Greed in America, Joy in the Philippines

Filipino_happy_2_Pope_CNNPH

Joy found in seeing Pope Francis (If this is you, kindly let us know via the contact page; we’d love to introduce you! JoeAm)[Photo: C. Maree Williams, Getty Images, via CNN]

What is the energy that drives capitalism? I’ve called it greed in the past because I don’t know a better emotional word, one that is directed toward aggressively acquiring something, one packed with energy. It is a drive for material gain, an obsession, really, of executives and employees working hard and smart to compete and earn more than the next guy. People tell me greed is bad, it is people using and taking advantage of others and being self-absorbed.

All things are relative, I suppose, and to leftists, making any profit that is not shared generously with workers is greed. American greed is the worst of all to them.

Well, what they call greed, I often call success. Furthermore, what that greedy capitalist America has, the Philippines needs.

We capitalists argue . . . and I am an ardent capitalist . . . we argue that this grasping for profits, this grand national energy devoted to production, empowers wealth-building, for we define the striving to acquire, not as avarice, not as selfish, but as a positive drive, the emotive energy that pushes innovation, investment, risk-taking and production. Without a doubt, risk-taking can be a bummer now and then as markets crash and no one goes to jail for it. But capitalists take them. Another bummer is the feeling among those who are largely left out of the wealth machine that they are but fodder for the fat cat industrialists, those guys the commies and leftist whackos condemn in their 1950’s Maoist rhetoric.

A lot of people, and they are not all leftists, call America greedy. Consuming so much, getting so rich, breaking nations for oil, flaunting power here and there and everywhere. But American greed is widespread and inclusive. Most Americans are engaged in it. And Americans individually are generally satisfied with this capitalist energy as they push themselves up the opportunity ladder and see the rewards sitting in the driveway or kitchen, replete with sub-zero refrigerators and every spinning, whirring gadget known to mankind. Yes, the gap between the super-rich and regular Joe is getting more obscene, but people live well, for the most part.

They love their country.

The energy in the Philippines is not so widespread. Opportunity is not so widespread. The wealth seems to flow ONLY to the entitled, the top, either through hook (real investment and work) or crook (kickbacks and other forms of theft).

Filipinos who are left out don’t love their country so much, I think. There’s a whole bunch of them. They are down on the Philippines, and its leaders.

Don’t get me wrong. They love being Filipino, love their rich heritage, are proud of their local regions and Filipino stars, and love their family and friends. They just don’t translate that into a respect for, and appreciation of, the national government or the police and fighting troops (who are often the enemy, it seems) or other representations of the suffocation that is theirs to bear.

If oxygen is the stuff we need to breathe, opportunity is the stuff we need for fulfillment. There is not enough of it going around, in the Philippines.

The discussion in Will Villanueva’s recent article “Love in the time of Marcos“, touched on the lack of national cohesion or love, and why Filipinos seem so capable of generosity and love, but are so needy and critical of their nation’s leadership and government. It is a discussion thread that is well worth reading.

It struck me that what is missing widely across the Philippines is the emotion that attaches to greed, realized. That is, the joy or self-satisfaction that comes from moving up the path of opportunity. What is missing is self-fulfillment.

Well, if there is no path up and no opportunity, there is no joy. And when someone else moves up it, of course we get bitter about it. We’ve been slogging in the labor pits all our life and have nothing to show for it. No degree, no car, maybe not even a motorbike, no house with a real bedroom, used-clothes, dirt all over the place, kids struggling in school. We got nothing. It is not the PERSON moving up that we hate, really. It is our lot in life that we hate. They get the joy and we are stuck with this barren wasteland that is a lot like the skies of Los Angeles or the desert of the Sahara. Our life is a raft in the middle of the Pacific, becalmed. Just sitting there. Never changing, endless. It is the same no matter which direction we turn.

And you want to lecture ME on how to vote???

Filipinos will have a vibrant, strong national spirit when their leaders can figure out how to be more inclusive with the distribution of joy.

Oh, yes, cash works. Doubling the CCT payments is kind, for sure. But cash is not the only element of joy. Seeing Junior graduate from college provides it. Being able to pay for medicine does it. Being promoted at work . . . or, hey . . . just GETTING a real job does it. Getting a motorbike does it.

The reason stability and continuity are so very, very important to the Philippines is because the economy is humming. If that keeps up, it will build a real middle class and generate jobs faster than Filipinos can generate babies. And let me be clear, that is very fast.

In 15 years, this nation will be very, very different.

With stability and continuity, the joy gets spread about more. It includes more people.

We can expect more and more people to start liking and respecting their national leadership, their government, their nation. We might even see see them decide there IS a reason to vote well.

Will they like the oligarchs any less? The Fat Cats? Will they be less envious of people who succeed? I’d like to think so. As an ardent capitalist and inveterate out-of-stepper, I see the “Big Boys” as the shining stars of Philippine growth and riches. Not the dogs of our misery. They are already first world and are the front of the ship, the prow, the bow that is pushing the nation through competitive economic waters. They need deep pockets and generous profits to take on the big risks and investments that make this dynamic society work . . . the malls and expressways and airports they build, the foods they provide, the banks they operate, the media and entertainment venues they run. For taking Jollibee around the world. For flying Filipinos around the world and tourists to the Philippines. For giving us electricity and broadband services, even if they are half-baked; they’ll be fully baked in a few years.

The oligarchs do not need to be whipped and cursed. They do need to be “encouraged” to keep Philippine markets open and competitive. Senator Bam Aquino gets it, for sure, and I hope his “Competition Act” is implemented with some measure of purpose.

It seems to me that the nation’s leadership needs to make a concerted effort to spread more joy around. To do that, they need to focus, to concentrate, to keep their eyes on the ball.

  • If I had a metric for joy in the the Philippines, it would be jobs as a percentage of employable adults. Good jobs, not day jobs. Career jobs above minimum wage for which social security and health benefits are provided.
  • The second metric would be the percentage of families above the poverty line.

I would not express this last goal negatively, defensively, by focusing on the families UNDER the poverty line. Those are losses. I would track the wins. Work for wins. Get the wins.

I would also not worry about subordinate numbers, like percentage of kids graduating from school except in the back room where the “how do we do it” gets worked out. The “how we do it” discussion ought to be deep and broad and rich and focused on the ways that make a difference.

  • Add a third metric, GDP growth. The measure of wealth generation. Put it at the top, the goal that makes all the others work.

That’s all we need to watch.

If ingenuity and hard work are put to the task, the nation will continue to grow as the shining star of Asia, as a vibrant, fun-loving, serious, first world nation.

I know the government DOES track these figures and seeks to improve them. But I would put them in the first paragraph of the SONA and every other speech the President makes. They’d be on billboards across Manila, in chart form, showing progress.

To get to joy, I’d suggest that Philippine lawmakers discover how America structures it’s greed, with career paths and human resources departments and a hunger to compete and win. They hire for skill. They set goals and achieve them. And they have fun along the way.

Then write the laws to make that happen.

Beyond that, if I were President, I would speak out, and require every cabinet official to speak out, to inform people about progress and to show pride. Speaking out does not need a measurement. It is everyday testimony that the Philippines is great. The glory of the nation should be praised in every forum.

Well, if you don’t believe that, of course you don’t have to praise the Philippines.

I believe it.

It is not bragging, it requires no apology, to say “I am proud of the Philippines!”

You . . . as Filipinos . . . have your act together, growing and building like crazy. Getting rid of red tape and organizing things better (like that APEC conference). The place is gorgeous, vibrant, warm . . .  the people are the best, warm, happy, smart, generous. Outsiders look on and nod in unison. This is not the Philippines they once knew. This is a nation busting out, on the move.

Keep it going, eh?

Find the joy.

Vote for it.

Don’t vote for the negativists and their black clouds of condemnation and complaint. Their pretense that the nation is going backward. Of crabs ever yanking one another down.

The nation is going forward and only a blind man or a game-playing politician running for office would see it otherwise.

Vote for opportunity, vote for jobs, vote for a future rich with success and celebration.

Vote for joy.

 

Comments
140 Responses to “Greed in America, Joy in the Philippines”
  1. This reminded me of Gordon Gekko’s Greed Speech, Joe—- and Gekko was the hero in Stone’s second installment, “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps”… there’s a lesson there, I’m sure.

      • Micha says:

        Greed is only good in Gekko’s world. Taken in the larger context of a nation, it’s a toxic brew that will devour even the SOB’s grandchildren.

        • Joe America says:

          Depends on where you are in time and space, I think. It CAN be toxic, yes. Ask the glaciers about that.

          • Joe America says:

            Certainly you don’t begrudge Filipinos the self-fulfillment that can come from having a career, do you?

          • Which is why you have Bam Aquino’s anti-trust stuff – Philippine Competition Act…

            And his SME initiatives like the Negosyo Centers… Japanese and German capitalism both have a strong SME backbone in addition to the big zaibatsus and Konzerne…

            • Joe America says:

              The proof will be in the pudding, the actual rules and regulations, composition of the Commission, and agenda set by that commission. I fear that the actual implementation will be slow and lack a sense of purpose. I intend to follow up in January when Senator Aquino’s staff said the regulations and commission SHOULD be in place.

              • The Negosyo Centers do show that Bam Aquino is good at following up stuff until the actual implementation on the ground, not just window-dressing.

                What I fear is that other interests might dilute Competition Act implementation. In fact that is one of the worries of TTIP critics over here in Germany – that our Competition Act might get diluted. Some American firms already said “what, Germany is against competition?”…

              • Joe America says:

                Good point on the Negosyo Centers. I hope that is true. I’m not clear how the commission will get set up or who is driving and approving its membership. If nothing has happened by early next year, then it will be time to ask why.

              • Mar Roxas BTW has said he is skeptical of TPP… skeptical in his language I think means he will look into it closely, very much like they are checking TTIP over here… global trade is a good thing but in such treaties, the devil is in the details, so good he will check it.

              • Joe America says:

                His main concern is that other nations subsidize farming, which means they can produce at lower cost, undermining Philippine farmers in an open market. It is a legitimate concern.

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        1. Greed is not good. In this, Micha is correct.

        2. Greed is an excess of desire.

        3. Desire is neither good nor bad. It just is. It is the human condition.

        4. The difficulty with greed — or any excess of desire — is that it may impel us to cross moral boundaries.

        4.1. In Buddhism, greed is classified as one of the three poisons along with Ignorance and Anger.

        5. May I suggest that the energy behind capitalism should not be construed as greed… but the notion of “Prosperity.”

        5.1. As noted by Irineo, this is implicit in US Declaration of Independence, in that last phrase “the pursuit of happiness.”

        6. So if the idea of Prosperity is the energy behind Capitalism, what is the energy behind America? Well, it’s right there in the Declaration of Independence: the ideas of Liberty and Equality, both of which came from the French Revolution.

        6.1. And it is right there in the “pursuit of happiness.” Happiness can be material or spiritual. A current confusion in America is that it has conflated the two: material happiness is spiritual happiness.

        6.2. Another factor in the current malaise of America is that it has carried the idea of Liberty too far, at times to the detriment of Equality. This is seen in the self-assumed rights (a) to pursue wars of “liberation”, (b) to bear arms; (c) to promote the interests of the political party rather than those of the nation; and (d) to label as Socialism any attempt to implement Equality in the form of social justice.

        6.3. One factor in the current troubles of the Philippines, as Chempo has noted, is that we have taken the adopted ideal of freedom much too far… at the expense of the community. There is a distinct lack of individual responsibility and accountability.

        6.4. Another factor is that we do not really recognize social Equality. If we do not belong to the social elite, we greedily pursue wealth to be able to enjoy the fruits of Liberty. As Irineo has noted, our base social structure is one of datuship (or rajahship).

        6.5. Other factors are those suggested by Buddhism: Ignorance (as exemplified by the term massa ) and Anger (as exemplified by the term culture of criticism.

        6.5. The greatest factor, to my mind, is the lack of conscious awareness of moral boundaries… and what those boundaries are supposed to be exactly.
        *****

        • Joe America says:

          Prosperity is the result, I agree, but what I want to characterize is the active method of getting there, where the driver is well-directed management processes that help an individual realize self-fulfillment, and in the doing, propel the corporation and the State forward. In that model, accountability becomes a part of the driving mechanism, for one is responsible for one’s success if there are opportunities to chase. The opportunities have to be there. The “moral boundaries” issue is worth expanding on. Care to write a blog?

          • edgar lores says:

            *******
            1. True, prosperity is usually seen through the lens of economic success. But if one equates prosperity with well-being, it can be health, it can be spiritual satisfaction, it can be anything that aligns with what one considers to be the composition of happiness.

            2. At the level of community, I agree that economic prosperity is important, and undoubtedly we should strive for such a state. Poverty is demeaning.

            3. At the individual level, economic self-sufficiency is important but not necessarily economic prosperity. One can be happy with the little that one has. One can achieve happiness via the path of austerity. One can be happy playing basketball or reading a book. Individuals have different ideas of self-fulfillment.

            4. Another component of prosperity apart from wealth and health is peace. The pursuit for economic prosperity is most of the time incompatible with peace. Look at how we use our fellowmen. Look at corruption in government. Look at China’s territorial designs.

            5. It is unnecessary to urge Filipinos to be greedy. At the individual and family levels, we already are. What we may not have — as pointed out and, again, I agree — are the proper mechanisms and methods for achieving prosperity at the community level.

            6. I would urge that we try to maintain balance in life and try to achieve self-fulfillment in whatever form we conceptualize that to be.
            *****

            • Joe America says:

              “Individuals have different ideas of self-fulfillment.”

              That is true, most certainly, and a reasonable ideal. But people ought to have choices available to them, and I’d say that too many Filipinos lack the most basic of choices. The poor are happy during their fiestas, cheerful most of the time, and miserable when they need a doctor’s care. The “happy Filipino” masks a lot of pain, and the “happy Filipino” is not a very good steward of his nation, I think. The drive for prosperity can be managed to fix those shortcomings. Poor Filipinos ought not be relegated to finding their fulfillment in austerity because we can’t figure out how to give them a career path. Give them career opportunities on their menu of choices, and if they choose beach bum over career, more power to them.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                Exceptions upon exceptions.

                Oh, I concede all of that. And I agree with the thrust of the article.

                What bothered me was the use of the term “greed” and the characterization that it can be a positive, the motivating force for “success” and “self-fulfillment”.

                The desire for one to run a business, own a house, two cars, money in the bank, and an educational fund for the kids — all of these is not greed. It is a moral and legitimate desire to live a happy and productive life.

                The desire for prosperity, however one may call it except to call it greed, is the motivating force to achieve the result of prosperity.

                To say greed can possibly be good is to lose moral certitude. That is my concern. Some people will extend the misconception to imply, if not to explicitly say, that greedy Binay and his ilk are good moral examples.
                *****

              • Joe America says:

                Greed “self-fulfillment arising from willing dedication to productive work, for the benefits it can bring”

              • Inspiring, educational thread.

                “Give them career opportunities on their menu of choices, and if they choose beach bum over career” – I keep thinking of more family anecdotes mostly referring to the poorest of the poor relations but will not bore the readers anymore.

                Joe as usual, is engaging on more provocative literary expressions, I got his points, I got yours too, sir edgar. Contentment is a relative term, I think. Ultra rich and ultra powerful people may not be contented with they already have, still restless and unsatisfied, they will not stop to have more, and more and more – the Binay’s and the Marcoses’ greed.

                …. and poor ones could be happy for what little they have to the point of no longer be aspiring to achieve more.

                Personally, I can be happy and contented just to have the basic needs met, but I have to strive to have more if I have the means to morally achieve them, so I can be an instrument to be of help to those who, although they try their utmost best, cannot seem to have the luck or the means to lift themselves out of where they are now, which is at the bottom of the pit. I have the means and the opportunity, they don’t. I will grab the means and the opportunity, not doing so will deprive me of the capability to help those who don’t have them, the alternative is just to watch them squirm helplessly and sleep away the hunger pangs.

                We have to have desire to lift our country to where we are right now, as there are still a lot things to improve upon, by voting right team that will implement continuity. Some people lump politicians as the same all over, with no exception at all, that is a very hopeless stage of mind, I think. But unless somebody can help them change their perspective and prejudice, they will continue to just try to have what they can get for themselves to help them survive for a day or a week, in exchange for their vote, not realizing that what they are selling is a decade or more of lost opportunities for themselves and their children and grandchildren.

                Acchhh…more motherhood statements, I know…

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                Mary,

                As I keep saying, you are an angel. You and JoeAm help others beyond self — both materially and non-materially. I don’t know if it’s true that the more you give the more you receive… or the more you give the more you suffer. I don’t have sufficient data to be able to say one way or the other. You will have to tell me.

                The transactions of giving and receiving can be very complicated not only motive-wise but also consequence-wise. I feel more comfortable giving than receiving. In fact, I feel distinctly uncomfortable when receiving.

                What I do hate is when people who receive are not satisfied… and make demands. This is true of most of our politicians. Both President Aquinos have been the exceptions.

                Perhaps this should be added to our criteria for voting. Who has received more than what has already been given to them? (Think Grace?) And who is demanding more than what they have already received? (Think Binay?)

                And who is willing to give more than what they have received? (Think… ???)
                *****

              • chempo says:

                I have always lived by my own creed and that is, the pursuit of wealth is not a sin, it is what you do with it that matters.

              • Thanks, sir edgar…

                Re the recipients of one’s giving…. I try to follow the old adage, “kindness is best not returned, one should pass it on”. I hope the recipients of my giving will pass it on to others in need.

                You should see exchanges I had with skykes there at raissa’s today and at some FB group forums, the Marcos and Duterte supporters suck…they are fierce and they swore at you at every turn, I must be a masochist to engage them… this “angel” (ach, I truly hope I deserve this characterization) is fighting for Mar and the continuity he represents. I just bear in mind that other readers are visiting and they will be the one who will judge who is right and who are wrong and hopefully arrive at the right decision for the country.

        • josephivo says:

          “The pursuit of happiness.” This was written for the happy few and not for the commoner or absolutely not for the slaves at that time. But good common myth have to be flexible so they can adjust to changes in society, just as most religions.

          I say myth because the social mobility is limited in the US, much less than in Europe. But we keep talking about the land of the free, everybody can become president, working hard is always compensated… Wealth only correlates with the wealth of the parents, all the rest are “accidents”

          Ps. Motivation does not come from salary increases or bonuses, it is a hygiene factor, too little no performance but more is not better. Recent research though shows a relationship between income and happiness, sharp until 20.000$ a year, less up to 40,000$ and flat above that. Look at Maslov for the explanation. Recognition motivates, independence motivates, the line of sight between what you do and companies results…

          • josephivo says:

            “The pursuit of happiness.” was also a well off, white male thing, women had other tasks in life just as Indians, slaves or workers with no land, degree or capital. That is how it had always be and how it was intended to remain, only with the well off better organized.

          • edgar lores says:

            *******
            Joseph, thanks.

            I have got my history wrong:

            1. The US Declaration of Independence (1776) was a product of the American Revolution (1775 – 1783).

            2. The French Revolution took place between 1789 – 1799. So the battle cry of the Revolution of “Liberté, égalité, fraternité” came from the American Revolution and not vice-versa.

            3. You are right: The “pursuit of happiness” and even the self-evident truth that “all men are created equal” was not intended to include slaves. Slavery in America began early in the 17th century, after 1619. The US Constitution, which was promulgated in 1789, “counted each slave as three-fifths of a person for the purposes of taxation and representation.”

            4. I would say, however, that the drafter of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, who owned hundreds of slaves, perhaps wrote down moral truths which he himself did not practice. It is well known that the great men of history are less than punctilious in practicing what they preach.

            5. The ideal of true equality, I think, came into its own in the Gettysburg Address of 1863.

            6. I would not say the self-evident truths of the second sentence in the Declaration of Independence are myths. I would say they are ideals that have been alternately realized then lost… then realized and lost again. They have to be fought for time and time again.

            7. Motivation is a complicated matter, and Maslow’s hierarchy would be a good place to start. You are saying that beyond a certain point, external incentives are not effective. I agree. In my IT work, self-satisfaction (or self-fulfillment) was a greater motivator than compensation. What is missing in Maslow’s hierarchy is fear as a motivator, although one might say that “Safety”, the second layer, is fear. Greed, as motivation, begins within the first two layers (Physiological and Safety) and, at a certain point when those first two needs are no longer a matter of concern, ends up in the fourth layer of “Esteem”.
            *****

            • I would say it took Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement to complete the aspirations of the Gettysburg address – and the declaration of Independence.

              Declarations of intent often take centuries to fulfill. The Swiss Rütli oath went against serfdom, but the first Swiss Constitution, the pact between the three tribes, specified that every man must still serve his overlord. The canton of Bern was imperialistic, subduing the French areas near it and not giving them the democratic freedom intended for all, but practiced only for German speakers. That is the way history goes. People are hypocrites.

              It takes certain people to unveil hypocrisy and ask for what was really intended in practice.

              • Do Philippine birth certificates still have “race” in them? This must be an old American legacy, just like Russian passports still have “nationality” meaning ethnic group in them.

                I don’t think American birth certificates still have that, or do they? In Germany no race is mentioned on birth certificates, used to be that “Jewish race” was mentioned and every person had to prove he was a true German – 3 German grandparents as per Nuremberg.

                My German grandfather just passed, being 1/4 Hungarian – and joined the Nazi party. 😦

            • josephivo says:

              Myth : an idea or story that is believed by many people but that is not true. (Webster)

              The USA had both the highest economic inequality and lowest economic mobility. In this and other studies, in fact, the USA has very low mobility at the lowest rungs of the socioeconomic ladder, with mobility increasing slightly as one goes up the ladder. At the top rung of the ladder, however, mobility again decreases…. In spite of this low mobility Americans have had the highest belief in meritocracy. (Wikipedia)

              However you define happiness, those at the bottom have no chance, especially if you define it economic. Equality, did you ever see a 1% on a dirty bus? Liberty in gated communities only. Why? All depends where you are born. The constitution is myth for most Americans.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                Ah, Joseph, that’s a bit harsh. True, not all are enjoying the promise of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, but a great many are. It is not a myth, because the promise is partly true and partly not true. By your definition, myth is an idea that is completely(?) not true.

                There are still many rags-to-riches stories and middle-class-to-riches as well. And there are many who attain a great degree of self-fulfillment.

                True, the Capitalist Class is just 1%. But the Upper- and Lower-Middle classes constitute 47%. The Working Class is 32% and the Lower Class is 20%. Granted these last two classes comprise a sizable majority. Still a lot of people from all corners of the globe still migrate to the Land of Plenty to seek their fortunes.
                *****

              • josephivo says:

                Where is the myth true? Not in the medical world, not in education, not in the legal world, not in the economical world, not in the leisure time, not in security for all those fields there are good statistics. At the top they can live the myth coming down it gets more and more difficult. The constitution is for all, but as in Hammurabi’s almost world 4000 years ago, there are still three classes, the noble men, the commoners and the slaves, we only use different words, but still 3 different worlds, similar laws different punishments, different food, dress codes, use of language…

                … and I hope that my little fever will be gone by tomorrow so I can look at a brighter world again.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                Ah, get well soon, mon ami! I am a noble in my thoughts, a commoner in material things, and a slave in my ignorance. At least, it is possible to be all three and not just one.
                *****

              • Joe America says:

                When I am in the US, I am always astounded at the number of large homes, owned by the nobles and commoners. Generally one or two cars. Generally both parents working to acquire them, and the lifestyle of leisure and consumption. If you go to the noble communities, like Pacific Palisades or Aspen or other well-to-do areas – a huge one around San Jose – you don’t find a few nobles, you find block after block, or mountain after mountain, of elegant homes and nice cars, millions and millions of them. These are the doctors and lawyers and entertainers and business executives and sports people and media people and techies and movie and TV directors and there are tens of millions of them. If you drive to the lower-end communities, you find the ganglands are limited to a few troubled blocks infested with drugs and criminal acts, and the older suburbs, the intermediate homes, the “tweeners” are well kept and owned by the proud. What you call myth is the good life for hundreds of millions, and I’m not exactly sure what your complaint is about.

              • josephivo says:

                @Joe, The only reason this well off live in the large houses and have their 2 cars is that there parent were well off, their mam had a good diet when pregnant, they had a good diet when growing up, their parents knew the dangers of junk food and sugar, they did not believe the commercials, they know how commercials are made and why. Their children had optimal health care, best schools, love and care all around. For the poor, you turn all these sentences around. And the ones in the middle work double shifts to pay their taxes and support bankers, to pay their restructured mortgages until they are 70, they live on credit and pay unnecessary interests, but don’t show the outside world.

                The constitution is a very strong myth and you need strong myths to organize large groups of people. The myth is so good that it creates a lot of growth, attracts a lot of people, but most are trapped in the rat race, only a “few” benefit and have a decent life – 10% of 320 million are still a hell of a lot large houses and expensive cars – But I lived in Detroit, was dealing with Ford suppliers of minority groups, so I traveled a lot in Mississippi, Arkansas, North Carolina, Alabama, poor areas of Chicago, Atlanta and Indian reserves where cars are old and rusty and people obese, some business men with a large heart trying to make a difference.

              • Joe America says:

                I still don’t get the point. That you see poor people in America who are not so well educated and struggle to keep up with the opportunities that others are finding? That Americans who love their nation are living a myth because there are poor people there? So, what am I to do, being one of the formerly poor who, with the dedication of my parents, made it to non-poor, and am thankful for it? I got the college education my father did not get because he served in WWII for six years saving your homeland’s ass, and then worked three jobs at once to give his four kids the good life. Am I to give my money away to poor people, or stop loving America? You think my father was snookered by the myth? What’s your point?

              • Joe America says:

                Myth: a traditional or legendary story, usually concerning some being or hero or event, with or without a determinable basis of fact or a natural explanation, especially one that is concerned with deities or demigods and explains some practice, rite, or phenomenon of nature. 2. stories or matter of this kind: realm of myth.

                People organize governments to set rules and lead them to a safe and better life. If you take the “better” out of that statement, then, yes, America is a myth, and all those intellectuals like Franklin and Jefferson and Hamilton were just blowing smoke to give people the idea that prosperity was something the human kind should strive for. It is better to stay in one place and enjoy the camp fire.

    • Joy is better than Greed… OFWs and migrants all have pangarap – aspirations – to the good life they cannot build in the Philippines…

      The Pacific aspiration to a good life is more sustainable than the old American dream, built on the assumption that natural resources will last forever – strip-mining methods that are embodied in neoliberalism that could destroy the world…

      But now even Americans have discovered sustainability… the Philippine version of capitalism Joe is postulating is better… the family-oriented, love and passion-centered society Heneral Will has postulated may have more positive energy than American capitalism ever had… the AlDub democracy we are building on social media, with strong direct democratic aspirations a la Robredo may rival that of the Swiss..

      and the upstart Philippine civilization that I have postulated may rival all that has been there before.. just like Jews were Egyptian slaves who outdid their former masters, Greeks were pirates who outdid the Trojans they raided in terms of culture, Roman peasant culture outdid the Greeks who looked down upon them as illiterate, Germanic culture outdid the Roman Empire they destroyed, its latest embodiment being the United States of America…

      Pursuit of happiness – not greed – is in the American Constitution. May the Philippines write “pursuit of love, passion, joy, sustainability and AlDub community” into the preamble of a future Freedom Constitution. As the Philippines is now pioneering in Asian partnerships, as the Philippines is pioneering in following international rule of law instead of Wild Western methods by going to the court in The Hague, not a basketball court for sure, we may be pioneers for a New Age of Mankind – Novo Ordo Saeculorum like what is on the Dollar… 🙂

      • Joe America says:

        I was watching the UST vs FEU playoff basketball game yesterday. It was a game of streaks, first FEU, then UST, then FEU for the win. When they are in the streak, there is a special passion, an extra effort, a confidence, a realization that it is fun to be successful. That is the Philippine tipping point. But elect the wrong administration next year and the streak the Philippines is now in may become turnovers and missed shots. It is best to let hot shooters play.

      • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

        Irineo! I can visualize you as being in a trance as you are typing this particular treatise, encapsulating world history into the size of a peanut. Your brain alone can power a small city! Do we still have main frames? If not, humans like you and chempo and JoeAm and Lance Corporal, NHerrera, Mary Grace, andrewlim8 and caliphman have taken over huge amounts of information on-call. We may not have a Raissa Robles but we have whirring discs of n amounts of data ready for picking in nanoseconds. Suffice it to say that I am tipping my Aussie bush hat in your direction, then again praises do not matter to data banks like you, you just go on and on like the nuclear engines of a Poseidon-class submarine not needing to surface for air. Salute!

  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ode_to_Joy

    the text to Beethoven’s 9th Symphony

    composed when he was stone deaf…

    Joy, bright spark of divinity,
    Daughter of Elysium,
    Fire-inspired we tread,
    Thy Heavenly, thy sanctuary.
    Thy magic power re-unites
    All that custom has divided,
    All men become brothers
    Under the sway of thy gentle wings.

    Whoever has created
    An abiding friendship,
    Or has won a true and loving wife,
    Join in our song of praise,
    Yes, all who can call at least one soul
    Theirs upon this earth;
    But any who cannot must creep tearfully
    Away from our circle.

    All creatures drink of joy
    At nature’s breast.
    Just and unjust
    Alike taste of her gift;
    She gave us kisses and the fruit of the vine,
    A tried friend to the end.
    Even the worm can feel contentment,
    And the cherub stands before God!

    Gladly,
    As His heavenly bodies fly
    On their courses through the heavens,
    Thus, brothers, you should run your race,
    As a hero going to conquest.

    You millions, I embrace you.
    This kiss is for all the world!
    Brothers, above the starry canopy
    There must dwell a loving Father.
    Do you fall in worship, you millions?
    World, do you know your creator?
    Seek him in the heavens;
    Above the stars must He dwell.

  3. karl garcia says:

    Christmas feeling.

    • Starting at 48:23… friends, let us stop singing the old tunes, let us sing a new tune…

      I remember the 9th Symphony at the CCP in Manila… 3 Philippine orchestras and 5 choirs to handle the sheer magnitude of this classical AlDub love hymn, written by Schiller, the poet who was also a “barbecue stick” (a recent German movie was about his affair with two sisters) and inspired Jose Rizal who translated his Wilhelm Tell epic poem into Tagalog, and made into music by Beethoven who was totally deaf when he wrote it… amazing…

  4. karl garcia says:

    i was talking to some hospital workers like med techs,and I found out that next to working aboroad thet would want to work in PGH, aside from the impending salary increase of government workers,their retirement is more secure. So the government is still the largest employer,and it will stay that way if they keep on increasing salaries until we can no longer afford it.I have ioften commented against too many government workers and related to this, a bloated bureaucracy and how much of the gaa is allocated to salaries.

    • That is all OK as long as the government increases the tax base… and that broad tax base will not be the BPO companies who all have tax breaks, it will be Philippines MSMEs…

    • Joe America says:

      It’s okay, Karl. They spend just about every dime peso they make. It circulates.

      • karl garcia says:

        Which make me think, why do some economists look at the savings of a nation?
        You spend you help the economy,how can savings not be only good for the individual?

        • The next classic I am starting to translate is Adam Smith’s the Wealth of Nations…

          one of his chapters is dealing with that kind of stuff you are asking as well.

          Sun Tzu, Locke, Adam Smith – strategy, democracy, economics.

        • Joe America says:

          Chempo is probably a better person to answer. I think for stability to weather economic cycles, and perhaps so banks can leverage their lending power to ramp up growth.

          • Chapter IV, Adam Smith’s the Wealth of Nations:

            Gold and silver, however, like every other commodity, vary in their 60[ 7 ] value, are sometimes cheaper and sometimes dearer, sometimes of easier and sometimes of more difficult purchase. The quantity of labour which any particular quantity of them can purchase or command, or the quantity of other goods which it will exchange for, depends always upon the fertility or barrenness of the mines which happen to be known about the time when such exchanges are made. The discovery of the abundant mines of America reduced, in the sixteenth century, the value of gold and silver in Europe to about a third of what it had been before. As it costs less labour to bring those metals from the mine to the market, so when they were G.ed.p50 brought thither they could purchase or command less labour; and this revolution in their value, though perhaps the greatest, is by no means the only one of which history gives some account. But as a measure of quantity, such as the natural foot, fathom, or handful, which is continually varying in its own quantity, can never be an accurate measure of the quantity of other things; so a commodity which is itself continually varying in its own value, can never be an accurate measure of the value of other commodities. Equal quantities of labour, at all times and places, may be said to be of equal value to the labourer. In his ordinary state of health, strength and spirits; in the ordinary degree of his skill and dexterity, he must always laydown the same portion of his ease, his liberty, and his happiness. The price which he pays must always be the same, whatever may be the quantity of goods which he receives in return for it. Of these, indeed, it may sometimes purchase a greater and sometimes a smaller quantity; but it is their value which varies, not that of the labour which purchases them. At all times and places that is dear which it is difficult to come at, or which it costs much labour to acquire; and that cheap which is to be had easily, or G.ed.p51 with very little labour. Labour alone, therefore, never varying in its own value, is alone the ultimate and real standard by which the value of all commodities can at all times and places be estimated and compared. It is their real price; money is their nominal price only.

  5. new mall opened in Cebu…

    • Micha says:

      Are most of the stuff sold in SM also made in China?

      In America, 90% of items in Walmart stores are made in China.

      • Juana Pilipinas says:

        “Goods and services from China accounted for only 2.7% of U.S. personal consumption expenditures in 2010, of which less than half reflected the actual costs of Chinese imports. The rest went to U.S. businesses and workers transporting, selling, and marketing goods carrying the “Made in China” label. Although the fraction is higher when the imported content of goods made in the United States is considered, Chinese imports still make up only a small share of total U.S. consumer spending.”

        http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2012/01/how-much-of-us-consumables-are-made-in-china/

        Even in 2004, when WalMart stocked its stores mostly with cheap products from China, the highest percentage of Made in China consumables on its shelves only reached 70%.

        There is a clamor for more “Made in USA” products and locally grown produce (low carbon print and sustainable agricultural products) since the US economy recovered from the latest recession. Even WalMart made a promise in 2013 that it will start stocking more US made products on its shelves.

        http://www.businessinsider.com/r-walmart-suppliers-grapple-with-challenge-of-made-in-usa-labels-2015-7

        • Micha says:

          Juana,

          I don’t know where you got the 70% figure but Walmart had been making lots of press releases on its plan to re-invigorate American manufacturing only to fall on the lip service mode.

  6. Micha says:

    The rescue of Wall Street banks and corporations in 2008 can hardly be called capitalism. It is, on the contrary, pure and simple corporate socialism.

  7. Micha says:

    In America, gov’t power protects the rich, and tough love free market capitalism for the rest.

    • Joe America says:

      You are trolling. If you have a point to make, opposed to the ideas in the blog, compile them and put them into a single comment.

    • All major parties in Germany – Christian Democrats, Christian Social Union of Bavaria, Social Democrats and Greens – protect MSMEs and productive industry…

      In the USA it is the non-productive Wall Street gambling economy that is protected.

      • Joe America says:

        Why do you say “non-productive”? It seems to me the WS gambling economy has been a striking success, albeit with some really exciting downturns.

        • productive would be goods and services…

          speculation can destroy entire national economies.

        • Micha says:

          Wall Street gambling is making money off money, no real productive goods.

          • Joe America says:

            I don’t know what that has to do with instilling productive drive, jobs and energy in the Philippines. And voting well. I’ve mentioned that you are off topic and are pushing your theory and left-leaning agenda again. Kindly re-read the article and try to contribute something relevant and meaningful to the development of the Philippines. I am exasperated that a person of your intellect persists on the one-liner troll-like, off-topic messages. I’m putting you in moderation. Not really a suspension, unless you continue with this. I’ll publish comment from you that is relevant and material. There are other articles here where you can discuss your economic agenda and theories, or write one. No need to go astray here and irritate the hell out of me.

            • Micha says:

              Ok, I disagree with the notion that greed, as currently constituted in America, is a benign – or even desirable – attribute that make American society tick. Yes, a certain level of greed, moderated greed, is perhaps a necessary driver for creativity and innovation but that is not the kind of greed that we are seeing in America today. The level of inequality as a result of un-moderated greed has gone to mind numbing proportion :

              If that is the kind of greed that we should be embracing to, purportedly, jumpstart Philippine progress then we will just be drifting into the same arena which is, to say the least, highly destabilizing and might as well be the stake, many fear, that will dismember America.

              • Joe America says:

                Actually, I agree with that statement. I would not want the style of greed that has big investment banks gambling with the well-being of the nation, installing legislators, or purchasing votes in congress via their lobbying efforts . . . but the style of productive ambition that creates career paths and motivates people to strive for a raise or bonus or bigger job. That is the engine of innovation and success that the Philippines needs.

  8. karl garcia says:

    for msmes to thrive, the minnum wage must be scrapped, definitely most wil close shop if minimum wage keeps on increasing.

    • True… Germany just implemented a minimum wage (Mindestlohn) law recently…

      it is threatening taxi companies, barber shops and other small enterprises… 😦

    • Joe America says:

      It seems to me that there are many opportunities to make money in the growth-economy of the Philippines where cities are expanding rapidly, but business enterprises have to have “legs”, or staying power, and a good, realistic business plan. I think most small ventures lack both. Today, a business might hire four unmotivated, unskilled people for below-minimum and get nothing out of them because they don’t know where their costs are going or income is coming from. Two competent people at minimum wage, working the right way, would be a better deal. I really don’t like sari-sari store mentality. This subject is worth an entire blog.

  9. I missed all the fun here.

    Off topic maybe:

    JP, I found out today that Freedom Wall is not the only cesspit in FB, the Opinyong Publico – Do more for her, Complain Less group are where Duterte supporters are converging, man, they are fierce! Visit the group and you will see, I had fun today! whew!

    • Yes, they are fierce and it is hard to go against their authoritarian convictions…

      A question by Juan Nationalist I posted got responses that make me think that Aceh-style Sharia will also be possible in Mindanao, the spirit is exactly the same…

      • Yes, I agree, it’s truly hard to go against their authoritarian convictions.

        I had a veeeerrrryyy lengthy exchange with a group of them, they took turns debating with me..I used Duterte’s own words that he uttered when Maria Resa interviewed him at Rappler, the drift of which is that he will not allow anyone to mess with the Constitution.

        I challenged them by asking them if saying his presidency will be a dictatorial one with the military and police as the main backbone is not messing with the Constitution; is his practice of vigilante type of justice not messing with it, or his admission that he killed extrajudicially not messing with the fundamental law of the land.

        He is raging at Poe and the SET for messing with it but isn’t he doing that, too, I challenge them…they resorted to swearing and I took issue with that, didn’t let up even for one moment…until it’s time to go home.

        Yes, it’s truly hard but I rather enjoyed it and just hoped other readers will get my message.

        • I “killed” the Juan Nationalist posting… they were just basically shouting when I pointed things out to them, that the PNP is being modernized with German help and the DOJ has a new criminal code that might be passed in 2016, simplifying the administration of justice…

          It hurt them I think to see that there are already more modern solutions on the way… anyway my article stands and clearly puts heavy doubt on Duterte’s main argument… 🙂

          Besides they call for extreme measures and I took one on them, so they can’t protest. 🙂

    • Thanks for the tip, Mary. I surely have a lot of calories to burn after the feast today so I’ll take a look at that site while on the treadmill. I am sure the passion and the work out will put on the burn. 🙂

      Hope the sensible you had infected the Du30 trolls with goodness. All we can do is fight them with facts and hope that will start the discerning wheels in their brains to start turning.

      • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

        Brains, Juana? Doubt it. It’s playbook, script, robotic responses threshed out in focus groups, packaged and doled out to sleep-deprived minions of whoever has the money to conduct and sustain such mind-boggling ideas that come from the pits of damnation. We’re now afloat in a sea of lies (Binay), delusions of grandeur (Marcos II), inanities (Llamanzares), gross (Santiago). It’s good that Mary Grace and Juana are manning the gun ports.

  10. I’m so into posting to different FB groups nowadays, the temp is heating! We need to step up if we want to really have a good government in place after PNOY.

    I found the status message of Vickie Garchitorena today very inspiring.

    • Marie says:

      I’m with you on this MG. We really need to step up. I wish I have the energy to fight them off on their turf.

      • @ Marie

        Thanks.

        Sharing meaningful and informative posts will help a lot, Marie. Please encourage more of your FB friends to read and share posts for RORO in various FB groups. Each FB friend that we convince could convince other FB friends and their respective families, too. I usually post my sentiments at FB groups with 80,000 + members as I have less than a thousand yet, more or less 550 only as of this morning.

        I even post at the notorious cesspit like Freedom Wall and Opinyong Pampubliko, the group of Marcos and Duterte trolloyalists, respectively. That’s where I encounter a lot of fierce resistance.

        The other RORO groups are converts already, I post there so it could be shared anew by each member.

        I have been contacted by a few FB groups wanting to make me an officer but I have to decline, I feel I cannot do justice to the position with me having a full time job and a few health issues.

  11. Micha says:

    The rise of the global super rich and the fall of everyone else :

  12. Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

    I just added this note on top of my article Your Fitness Bank due Sunday Nov. 29:

    The following article is the perfect segue for Joe America’s humdinger of an article Greed in America, Joy in the Philippines. Why? Because I would suggest to JoeAm that another metric of progress in the Philippines is the percentage of ailing seniors over the population of 60-year-olds and over. Who would be the best defenders of the status quo—Daang Matuwid? The seniors! But they should be fit and healthy to express their views. Who would love the Philippines more? The seniors who can enjoy the remainder of their lives in relative health and fitness. Remember we’re not only talking 2016, but also 2022 and beyond for Daang Matuwid to take root. Read on. — WGV

    • The wisdom of the old is very important… their longetivity in Germany is a stabilizing factor, especially the generation of my mother that witnessed the end of World War 2 as young kids is important to guard against the forgetfulness among the young that could still be a threat to freedom and democracy… at my mother’s 76th birthday she and her friends were sharing memories of war’s end… my mother’s first memory at 6 years old was the smell of rotting corpses in the streets of Berlin… a friend of hers remembers the crazy SS commander of Berlin-Wannsee who sacrificed children and teenagers for a last stand… experiences that are essential to a nation are stored in the memories of its elders.

    • Joe America says:

      Will’s article will be out Sunday. Your drafts have inspired me to spend more time on the basketball court, for which I am thankful and a little sore of muscle. Heart’s good though.

  13. Good news below. Keep the momentum going! Please vote for the best people who can maintain the economic growth and push it in the right direction. How about putting two economists as captain and co-captain of the good ship Philippines? (Hint: MarLen) #ginhawaPaMore

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/philippines-gdp-jumps-6-in-third-quarter-1448507590

    • I wonder about the reason they were under spending in the previous quarters. I they haven’t been, their target GDP of 7+ could have been easily attained. They need to tell us why. A lot of wild presumptions are flying around.

  14. Instead of the Adam Smith article, I will bring out an article in 6 hours about the following:

    1. DOJ new criminal code coming out in 2016 – advised by the HSS from Bavaria (Germany)

    2. PNP retraining with assistance from Bavarian police officers, also HSS sponsored.

    3. PNP human rights training with assistance from Bavaria which also had its learning curve.

    Stuff on my FB learning center page has made me see that this is the area where I need to act.

    —————————————————————————————————–

    The best defence against wannabe Filipino Nazis is to play the German card – I know this… 🙂

    What Duterte supporters are demanding reminds me of 1930s Germany or even worse…

    —————————————————————————————————–

    Joe, feel free to peer the article when it comes out… the economic stuff is a thing I will leave to you as an American, the best practices when it comes to law enforcement, laws and justice come from Germany… hey I played the German card even against Marcos people back then, effectively.

  15. Stuffed turkey in the oven; cheesecake pumpkin pies and sweet potato pies cooling; cushaw gratin and french bean casserole prepared; sweet rolls on baking sheet; potatoes ready for mashing and garnishes; giblets for gravy on slow boil; cranberries jellied; cheeses, pickles and fruits plate in the ref; sodas and wine cooling; Macy’s Thanksgiving parade on TV … Grandma is bringing glazed ham, deviled eggs, baked beans and lemon meringue pie…

    Happy Thanksgiving, Joe and Family and to everyone at the Society of Honors!

    Feast will be ready by 2PM. You all come, you hear?

    • Happy Thanksgiving, JP!!!

      I just had to leave a comment to Vicara in the Islamic Renaissance thread, https://joeam.com/2015/11/22/the-islamic-renaissance-in-the-philippines/#comment-149312

      I’m just about headed out the door too. No Black Fridays for me, I’m off camping for the weekend— be back in 3-4 days. But save some cheesecake pumpkin pies, or take a picture and post it here. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…

      (I just love the irony of this holiday on so many different levels 😉 )

      • Juana Pilipinas says:

        Literal American greed at its finest. 🙂 We’re not into consumerism ourselves so no shopping for us either. We make gifts for each other. Enjoy your commune with nature and be safe. Will keep a whole pie just for you.

    • Joe America says:

      Man, if I could get there in short order, I would. You really know how to make a guy homesick, and really really hungry. 🙂 Happy thanksgiving to all.

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      Juana, thank you for the invitation. Like Lcpl_X, I salivate at the mention of cheesecake pumpkin pies. Buried in my childhood is the inimitable first experience of amazing pumpkin pie. It is an experience I have not had the chance to recreate in adulthood. I return to the memory now and then when Holloween approaches. Alas, as I am unable to catch a plane, I will have to recapture the taste and texture of memory with Google images.
      *****

    • Happy Thanksgiving, JP! Hope you enjoyed the feast and the bonding! Cheers to long and satisfied lives for you all….

  16. HighFive says:

    Filipinos embrace the Westernized way of life a lot to the extent that they may think of themselves a left out if they won’t.
    USA & Philippines helping each other is building a strong strategic partnership and billions of dollars of economic opportunities, emergency relief cooperation, beneficial to both nations. It’s not good for the vast majority of Pinos without the presence of US Military in the Philippines. I can prove it based on what happened in the past when the US Military Bases were asked to leave. It was never good for the country economically and politically ever since the removal of US Bases happened. I believe it prevented the wealth of the nation to be spread equally to the entire population. Only few became rich. This was evident because in the 1990’s millions of Filipinos were left with no choice but to seek employment overseas and be away from their close families. With that massive exodus of Pinos to seek employment abroad, it goes to show how essential are the US Military Bases for Philippines economically & politically.
    Furthermore, at the moment, we are in predicament with our sovereignty over the area of oceans inside our EEZ and it’s not a joke to the national security. Way back then, if US Bases were not removed I think the US Military Ships that take the SCS route could have maintained security to our maritime zones and borderlines and kept it peaceful as it once was. I would rather have the presence of Americans in our country because I feel everyone of us has equal opportunity to make a living and their presence brings stability in the region.

  17. cha says:

    Your 3 proposed metrics for joy bear some similarity with Cielito Habito’s (former NEDA Director) 3 key economic indicators which he uses in assessing the state of the economy. He refers to them as PiTiK for Presyo, Trabaho, Kita (prices, jobs, income).

    The World Happiness Index being pushed by the UNDP (United Nations Development Program) and inspired by Bhutan’s measure of Gross National Happiness, on the other hand, goes beyond economic indicators to assess social progress and the general well-being of a nation. The most recent World Happiness report (April 2015) based national happiness on the following six variables:

    1. GDP per capita;
    2. healthy years of life expectancy;
    3. social support (number of people one says they can “count on”);
    4. trust in government and business institutions;
    5. perceived freedom to make life decisions;
    6. generosity (levels of volunteering, for example).

    The Philippines, in the 2015 report, ranked 90th among 158 countries. Just a few notches below China at 84 and troubled Greece at 102. The next President of the Philippines will have his/her work cut out for him (or her?). The GDP has seen some remarkable improvements in the Aquino administration but trust in government and business institutions can go from bad to worse (or hopefully the other way around). The other happiness indicators are also somehow linked to the first, so sustaining the levels of economic performance attained by this adminstration will be an imperative. Can HE or SHE hack it on all points?

    Echoing your parting statements, the Filipino people do have it in their hands to choose which way to go beginning 2016, they can either vote themselves to happiness with a clear vision of where the country should be headed or pull themselves back to where they were pre-2010 by voting with eyes wide shut. Will they race on to victory or will they choke?

    • Joe America says:

      That’s most interesting, Cha. I often think about writing a blog about “social reconstruction”, which would call for government to take explicit acts to address some of the dysfunctional behavior we see every day (negativity, personalization of every issue, weak patriotism, trash out the bus window, cheating as routine behavior, etc), but it seems awfully arrogant of me to be thinking in those terms. So I peck and poke at the edges, as in this blog. Also of note, Will’s blog on Sunday will address point number 2 on the Happiness variables.

      • NHerrera says:

        I too find @cha’s comment and reference to Habito’s Pitik criteria the UN’s World Happiness Index criteria most interesting — a combination of both is probably most useful.

        This relates to my old commentary on a blog either here or at Raissa’s about OPTIMIZATION of Programs, activities, education, budget and national debate — at all the three branches of government — based on a sensible set of criteria. (But then I am talking like an Academician.) A serious start in that direction will be most welcome, especially if we are lucky come May 2016.

    • I hear Habito is now one of Poe’s economic advisers. Good pick.

  18. David Masangkay says:

    LGUs should contribute to the common goal – the creation of opportunities. Their performance should also be measured on at least two of the metrics you mentioned (quality jobs/percentage of families above poverty line). If no improvement happens during their term, based on those metrics – then they have no right to hold public office.

    • Joe America says:

      That is a wonderful, wonderful fourth metric, David. Where were you when I was drafting the blog? 🙂 Indeed, LGU performance should be put under the spotlight, and I’d make that amendment to have four performance measures. Something about percentage of LGU’s meeting a “high competence” standard.

  19. R.Hiro says:

    Civil government, so far as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defense of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none at all.”
    ― Adam Smith WN

    “The executive of the modern state is nothing but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie.” Karl Marx ”

    Mar Roxas is the only member of the ruling class running…Poe has signified her intention to hire or consult with Sheik Habito, Sheik Bernardo and Sheik Fabella who are the doctrinaire High Priests of neo-liberal economic wahhabism..

    They will continue the jihad vs. the working class…

  20. R.Hiro says:

    JMK coined the word that drives humanity…Animal Spirits…He was not an American…Adam Smith was also not an American…

    Keynes described a situation wherein animal spirits gets subdued among the population in the advanced industrial economies in the 1930’s.

    This drive for gain and or to consume…The rich off course having far less the propensity to consume than the poor…Countries like the Philippines off course where a lot of people are struggling, animal spirits play a huge part in their behavior…Animal Spirits also permeates the political structures wherein the government itself is a prime example of animal spirits driving the delivery of discretionary power…

    Even in places where there is chaos due to a vicious civil war, animal spirits drives trade for strategic items…

    http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/insidestory/2015/11/buying-isil-oil-151127173736852.html

    The enemies of Daesh/ISIL do not want to bomb the oil wellheads in Syria and Iraq under Daesh since they feel they will be recovered…A whole system of extraction and distribution has sprung up wherein all the parties engaged in the war are either clients or sellers…

    A whole value supply chain has emerged all driven by low prices that drives animal spirits…

    As the whole world knows prices drive markets…

    Even elections are driven by animal spirits…

    JoeAmerica has it completely wrong about the left…They are fighting for what they believe is their personal property which is being marginalized by the owners of production…They actually got the idea from the writings from the former leftists of their time John Locke and Adam Smith…

    “The rich man glories in his riches, because he feels that they naturally draw the attention of the world.”
    For Smith, the admiration that citizens feel for the wealthy amounts to nothing less than “the great and most universal cause of the corruption of our moral sentiments.” Indeed, the natural consequence of being super rich is merely to feed what Smith calls their “natural selfishness and rapacity.” Adam Smith

    FDR Jr. saw the danger of what Marx called the vast army of the unemployed and moved to balance the scales back then…

    The owners of capital back then swore that these measures would not stand…They started to reverse the scales 40 years ago…

    That is when the neo-liberal economic wahhabism came to the fore once again…

    Modern societies thrive on animal spirits…But since Hobbes time the State is run by the elite. That type of system is not sustainable.

    Hence the world has seen upheavals and war…

    Competing animal spirits will always lead to it…

    • Joe America says:

      So you are advocating the socialist model? You believe the Philippines can do better by dividing up the wealth of its large companies among smaller firms, or otherwise restrain the profits of the fat cats, like tax them more heavily to provide more cash payouts to people who don’t have jobs in today’s thin economy, or who will be laid off by the fat cats as they strive to meet shareholder expectations? I don’t see how the “wealth-building” occurs. I’d welcome it if you high flying theorists would come down out of the clouds and explain how the Philippines gets out of its wretched poverty without using the traditional capitalist (right wing?) methods of free markets and competition and production encouraged by well crafted human resources policies (merit increases, incentive bonuses, promotions, training and careers). If I have it wrong, kindly explain it rightly, in terms that can actually be put into place in the Philippines today.

      Thank you.

  21. R.Hiro says:

    John Maynard Keynes acidly noted that “this so-called ‘Bolshevik’ administration has saved the capital financial structure.” He was talking about the FDR government in 1933…

    FDR Jr. shocked the establishment by his then radical policies…He devalued the dollar and then took the dollar of the gold standard…He prohibited the private ownership of gold…

    Unfortunately that “socialist model” that gave you and your family the middle class standards all came from the so called socialist policies of the New Deal cannot be applied to the Philippine condition…

    Show me a point in human history wherein free trade and competition created inclusive wealth…

    Go back to the period where a private corporation took over running a country…The forerunner of today’s transnational corporations, The British East India Trading Company…

    Their actions together with the acts of the then King of England gave the impetus to the founders of the country called the United States of America to rebel against their King…

    Their wretched history of oppression and exploitation forced the English government to formally end their rule of India and they then gifted India to Queen Victoria in the mid 19th century…

    The PRC till today remembers the years of shame the same free trade policies backed up by military power during the same period…Opium for tea…The BEITC supplied the opium…

    The New deal was pushed by FDR Jr. due to the power then of labor unions…

    Keynes book on macroeconomics came out in 1937. The U.S. government in 1944 raised the marginal tax rate to 94%

    Philippine problems are such that only a pro-active state can solve the problems of development which cannot be done under the present political economy…

    China, Japan, S.Korea, Taiwan all developed not under free trade and competition but by state led agro-industrial policy supported by capital account controls and financial repression to promote investment over consumption…They made sure first of food security with a very high degree of food self-sufficiency…

    Keynesian pump priming can not work here simply because as Ting Roxas would always point out…”we have not even installed the pipes for pump priming, all we do is pump prime imports…

    Hence we have to depend solely on foreign workers incomes to prime consumption…

    Macroeconomics is for industrial economies…

    Germany’s tax revenues are in the high 40’s together with their expenditures as a % of their GDP.. Ours is in the vicinity of 14%…Hardly 3 million or less pay personal income taxes…

    For the right economic policies the first problem would be the seizure of state power…

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