The Obey or Pay Industry

American Road Rules

This is a proposal that will most assuredly add jobs and increase the wealth of the Philippines. I’m proposing the establishment of a new industry. Well, it’s an old industry, about as old as prostitution, but it is new in how we look at it in the matter.

I have often been struck by the chaos that exists on city streets hereabouts. Struck and sometimes stuck . . . like behind a line of trucks parked smack dab in the middle of the National Highway.

Probably half the drivers hereabouts are unlicensed. Maybe more, if the number who obey helmet laws is a reasonable guide. That’s about 10% it seems.  People park on the sidewalks, in the middle of the road, in front of driveways. They go the wrong way on one-way streets and speed past schools as if kids were just dogs to run over.
Crosswalks? What a waste of good paint.
The idea came to me when I was researching Kim Henares. The Bureau of Internal Revenue has traditionally spent about 78 centavos for every 100 pesos of revenue generated.  This year, the expense rose appreciably and will probably come in at 1 peso for every 100 pesos of revenue generated. At first I was going to ding BIR and Henares for lousy cost control.
Then it struck me. Hey, if we can spend as much as 2 pesos for every 100 pesos of revenue generated, we are doing well. After all, 98 pesos are going into the government’s kitty for roads and schools and agencies and pork.
So if we doubled the BIR budget, and put it all into tax collectors, we’d:
  • Provide whole bunch of jobs, thousands of them.
  • We’d increase revenue and be able to build more schools and better roads.
  • We’d improve obedience in the lawless Philippines, instill an upright culture rather than a cheating culture of impunity.
Philippine Road Rules

Where’s the downside?

The downside is that revenue gets harder and harder to find. The addition of a peso of cost may not generate 100 pesos of revenue. It may at the outset generate 80. Then as people start to pay taxes like they are supposed to, it might drop to 60 or 40 or even 20. But it is highly measureable, eh?
  • Pay a tax collector P10,000 per month, plus incentive bonus based on collections. Say all-in cost of P150,000 per year. What should he or she be expected to generate over the course of that year out hunting? A million pesos?
He’s paying for himself. So we’re good to go.
Start hiring.
And in the municipality, that rat’s nest of disobedience to order and safe driving, hire up. Get those traffic enforcers in uniform, ticket pad in hand, and start writing.
Pay a traffic enforcer P8,000 per month, plus incentive bonus based on collections. Say all-in cost of P120,000 per year. What should he or she be expected to generate over the course of that year out ticketing? P2,000 per day? Maybe P600,000 per year?
Good to go.
Start hiring.
Now about all those fishermen fishing in off-limits waters, or using small-mesh nets.
Good to go. Start hiring.
And the illegal logging.
And the under-the-table spiffs at LTO, or PNP.
Man, hunt ’em down.
Good to go. Good to go.
It’s an industry, for sure . Enforcement of laws, “The Obey or Pay Industry”. The advantage is threefold, and all three folds are huge.
  1. A LOT of good paying jobs.
  1. Filling of the civic treasury.
  1. Instilling more disciplined and safe behavior across the nation.
The marketplace, for sure, is huge. It consists of all the people who ignore the laws today.
I figure the market is about 40 million people including senators.
Easy pickings.
Good to go. Good to go.
67 Responses to “The Obey or Pay Industry”
  1. Anonymous says:

    You started with everything of what is wrong with the people and ended with a proposal which is also currently wrong.Tax agent since the beginning has been paid with a salary and incentive commission. What did he do. Instead of collecting the right tax, he makes a deal with taxpayer to bribe him, pay a lower tax and submits to govt a lower collection. He makes more money that way rather than getting commission and that arrangement with the taxpayer is on annual basis as long as he is the collecting agent. PCSO STL granted franchise to jueteng lords. They collect bets, do not remit all the bets just a third of all all collections and the rest go to their illegal game. They use personnel wearing official t shirt with STL logo. Police are paid off not to arrest themFilipinos are ingenious in many ways especially in making easy money. they always like to reach the end thru the shortest way. Do you know that in American hospitals there is a saying among administrators and doctors which goes this way: keep the Filipinos maintain their lifestyle of driving Mercedes Benz, wear Rolex, then you can ask him to do anything. If a statistics is collected which ethnic group is involved in illicit medical practice in America, Filipinos would top the honor along with Latinos. Is it a coincidence these two ethnic groups learned from the Spaniards? Think about it! Johnny Lin

  2. Boy, color me naive on this one. I appreciate the enlightenment. Why is it during comments I reach a point when I want to go get stinkin' drunk. I just finished my pancakes but now I want to go get stinkin' drunk.Kindly advise me of a blog I can write positive on. The views? They are gorgeous. I shall become a view-writer. Everything else seems to be stunk up.

  3. Anonymous says:

    This must be the reason why Pnoy has that pained look even when he's smiling. DOF, BIR, Customs are making it hard for him to take a dump.DocB

  4. Anonymous says:

    Pinoys only understand one law to survive-the law of the jungle.DocB

  5. Anonymous says:

    Cars parked in sidewalks too Pinoy. Yabang wala namang garahe. No one's mindin'. Quezon City I heard asks of every builder, one car garage for every floor space. Too late, bitch.DocB

  6. Yes, the law of the jungle rules. Stores claim the street in front so only their customers can park there. WTF. Why am I paying taxes for streets if I can't park on them?

  7. It must be fun to have meetings with the Customs people. "Uh, guys, smuggling is higher than it was under Arroyo?""We'll get back to you on that Mr. President. Can I offer you an onion?"[re the great onion smuggling caper]

  8. Edgar Lores says:

    1. Ah, a different tack today. Instead of solving the big systemic problems of state and church, we look at the arguably smaller problems of revenue and unemployment.2. Perhaps that’s the way to go. Start small, sweep the dust, wash the curtains, and the incremental effect will make the house look good in spite of the structural defects. Bottom-up solutions work as well as top-down solutions.3. No doubt the math works. If the hired do their jobs and are not tempted by bribes.4. The spanner in the works is human nature and in particular that subclass known as Pinoy nature.5. There are two cultural traits that form the lower and upper jaws of the spanner: (1) what Rizal called the indolence of the Filipino and (2) what psychologists call the marshmallow effect.5.1 Filipinos are lazy. There’s a national archetype for it, Juan Tamad. Collecting fines means writing tickets, filing reports and – hardest of all – writing and spelling. The bureaucracy is aware of this failing and, in a misguided effort to cure it, requires so many forms to be filled for the simplest request. Papers front and center, papers left and right, papers in triplicate, the more to shuffle. Let’s not even begin to talk about the signatures required. So Filipinos hate paper; they would rather go paperless.5.2 The marshmallow effect is about the benefits of delayed gratification. Intelligent children will delay eating one marshmallow if they are promised they can have two in 30 minutes. Filipinos? Nah-ah. Between having an easy P200 each day and having a bonus of P2000 at the end of the month, which do you think Pinoys will prefer? Man, no need to worry about cigarettes and beer money; it’s in the bag. And there could be other unmentionable benefits to consider.6. Oh shucks, sorry, I’ve gone negative. Don’t blame me, Coco started it. (Baycas calls this the peanut butter defense.)6.1 In certain countries, how is it that the respect for the law is so high? The thought of bribing an official – a parking attendant or a police officer – is unthinkable. In the Philippines, not offering or accepting a bribe is unthinkable.

  9. Coco says:

    Long time ago, I was offered a job by a Swiss auditing company, they just got a contract to send an army of inspectors to control the Indonesian custom officers. The job involved too much administration to my liking, so it brought me only one trip to Switzerland. My suggestion bringing a lot of revenue but no jobs: hire an army of expat auditors to control BIR collectors, custom officers, traffic enforcers and the opposite of what Johnny Lin describes will happen – make sure these auditors do not come from countries ever ruled by the Spanish.

  10. andrew lim says:

    I will be nihilistic today.What I propose is that we go back to the Middle Ages- re-integrate Church into State, and appoint bishops/clergy to critical ex-officio positions in government- consiglier to the President, NEDA, BIR, DOH, heck even the AFP so all policies will now be seamless and unified under "natural" or "divine order." Imagine a tax collector with an imprimatur and nihil obstat! Who can defy that? A soldier guaranteed of heaven and all the earthly riches he can get, just like the Crusades. How can China defeat that? And a judicial system with Inquisitors sitting in. Ampatuan's case can be finished in a week! Congress can be dissolved, and all power will emanate from the President-Cardinal. All the ensuing corruption and ignorance and shortsightedness and chaos will now come into full focus, and the people will see things for what they are – why corruption is pervasive; why the economy is underdeveloped, why accountability and responsibility is important, etc. They will revolt and tear down the government/church combine and say, "Never Again"! Then maybe, a new social order can be built.

  11. Edgar Lores says:

    Haha! That's two days in a row of wanting to get stinkin' drunk. Not that anyone is keeping track.I wonder how smart Filipinos will bribe St Peter to enter heaven?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Did it ever occur to anybody that Filipinos are known to be computer and smart phone literates, text capital of the world, millions of fb and twitter accounts get in govt offices the employees refused to computerized. Crook at customs office. They should be the first to computerize, LTO for car registration same thing yet they refused because it is hard to cheat with computers since there is a trail. old manual system works for corrupt ways. Buy a used car, difficult to register without going thru main office in Diliman. Why, the gods over there need their share of bribery. Computer should be national but what they do they will say it can't be done or intentionally break the computer down to make the public be inconvenienced.The jungle of the Filipinos is man made, not existent until something needs to be done. Johnny Lin

  13. Anonymous says:

    Andrew, you just did the equivalent of an enema to the stinkin' Pinoy style. Cleaning it gives you more of that shit. Wah! Nowadays, there's always a lot to complain about or to apologize for, but I always go back to the two iconic faces of government service: Land Bank cashier Acsa Ramirez, the do-gooding, whistle-blower, and DOJ Prosecutor John Resado who was rolling with the wise guys(Alabang Boys).DocB

  14. Edgar, from inside the bottle, the whole world is aglow with joy and promise.Coco, I have revised my idea and now suggest a pyramid plan with water flowing downhill. One guy at the top supervises 5 supervisors who supervise 5 supervisors each, or 25, who supervise 5 each or 625, who supervise 5 each tax collectors. If any tax collector takes a bribe all 656 supervisors are hauled off and shot. You might not cure corruption, but you'll cure the over-population problem. It's either that or shoot anyone with a Spanish surname, though I'd miss Edgar.

  15. "Oh shucks!" ahahahahahaha, what farm you off of?You know, you are really very good at this figuring out business. "5. There are two cultural traits that form the lower and upper jaws of the spanner: (1) what Rizal called the indolence of the Filipino and (2) what psychologists call the marshmallow effect."Now that is classic. You have pulled me from my funk on the power of your soaring words.Kindly DO write a book.The title: "Rizal Was a Womanizer!" Inside, you don't even talk about Rizal. He's just the tease in the title. Inside, you do your schtick, as above. Dissect Filipino culture with wisdoms like numbers 5 and 6.1. We readers can laugh and cry and swear and then plunge into that culture knowing we can swim.

  16. You make a superb nihiler. Today must be full moon rising because the creativity is running wild, like intellectuals baying into that glowing orb.If you can get that plan crafted and into place, I will nominate you for sainthood, Saint Andrew the Ingenious. Who can we use to model your likeness? Piolo? Manny? PNoy?

  17. You know, you are making this "wake-up JoeAm to reality" day. I wondered why, in 2000 millineum, the Philippines pushes so much paper, relentlessly, idiotically. But it is really quite clever. Anyone who says Filipinos aren't problem-solvers are looking at the problem wrong. Filipinos are geniuses, magicians, able to create money out of nothing.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Top Ten Bad Traits of Filipinos1. False Pride: Corona exemplified such character when he publicly displayed he was religious. Likewise Sotto revealed differently by steadfastly denying he plagiarized2. Greed: amassing excessive wealth without known sources without knowing when to stop. Corrupt politicians and ordinary Filipinos like those pyramid scam victims and others known to locals in their communities3. Envy: everybody wants to like the Jones. Corruption in lower level govt offices is rooted from this trait4. Liar: need I say more. Read the papers everyday and tallying sheets keep piling up in all sectors of society5. Spiteful: to get even for being embarassed or unable to obtain the desired outcome, Filipinos will do everything to make it harder to anyone antagonizing him. Sotto and Enrile are examples now by delaying the RH bill. Cong Gonzales too in the House. Worst type are those ordering killings as thosed alleged against Ampatuans, Reyes brothers of Palawan, etc.6. Impatient: traffic would not beas bad if Filipinos do not carry this despicable trait at home only for they discard it as soon as they land in a foreign land7. Feeling of Importance: they do something good, they would not wait for somebody to recognize them. Get mad when not recognize. Covet importance or titles attach to their names.only in the Philippines everywhere you see the word Honorable-Tanod Bayan Chief8. Misplaced Tolerance: to be tolerant is a virtue but in the proper place only. We tolerate everything even when obviously wrong. Examples: Jinggoy and Enrile saying to lay off on Corona after his impeachment because he suffered already. If he evaded his taxes, he should be pursued. Bishops telling the Govt to be compassionate with GMA ecause she is sick. If she is guilty of corruption why should she not be incarcerated?9. Power: a dream of every Filipino, not necassary to do good but to show off how important person or persons they are. That hey have followers at the snap of a finger. Not surprising since our ancestors ruled by feudalism.10. Me First: this is inborn character noticed easily in rich or poor people. Examples: in civic or religious arganizations on distribution of goods or food. The leaders usually have selected the best stuff and put it aside.riding a plane when seats are already assigned. Only the Filipinos will jump immediately towards the entrance when boarding time is announced. All these traits are carried by politicians, ambitious religious and civic leaders, corrupt public employees, greedy businessmen and ordinary barangay leaders seen by the members of the community on their role leaders. Recognizing and correcting them early in school and at home might be the utopia we are all seeking.Johnny Lin

  19. Anonymous says:

    3 Main Attitudes Filipinos are Known for:1. Bahala Na2. Puwede Na3. Sige Na NgaThese attitudes are the reasons everyone is placed into trouble because of unanticipated end result. They are "short cut" ways primarily resulting from misplaced tolerance."Do the right thing" is not hard to follow!Johnny Lin

  20. Edgar Lores says:

    Judging from Johnny's response, Filipinos pass the marshmallow test with flying colors. They get all 3 pieces!

  21. Edgar Lores says:

    That's an amazing list – amazingly good in its accuracy and amazingly bad for the Filipino. #5 gave me the shivers. #7 made me laugh outright. #10 makes me shake my head in anger and sorrow.

  22. Edgar Lores says:

    Sotto: Knock, knock.St Peter: Who's there?Sotto: God!St Peter (opens the gate): But you're not God.Sotto: He's the One. I'm the Only.

  23. What a wonderful rendition, Johnny. When people ask me what I learned blogging, I'll refer them to this blog thread. I see combinations, sometimes, like of envy and spitefulness, which is reflected in the behavior of my neighbors.Re. Number 6, I see both impatience, driving, and incredible patience, like waiting for the stupid doctor to arrive an hour late, or the bank to wade casually through the 46 people in line ahead.

  24. ROFLMAO. He indeed has a Godly ego.

  25. Anonymous says:

    In Johnny's list, the baddest trait, I think, is envy, even among relatives and neighbors. And especially our kababayans.DocB

  26. Anonymous says:

    There was a time traffic discipline was strictly observed at those former U.S. bases Clark and Subic. I wonder what the traffic situation is inside those bases nowadays.DocB

  27. Edgar Lores says:

    DocB, Thanks for those names, their stories make fascinating reading. In Acsa's case, the lack of integrity and due diligence on the part of law enforcement is astonishing. In Acsa you see a good guy being made out to be a bad guy. In the NBI you see the good guys actually being the bad guys. The denouements are classically Filipino – unresolved justice for the accused – and non-Filipino – a happy vindicated ending for the whistleblower. The enormity of the scam – so many people in cahoots, bank employees at that – is breath-taking.

  28. Anonymous says:

    JoeHi hi hi. Waiting in doctor office or bank is not patience, it is out of necessity because it involves the two most important things in their lives, health and own money. i emphasized OWN. This is #11 bad trait: protect first what they love most: their own money and health. did it ever occur to you why Vitamin antibiotic sales are number in the Philippines and many Filipino siblings are in court fighting for inheritance? Only in the Philippines that there is a vitamin pills for every organ, vitamin for liver and for joints unheard of in other countries except in China in the form of herbs. Check the houses in Forbes Park under litigation. It involves mostly family siblings. Have you heard of the story of the fisherman when his banca overturned during the storm. He had a choice of saving his wife and their 2 year old son. He saved the wife. When asked why he chose the wife when she knew how to swim. His answer: she was carrying the proceeds from the fishpond besides we could make another childHe he heJohnny Lin

  29. Anonymous says:

    The usual excuses those stupid doctors arriving one hour late are either the horrendous traffic or an emergency call. To that I would add Pinoy time and insensitivity. Doctors who have been patients themselves at one point know this.DocB

  30. Johnny, I see that "kids are cheap, not precious" attitude in the poorer parts of town. Basically contributing to the continued social dysfunction of them when they grow up. When I go to the mall, I see large crowds in restaurants, the middle class, I suppose, where kids seem to be a more important part of the family. The mall restaurants (a notch above Jollibee) are just like America. People actually talk to their kids.

  31. Three years ago, still enforced. You'd go past the gate and guards into Subic, and, "wow", it's like being in America. Double lanes both directions, stop lights with turn signals that work, no nests of electrical wires holding the buildings up, and police on the patrol everywhere. You can even go past the marina with sail boats bobbing there; coulda been Marina Del Rey, smaller scale.

  32. Coco says:

    Envy, or an extremely well functioning social "thermostat" steering all to equality. Good for a family member who drops out, someone will catch him. But very bad for those who have a little more, they'll have to share with everyone. I see this fear of having a little more, the fear of becoming the provider for the whole clan as holding back a lot of ambitions. As many do not understand numbers, the clever ones try to get out of sight and take thousand peso, only share one hundred. May be the list is universal and the correlation stronger with income, religion and social status than with nationality?

  33. Anonymous says:

    Thanks also for taking note. The Acsa Ramirez Incident encapsulated for me what's twisted with our Pinoy attitude or behavior, and that we have a long way to go in terms of progress on civic duties or ethics, never mind economic progress.DocB

  34. Anonymous says:

    Mediocrity and Mendacity (taking a leaf from JoeAm, Johnny and Edgar).DocB

  35. Anonymous says:

    M and M of the Philippines. Best duty-free brand of chocolate. Beats Prada ( product of China)DocB

  36. Anonymous says:

    Gordon should have sotto-ed that to the rest of Zambales.DocB

  37. Coco, to a degree, yes, but I think 9(power) and 10(me first) are uniquely prevalent in the Philippines across all social stratas. Although ambition drives much of what takes place in America, and greed, yes, there is an undercurrent of courtesy and consideration (the Golden Rule) that is negated by 9 and 10 in the Philippines.

  38. In reading about Ramirez, I am struck that the scam, which occured in 2002, was still "pretrial" in August of this year. 25 people charged.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Wonder no more. Today's the third anniversary of the Maguindanao Massacre. Turtle-paced proceedings. Many are wondering if Ampatuan Senior himself cut a deal (by way of Norie Unas) with Pnoy government just to pin down GMA. Garci is practically untouchable. No awe for our Abogado de Campanilla. Only Contempt.DocB

  40. Anonymous says:

    Uniquely Filipinos in this order5710189The rest are also common in other races but majority of Filipinos possess them in this order: 3462johnny Lin

  41. Anonymous says:

    JoeLatest Rappler News"Is Corruption of the Media Creeping Online?"It talks about certain media practioners/bloggers proving the bad traits posted. In my list, one could easily discern the specific bad traits on the anecdotes related correspondIng to numbers 2(greed), 3(envy), 5(spiteful), 7(Feeling of importance), and 10( Me First) but not necessarily in this order.This is not a coincidence. Everyday, similar stories are heard of about certain Filipinos; in politics, regular common folks, religious leaders, civic circle, in your local neighborhood and in this case media people. Johnny Lin

  42. Coco says:

    The list perfectly fits the “colonisers” today and even Rizal could have used it to describe the Spanish and their lackeys 150 years ago. But I do not see all this properties in nurses, helpers, waitresses, operators, simple civil servants, ex colleagues… I met, they score not significant different from other countries. I saw quit a higher score with my fishermen and sari-sari neighbours some time ago, were they mirroring the colonisers? Overall, genuine willingness to help is a great deal higher, superstition might be higher, acceptance of hardship is higher, I see much more smiles, tolerance for gay is unique. All just from the hip without any scientific foundation and only comparing with 7 other countries in 4 continents, where I worked longer than 2 years, out of the 193 UN countries. (Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner mostly score Filipinos as average in the 7×2 categories. They researched employees in 40 countries building on Hofstede’s work)

  43. Yes, I'm following that thread. I think we all probably display those traits at some time to some degree. It is the persistence of them here, and the toxicity of some of the combinations, that is overwhelming. Like, the Ampatuan magnification of these qualities.

  44. Coco, hah, yes. The traits describe capitalists, too.Your para 3, "willingness to help" is higher? I buy superstition, hardship, smiles, tolerance in some cases (ridicule is very common, though). If there were willingness to help why is there so little consideration in government offices, banks, retail stores, on the road, etc? It is the same quality, the Golden Rule. I find it deficient here.As my old college professor would opine, all acts have the qualities of direction, weight and intensity. The direction exists in all cultures. The weight and intensity of some, in the Philippines, seem unique to me. Maybe not unique. China or other poor countries display them, too (the sensitivities associated with "face"). But remarkable.Something has to be driving the broad failure to aspire to high values, and the lack of economic performance.

  45. Actually, Olongapo has the most disciplined traffic rules of any good-cized city I've been in. Clear dos and don'ts, enforced. Motorcyclists there do wear their helmets. Lots of traffic people are on the streets directing troublesome intersections. Motorcycle cabs and tricycles are not allowed on the main thoroughfares. Jeepneys are painted different colors for the routes they are on, and they are ticketed if they block the road.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Key word: RecognitionRappler writer did and must be commended for publishing. Keeping the maladies in mind prevents fall down the pit! To teach the children, parents have to exemplify. Johnny Lin

  47. Anonymous says:

    That's a good sign. Would that they'd be able to sustain that discipline. DocB

  48. Anonymous says:

    Instant gratification is not unique to Filipinos. And "Filipinos are lazy"? That's as stupid as saying blacks are lazy. You should read carefully Rizal's Indolence of the Filipinos and not make sweeping generalizations based on the title of a book. Bribing an officer is unthinkable? There are other ways of bribing a traffic cop besides money. If you don't know how, I'll gladly teach you a few techniques that I successfully pulled in several countries.Where did you get your sociologist cultural anthropologist degree?- MB

  49. Anonymous says:

    Filipinos can create money out of nothing except that they can only do it in piddling amounts. They have a long way to go before they learn the tricks of Wall Street and London. Now that's making real money out of nothing. = MB

  50. Anonymous says:

    Johnny Lin,And you went all over the world, checked out all the races and nationalities and you discovered that all those ten traits can be found only in the Filipino? By the way, did you find them in Filipino Chinese, Filipino Spanish. Filipino American, Indigenous Filipino, Filipino-whatever or what? Please specify. -MB

  51. Anonymous says:

    Johnny Lin, Again those three traits we are known for, you have never encountered those terms in any other language? Maybe those three terms that was the attitude of Columbus when he sailed to America in search of another route to India. 1. Bahala na if I find India. 2. Pwede na rin yun three rickety ships, if I'm lucky they won't sink. 3. Sige na nga when he landed in America instead of India. Well, this may not be India but it will do. – MB

  52. Anonymous says:

    Joe,Subic definitely beats traffic and the streets of Manhattan or downtown San Francisco. Am I wrong or is there an America out there that everyone wants to go to, except why do Americans always go California Dreaming and New York New York? I'm confused…_ MB

  53. The question is traffic discipline, not too many cars. The US is disciplined, the Philippines not. Subic is . . . because the infrastructure is there (wide roads, stop lights) and because the rules are enforced. I detested Los Angeles traffic during rush hour and loved the freeways during the day or weekends or night. Discipline is different than congestion.Americans migrate to big cities to find jobs. The farms are mechanized. LA and NY are the biggest is all. Dallas, Denver, Seattle . . . lots of large, orderly, congested cities. I'm not sure what the issue is. NY and LA are dream cities because they are world cities, have Hollywood and Disneyland and big buildings and plays. You can play there as well as work. And you can eat. Don't forget eat.

  54. The distinction is that one relies heavily on graft and leveraging of power for the making of the money, the other predominantly risk taking within legal boundaries. In the Philippines, money is squeezed out the side from the taxpayer or customer who usually does not feel it; in the U.S. there are outright losers who feel the pain of their direct loss if a trade goes south.

  55. Anonymous says:

    Joe,The US is disciplined, the Philippines not. That's a generalization worthy of Benigno. – MB

  56. Okay, yes, the US is disciplined (obedient to laws) 87% of the time and Filipinos are disciplined 54.5% of the time. Americans get dinged for driving over the speed limit and conducting pyramid scams. Filipinos get dinged for taking bribes, driving without a license, cheating on PNP tests, driving without helmets, smuggling, dynamite fishing, using small scale nets, chopping trees illegally,using birth control devices when the morality police (Catholic Church) say not to, and so many transgressions of discipline that I get dizzy thinking about it.And it is more a deduction than a generalization. Surely, you don't think they are the same!!??? Or the other way around.

  57. Anonymous says:

    Joe, I thought your first sentence WAS about Wall Street. I guess you haven't heard of the 2008 crisis, why it happened, who were the players, and who were bailed out by whom? How can you say those things were done within legal limits when banks and investment houses have been ordered to pay hundreds of millions in fines and some executives charged criminally? And what about the saving loans crisis during the Reagan Bush years? If I remember the figures correctly, there were about a thousand people connected to it who were sentenced to jail time. What about Enron? Are those flukes or did they happen because the system made it easy for corrupt people to flourish? In the US the outright losers can be seen in the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few. The figures are there so that can't be denied.The only distinction is the magnitude of corruption, the philippines is sari-sari store level while the west it is gigantic like WalMart.

  58. My college professor said all acts were comprised of direction, weight and intensity. Both America and Philippines have some level of the same direction, lack of obedience to laws. The weight in the Philippines is high (everybody's doin'it!), whereas in the States, intensity is high (a few big whoppers that cause the nation to reel). So I accept your point.The 2008 crisis was politically made by GW's Bush's party being anti-regulation of financial institutions, and his being poor at budgeting (keeping two wars off the books and running the nation toward bankruptcy). It was not caused by crooks.

  59. Anonymous says:

    Joe,Avoid comparing the US with the Philippines as if the US or Americans are superior. We don't have school killings here on a regular basis, we don't have serial rapists and murderers like you do. Our killers are gangsters like you have too, our killings are also passion killings like you have also but we don't have the number of psychotic killers that you do. We can play this game endlessly. Yes we're fucked but you're more fucked and we will never run out of examples. My point is some of your comments border on racism or generalizations coming from superficial observations. I appreciate your observations and analyses but I resent it when you make the leap to attributing faults to an entire people, making the exceptions out as if they were the rule. You know what I'm talking about. I understand your frustration. Maybe you need to move out of neighborhood and move to where your friends moved. There are many places in the Philippines where you will observe an entirely different way of life and Filipinos who live and think the way good citizens do and ought to do.Okay I’ll go long on you and maybe you will see where I’m coming from. I like your observations and your posts. But I’ve notice of late that you are beginning to tread on dangerous ground, ground best left to the likes of benigno’s get real racism. Don’t get me wrong. Healthy criticism of this or that policy, issue, institution is fine and actually helpful. For example, criticize Sotto and Enrile all you want, they deserve it. But to project their faults on an entire people is something else. They are not the entire race. They are not all of us. You wouldn’t welcome an opinion of all Americans based on the behavior of psychotics who shoot up schools and churches do you? You don't want anyone to say that America is a nation of serial rapists and serial murders. You will be offended if someone were to say those psychotics were typical Americans, products of a national psychosis.You see when you see something wrong and you make the leap and call it typical and blame an entire people’s culture, religion, race, etc on it and then you try to find a solution or a way of correcting such faults, then you will eventually end up with only two options: mass education or indoctrination of all so that they become your image and likeness or failing that you will decide it is better for the greater good just to wipe out all of them. I’m not saying you are there already but you are coming awfully close. A top ten list of Filipino traits posted by Johnny Lin found a home in your blog. Now you are thinking man. Do Filipinos own sole proprietorship of those traits? Are those traits found only in Filipinos?Are all those traits together uniquely Filipino or are they signs of human weakness found in humans and human societies? You need to step back and look at what’s happening my friend. It’s a slippery slope to mass indoctrination and genocide when you make a one -size fits all analysis and propose solutions based on superficial generalizations like the top ten traits and the three main atitudes of Filipinos posted in your comment section. Remember Filipinos are 100M with mixed blood and ancestry, different languages, different religions, different regional cultures. We are not as homogenous as Europeans or you Americans. You cannot put as all in one shirt. We are still in the process of becoming one nation. Filipino is still an aspiration.So please keep the tone of your blog on the up and up. Let’s not become a bunch of rednecks pretending insights on others based on color or whatever. – MB

  60. Well, I appreciate the time and energy you are investing in this today. I'm not sure exactly what to do. My subject is the Philippines, seen through a westerner's eyes. My subject is not the US, per se. Comparisons are natural, as it is the spyglass I look through.I observe a different culture here, where laws don't mean much, and I have to figure, is that good, is that bad, or is that just the way it is. And I study up on the BIR and its fine Commissioner, and run some numbers, and see that tax collection costs are up to 1% from 0.78% of revenue. And I ask, is that bad?And the answer is, no. Invest more and get more from the people who are avoiding taxes. And I extend the idea and write a blog, because I have to crank out one of these suckers every day to adhere to my personal commitment and fucking DISCIPLINE.Then my READERS, Filipinos, tell me I am naive. The tax collectors just get paid off to under-report.And you tell me I am almost a racist because I believe my readers are intelligent people and know more about it than I do.I'm not sure what you want me to do, exactly. Become a namby pamby loyalist who censors any kind of edgy opinion or creative idea? Tell my readers to go away and stop making things tough on MB? Stop writing, get drunk, and gather among the other Americans to bitch about how crazy things are here? You think I'M a red neck, you ought to hear thest people.Now I admit, I sometimes write crap, and am sometimes miss the mark, and sometimes my humor is a little childish. And I am bound by my upbringing and biases, which is why I welcome comments to set me straight.But it is a Society of Honor, and I think you are asking for me to make it a Society of Agreeable Thoughts. I simply don't know how.

  61. Anonymous says:

    Johnny,Have you ever shopped on Black Friday? I think you will find all those ten traits and more plus a little violence thrown in for free.

  62. Anonymous says:

    No Joe. I'm afraid you did not get my point. Like I said I like your blog and appreciate your observations. And I like your comparisons as in this is the way we do it and that's the way you do it. That's perfectly fine and appreciated. What I can not tolerated is your playing along with Top ten bad traits of Filipinos and Three main bad attitudes of Filipinos. Those are racist, they are generalizations, superficial and won't stand up to scrutiny because they lack intellectual rigor. You know what I mean. Americans at one time or another had those lists to typify blacks, jews, italians, irish, poles, mexicans, et al. Those kinds of conversations do not lead to anywhere positive, they do not add an iota knowledge or intelligence.What do I want you to do? Keep on writing your excellent insights but stay away from racism, even when the racism emanates from Filipinos themselves. Johnny Lin sounds intelligent enough, why not help him stay away from inane ideas instead of encouraging him? I devoted time on this topic because I was offended by Johnny Lin's racism and your egging him on with your follow-up comments.

  63. Well, I understand your point, but doubt that I am qualified to tell an intelligent Filipino that I know better than he does the weaknesses of his own culture. I can try to be aware, but the best deal is for you to stop by now and then and set straight those views you find disagreeable. Maybe this is an anti-site and I just didn't realize it.Interesting . . .

  64. Okay, MB, I read the thread comments again, and I see your point. Coco was suggesting that Johnny's list was not peculiar to Filipinos, but I didn't grasp it. Thanks for raising the matter and enduring on the explanation.

  65. Anonymous says:

    I did post comments to his comments. But really policing such shit can be very tiring. Anyway, it's your blog. You know what I'm trying to get across to you so take it or leave it.On another matter, "Become a namby pamby loyalist who censors any kind of edgy opinion or creative idea? Tell my readers to go away and stop making things tough on MB?" If you are implying I'm a hack for Aquino, I'm not. I campaigned and voted for Aquino, I support his government and Daan Matuwid but I have criticized him when I thought he needed criticizing. You know that and you've said that so yourself before. Let's not go down that road because I will have to ask you to point to specific instances of me hacking for Aquino or his administration. If and when I defend Aquino I lay out my case in the same way I do when I criticize him. The fact that sometimes my defense is along the same line as his does not mean I am parroting his lines. He could be parroting mine. But seriously, it only means that that is the only way of arguing whatever the case is. So I hope you give me the benefit of the doubt as I do you when you attack or defend the president.

  66. That remark should be allowed to drift off into the ether of irrelvant internet commentary. I respect your views with regard to President Aquino and the intelligence with which you speak (write). You help keep me balanced or I might become a genuine anti, rather than an occasional one.

  67. Anonymous says:

    Hahaha. And you keep me from becoming a canine loyalist – MB

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