Very nice to see you again CG. You are right, yes this isn't about naked girls, sugar daddies, or this industry being the biggest violator. It's about something much larger and overall pervasive throughout the RO economy.
But we are witnessing a transformational revolution that will bring to a country that has everything but is only missing one small thing....a culture of the practice of integrity. Though temporarily uncomfortable for both those deliberately evading and many who have been out of convenience, neglect, "necessity", or the sense that it is foolish to play by the rules if everyone else is doing it or the tax revenue won't be spent properly, this reordering of business practices in regards to the state will ultimately bring prosperity to the economy and revive those things that were great in Romania prior to and just after the last revolution. Allow me to post part of a note I sent to a friend and partner Tudor born in Bazau and residing in Bucharest. He was an expat who created a business in Canada, before returning home in 2010 seeing Romania as rich in everything and with western business practices and accounting could become prosperous as any first world country, or exceed them. here is my note:
This is a very transformational process that will bare great fruit for the economy. It is going beyond what even I predicted.
It took the population being fed up and electing a blank slate. I think the President isn't even doing it....he is simply allowing it,
and that is a great thing.
There a basic decency to the people there, and everyone evaded taxes because there was so much cheating going on that it seemed it would make no difference to play by the rules.
Now with what will be collected in taxes...a few things will happen and in the near term....
revenues collected will go up, which means.....
cuts will be reversed.....
the IMF loan will be paid off or replaced with cheaper private funding, and RO can tell them to fuck off.
The tax rate will at some point go down (lower taxes), interest rates will go down and the RON will increase in value vs. the Euro and dollar. and the economy will boom
It will take a years, but WOW.
If they (you) are even smarter, they will get Dr, Arafat involved in reviving the Pharma industry as well.
RO should become the "breadbasket" of Europe, but with organic and no GMO,food abundance and financial prosperity, and a health care system that will attract the doctors that left to return. In the mean time....those who skated the system like the studio and camgirls (who didn't do it deliberately) will whine and moan and do a Eleana what's her name and say how unfair there are other who got away with it blah blah blah blah. The restaurant owners will all complain, it's so hard to give receipts and pay employees for the actual hours they work. lol
Am I close to the mark?
I figured that at some point people would be fed up when pensioners and public employees were cut to the bone and yet an entire industry bringing in over 500 million a year of foreign hard currency of which very little was voluntarily paid in taxes. These same people lived in the same homes, were in the same families, and this industry was corrupting inch by inch their own daughters, sisters, mothers, and even brothers, the fat money only made it worse. The theory was the industry, and the simultaneous tax evasion, could never be challenged because of the size of the hard currency infusion into the economy. That is what all the smart people said. I saw it differently. That was it's weakness, and the arrogance which came with it, You saw it yourself with what you told me about the friend you knew. A perfectly sweet and good woman, as you put it ruined by easy money and combined with a compromised self, made her angry and defensive. It's all part of the same big picture, made of the same fabric, incremental compromise of one's own integrity, until some point in which one forgets what their own standard were. Probably the most devoutly religious and humanly moral population on the face of the earth yet culturally engrained ability to compromise and adapt. That kept the nation alive and the individuals alive, but this particular western form of exploitive capitalism, buying the co-operation of the participants in RO, has it's highest purpose of making a few corporate entities and individuals in Las Vega rich beyond Midas, is all so un-Romanian. A population of a country that is more enlightened, than any other, in it's awareness not to be exploited or used. As I've said, it is a population of people slowing the machinery down just enough not to let it's resources be sold out. Unfortunately their most valuable resource is quietly being so in a thousand flickering screens. But now we are way off the subject.
The population of RO are good and decent people and fiercely protective of their country, yet as we've said the country has everything but just one thing that was missing that would make it great, an expectation and a daily practice of integrity in business, and business with a purpose in addition to profit. That is the thing the guy we met with to do business, who had moved to Germany, and had the land who thought we should do a beer garden didn't say. He said he loved Germany because it was orderly and not chaotic like RO (I personally do love the chaos). He could have said Germany and Germans conduct themselves with a grounding of integrity and it was mostly missing in RO in a thousand mostly small things. Not like Russia or Ukraine, no real Oligarchs or big mafia, because individual Romanians are to willful and protective of the Country, they may complain about but do love.That is one thing I love about Romanians. They are a little childish if I might say. Particularly those there who consider you naïve if you choose to conduct yourself honestly. You saw it in Canada, perhaps there haven't been enough examples of it there YET, that the big payoff in the long term is from honest business conduct, vs. the short term benefit of cutting corners in the present.
As you said and I had individually observed, those that actually have a chance to succeed in the long term, those who understand the value of integrity while still being street smart, and only those who would be worthy of trust and to do business with in RO, are those who worked long enough with a legitimate western company or left the country long enough to see that for themselves and have it integrated into themselves.
CG, sorry for the tangent subject regarding the harm I observed to workers in that field, and the undermining of what I consider the best aspects of Romanian society. That subject of cam industry only came up only once prior, between Tudor and I in a 5 year business and friendship relationship. However in this subject of the tax evasion collection and its transformation of the economy, it seemed fitting somehow. And as much as I personally respect and admire you and though we might disagree about benefit vs. harm in that regard, I think it possible that you might not completely disagree with my observations of the cam industry's societal influences or effect towards Romania. Again, not the subject I was intending to discuss in this post. It was more of....invest in Romania, and buy lei, what is happening now in Romania great things will be the result.