No hard feelings, and I can’t tell what your personal stance is because of the journalistic-tone of this piece (which is neither good nor bad)…but the fact that local Indonesians make a fraction of what nomads make is irrelevant.

I think this article perfectly captures the “ugh inequality is sooo gross” attitude that many guilty westerners have.

What matters is relative income… the fact that thousands of cash-flush westerners have flooded Canguu is a GODSEND for the local economy, and yes, the workers too.

(The majority of this cash will end up in the pockets of capital owners, sure, but that’s only because of the fact that rich Indonesians own the amenities that cost the most; ie: apartments, co-working, car rentals). There are still thousands of transactions every day on that directly go to middle-class store owners, street vendors, etc…)

And to your point about the “unfairness” of visa/tax laws, consider this….

The lax laws are one of the main reasons WHY westerners come here.

If they were subjected to high tax or strict visa requirements, they would probably leave in droves for a country that isn’t making it hard for them.

So then what would happen?

  1. The hospitality industry collapses, making thousands of Indonesians unemployed and hurting the income of street vendors and hipster store owners by large margins.
  2. Economy stays stagnant, or big multinational factories come in, polluting the environment and giving much harder, more backbreaking jobs for the newly unemployed locals.

I doesn’t matter how “unfair” the situation looks, what matters is the economic reality.

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Independent Journalist & Videographer

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