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Re: Local wages [Re: Peter Jones] #372446
04/04/10 04:38 PM
04/04/10 04:38 PM
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 125
Louisiana/Belize
sandyb Offline
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sandyb  Offline
From my experience, it depends on who they are working for.
Still, the wages are extremely low compared to the prices charged by the vendor for goods sold.


Paradise Gallery & Frame San Pedro, AC

"Custom Framing & Art Gallery featuring local Artisans"
Re: Local wages [Re: Peter Jones] #372465
04/04/10 11:05 PM
04/04/10 11:05 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 2,448
Belize
Short Offline
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Short  Offline
Well, he must not be a skilled worker then, and /or have secondary conditions (like free board or/and lodging). Still far above the minimum wage which is BZ$ 135 per week. When people want to work for that and is is not illegal, I see no problem.


Live and let live
Re: Local wages [Re: Short] #372492
04/05/10 10:39 AM
04/05/10 10:39 AM
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,160
San Pedro
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Phil Offline
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Phil  Offline
P
Originally Posted by sandyb
From my experience, it depends on who they are working for.


True.

Originally Posted by sandyb
Still, the wages are extremely low compared to the prices charged by the vendor for goods sold.


I see this comment quite often from both visitors and people who live here full or part time and don't run a business. While undoubtably things in general could cost less for many reasons, there are a lot of factors people need to consider and might not have.

Firstly is how cyclical business is through the year. End of Dec - March. as busy as it will get. Apr - Aug. half bore. Sept - late Dec (excluding a week for Thanksgiving). comatose. This means all profits need to come in the first period, the second period is break even and last period a total loss. The bills still come at an unyielding rate through the year with no drop. Rent, wages, electricity, water, insurance etc.

Rent is high. I would guess the average rent on Front Street for an average size property is US$2,000 per month.

Duty. Almost everything in the Country is imported and has Import Duty tagged on top. 20 - 50% is the norm, and that's before GST and Environmental Tax. Items considered luxury are higher than staples. If a shop owner buys a item for resale and it is US$50. He pays to have this shipped from, say, New York to Miami then Miami to Belize. The cost of both shipping routes is added to the product total and the duty is applied on top this overall total. This duty inclusive total is now double taxed with 12.5% GST added and triple taxed with a 1% Environmental tax. Then there are Brokerage fees to clear the goods from Cutoms and transport to San Pedro. So a $50 product, $12 shipping, $18 duty (@30% rate) $10 GST, $1 Environment Tax makes a $50 product now $91. Add shipping to the Caye, Cutoms Broker fees it's almost double the cost. This is your cost to get the item in your shop. Add the margin for running costs to open your store and it's easy to see why things can cost double their US price. Oh yes. This is without an added profit margin - the whole point in opening your shop!!!!

Re: Local wages [Re: Phil] #372493
04/05/10 10:41 AM
04/05/10 10:41 AM
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 8,868
S
SP Daily Offline
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SP Daily  Offline
S
Well stated...and accurate!

Re: Local wages [Re: Phil] #372499
04/05/10 11:45 AM
04/05/10 11:45 AM
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 125
Louisiana/Belize
sandyb Offline
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sandyb  Offline
Phil,

I understand completely the huge add-on cost to importing goods to run a business thereby the higher end cost. Also the highs & lows of the tourist season. I'm speaking of some of the individuals who pay their help ridiculously low wages for very long hours and pocket large profits.


Paradise Gallery & Frame San Pedro, AC

"Custom Framing & Art Gallery featuring local Artisans"
Re: Local wages [Re: sandyb] #372500
04/05/10 11:47 AM
04/05/10 11:47 AM
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 8,868
S
SP Daily Offline
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SP Daily  Offline
S
Who do you think are "pocketing large profits"? They certainly keep that well-hidden!

Re: Local wages [Re: SP Daily] #372526
04/05/10 02:50 PM
04/05/10 02:50 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 592
San Pedro/Prescott
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GwenA Offline
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GwenA  Offline
G
Exactly correct Jesse, obviously sandyb didn't get the point of Phil's 'asstoot' analysis. Sandyb needs to hear that age old San Pedro adage...invest all your money here, and start a business, and find that you are lucky to pay to live here. Large profits? ha, ha ha.
But if you can get involved in that pyrimid process to start developments that rape this place, and get out before the investors find out what happened (ala Bernie Madoff) you can make some large profits. And which are those discussed on the board? Get wise people.

Re: Local wages [Re: Phil] #372527
04/05/10 03:17 PM
04/05/10 03:17 PM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 600
new haven, ct,usa
R
ron Offline
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ron  Offline
R
Phil, your analysis of the cost of getting goods to market in Belize is spot on. In the course of building my house, I have shipped lots of stuff from the States to Belize. At first I thought the price of goods was high in Belize but when I saw what all of the costs were to get goods to Caye Caulker were, turns out that added duties, and taxes made the biggest impact. It easier for me to buy in the States and ship down to CC then it is to buy on CC. The prices are just about the same but I have greater variety here and can shop better in the states and I don't have to send a day in Belize city looking for stuff, taking time away from a cold Belikin. Although, I have had a a few Belikins in BC and they are just as cold there as on CC, its nice to sit at the split and enjoy the brew.

Re: Local wages [Re: ron] #372556
04/05/10 07:44 PM
04/05/10 07:44 PM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 7
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txroughneck Offline
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txroughneck  Offline
T
I think that it's great that Americans want to go to a small country and try to "Americanize" it. If you want to live there then maybe you should really not try to change it to be more like where you came from. If the people of San Pedro feel like there workers are exploited then they will do something about it. It is not up to the "outsiders" to push them in that direction. I love San Pedro and hope to move there someday(hopefully sooner than later).

Last edited by txroughneck; 04/05/10 09:18 PM.
Re: Local wages [Re: txroughneck] #372568
04/05/10 10:29 PM
04/05/10 10:29 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,046
P
Peter Jones Offline OP
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Peter Jones  Offline OP
P
Since when does paying workers a living wage constitute "Americanisation"?

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