centralized and captured by special interests. So, no, Dubai is not awesome enough.

 

Inter-arab investments DO exist. I know investors from the GCC and the number that are investing in Iraq and Libya are overwhelming. Sure they have investments in stock exchanges like London's and NY's, but for most it's not their source of income. Losses suffered last crisis was a global phenomenon because almost everything traded is dependant upon derivatives of derivatives of derivatives.

 

Also look at what happened in 1992. Gulf War? Of course productivity dropped. Iraq sanctioned and Kuwait destroyed back when Kuwait was the leading Gulf economy. And you say the economies of Argentina and SK are as young as Arab countries. Not true. Korea existed pre-Civil war, Argentina has existed since 1853 and is 5x size the UAE in terms of population, but only 1.5x size of economy if measured by GDP.

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How are inflated wages for the already well off an incentive to work and good for the economy, yet a minimum wage for the poorest a massive economic problem?

 

Also, again, they are not obliged to hire them it is true. But they are obliged to respect the basic dignity of human beings and use their billions to pay a living wage not use them as human fodder.

 

The problem is that the Nike factories contract their work out to local factories without adequate protection for the workers. Let alone the abusive practises that are common place but Nikwe itself doesn't pay them anything like a 'good' wage for the area. Its not like nike is some impoverished start up venture trying to break even. They have the money. They could do it. They choose not to because for them their only concern is profit, at whatever cost.

 

Also, my bad, not slavery, indentured servitude. Which is slightly different.

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How are inflated wages for the already well off an incentive to work and good for the economy, yet a minimum wage for the poorest a massive economic problem?

 

People always want more. UAE government says 'if you work we give you more!' to its citizens. Citizens are going to be more likely to work, even at jobs they don't enjoy. Look at the graph, minimum wage makes young people unemployed because they are the people who usually work receiving it, and read the article too, and an economic text book.

 

Also, again, they are not obliged to hire them it is true. But they are obliged to respect the basic dignity of human beings and use their billions to pay a living wage not use them as human fodder.

 

They pay them wages which suit their environment. Food doesn't cost the same where the workers are, neither does rent, or petrol, or the cars available. You insult the workers intelligence. They choose the best economic situation they can. They shouldn't receive the same wages as someone working in an American factory because the worker in the American factory has to pay more for food, transport, taxes, etc. Nike is under no responsibility to pay more than they do. They are responsible to pay on the agreed amount, if they withhold wages thats a different issue.

 

The problem is that the Nike factories contract their work out to local factories without adequate protection for the workers. Let alone the abusive practises that are common place but Nikwe itself doesn't pay them anything like a 'good' wage for the area. Its not like nike is some impoverished start up venture trying to break even. They have the money. They could do it. They choose not to because for them their only concern is profit, at whatever cost.

 

Also, my bad, not slavery, indentured servitude. Which is slightly different.

 

If the workers at the Nike factory received a higher wage, they'd have more money in comparison to those working at domestic companies factories, they'd spend more, prices would go up because of inflation due to an increased quantity of money, the domestic companies factory workers would lose out.

 

Of course Nike are concerned with profit, they aren't Oxfam or Islamic Relief. It's not like their purpose is to help people, their purpose is to keep shareholders happy.

 

Indentured servitude isn't a bad thing, it guarantees life necessities and its agreed upon by both parties.

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Found this about the UAE:

 

Low on the Democracy scale, but relatively high on the anti-corruption scale, which is good:

 

http://www.worldaudi.../corruption.htm

 

Higher than spain, italy, and (of course) pakistan. New Zealand's looking good though - also it appears to be some kind of paradise on earth:

 

NewZealand_1400697c.jpg

 

LETS ALL MOVE TO NEW ZEALAND.

 

Lebanon 106 on corruption, 89 in democracy.

 

:lol: omg, 74 countries are better than us at corruption? This list is a lie! ( and we scale lower than the UAE in democracy, despite having elections and all, must be the hizbullat factor :P )

and whats even more hilarious is that syria assad is less corrupted. The list is definitely fake :P

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1st part: what do you expect? Its a country. Its not a charity. Of course the money will be spent on the citizens. Might as well give free health and education care for the chinese?

 

and I repeat for the billionth time, the gov't gave them rights, but the mistreatment happens from private companies, and the laborers get to complain if they weren't satisfied.

 

and no rights at all? Please define rights, because saying no rights at all just because they aren't allowed to start political parties is silly.

 

Isn't the whole point of politics is for your voice to be heard so that you get better living conditions? What if you get fantastic living conditions in the first place? Again, goes back to my point of just moaning and complaining because you can. Its stupid.

 

Here you go. Thats whats so wrong about your first post. as for the rest of your post, read my responses through out this whole thread. I can't be bothered to repeat myself a million times.

 

and I'm not even a UAE citizen. I get none of what they get. I just live here, happily.

 

I'm unsure of why you're getting so defensive, because I wasn't even very critical of the UAE in my post. I was mostly explaining how the government works there.

 

In terms of rights - not having freedom of speech or press to criticize the government is actually HUGE.

 

You didn't really "prove" what was wrong with my post, and I'm disappointed that you haven't bothered to respond to the rest of it, because I was actually looking forward to learning more. But I guess there's not much for us to discuss now, is there?

 

I think the reason your post got such biased responses is because UAE citizens are tired of others constantly telling them how crappy their country is. It's kind of become the default setting. In this thread there was one throwaway comment about the place not having a taxation system and for that to provoke the response YEAH WELL ACTUALLY THE LABOURERS ARE TREATED LIKE CRAP ACTUALLY when it's unrelated to what was previously being discussed is odd. It's not news - everyone knows. Everyone knows it's bad, too. And for that to come up so unexpectedly means people automatically take more hard line responses than they would otherwise. I am deeply sympathetic to Emiratis. When you talk to some, they really feel they are welcoming of all nationalities and allow other people to practise their religions, are not enforcing any stringent dress codes, allow foreigners to buy property etc etc. All they have to do is look across the border and see Saudi where none of these things are true, so it's galling to always be told, "that's not good enough." While I don't think their country is anywhere near perfect, it's tiring to have to constantly defend yourself.

 

 

 

The only country in the region with a military to speak of the KSA - that's why they sent troops over, Bahrain doesn't have the man-power. Where else has a powerful military? Egypt. Morocco. Syria. That doesn't stop people - if people truly want freedom they will try for it. But in the Gulf, with every physical need met, it's easier to not rock the boat. The military actually owns very little in Saudi Arabia, what they do have is a lot of political sway with the monarchies who rely on them for protection. Furthermore, there is a sizeable portion of the population that really like stuff the way it is. They've never wanted for anything, and political autonomy is not part of their history anyway so they don't feel they are missing out.

 

 

 

This is why Saudi is doomed. UAE on the other hand is trying to develop other industries, the big one being tourism. Unfortunately they've gone about it in a way I find distasteful, turning the country into some kind of tacky holiday destination for the super-rich and the chavvy, but at least they had the foresight to not rely on oil.

 

There was a full-fledged discussion going on about the UAE before I even made my post, so I completely disagree that I was making an unrelated comment to a throw-away remark about taxation.

 

There is plenty of criticism of other countries on these boards. I find it funny that people who so casually criticize the West are getting unreasonably defensive about Middle Eastern countries. They have to grow a tough skin. No one's country is perfect and you have to be able to deal with criticism civilly. Of course the UAE is light years ahead of Saudi Arabia. That doesn't mean there isn't room for growth. If laborers are treated badly, then that should be brought up again and again until it is addressed.

 

Regarding the Arab Spring, I know that Saudi Arabia immediately increased allowances for college students (not sure about others, but this I know for sure) at the first sign of unrest in the other countries. You are right that the majority are happy with their lives, but there are sizable minorities in these places that are incredibly unhappy. Military action such as that in Bahrain + throwing money at people can only work for so long in dealing with their grievances.

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A full fledged discussion in relation to marriage, and mahr, yes. Not labourers, or politics, but the culture surrounding marriage. That's why people are getting defensive.

 

It should be bought up again and again, but in the appropriate threads - no one would think it reasonable to mention it on every thread from General to Funny bones. There are other offenses just as egregious that may be worthy of having their profiles raised, but it must be done in the appropriate place. Which is why this thread had to be created from the other one as the original thread went off track so quickly. And yes, there is always room for growth.

 

Agreed about the minorities who wish for change and how throwing money at a problem doesn't make it go away.

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Sundayschool

 

I addressed all your points to other people on this thread.

 

" I was mostly explaining how the government works there. " explaining it wrong.

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Agriculture and manufacturing aren't necessary. However, in the UAE they are starting some agriculture projects that are "100% carbon efficient" etc. to help feed the food concerns of the nation, creating extensive fish and cabbage farms. Leave the agriculture and manufacturing to countries that already have those in place like Iraq and Egypt, let them specialize in that. Egypt and Iraq are far more resourceful in those two sectors. Besides those are secondary sectors. UAE is aiming towards tertiary sectors such as finance etc. UAE is aiming to become like Hong Kong, basically a financial hub. Hong Kong ISN'T apart of China so you can't say its part of the Chinese economy, its a SAR, basically making it autonomous.

Let’s just agree to disagree with regards to wages, what you say about Egypt and Iraq is of course beautiful, but that's only in theory, that idea needs to be supported by political and economic cooperation policies, none of which exist (And when I say none, I mean none that are prevalent/Effective, not that there aren't any at all), I don't think that anybody currently believes in the idea of a great Arab nation (I certainly do).

Inter-Arab investments DO exist. I know investors from the GCC and the number that are investing in Iraq and Libya are overwhelming. Sure they have investments in stock exchanges like London's and NY's, but for most it's not their source of income. Losses suffered last crisis was a global phenomenon because almost everything traded is dependent upon derivatives of derivatives of derivatives.

 

I don't care if these losses are a global phenomenon, it's still miss management of financial assets and economic resources, I think I remember that these losses came close to 200 trillion dollars (out of 800 trillion dollar Arab investment, I'm not sure), also when inter-Arab investments hardly exist, I can't remember the figures though, what I do remember is that inter-Arab trade is barely 10% of gross Arab trade, you cannot claim that these figures are positive.

Also look at what happened in 1992. Gulf War? Of course productivity dropped. Iraq sanctioned and Kuwait destroyed back when Kuwait was the leading Gulf economy. And you say the economies of Argentina and SK are as young as Arab countries. Not true. Korea existed pre-Civil war, Argentina has existed since 1853 and is 5x size the UAE in terms of population, but only 1.5x size of economy if measured by GDP.

Ok, so I gave a bad example, but the numbers are not that much different post that trauma, or even after 2000, and yes, I guess you're right about Argentina and SK not being as young as our economies, I take that back, what I meant is that the change since 1960 till now has not been in our favor, not at all. The numbers speak for themselves.

 

But everything else aside, the UAE is truly something else, I haven't met a single Emirati or non-Emirati living there who doesn't speak so highly of that country, and they are making true changes, let’s just hope that this will continue post oil era, and for those in charge's hearts' to be in the right place, Amen :grin:

 

Edit: Also, Mo, dear bro, are you still studying? Where? And can you recommend some good books?

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Let’s just agree to disagree with regards to wages, what you say about Egypt and Iraq is of course beautiful, but that's only in theory, that idea needs to be supported by political and economic cooperation policies, none of which exist (And when I say none, I mean none that are prevalent/Effective, not that there aren't any at all), I don't think that anybody currently believes in the idea of a great Arab nation (I certainly do).

 

The MB in Egypt are pro-liberalism economically, and if you look at the Autonomous Region of Kurdistan, the numbers are great. Its not too far from a reality within next 10-15 years. Also the GCC is slowly merging into a single state, didn't Bahrain and Saudi already announce a national merger?

 

I don't care if these losses are a global phenomenon, it's still miss management of financial assets and economic resources, I think I remember that these losses came close to 200 trillion dollars (out of 800 trillion dollar Arab investment, I'm not sure), also when inter-Arab investments hardly exist, I can't remember the figures though, what I do remember is that inter-Arab trade is barely 10% of gross Arab trade, you cannot claim that these figures are positive.

 

If you compare risk in investing within Arab countries and 'western' countries its hardly a surprise is it. And it's not surprising inter-arab trade is low, look at political animosity between Arab nation and then their neighbours. If they aren't at odds with their neighbouring country they usually produce similar goods to them, so their isn't that much benefit from trade as their should be because of the huge shoe leather costs.

 

Ok, so I gave a bad example, but the numbers are not that much different post that trauma, or even after 2000, and yes, I guess you're right about Argentina and SK not being as young as our economies, I take that back, what I meant is that the change since 1960 till now has not been in our favor, not at all. The numbers speak for themselves.

 

But everything else aside, the UAE is truly something else, I haven't met a single Emirati or non-Emirati living there who doesn't speak so highly of that country, and they are making true changes, let’s just hope that this will continue post oil era, and for those in charge's hearts' to be in the right place, Amen :grin:

 

Edit: Also, Mo, dear bro, are you still studying? Where? And can you recommend some good books?

 

Economic sanctions on Iraq stunted the whole region as did the destruction of Kuwait. When your closest trade partner can no longer trade with you and the best port in the region is practically reduced to rubble, with most money in the region going towards rebuilding, you can't expect them to be on their feet again within a short period. Then immediately after they began to recover properly, the economies were struck by the events of 9/11 which due to political turmoil messed up a lot of different things. And like you said most problems are caused by political and not economic decisions.

 

However with the Arab Spring and the GCC co-operating more than ever, I believe that the Middle-east will flourish within 15-20 years. I mean the standard of living in the GCC for citizens is amazing, and they are becoming more and more independent with each day. For a state that was only sand 40 years ago, UAE has done incredible.

 

I am yes I'm entering my second year at university. I study at the American University of Sharjah. Mankiw is the best economics textbook by far all my professors love it (one of them grandfathered a Nobel prize). But if you want good books I believe you should ask the brother Mr. Baldy, most of my information is from reading Forbes and the Economist and the news in general. The great thing about economics is once you learn the basics you can finally understand a lot of things in the world.

 

EDIT: PS. I don't think its 800 trillion dollars Arab investment, World GDP is around $70 trillion. I think you mean billion?

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Wow, 8 pages. I got tired after reading 4. Why is everyone ragging on M53R?

 

please, I'd love to hear what you'd do with your political rights or how you even define them. Its not like the citizens over here have no voice or whatever you might be led to believe. Heck, ANYONE can complain straight on national radio about any issue, and theres always an official responding to the problem and fixing it out. Thats other than the random help the sheikhs give to people who ask them, or not even ask.

 

and trust me, the law in most cases is with the poor. Try going to the justice system here now, and no matter who you're against, you ll get your rights. There was once upon a time corruption, but its been/being slaughtered.

 

give me the outdated tribal system where people are happy any day over the crap political system nobody is ever satisfied with, with every few years a bunch of hobos get elected, steal as much wealth as they can to keep em good for the coming years, and a new candidate steps up later and the cycle continues.

I wouldn't be quick to say that. I have known a lot of people who were unhappy with the decisions taken. One if the really curious cases is of an American lady whose husband died in a car accident but they had a will and the court decided to apply shariah law on it and distribute the money among his relatives. And because she contested it, the money, the cars and any joint account she had or money/property she had in her husband's name was taken away. She couldn't sell her husband's car and bike even though the will allowed her to dispose of it. Now I don't see how shariah can be applied to non-Muslims in this situation when the husband already had a legal document but it was rejected? The woman has no money at her disposal and she had to leave the country since she couldn't afford to stay there any more. So if you live in UAE, women should never have joint accounts with their husbands or the account will be blocked and then distributed to all the relatives even if it was legally earned by the wife.

 

Secondly, you can't complain with the government run services and expect a result. Etisalat's net and phone services essentially steal money from consumers every year. I've lostquite a bit of money because of something that went wrong from their side but they will rarely ever give you your money back. Nor would they admit they made a mistake until pesky newspapers keep calling them after publicizing the problem and fault. People will move houses, cancel their internet and request it to be set up at the new location. No installation will occur but your bill will reach you even if you never got the service. You can read 100s of stories like these daily in the local newspapers. May be 5% of the complaints are actually followed through and reimbursed. If you were erroneously fined and you can even prove it to the police, they won't accept it and you will be forced to pay it. I can give you a whole bunch of examples of problems with the way things run in UAE but it's pointless because everytime I notice a positive change, it only benefits the citizens and not all residents of UAE.

 

UAE can be an awesome place to live, heaven even, provided you are rich and have a first world country passport so once you get kicked out of UAE, you have somewhere to go.

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Sundayschool

 

I addressed all your points to other people on this thread.

 

" I was mostly explaining how the government works there. " explaining it wrong.

 

I was explaining that UAE doesn't tax its citizens, so therefore the citizens don't have many political rights! What's so wrong about that? You basically agreed with me a few posts ago.

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^ No you can't.

 

And Mo, I think we studied the same principle's of economics book, it was such a lovely book :grin: also, excuse my English, I've yet to learn which is greater, a billion or a trillion :P I hope economics treats you well :grin:

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