All in the name of National Interest

Analysis and Opinion

By Karl Garcia

We at Joe America’s blog write in the name of national interest.

We earnestly ask ourselves, if things can be done differently, why are we not doing it?

My MMT explorative series is a prime example.

If we can convert our foreign loans to pesos and print all the money in the world then all our problems will be solved, but what is stopping us and the whole world from doing it?

One staunch MMT advocate here, the one and only Micha, called me a slow learner for still not understanding MMT after all these years. I am not alone; Paul Krugman asked Stephanie Kelton some questions. Was he almost dismissed as someone who is clueless for still not getting it?

For one, Krugman says that they are playing Calvin Ball because they make up the rules as they go along.

In the Philippines mainstream media, a familiar pundit, Ben Kritz, wrote for the Manila Times the Dangerous appeal of MMT. Kritz attempted to explain MMT as simply as possible, but the problem is he dismissed MMT all together and called it too simplistic.

In the academic circles, Bon Juego wrote about what is good about MMT, and it could be a powerful tool during this pandemic.

If all the Monetary and Fiscal policy makers in the world can make MMT work. We would all have Universal Healthcare, free Education and Universal Basic Income. Even just with those three it would be a fulfilment.

In our Philippines, if somehow MMT works, our Congress will have the true power of the purse, other than threatening an agency that pissed them off with a One Peso budget, and writing bills that ends with: “to provide funds thereof”.

Still in Congress

We still do not have an anti-dynasty law, our Freedom of Information remains as an Executive Order needing and wanting an enabling law. No land use law and the list goes on.

I have written about Institutionalizing People power as our way of having Direct Democracy.

The problem is it is next to impossible for a people’s initiative to happen as explained here and there:

Some say a Citizen’s Assembly was tried during the Marcos Admin, but it turned out to be a joke.

National Security

Our National Security Interest can be achieved by: 

  1. Developing a dynamic, inclusive and sustainable economy; 
  2. Ensuring maritime and airspace security; 
  3. Safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity; and
  4. Promoting human and ecological security.

In order to attain these end-states, there is a need to build a credible deterrence capability in defense and law enforcement, and enhance mutual defense arrangements with other countries.

Security Sector Reform

Unfortunately, the security establishments have human rights abuse records especially during Martial law. Today the endless-insurgencies still seem endless, the drug war led to more abuses and now there’s red-tagging as I mentioned in my EDSA article.

What is SSR?

SSR is the political and technical process of improving state and human security by making security provision, management and oversight more effective and more accountable, within a framework of democratic civilian control, rule of law and respect for human rights.

SSR concerns all state and non-state actors involved in security provision, management and oversight, and emphasizes the links between their roles, responsibilities and actions. SSR also involves aspects of justice provision, management and oversight, because security and justice are closely related.

SSR can include a wide range of different reform activities covering all political and technical aspects of security, including among others legislative initiatives; policy-making; awareness-raising and public information campaigns; management and administrative capacity building; infrastructure development; and improved training and equipment.

Philippine Experience

How the Philippines can achieve SSR

  • Increasing Civilian Capacity for Defense Management
  • Establishing an Active Constituency Supportive of Security Sector Reform
  • Prudent Budget Preparation & Execution
  • Supporting a Local Defense Industry
  • Intelligent & Coherent Policy Development & Execution
  • A New National Defense Act

National Defense Act

The National Defense Act was formulated by General MacArthur as a reaction to Japanese aggression. The intent was to have an Army by training as much as they can from the reserves. The other major services were created by the succeeding Administrative Code Executive Orders.

To be in consonance with the principles of the 1987 Constitution, the National Defense Act should be recodified.

However passing a National Defense and Security Act has been a frustration since the13th Congress.

One Defense pundit submits that before we think about legislating a National Defense Act, we must first have Strategic Thinking.

AFP Modernization

Chinese aggression made our leaders plan for shifting policy to external defense, thus the legislation of an AFP Modernization Act was necessary, but economic shocks and all-out wars against never-ending insurgencies made us shift back to focusing on Internal Defense.

The Procurement law makes it difficult for AFP Modernization to proceed.

AFP procurement involves classified information most of the time. It may be necessary for Defense purchases to be handled by a procurement body dedicated to the AFP.

Another area of concern is our track record of requirements that make it next to impossible for a local company to manufacture defense equipment. One solution is licensed production. Our local shipbuilders would purchase designs from abroad and build ships locally.

Philippine Defense Reform

The PDR spanned through President Arroyo’s term to the end of Pres. Benigno S. Aquino’s term in June 2016.

The program’s key areas of reform were:

  1. Implementation of a policy-driven, multiyear defense planning system;
  2. Improve operational and training capacity;
  3. Improve logistics capacity;
  4. Develop effective personnel management systems;
  5. Plan, program, and execute a multiyear capability upgrade program for the AFP;
  6. Optimize the defense budget and improve management controls;
  7. Create a professional acquisition workforce and establish a centrally managed defense acquisition system;
  8. Increase the capability of the AFP to conduct civil-military operations; and,
  9. Develop accurate baseline data on critical AFP functional areas. 

Philippine Defense Transformation

During FP Benigno Aquino’s admin, the PDR program was renamed PDT with a slight reconfiguration of goals.

It is summarized in this short read.

Our Maritime Philippines

Through the years various security threats, lawlessness, crime at seas, and terrorism proliferate.

We have witnessed how the Abu Sayaff dispatch with impunity, exacerbated by foreign terrorists.

Maritime Law Enforcement is such a Herculean task, it calls for an all-government approach.

In 2011, then President Benigno Aquino III signed EO number 57 establishing a National coast watchSystem.

The National Coast Watch System is our all-government approach to Maritime Issues and maritime Security.

This System is supposedly the answer to the absence interagency cooperation among the various Maritime Agencies.

The Process for developing maritime Security Policies is very problematic because of our archipelagic and maritime nature. The National Marine Policy serves as Exhibit A. The NMP badly needs updating.

The Effectiveness of the National Coast Watch System or NCWS is hindered by lack of command and control. Fragmented institutions, asked to coordinate and cooperate, are always in search of a lead agency or even a super body like the IATF for Covid.

The Maritime Law Enforcement agencies seem to be doing their own thing.

For the lack of command and control issues, it is highly recommended the EO 57 be amended to address the absence of command and control. Once there is a lead agency, coordination would definitely run smooth.

  • Maritime Disasters from boat accidents to large vessels burning and sinking have plagued us through the years. Accidents happen but can be prevented. Much has been said about interagency cooperation and coordination to address perennial overlapping functions among agencies. Several round table discussions among focus groups have formulated strategies and submitted white papers only to have them fall on blind eyes and deaf ears or perhaps our ningas cogon quirk took the best of us more often than not.

Presidential Certification of Urgency

Several bills related to Maritime Safety and or Maritime Governance have been filed and refiled in congress such as:

At present, the current Maritime Administration of our government is thinly spread among fourteen bureaus and agencies under seven departments. The fragmentation of our maritime administration has led to bureaucratic entanglement, functional overlaps, and conflicting maritime laws and regulations. The restructuring of maritime administration is a first step by creating one super body consisting of maritime bureaus and agencies.

The creation of a National Transportation and Safety Board is a major step to promote transportation safety by conducting independent safety investigations and by formulating safety improvement recommendations.

The Maritime Code of the Philippines hopes to address the Philippines’ non-implementation of international conventions. The Bill seeks to implement these protocols with MARINA as the lead agency.

Lastly, the Creation of specialized Maritime Courts will unclog our courts of numerous maritime case backlogs.

Like the National Defense Act Legislation, the Biazons have filed these bills as far back as the 13th Congress. Certification of urgency from past presidents were badly needed but certain circumstances prevented the bills’ passage.

It is a given that our institutions are fragmented, our bureaucracy is caught in an entangled web, and turf wars over overlapping functions happen more often than not.

A Creation of the Coast Watch system seemed to have a failure of launching because of Command and Control Issues, so a creation of a super-body with Command and Control to handle Maritime Administration is a must.

A non regulatory independent investigative body is also needed to be the one to handle maritime accidents and safety incident investigations.

A Maritime Code will make our local safety laws and regulations in consonance with international safety laws.

Lastly, the creation of the Maritime court will speed up the resolution of Maritime related cases.

Maritime Environment

The Philippines was one of six beneficiary ASEAN countries that participated in the technical assistance project of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad). The project had the overall objective of assisting participating countries in protecting the marine environment in the region through accelerating the ratification and implementation of IMO conventions relating to marine environment protection. The other participating countries were Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. The IMO conventions covered by the project were the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (Marpol), Ballast Water Management Convention (BWM), Anti-Fouling System Convention (AFS), and the London Convention/Protocol (Anti-Dumping of Waste).

The Philippines has been lagging behind in the ratification and implementation of IMO conventions relating to the prevention of pollution from ships. It took the Philippines 30 years to accede to Marpo, one of the main regulatory pillars for shipping; and eighteen (18) years after acceding to the convention, Congress has yet to pass the legislation that will implement the convention.

One sticky issue confronting the ratification and implementation of maritime conventions pertains to the question of which agency has the mandate to implement maritime regulatory functions. 

The Philippines thus created, through a Department Order, the Inter-agency Coordinating Committee for the Ratification and Implementation of Maritime Conventions (ICCRIMC) which served as the venue for dialogues among the various stakeholders in respect of the benefits and disadvantages of ratifying and implementing the BWM and the AFS conventions.

I hope there is a way for the LEDAC to meet more often to discuss bills that require certification of urgency including those that will enable us to accede to international coventions and treaties.

Conclusion

A transformed AFP subscribing to all accepted principles of security sector reform is what we need right now.

The mandate of territorial defense is hounded by internal security concerns and other issues of concern like not having a pension system where the amount spent for paying pensioners can be spent for the needs of the AFP.

For our mendicant attitude to be gradually eliminated, we need to build our own. We can do that by licensed production, like our Filipino shipbuilders plan to do in purchasing designs for larger vessels.

For our perennial financing concerns, if it is not through MMT, as long as it works, let it be done, as the song says: “I don’t care how you get here, get here if you can.”

For laws that we long for, maybe an NGO can assist in legislation since Lobbyists (for and against) have a big say in our legislation whether we admit it or not.

________

Feature photo, BRP Jose Rizal from Philippine Navy

Comments
196 Responses to “All in the name of National Interest”
  1. Karl Garcia says:

    Micha’s latest take on how hard it is to adopt MMT in PH, also on what we need to work on.

    “Not all countries are created equal. Because the Philippines has debt denominated in foreign currencies and we import goods and services payable in foreign currencies, we are not 100% monetarily sovereign.

    We need to work on that part of our sovereignty alongside territorial, military, or political sovereignty.”

  2. Karl Garcia says:

    Per LCX’s request, here are the classic discussions on MMT.

    https://joeam.com/2016/03/06/money-makes-the-world-go-round/#comment-255642

    • LCPL_X says:

      Thanks karl,

      The Fed/ECB comments below are better served by referring to this oldie but goodie talk by Micha and RHiro (RIP), https://joeam.com/2014/09/23/getting-the-supreme-court-out-of-the-business-of-operating-the-nation/#comment-81002

      Micha‘s comment:

      Question: If the government doesn’t tax because it needs the money to
      spend, why tax at all?

      Answer: The federal government taxes to regulate what economists call
      “aggregate demand” which is a fancy word for “spending power.” In short,
      that means that if the economy is “too hot,” then raising taxes will cool it
      down, and if it’s “too cold,” likewise, cutting taxes will warm it up. Taxes
      aren’t about getting money to spend, they are about regulating our spending
      power to make sure we don’t have too much and cause inflation, or too little
      which causes unemployment and recessions.

      _______________________________________________

      • Karl Garcia says:

        https://www.forbes.com/sites/taxnotes/2020/12/17/tax-theory-are-we-all-modern-monetarists-now/?sh=9434a225c139

        MMT has some interesting things to say about taxes. Most basically, it challenges the idea that taxes are linked to spending in any meaningful way. Under traditional ways of thinking, the government collects money through taxes and then decides how to spend it. Under an MMT way of thinking, the government decides how to spend money and then just goes ahead and spends it. Whether the government decides to levy taxes depends on other factors, not on the need to raise money for its spending priorities.

        Revenue, in other words, does not constrain spending in the world of MMT. And to be fair, this seems like a pretty good description of the way the United States has been making spending decisions for a while. Sure, thanks to budget rules, there are some limits on what gets spent, and those limits are tied (somewhat notionally) to what tax revenues get collected. But it’s fair to say that in many respects, spending decisions do come first in Washington, with tax decisions playing a secondary role. Hence the deficits.

        Under MMT, taxes still have a role to play. Two roles, in fact. First, a government levies taxes to make its sovereign currency valuable. By requiring people to pay their taxes in dollars, the U.S. government guarantees that people will do many other things with those dollars — earn money, spend money, lend money, etc. Taxes make dollars the currency of choice, rather than some alternative like bitcoins or euros.

        The second reason a government levies taxes in a world defined by MMT is to control inflation. Because here’s the thing to remember: MMT theorists do believe that inflation is a threat. They understand that unchecked government spending, in particular, might push prices higher. And they endorse the use of taxes to help control those inflationary pressures.

        That point is important, if only because one of the most common charges hurled at MMT advocates is that they don’t care about deficits. First of all, that’s untrue on its face: Most of the time, they care about deficits because they like them and want to see them get bigger. But other times, MMT champions care about deficits because they understand that they become inflationary, and inflation needs to be controlled — with taxes.

        • Karl Garcia says:

          https://www.forbes.com/sites/johntharvey/2019/03/05/mmt-sense-or-nonsense/?sh=2e0da8ec5852

          Mar 5, 2019,
          09:49pm EST
          |
          24,931 views
          MMT: Sense Or Nonsense?

          John T. Harvey
          Contributor

          Leadership Strategy
          I want to explain how things work, not what you should believe.
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          Just a few days ago, I mentioned on Twitter that I have no patience for getting involved in the current public debate over Modern Monetary Theory (MMT). So much of it ends up as ad hominem, straw man, or people talking past each other that it seemed like an utter waste of time.

          Well, I changed my mind!

          Paul Krugman had already been in the fight against MMT for some years, and now eminent mainstream economists Lawrence Summers and Kenneth Rogoff have thrown their hats into the ring. I know I’m not going to settle anything by adding my two cents, but I just have to get this off my chest. Long story short: Krugman/Summers/Rogoff are wrong.

          Before I get into details, I want to make it clear where I stand. I don’t agree with everything in MMT. However, those aspects with which I disagree have never been part of the public debate and they make no difference whatsoever to the policy recommendations. To the general public, they would be minutia (although they might be worth a couple of journal articles!). I mention this simply to assure the reader that I’m actually critical of some aspects of MMT and am not simply toeing the party line here.

          Having said that, however, in the context of the current debate the MMTers are right.

          To illustrate this, we first need a review of what MMT (or what I just think of as macroeconomics done properly) looks like. This will obviously have to be brief. I’m focusing in particular on the Federal Job Guarantee.

          The Core Problem to be Solved

          1. There is no reason to expect the private sector to provide a job for everyone who is willing to work. Indeed, for the private sector, labor is a cost that needs to be minimized. This isn’t a criticism, it’s just the incentive structure to inherent that part of our economy.

          2. We have the ability to produce goods and services on a level never before seen by human society. There is no logical reason anyone (e.g., the unemployed) should have to go without. It is immoral.

          The Essential Macroeconomic Facts

          3. Just as the President’s daughter said days ago, people like to work. Quite right.

          4. Money is not scarce. Both the private and public sector create it with a keystroke. The mechanism by which each works is different, of course.

          5. In the public sector, because for all intents and purposes, the treasury and central bank act together, the government finances itself through money creation. This happens every day and is nothing new.

          6. Unlike money, resources are scarce and the only true limit on our ability to produce goods and services in both the private and public sector. We cannot, for example, do something that would require us to double the number of Americans working. There simply are not that many people in the workforce. We could finance it, so to speak, but we couldn’t really do it. It’s unrealistic. There are things we cannot do.

          7. The US government can never default on debt denominated in its own currency which it can issue. This is not a theory, it’s the law. I don’t have space to go in that here but you can see this blog post for background.

          8. The public sector’s deficit is the private sector’s surplus. This is not a theory, it’s basic accounting. If the government spends more than it taxes, then the private sector earns more than it pays on April 15. This is why private sector debt skyrocketed during the Clinton surpluses. Again, here is a blog post for background.

          The Solution

          9. If we have idle resources, there is absolutely nothing preventing the US government from activating them by using newly created money. We are, of course, talking about labor here. It’s not a big social/economic problem if there are idle lumps of coal or potatoes lying about. It is, however, if we have 15 million unemployed workers as we did at the height of the recession following the Financial Crisis.

          10. It is immoral for the government not to act when a) we have the ability to produce goods and services for these people and b) they want to work. If the private sector cannot make a profit by hiring those unemployed workers, then fair enough: it should not be expected to do so.

          11. Instead, they should be hired into the public sector. So long as we have social problems that are not profitable—national defense, police and fire protection, infrastructure repair, public education, cleaning and protecting the environment, caring for the elderly and infirm, etc—then plenty of employment opportunities will exist. The day we run out of social problems, we can worry about what to do. Incidentally, we should leave the social problems that are profitable to the private sector.

          12. WE ARE DOING OR HAVE DONE MUCH OF THIS ALREADY!!!!!! The government already creates money to finance the budget deficit, it already tries to put into motion forces to get the unemployed hired, and it already manages our very high debt/GDP ratio with no problem whatsoever. I keep seeing MMT described as some sort of radical policy, which feels more like a scare tactic than an honest appraisal. Rather, it’s a refocusing, a reorientation, and a reorganization of what we already do. A big one, no doubt, but nothing we are not doing now or have not done in the past.

          13. Such policies are inflationary only if we are already at full employment and trying to push demand beyond our ability to supply. However, since the goal of the policy is to get to full employment, there is no point in continuing it beyond that. It’s a bit like saying that if you continue to pump air into a tire, it will eventually explode. Yeah, that’s kind of why you stop. You only wanted to be able to drive on it again.

          Evaluating the Mainstream Criticisms

          I opened with the fact that I could no longer sit quietly and listen to the baseless criticisms. For my own peace of mind, I had to say something. With the summary of MMT, aka macroeconomics done properly, complete, I’ll now review the comments of Drs. Krugman, Summers, and Rogoff. The reason for numbering items above was to allow easy reference below. This may get a bit long as I feel obliged to quote them entirely in their critical statements. Here goes!

          Paul Krugman

          Running on MMT (Wonkish)

          That’s the title and I’m going to admit that it’s clever. Pet peeve: “wonkish” always annoys me as it implies, “I’m clever and so you might not understand what I’m about to say.” Just say it! But, no harm done and touché.

          Suppose that the Fed or its equivalent in another country can set interest rates, and that a lower interest rate leads, other things equal, to higher aggregate demand.

          I maybe should have picked a different Krugman piece as this one is going to be quick and easy. In the real world, demand it notoriously insensitive to changes in interest rates. This isn’t MMT, but the result of study after study even in orthodoxy. Here’s one by the Federal Reserve. And so from the get go, if we do not buy into this assumption, the rest of the article is meaningless since it builds on it. As an aside, Krugman uses a model that is so oversimplified (IS-LM) that even it’s inventor wasn’t keen on anyone using it outside of maybe an undergraduate econ class.

          Lawrence Summers

          And altered economic conditions have led to the development of new economic ideas that reflect a significant break with previous orthodoxy.

          The break with economic orthodoxy took place decades and decades ago. MMT and Company is not a result of current economic conditions.

          And now, these new ideas are being oversimplified and exaggerated by fringe economists who hold them out as offering the proverbial free lunch: the ability of the government to spend more without imposing any burden on anyone.

          “Fringe economists:” no comment. However, yes there is such a thing as a free lunch, as Dr. Summers’ own school of thought states. In economic orthodoxy, if you are operating inside the production possibility frontier (i.e., at less than full capacity), then you can produce more without giving up anything. However, economic orthodoxy simply assumes that the economy will rush to full employment and this will not become an issue. See #1.

          Modern monetary theory, sometimes shortened to MMT, is the supply-side economics of our time. A valid idea — that traditional fiscal-policy taboos need to be rethought in an era of low real interest rates…

          MMT has nothing to do with “an era of low real interest rates.” If the current prime rate were 25% and inflation were 0%, absolutely nothing under points 1 through 13 would be affected. Continuing that quote:

          A valid idea — that traditional fiscal-policy taboos need to be rethought in an era of low real interest rates has been stretched by fringe economists into ludicrous claims that massive spending on job guarantees can be financed by central banks without any burden on the economy.

          “Fringe economists:” see above. This goes back to the free lunch thing. Why would there be a burden from employing the unemployed? The Great Depression was a burden. The Great Recession was a burden. Full employment is not a burden.

          First, it holds out the prospect that somehow by printing money, the government can finance its deficits at zero cost.

          Regardless of it’s veracity, it’s irrelevant when the any cost could be met. See #7.

          Second, contrary to the claims of modern monetary theorists, it is not true that governments can simply create new money to pay all liabilities coming due and avoid default. As the experience of any number of emerging markets demonstrates, past a certain point, this approach leads to hyperinflation.

          Two points: 1) it is only inflationary when it is continued beyond full employment (see #13) and 2) printing money cannot cause inflation. Spending money can, but printing it cannot. And don’t forget that the private sector can create money, too.

          Third, modern monetary theorists typically reason in terms of a closed economy. But a policy of relying on central bank finance of government deficits, as suggested by modern monetary theorists, would likely result in a collapsing exchange rate.

          Possibly, if we had inflation referenced above. But, see #13.

          Again, this is not just theory. Numerous emerging markets have found, contrary to modern monetary theory, that they could not print money to cover even their domestic currency liabilities. The same is true of industrial economies. The Mitterrand government in France in 1981 and the Schröder government in Germany in 1998 began with MMT-type approaches to policy and were forced to reverse course. The British and Italians both had to call in the International Monetary Fund during the mid-1970s because of excessive reliance on inflationary finance.

          Yes, it is just theory, and flawed theory at that. This just goes back to the whole inflation argument all over again.

          But for neither the right nor the left is there any such thing as a free lunch.

          Yes there is, even according to your own school of thought, at less than full employment.

          Kenneth Rogoff

          A number of leading US progressives, who may well be in power after the 2020 elections, advocate using the Fed’s balance sheet as a cash cow to fund expansive new social programs, especially in view of current low inflation and interest rates.

          This demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding. The desire to use the government’s ability to fund social programs has absolutely nothing to do with inflation and interest rates being low. See #5 and #13.

          If investors become more reluctant to hold a country’s debt, they probably will not be too thrilled about holding its currency, either.

          Not really since the Fed could still ultimately buy it, but okay, I’ll play: why would they be reluctant to hold the debt of a country at full employment? See #5 and #9.

          If that country tries to dump a lot of it on the market, inflation will result.

          There are a number of debatable issues here, but I’ll just go to this one: why would a country divest itself of debt issued by a nation running at full employment? See #9.

          Even moving to a centrally planned economy (perhaps the goal for some MMT supporters) would not solve this problem.

          This was a thinly-veiled attack. He clearly knows that no one has suggested this, hence his “perhaps.” Actually, Kenneth Rogoff is a very nice man. I served on a panel with him last spring at the US Naval War College. To be honest, it just makes me kind of sad that he would say something like that rather than sticking to the premises and structure of the arguments.

          True, debt cannot rise faster than GDP forever, but it may do so for quite a while.

          This is drawn from a longer paragraph but it never said any more than this so I hope Professor Rogoff agrees that this sentence is key. “True?” Why? Dr. Rogoff continues this same line of attack for the next several paragraphs, clearly operating on the assumption that the US must borrow to finance spending. This is a fundamental misunderstanding of government budgeting. See #4, #5, and #7.

          I am reminded of Drs. Reinhard and Rogoff’s paper on the dangers of debt, which was later shown to have serious (and suspiciously hypothesis-confirming) spreadsheet errors. When those errors were corrected, the correlation between debt and slow growth disappeared. There are more scholarly discussions of this, but the Colbert Report coverage is the most entertaining!

          The last paragraph of this piece continues the name calling and guilt-by-association that began with the central planning comment.

          Conclusions

          Am I glad I spent the last four five six hours writing this? Actually, I am. I don’t think I’ll ever do it again, but I learned something. John Maynard Keynes wrote in the preface to the General Theory (incidentally, “Keynes” and “Keynesian” are not the same thing…long story!):

          The composition of this book has been for the author a long struggle of escape, and so must the reading of it be for most readers if the author’s assault upon them is to be successful,—a struggle of escape from habitual modes of thought and expression. The ideas which are here expressed so laboriously are extremely simple and should be obvious. The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping from the old ones, which ramify, for those brought up as most of us have been, into every corner of our minds.

          As I read through the criticisms by Krugman, Summers, and Rogoff, I kept thinking of Keynes’ words. Those prominent economists aren’t even so much rejecting MMT as holding tight to their own orthodox views. This is not necessarily on purpose, but it’s extremely difficult for anyone to make a paradigm shift. MMT, aka macroeconomics done properly, is, as Keynes says, “extremely simple and should be obvious.” The problem we have here is the difficulty in escaping from antiquated notions of macro modeling (Krugman), inflation (Summers), and debt financing (Rogoff).

          • LCPL_X says:

            karl,

            Thanks that makes alot of sense. As you may know certain metrics just got published here (and I hope Micha can explain) that points to inflation ramping up.

            RE taxes and revenue, the other issue that’s ramping up also is Chauvin/Floyd case w/ another shooting w/in that same area. But this one is more police error.

            But my point like MMT, police interactions has an underlying purpose which is also for local gov’t revenue (from moving violations to fines violations), then prisons in and of themselves also is a source of revenue. a related issue.

            So if police just stop all unnecessary revenue generating interactions, like traffic violations and arrests (like drug related or mental illness), the idea is less police interactions less violent outcomes.

            Be like the fire department and just stay in the precinct until called upon. Like for emergencies. Don’t generate your own stops or arrests.

            That similar to the inflation reports, because as they say garbage in; garbage out.

            That’s the Jacquard loom, and I think can be used perfectly as analogy to both MMT and police abuse. What you put in as to be what is intended.

            • Tiger Woods was going 40 mph above the speed limit in a residential zone. Americans are like Tiger, prone to ignoring the rules and going fast. Deaths on highways would skyrocket. Street crime would become an industry. The US has order because it has law enforcement. The Philippines has disorder because enforcement is erratic. But if you like Philippine stylin’, yep, put the cops in their stations.

              • LCPL_X says:

                Joe , you’re arguing for pro-active policing; while I’m simply saying less police is best.

                sure,

                Tiger Woods driving could’ve been curbed had there been traffic enforcement at said stretch of the road (and officials have posited that that particular street is prone to over speeding).

                But had Tiger Woods been stopped and he pulled a George Floyd, that would’ve been another excuse to riot no?

                My point here is that motor cops at every intersection isn’t the reason people drive fast or slow, it’s the design of the road ways that tend to dictate one’s driving, so smaller streets like in Europe tend to cause drivers to drive slower;

                while wide streets where Tiger Woods was driving tend to make drivers drive faster, or fall asleep, etc. look at Hawthorne blvd. that’s one wide curby street, Joe.

                https://i.insider.com/6036bc82d920880018591dbb?width=600&format=jpeg

                keep in mind I said “revenue generating” stops.

                But I do think your pro-active approach is what’s causing all this BLM stuff, the question

                now is… do you add more cops to baby sit the citizenry or simply make streets smaller (that’s an analogy) to influence behaviour.

                If you’re also gonna argue like karl below that more military and police will make insurgencies go away, again same analogy , just make street smaller thus influencing citizens behaviour.

                Same too with MMT, what’s causing inflation, prices to rise, i dunno we’ll have to wait for Micha to reply, but something like the making streets smaller analogy I ‘m sure will be the answer, Joe.

                Make streets smaller.

              • I’m arguing that enforcement is important. Make decisions on the basis of facts, not emotionalized headlines, but understand the emotionalized headlines and be responsive to them. If tasers look and feel like guns, change the look and feel, or take them out depending on usage. Or take guns out. Media has become one large argumentative fallacy. Use data for policy and spokespeople for headlines.

              • LCPL_X says:

                TASERs do look and feel different. For one that should be really obvious is the color, bright yellow.

                Most departments make you carry TASERs on the opposite side of your pistol. The officer in question is a 26 year veteran, I can understand a copper on the job for less than a year making this mistake, but a 26 year cop?

                I gotta feeling she’d been holed up in an office somewhere and this was probably her first time in a long time being back on patrol, thus the panic lack of awareness confusion as to where her TASER is. We’ll see.

                But had there been no impetus to stop that vehicle , there’d be no homicide. See how the fire fighting model of policing works, just go out when the public needs and calls for you, don’t instigate or initiate.

              • I disagree with the approach, but understand your argument. The fact is, if I didn’t police my blog proactively it would be a shit-house of insult and conspiracy theories postulated as fact. A lot of people are not community-minded in the main. They spoil it for those who are.

              • chemrock says:

                “Make streets smaller.

                Wider, better roads make drivers sleepy or speed which causes accidents. Remedy – narrower streets!

                Wow, Lance, there can’t be a more liberal world view than this.

                To go with the flow at what’s happening in the US, maybe it’s racism that’s causing the traffic accidents. Everything is caused by racism in US. Kamala aced it when she said racism is responsible for more deaths of black moms in child birth. She seemed to suggest God is racist. We know the reason is higher rates of obesity, diabetics and drug abuse.

              • You don’t see Asian hate crimes as racist? I do, and I don’t see how making the argument that it should stop gets twisted into being a bad thing.

              • LCPL_X says:

                (My day always brightens upon sight of that red merlion!!! )

                chemp! Not really worldview but simple observation. When streets are small people either buy small cars, walk more, and/or drive slower.

                In Singapore, people don’t enjoy chewing gum because they know they’ll be spanked. I guess the analogy for smaller streets is a lone cane in Singapore, chemp— all leads to change in behaviour.

                racism, i’m gonna connect to police reform below, where Joe left off with a definition.

                As to Kamala Harris i tend to agree. as trivia did you know when Justice Clarence Thomas became a conservative because he was liberal and Democrat before, it was when in Boston and his kid was forced to go to a white school because of de-segregation policies, and he was all like busing my kid to another poverty stricken school that was majority white only got more racism levied upon my kid than had the kid stayed in a majority black school.

                And over night (or at least thats what the PBS doc film i watched implied) Thomas became Republican.

                Here’s a picture of a small street , chemp. Good luck, Tiger Woodsing it. LOL!

              • I’m still not grasping the story line. It seems to be that being concerned about racism creates racism and to cure it we need prison reform and quaint streets. The starting point is to see hate crimes against Asians as a just the way it is.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                Smaller streets- Here in the Philippines we widen roads in an attempt to reduce traffic.Result less parking lots making people park in the streets.
                Traffic not solved.
                Widen the roads until you reach the unwidable end then back to narrow roads. We call it embudo or funnel.

            • Karl Garcia says:

              I wish I have your analogue watch you make everything analogous and interconnected only if you want to.

            • LCPL_X says:

              “Street crime would become an industry. “

              This is the chicken and egg argument, Joe.

              I would counter that there’s a lot of street crime precisely bcuz you have generations of blacks/Hispanics being captured and sent to prison, where they learn to be better criminals.

              The prison system is the industry that creates more street criminals, not the other way around, Joe.

              Blacks make up 13% of the population; but are responsible for 50%+ of violent crimes, the answer i don’t think is more policing.

              Garbage in; Garbage out.

              I just watched today a press conference of the Mayor of Brooklyn Center (in the same vicinity at Minneapolis) a young black guy, and his police officials (the Chief upped and left) totally just left him hanging.

              There is a dissonance. I have no idea whats going on in Minneapolis area, but I assume it’s like LA back in the 90s. heavy handed approach gave was to other approaches when Chief Darryl Gates was ousted.

              again something like making streets smaller (analogy).

              • Disenfranchisement creates prisoners and crime. You are arguing you can solve crime by freeing prisoners? Lots of luck selling that plan. 😂😂🤣

              • LCPL_X says:

                That’s not my plan, Joe, that’s Gov. Newsom’s and DA Gascon https://witnessla.com/okay-so-what-did-the-judges-monday-ruling-about-da-gascons-new-justice-reform-policies-really-mean/

                not just them but all across the US its the new vogue now, prison reform. That warehousing humans as policy isn’t working. I tend to agree, but think realistically if said reforms are implemented it’ll be Charles Bronson time again.

              • Prison reform is good. The Philippines is a worst-case example of bad justice practices.

              • LCPL_X says:

                https://californiaglobe.com/section-2/california-to-release-18000-convicted-criminals-by-end-of-august/

                To the tune of 18,000, Joe… been more pre-COVID, but they released in bulk for COVID.

                Thus why I think Asian Hate stems from this, not really racism. Crimes also been up 2020.

              • rac·ism
                /ˈrāˌsizəm/
                noun: racism
                prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against a person or people on the basis of their membership in a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized.

                Oxford languages dictionary

                Asian hate crimes are racism.

              • LCPL_X says:

                Joe,

                You’re conflating two terms here racism and hate crime. Hate crime by definition is criminal, a tack on charge is hate, thus not really racism which as you’ve shared is broader in nature.

                “The fact is, if I didn’t police my blog proactively it would be a shit-house of insult and conspiracy theories postulated as fact.”

                Obviously , both those things are subjective; one is emotionally based (polemic/rhetoric etc), the latter is based on what is probable vs what is possible. But that’s a longer debate (which I would totally enjoy if you care to engage in it);

                policing the blog though is relevant to the thread.

                police = polis, equals “community-minded”. Policing is at its core about keeping certain values. Of course talking back and disrespecting a police officer is opposite of community minded values, precisely because the police officer represents the community.

                But since BLM way back with Michael Brown who got shot in St. Louis (shooting was Aug. 2014) to George Floyd May 2020. Certain police practices have come to light.

                1. George Floyd, initial call was for counterfeit 20 dollar bill, must police respond to it? if you really analyze the community isn’t hurt, its essentially a business dispute, which one party the business can easily stop, by simply not accepting said bill. Police need not respond. Let the Secret Service catch the actual counterfeit operations.

                2. Recently, Officer Kim Potter 26 year veteran cop shot and killed another black man, for what ??? expired registration?!!! same with another recent run in over in VA where a cop pepper sprays an Army lieutenant no registration.

                Think about it, its a taxation/fee issue really which the DMV itself can regulate. no need to out source to police; just like the IRS doesn’t need to enforce its statutes by the FBI, IRS enforces themselves (though FBI like Capone can use IRS statutes). DMV can simply cancel the ID or drivers license of none registered vehicle.

                3. Breanna Taylor, do warrants for items not for persons need to be affected immediately, or can they be recovered during business hours. it was an evidenciary warrant of which the suspect they already had in custody, which means the evidence being gathered is already icing on the cake thus not really necessary.

                And the list goes on…

                now to return to “racism”, of course racism is a problem.

                If you read that Gascon DA for LA county article about him cancelling crime enhancements, well the label hate crime is essentially just a crime enhancement. meaning if someone assaults you, then calls you a this and that (plus more substantiating things, tattoo, affiliation, past crimes w/ hate, etc.), hate crime will enhance their punishment from say 2 years now because of Hate to 5 years.

                its secondary purpose and I’d say its most important purpose is as statistic, namely real hate like organize and orchestrated by hate groups.

                when you lump in racism and hate crime, you’ll invariably water down the stats.

                Case in point, the NYC attack of a Filipina by a black man. Obviously, he’s nuts. And anyone who kills their mother should be killed or kept in prison, not let out at all. But that was no hate crime because he’s obviously crazy, and crazy trumps hate. Hate requires intent. Crazy doesn’t.

                but more importantly , you see how that would taint the stats for hate crime, you want nazis, or KKK, or internet hate groups to be connected by labelling crimes as such, crazy or regular criminal crimes need not be recorded as racism, if theres no connection to bigger actual trends.

                So chemp actually has a point which I agree with like saying God is racist, don’t mistake labels as solutions. There’s an actual reason for Hate Crime laws.

                Remember this case awhile back, yup racism can also be all made up. Thus the threshold for hate crimes should be kept, not watered down.

              • You’ve made the story longer but cleared nothing up. Hating Asians is not racist? God is a racist? It’s not racist if a black hates Asians? People who commit hate crimes are nuts, not racist?

                I tell you, I’m missing the point. Now the statistics in New York are that Asian hate crimes went from 3 to 25 in one year. Okay a city of 1.5 million. Keep it in perspective. To make sure it does not go to 200 next year, you propose small streets? Help me out. Write short sentences that I can follow. Give me a solution that is not insane. Thank you.

              • ps, anecdotes are fallacious

              • LCPL_X says:

                Sorry, that’s a good idea. aphorisms = tweets. shorter sentences. Let me try…

                Asian Hate is like BLM its a hash tag trend/movement.

                Inside that trend are videos and stories of racism. Videos become viral.

                Are videos reality or videos cause the trends, ie. positive feed back loop.

                Example, Lt. Caron Nazario was peppered sprayed by Ofcr. Joe Gutierrez , Nazario positive feed back loop is that he’s seen so many videos of BLM that when pulled over decided to drive extra just so he can get to a well lit area, then decides not to get out of his car when ordered. Because of all the above actions by Nazario, he unwittingly escalates thus the pepper spray because he was uncooperative. Racism connection is that I’m sure a Hispanic cannot be racist against another Hispanic (Ofcr. Gutierrez also looks black, to me).

                Positive fee back loop then creates more of the same incidents.

                Thus your 3 to 25, can for sure become 200.

                But preventing it from going 200 , priority I think is to stop the feedback loop. Thus statistics help, Hate crime as part of policing helps, anything to keep people from partaking in this feedback loop.

                Think of feedback loop as Biden’s inflation. You stop it by taxing it, right? same-same, Joe.

                ————————————

                Here’s a funny yet sad story, but related to feedback loop:

                https://www.wdtv.com/2021/04/14/police-man-attacked-asian-woman-believing-she-was-white-over-anti-asian-hate-crimes/

                “LAKE FOREST, Calif. (KCAL/KCBS) – A California man faces a hate crime charge after allegedly kidnapping an Asian woman, believing she was white, with the intent to sexually assault her. Detectives say he sought retaliation for anti-Asian hate crimes.”

              • Okay, I agree with the pattern generating the problem, and agree that statistics, policing that is aware, and public messaging help. To the latter point, denigrating the VP or efforts to get out the right message by suggesting it promotes racism seems to me to be participating in the loop, not the solution to it. There are few national solutions because policing is local. Similarly, the BLM movement as an awareness mechanism is valuable. As a protest mechanism, it misses the point for demanding national solutions. Thank you for making it clear and leading me to these enlightenments. Small streets in some communities make sense. In all? Hard to get there. My approach is to watch and hope for a national moment of compassion and appreciation of the richness of peaceful, diverse communities.

              • LCPL_X says:

                My point about VP Kamala Harris is more pattern base, and general dislike for politicians really, when that Juicy Smollett story got out, she immediately pandered and said and I quote “modern day lynching”, without the facts of the investigation.

                Race baiting by politicians is a big problem, Joe.

              • Okay, got it. The following article was cited by MLQ3 as enlightening as to India’s social dynamics. It causes me to wonder as to the BLM movement, not as a Black movement, and the rise of anger about Asian hate crimes that are awful anecdotally but insignificant statistically, as a part of a macro-pushback against white-man’s America (the West in the India article). Maybe the US has become so diverse that new voices will rise representing the idea of diversity and no-color.

                https://unherd.com/2021/04/the-culture-wars-of-post-colonial-india/

              • LCPL_X says:

                I tend to agree with that, Joe.

                If you remember me and Bill of OZ had a lively debate about immigration awhile ago, me essentially pointing out that other English speaking nations cannot really hold a candle to our democracy until

                Australia, or Canada’s or UK’s monopoly as 90% White democracies is addressed.

                As 60% Whites and fast declining in America, w/ blacks holding steady at 13% , and Hispanics and Asians the rising populations. Plus now the internet/social media exciting everyone’s passions.

                The US still has the most lively democracy. They say right now is the next 1960s, only with less sex, drugs and rock/roll, Joe.

                Thomas Payne i think would be damn proud; Thomas Jefferson shocked but won’t mind all this. Voltaire would love it; Immanuel Kant would be proud,

              • LCPL_X says:

                let me add these two other slides in here, Joe… Kant’s not really talked about but his concept of GOOD WILL as the only thing we have under our control applies to #StopAsianHate, BLM, policians pandering, and seeing the forest for the trees. Also Asimov’s character Hari Seldon (page shared below) PsychoHistory:

                and Kant’s end-in-itself best said by a Sufi mystic long ago:

        • LCPL_X says:

          Not to worry, karl. I’m still all about Spinoza but what got me into Kant lately is his whole notion of space/time, which weirdly is now coinciding with all the recent studies on psychedelics.

          if you get interested in it, here’s the best place to start, just go to the Kant chapter:

  3. Karl Garcia says:

    Except for some “presidential interests” like the drug war and Chinese cooperation this paper covers our National Interests.

    Click to access Rethinking%20Philippine%20National%20Interest%20Towards%20Calibrating%20National%20Policies.pdf

  4. Karl Garcia says:

    Copying here my article about the National Defense Act

    https://maritimereview.ph/amending-the-national-defense-act-nda-philippine-navy/

    • Karl Garcia says:

      Excerpt :

      A Navy came about in the second phase of the Revolution towards the Phil American War. A revolutionary navy was formed from 8 steam launchers captured from the Spaniards plus 5 bigger vessels donated by rich Filipinos. In 1898 a Bureau of the Navy was under the Ministry of Foreign Relations but after the Malolos Constitution the Bureau was transferred to the Ministry of War that became the Ministry of War and Navy.

      As the tension between the Filipinos and Americans heightened leading to a blockade, the Navy of 13 ships was decimated. [5]

      Fast forward to the Philippine Commonwealth under US, the first law Quezon proposed in 1937 was the National Defense Act aka Commonwealth Act No 1. It is to have a Phil Army composed of a citizen army of 400, 000, but by 1938 it was only an army of less than 69,000. It was vocally criticized by Vice Governor General Hayden who believed that a small fleet of motor boats and bombers can deny hostile forces our territorial waters. Camilo Osias of the National Assembly was more colorful: “In order to have an adequate national defense it must be a “defense ashore, afloat, and aloft.”[6]

      The Philippine Navy appeared in the horizon in 1951 when President Quirino issued Executive Order 389 designating the Philippine Naval Patrol (PNP) that was the former Offshore Unit of the Army, as the PN. But earlier in 1950, the SND Ramon Magsaysay organized a Marine Battalion as a unit of the PNP. Internal security threats on land and an MDT with US for external threats put the PN on a supporting role to ground forces.[7]

  5. Karl Garcia says:

    Important notes on inter-organizational Coordination

    https://maritimereview.ph/some-notes-on-the-inter-organizational-coordination/

  6. https://heneralunacy.wordpress.com/2021/04/09/the-demise-of-our-middle-class/ – this might be an issue in the coming times as the middle class holds a nation together, even as it is often derided especially by the Left.

    • Though welfare states like in Scandinavia or to some degree in most of Western Europe have stuff like free public education and subsidized public housing to give poor people an opportunity to move up, as well as universal healthcare and social welfare to guard especially the middle class against financial calamities such as disease and joblessness. Meaning they have the conditions for a society were people care not only for themselves.

      • kasambahay says:

        I hear taxes in scandinavia are very high po, prices of commodities are higher too. people work shorter hours to pay less tax, pension is livable and indexed, and people often vacation in warmer countries like spain where prices of goods are probly cheaper.

        in scandinavia, they have yearly publication kuno of people and who’s who, how much they have earned in a year and taxes paid. things that never gonna happen in our very secretive country.

        • Yes, ultra high taxes are how the Scandinavians pay for their social welfare system.

          Because the EU is not a social welfare union you have the taxes in Scandinavia which can be 60% or even higher for top earners versus Romania which I think has 20% tax on all income and almost all social welfare benefits gone after Communism fell, neoliberal “paradise” galore nice for the rich hell for the poor, middle class which works abroad fighting for a more human less corrupt place.

          Highly egalitarian Nordics versus super hierarchic Spain where most political parties were run by “elitists” until Podemos mixed things up not too long ago is another contrast.

    • Karl Garcia says:

      Sabi pa nama natin kailan lang dumami middle class through the years
      Weder weder lang.
      Ofw remittances, bpo

      Kailangan pa din ng economic development.

      • Tulad ng nabanggit ko na sa “Half A Millennium After Magellan”.

        Precarious talaga ang Filipino middle class:

        1) the new middle class Bonifacio belonged to due to foreign trade houses
        2) the middle class formed by being employed in government in US times
        3) the middle class that benefitted from the boom during the eaely 1960s

        The early 20th century with Revolution, Filipino-American war as well as cholera and Spanish flu, WW2 and the catastrophic years directly after, Martial Law and Land Reform which disproportionately hit middle class land investment plus crisis starting 1983..

        All of these event damaged the middle classes that just had risen and I think led to the inevitable conclusion that you only are OK, not precarious, if you migrate or get rich. The kind of social solidarity needed for social justice doesn’t really have a chance to develop.

        • kasambahay says:

          I think po, the middle class in our country is buoyant and have learned to align themselves with the ruling party and survived by playing politics.

          if the middle class got eroded it’s not only because they have gone under and become poorer, but maybe because they have risen higher.

          buoyant pa rin sa tingin ko po, more middle class going out, more coming in. someone comes in and fill the vacuum, always. no-vu rich.

  7. Karl Garcia says:

    What do we do with those missile armed “fishing vessels”?

    Swarm them.

    https://joeam.com/2013/08/31/the-bee-fleet-2/

    • sonny says:

      Neph, the ‘swarm’ and ‘bee fleet’ concept seems tailor-made for the scale of the PH economy and the military-industrial simplex that should be developed. The DOST seems also to be the natural fit to start and broker the commercial entrepreneurs and educational institutions to provide the brain-power & technology specifically for national security objectives. I recall, as an example, a newly-minted EE graduate applying for openings for weapons & guidance system projects at MIT facilities.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        As you already know we have our own MIT (Mapua)
        But in terms of ship building our naval architects become sea farers.

        Through our history be built shops for others, we become crew, but never having command at sea.

        • sonny says:

          Karl, consider the UK and US navies; and other European countries (Poland, Germany, Italy) they have older maritime histories and traditions, PH is much younger. Cooperation with these countries will shorten many learning curves on to the path of leadership in the essential aspects of maritime, coastal and naval development.

          • Karl Garcia says:

            If this theory is corroborated our Sotheby’s East Asian maritime history goes way back to the Neolithic age.

            https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nusantao_Maritime_Trading_and_Communication_Network

            • Karl Garcia says:

              We recently talked about the out of Tauwan theory.

              https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austronesian_peoples#Austronesian_expansion

            • This is the newer theory based on recent (from 2010-) finds in Indonesia, Indian Ocean states and East Africa:

              https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trade_route#Austronesian_maritime_trade_network

              It goes a bit further than the postulated Nusantao network and explains Austronesian settlement of Madagascar quite neatly.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                The first true maritime trade network in the Indian Ocean was by the Austronesian peoples of Island Southeast Asia,[52] who built the first ocean-going ships.[13] They established trade routes with Southern India and Sri Lanka as early as 1500 BC, ushering an exchange of material culture (like catamarans, outrigger boats, sewn-plank boats, and paan) and cultigens (like coconuts, sandalwood, bananas, and sugarcane); as well as connecting the material cultures of India and China. They constituted the majority of the Indian Ocean component of the spice trade network. Indonesians, in particular were trading in spices (mainly cinnamon and cassia) with East Africa using catamaran and outrigger boats and sailing with the help of the Westerlies in the Indian Ocean. This trade network expanded to reach as far as Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, resulting in the Austronesian colonization of Madagascar by the first half of the first millennium AD. It continued up to historic times, later becoming the Maritime Silk Road.[52][14][15][53][54] This trade network also included smaller trade routes within Island Southeast Asia, including the lingling-o jade network, and the trepanging network.

                In eastern Austronesia, various traditional maritime trade networks also existed. Among them was the ancient Lapita trade network of Island Melanesia;[55] the Hiri trade cycle, Sepik Coast exchange, and the Kula ring of Papua New Guinea;[55] the ancient trading voyages in Micronesia between the Mariana Islands and the Caroline Islands (and possibly also New Guinea and the Philippines);[56] and the vast inter-island trade networks of Polynesia.[57]

            • Karl Garcia says:

              *South East Asian

            • Karl Garcia says:

              In a hypothesis developed by Wilhelm Solheim, the Nusantao Maritime Trading and Communication Network (NMTCN) is a trade and communication network that first appeared in the Asia-Pacific region during its Neolithic age, or beginning roughly around 5000 BC. Nusantao is an artificial term coined by Solheim, derived from the Austronesian root words nusa “south” and tao “man, people”.[1] Solheim’s theory is an alternative hypothesis to the spread of the Austronesian language family in Southeast Asia. It contrasts the more widely accepted Out-of-Taiwan hypothesis (OOT) by Peter Bellwood.[2]

              Solheim emphasizes the cultural aspects of the Southeast Asian people, whereas Bellwood’s theory places more emphasis on the linguistic origin of people.[3]

              Solheim first suggested the concept in 1964. The NMTCN attempts to explain the diffusion of cultural traits throughout the Asia-Pacific region, a pattern that does not seem to match the projections of cultural spread by simple migration theories. Today, it is one of the dominant theories for the early peopling of the Southeast Asian region.[dubious – discuss]

              Solheim suggests that “[if] elements of culture were spread by migrations, then the spread would have been primarily in one direction.” He suggests that since the pattern of cultural diffusion in the Asia-Pacific region is spread in all directions, it is likely that the spread of cultural traits happened via some kind of trading network, rather than a series of migrations.

          • The Philippine maritime tradition was interrupted. In a way it was similar to that of the Greeks at the time they invaded Troy, just about to take off:

            https://joeam.com/2020/09/14/philippines-from-the-edge-to-the-middle-of-things/

            There are some talking points relevant to this national interest article in sections D and E of that history article.

            • Karl Garcia says:

              Thanks again.

            • Karl Garcia says:

              PHILIPPINES: FROM THE EDGE TO THE MIDDLE OF THINGS

              The Philippines weren’t isolated before, but they had some distance from other places. Visayan pirates allegedly raided Taiwan in the 12th century, but not the Chinese mainland as it is around a week’s sailing away, while ancient Greeks according to legend attacked Troy which is near modern Çannakale, Turkey – just around 2 days sailing away. There is archaeological evidence of Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai artifacts among Philippine chiefdoms of old, but no conquest by Asian mainland powers which weren’t that near.
              Crete to Sicily is 2 days sailing, Sicily to Majorca could take twice as long. Stopovers still made it possible for Greeks and Phoenicians/Carthage to found cities as colonies in the Western Mediterranean – and for Rome to eventually call it Mare Nostrum, “Our Sea”. It is easier to trade than to establish outposts, and easier to establish outposts than to conquer. Logistics certainly play a role. Outposts had to be fortified, territories defended.
              Visayans certainly had a lot of trade of their own as their islands are very close. Visayan languages are very similar, and indication of contact. Tausug is also considered Visayan. Sulu is not so far either, Bicol and Manila are not much harder to reach as well. That Tagalog, Bicol and the Visayan languages are closely related is not really surprising. Excellent combat skills and fast boats in an age without firepower still meant safety then. The Philippines was on the edge of Asia, but this was to change over the centuries.
              A. Via Southeast Asia

              The islands that became Indonesia are close to one another and are close to the Malay Peninsula. From there to Brunei and to Manila are each similar to Manila-Saigon in distance, but stopover points can be Kuching and Palawan. Hinduism spread up to Bali. Hinduism may have reached the Philippines or at least culturally influenced it. The Laguna Copperplate can be accurately dated to 900 AD as it refers to a Hindu calendar. Chiefs recognized as over other chiefs called themselves Rajas in Manila and in Cebu.
              Ships became faster and more stable over the centuries. Arabs invented navigation instruments like the sextant and the astrolabe. Islamic traders came via Bengal and converted the southern part of the Malay Peninsula, most of what is now Indonesia except Bali, and finally Borneo and parts of the Philippines – but they did not conquer. Raja Sulayman of Manila was Muslim and was connected to the Sultan of Brunei. William Henry Scott mentions Japanese katanas in Manila, meaning there was a trade route.
              Portuguese later came around Africa and established outposts – Goa, Malacca, Macau – and had a trading presence in Nagasaki, and for the spice trade in Moluccan Ternate. Wars in Europe had led to an arms race and thus the Portuguese had ships with powerful cannons, which made it easier to conquer and hold forts. Malacca in the Malay Peninsula was conquered by the Portuguese in 1511. Ferdinand Magellan played a part in this. That the Dutch later displaced the Portuguese in Asia is another story not dealt with here.
              B. Via the Americas

              Though Vikings probably first crossed the Atlantic via Iceland to Greenland – with stopovers – the 3-4 week Atlantic crossing that went via Canary islands or Madeira was mastered later. It took 3-4 months to cross the Pacific. Austronesian peoples settled and regularly navigated the Pacific by boat and had strong knowledge of the stars, ocean currents and winds as well as wayfaring, a way of visualizing how island routes were.
              Magellan entered territory Europeans did not know yet at that time. Maps then roughly showed how Europe, Africa, a bit of Asia and even parts of the Americas were. The full conquest of Mexico up to the Pacific made it possible to send ships from there. The discovery of the return route to Mexicomeant that the galleon trade became feasible. Bolivian silver bought goods from Chinese traders in Manila, conquered in 1571. Dutch failed to conquer Manila in 1646. Our Lady of La Naval is still celebrated yearly for this.
              The English came from the 18th century onwards, occupied Manila for a while, and landed in Australia and New Zealand which they eventually both colonized. Captain Cook went around the Pacific and landed in Hawaii in the late 18th century. Spain losing Mexico meant the end of the galleon trade by the early 19th century, which forced it to open major ports like Manila, Iloilo and Cebu for non-Spanish traders and plant cash crops. The United States already became a market for Philippine sugar from 1796 onwards.
              C. Faster and further
              Captain Cook had reached Hawaii in the late 18th century. King Kamehameha consolidated his rule in the early 19th century, when Hawaii already had become an important trading post. American Protestant missionaries came soon after. Plantations started recruiting labor from East Asia. The 19thcentury brought steamships independent from the wind. The USA imported Philippine abaca for shipping ropes from 1850. Commodore Perry forced Japan open in 1854. The Meiji reform period started there.
              In 1869 the Suez Canal opened, making travel to Southeast Asia from Europe even easier. The USA eventually took hold of Hawaii, part of Samoa, Guam and the Philippines. The Northern Marianas and the Carolines, also formerly Spanish, were sold to Germany, which had also shown presence at Manila Bay in 1898 among others, and also took possession of Palau, parts of New Guinea and the Marshall Islands. The Northern Marianas and other German colonies fell to the Japanese after Germany lost World War I and all colonies.
              Airplanes were to further change the equation. Pearl Harbor was possible because of them. But later as well they changed the equation. It takes a week more or less to sail to Saigon from Manila. Someone I know recalls how he saw B-52 bombers from Clark on their way to Vietnam from his childhood Tarlacin the 1970s. Today, supersonic jet fighters, aircraft carriers and missiles very much narrow the formerly wide open seas. Armed island fortresses built by China in the middle complicate the equation even more.
              D. In the Middle

              Today a large portion of global sea trade – container ships, oil tankers and more – passes through those seas. Trade no longer needs to hop between islands like before. Big ships cross these seas. Serious occupation of the Spratly islands only started after WW2. China has fortified and armed some islands. The landing strip at Pag-Asa Island was built by the Philippines in the 1970s. Major contenders have been Vietnam, the Philippines and China. Some islands are held by Taiwan or Malaysia. Fishermen fish, from many countries.
              There are of course many possible concerns or fears. Japan and South Korea might fear China cutting of their oil supply. America might fear shipping being blocked that is important for them. China might fear their oil supply being strangled off. They may also fear US submarines near their coast as well as aircraft carriers. Philippine fishermen may fear that what happened to the Gem-Ver from Mindoro in 2019 will also happen to them.
              Modern Çannakale, like ancient Troy, is at the entrance from the Mediterranean to the Sea of Marmara, which leads to the Bosporus that in turn leads to the Black Sea. Greeks settled the Black Sea coast and the resulting Pontic Greeks lived there until after WW2. Control over an important passagemust have been one key to Troy’s power and also that of Byzantines and Ottomans. Modern Turkey is bound to a treaty that compels it to let all international shipping through. All ships need a local pilot as the passage is narrow.
              E. Options
              Warships can hardly cause trouble in such an area, but in the wide seas between Vietnam and the Philippines they can roam free. Armed islands, American warships and Chinese coast guard make them a place where conflict can ensue anytime. What if the Philippines and Vietnam made a treaty with the USA and China that they let everybody through but warships only through a defined corridor, with all four monitoring compliance? Sounds a hell of a lot like Berlin under four powers, and somehow diplomatically hard to achieve.
              Working with both China and the USA militarily like the Philippines today seems very foolish. Germany did well by being in the NATO from the time of division and staying there after unity. But the clear fronts one has on land don’t exist at sea. Pearl Harbor and McArthur’s island hopping prove this. Staying in VFA and MDT with the USA to be protected in case of attack but no bases to attract attack like in 1942 seems smartest. Finding a consensus with Vietnam and others, then talking to the superpowers is an idea.
              The Philippines sometimes still has a self-centered mindset, as if times had not changed since before 1521. It always has been relatively protected by others until 1991, when US bases were made to leave. Exceptions are the British from 1762-64 in Manila and the Japanese from 1942-44. AFP modernization especially boats seriously started only 2010. President Duterte is as transactional and fluid as Cebu’s Raja Humabon back in 1521, not applicable in a world bristling with modern weapons. New strategic thinking is needed.
              F. Mare Nostrum
              Visayan languages are quite close to one another, linguists say, an indication that Visayans had frequent contact through the seas between the islands. Visayans today still frequently become sailors, usually to work abroad. I have read on FB an anecdote about how Luzonians stayed inside the ship when seas were rough while some Visayans stood smiling on the deck railing. The captain said “you must be Visayans”. The seas around their islands always were their Mediterranean – like Roman “Mare Nostrum” (Our Sea).
              The GemVer crew from Mindoro, their townmates and their captain “Buhawi” (Storm) still have the old maritime culture in them. They used “laot” in interviews, an old Tagalog word for high seas related to Malay “laut”. Commodore Plaridel Garcia said in a radio interview that regaining “maritime awareness” is important. Filipinos clearly have to connect back to the old feel for the sea, still there among some. It is their native element. Have their own seas back in their hearts and minds again. Mare Nostrum starts with that.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        For intellectual property issues, knowledge transfer my suggestionor licensed manufacturing is also badly needed. India is way ahead in licensed production.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        Still I suggest that we should go to thr licensed production path.

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Licensed_production

        Intellectual property bottlenecks can be uncorked so does knowledge transfer and practical training.

  8. Karl Garcia says:

    Copying Chris Albert’s comment in FB

    MMT is a total fallacy and the last cry of neo capitalism trying to get it their way. For a nation like the Philippines it is a total no no. If as it looks now the inflation rates shoot up in the next 12 to 24 month then all that printed cash that created the biggest bubble of assets and commodities, will blow up in spectacular fashion. I have read some really interesting paper from some smarty at Yale who thinks this is the best/fastest way for the USA to get rid of their massive debt……. While Biden/Yellen SEEM to try some different approach I think that that is only a front/show. They still print greenbacks like there’s no tomorrow.
    The main weaknesses have still not been addressed (since the dot com crash) and we had no “market reset” (which markets need for cleansing) since then…….. “The higher you raise……the deeper the fall”
    The world inequalities get so massive now that this can not and will not go on for ever.
    The Philippines do not need to buy a ton of ships etc…..they need to send a CLEAR signal to the west and ask for help and cooperation…… They got the Hague ruling and their are huge international interests in keeping the West Philippines Sea neutral/free from Chinese control. This area is not HK this area has importance to Oz/NZ and the world so it is a totally different scenario. Clear message are not coming so far…. only the two “show dogs” are out barking without backup from the sleepy head in Malakanang/Davao and his minder Go….. (Worse noting that most EU news outlets DID report on the latest Reef issues.)

    • Micha says:

      Can you provide context on who that person is or what primitive region he’s coming from?

      • Karl Garcia says:

        Chris Albert is a German based in Ireland per Irineo.I think he is married to a pinay.
        Irineo, tama ba?

        • Micha says:

          Right. Thank you. But he’s not saying what specific features of MMT he finds fallacious. He’s just making vacuous claim without elaboration.

          I agree on the second part of his post about the superfluity to build up our armada. I’d also say if the intent is to enable us to deter the aggressive Chinese incursion into our maritime shores, first thing to do is to get rid of Duterte, elect LR next year and bring the the US naval base in the country, preferably to be situated in Palawan.

          • Karl Garcia says:

            That I also agree with.

          • Micha says:

            Modernizing the AFP or the Philippine Navy is a long term goal which may or may not materialize at all given the managerial skill and moral turpitude of most of our generals and admirals. I’ve been hearing the word modernization since FVR’s time. Meanwhile, the Chinese are already in our doorstep. Should we wait another 30 years before we can have the naval ability to shove them back?

            • Karl Garcia says:

              All we can do now is not piss our friends off.
              I do mot mean China and Russia, we can piss them off as much as possible.

            • Karl Garcia says:

              FVR thought that the police can handle internal security plus he thought he can have peace talks with everyone concerned within his term, but we all know that will never happen.

              Erap declared an all out war in Mindanao, exacerbating our financial shortcomings and that is just after the Asian crisis. Good move.(sarcasm)

              Back to internal security, the AFP is.

        • Yes, and of course the difference to Micha who lives in Rome, I mean in Washington D.C., is about as large as this: 😉 https://youtu.be/ojC-zTXSAsY

          As someone who has studied and worked among “these barbarians”, possibly his view is the one most Germans have which was part of the Bundesbank doctrine after WW2 and became a part of the ECB doctrine afterwards. Strict limits on money supply due to fear of what happened back in 1923 when runaway inflation made money worthless. Even fiscal stimulus thru slight inflation is not liked, something countries like Italy used to do, or temporary devaluation of own currency to sell own products cheaper for a while.

          This is not an expert view just weekend (barbarian) papers knowledge. Sorry for that. 😜

          • Karl Garcia says:

            Thanks for additional info and insights.

          • Karl Garcia says:

            You finally have Netflix

          • Micha says:

            The Weimar experience with inflation was primarily driven by collapse in the productive capacity of the Republic exacerbated by Allies’ demand for reparations.

            Growth in money supply does not cause inflation as long as that growth is in lock step with the productive capacity of your economy or a growing and steady supply of goods and services.

            • Wow I even understood what you wrote, something I read in a popular econ book about money supply vs goods and services.

              What I actually don’t know about is what M1 and M2 are, the two major money supplies Bundesbank used to monitor and now are monitored by ECB.

              I do know that the economic orthodoxy here is that playing too loose will devalue people’s savings, and it was used to justify tight measures vs. Greece.

              • Lovell Natabio says:

                I wouldn’t bother with M1 or M2 so much because those are exactly what they said it is – a record of the country’s money supply in terms of bank notes, electronic accounts, and other fancy assets. What you should worry more about is the money supply in your own pocket.

                Inflation in both Europe and the US is way below target so I don’t know what’s all the fuss. If you’re advocating for a steady value of people’s savings you are, in effect, advocating for a stagnant economy where population remain constant and goods and services does not increase.

              • I’m not advocating for anything at all. Just giving a picture of some common ideas over here. I also do know that there are two interest rates central banks use to control money supply, the discount and Lombard rate, and that traditionally the ECB is reluctant to create new money via low interest rates. Not somebody who reads that kind of stuff regularly though I must admit.

              • Micha says:

                Central Banks create money through authorization of the Parliament or, in the case of the US, Congressional fiat. They also set the interest rate as they see fit, not the so-called bond vigilantes.

              • Hmm, aren’t both ECB and the Fed independent of politics, with their own charter and mandate? My layman’s understanding of that topic, so far.

              • Micha says:

                But what is politics itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? –James Madison, Federalist 51

                The ECB is a government agency. It is independent only insofar as it follows the mandate and business of governance.

              • https://www.ecb.europa.eu/mopo/html/index.en.html

                “Our main aim at the ECB is to keep prices stable. We serve people living in the euro area by working to preserve the value of the euro. In this section you can learn about our policy strategy, the tools we use and the impact they have on your day-to-day life..

                ..Our main aim at the ECB is to keep prices stable. We serve people living in the euro area by working to preserve the value of the euro. In this section you can learn about our policy strategy, the tools we use and the impact they have on your day-to-day life..

                ..Price stability is the best contribution monetary policy can make to economic growth and job creation. It ensures that you can be confident that your money will be worth the same tomorrow as it is today. Stable prices help you make well-informed decisions on spending, saving, borrowing and investing..

                ..Our monetary policy influences how much you have to pay to borrow and how much interest you receive for your savings to ensure price stability. Find out how our tools and measures work..

                ..In addition to setting key interest rates, we conduct open market operations. You can check out the latest numbers for these operations here..”

              • LCPL_X says:

                “Hmm, aren’t both ECB and the Fed independent of politics, with their own charter and mandate? My layman’s understanding of that topic, so far.”

                Ireneo, this was exactly my thinking too, that Fed was way waaaaaaaaaaaaay above politics, until I saw Trump ridicule his Fed chair for proposing to up the interest rates, and Fed chair actually responded by not doing so.

                I’m like what???!!! Micha was right!!!

                This was pre-COVID, now post-COVID Bidens spending trillions! Micha’s been correct. At least RE the arbitrariness of all this economics stuff.

              • chemrock says:

                Lance
                Don’t confuse fiscal and monetary policies.

                Biden’s spending is all about fiscal.
                FED is all about the monetary side of things.
                Different beasts.

            • Chris Albert says:

              There was more too it then the mentioned aspects alone.
              Also Irenio missed a bit of German thinking which is known as prudence. It is based on the believe that: You safe first – buy later, opposed to the capitalist …buy know –worry later about how you repay…… The first has no mechanism for “foreclosure” the later has….In Germany/most of EU to my knowledge…you personally stand for debt incurred, so if you can’t pay a house or loan you might not only loose that house but if that house is in negative equity…you still owe the remaining debt after that house is taken and sold. Only LTD businesses can walk away from depth…ohh and lately banks of course… ;-). German believe (same as my own) is that you can not spend what you don’t have. You can not create more and more money/loan/depth if you can not repay it, based on some hope that you can fix this in the future, or that it fixes itself by “good inflation” The systems have shown that this can not work.

              Micha sorry to say this …but your ideas have clearly failed and seeing you seem to live in Italy you can see this quiet well……just walk outside and take a look at the Italian economy…… As I am pretty sure you will tell me I am wrong and have no idea…..(quiet a bit presumptuous from you as you don’t know me at all)…just wait for a year or two…seeing Draghi took over Italy…..he will borrow at a scale that Italy has never seen before. You will see that the economy will not improve and what is way more important …the wellbeing of lower and middle class will fall even further behind.
              The idea of unli money is the same as if you would take an alcoholic and lock him into a liquor store thinking that this will make him stop drinking……Well it might, but only because he drank himself to death. The modern economy is like an addict to fresh money, productivity, quality etc means nothing anymore.
              The German economy of the 1950’s to 1990’s showed clearly that you can growth massively without huge depth, the almost failed and hugely unfair/imbalanced USA economy shows you what happens if you throw money at it without control. The bubble that is inflating now will deflate eventually…….I can’t wait to see what will happen, but one thing is for sure….huge depth will cripple you almost over night. My own business is doing OK at the moment even so I lost 70% of revenue…why?? Well because I had zero money owed, hence could minimize my expenses fast enough and then change my business model

              • Karl Garcia says:

                Chris,
                Micha is US based, Irineo just joked about Rome.

              • Chris Albert says:

                That explains the believe of “more money – more economy even more. It was Reagan/Thatcher and Clinton/Blair who unleashed the monetary system and let the financial system take over ……

              • Micha says:

                @Chris Albert

                Okey, so once again, for clarity’s sake, what are the specific features of MMT that, according to you, make it a “total fallacy”?

              • chemrock says:

                Chris

                I’m totally on your side of the ailse re MMT and your old-fashioned precept of savings to fund production. I only defer that there is nothing wrong with borrowing if predicated on the ability of future earnings capabilities.

                You mentioned fallacy of MMT. I would say fallacies. There are many many Gordon knots to MMT.

                For starters, perhaps you can try to expand on this puzzle I have :

                If US and Philippines both go MMT, It’s free US$ and free pesos. How is $ and peso price discovery going to work out? Who should he US sell their latest unmanned submarine hunters to? I mean everybody, including Philippines can just print their pesos to buy, right?

          • Chris Albert says:

            I might add…that those “pesky barbarians” where the ones that ultimately broke the Roman empire….. 🙂 Bavarians are known to be thick-headed witty mountain man with a taste for beauty and a dark sense of humor 🙂
            Thanks for the introduction. Yes original from Munich, living mostly in Ireland, married to a pinay from Leyte (whom I met in Manila while for work on the Volvo Ocean Race campaign), used to work in IT initially but changed career and re-educated in 2000 to Business and Personal DEv. Work on program design and delivery of learning events. Currently try to set up a program for DeLaSale/UP in cooperation with Berkeley that is on hold due to the virus. (well actually will go live in a month or so online) Brainiac type and a “hard-head” as my missus always says….which stems from being an idealist. HTH

            • LCPL_X says:

              The Romans broke the Roman empire themselves when they adopted Christianity— via their slaves of course.

              Enjoy now or enjoy later in heaven (like forever) that was the gist of their total mind change.
              Because heaven, thus heaven experts (mainly priests) were given power (by the people and by those in charge). Not until Machiavelli/Hobbes did Roman values return, mainly self generated power.

              Which I think MMT is at its core all about, self generated power.
              But just like in Roman times we’ll just need to listen to a different set of priests (experts). This is important. Mind change requires new experts (or new priesthood). Then we’ll wait for another good idea to come , and so it goes.

              But right now MMT is it.

              (Joe, I’m off moderation then?)

            • Karl Garcia says:

              Thanks for confirming.

          • chemrock says:

            Even pseuo currencies like Bitcoin understands the fundamental need to restrict supply.

  9. Micha says:

    From FT:

    As recently as October, the IMF was warning that coronavirus will cause “lasting damage” to living standards across the world with any recovery likely to be “long, uneven and uncertain”.

    Yet the forecast it released this week is very different. By 2024, the IMF now believes, the US economy is likely to be stronger than it had predicted before the pandemic. For most advanced economies, it says, there will be only limited scars from the crisis.

    The consensus view is that with the right policies in place, the world can beat Covid-19. A new spirit of international co-operation might even resolve longstanding conflicts over issues as thorny as the taxation of multinationals in a globalised world — a cause the Biden administration is now taking up.

    Advanced economies, and especially the US, represent the light in the world.

    And here is the money quote which effectively validates MMT :

    A second boost to economic performance has been the willingness and ability of North America, Europe and Japan to use the power of government to support incomes through the crisis even when they could not go to work. Central banks helped with huge increases in purchases of government debt, facilitating the expansive use of fiscal policy during the crisis.

    Without them, without those fiscal and monetary measures, the global contraction last year would have been three times worse. This could have been another Great Depression.

    https://www.ft.com/content/f99210c9-c909-4325-8f6b-6684faabef0a

    • LCPL_X says:

      Micha,

      How do you think the news above relates to this news, where 1 in 3 COVID survivors go crazy,

      Previous research by the same scientists last year found that 20% of coronavirus survivors were diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder within just three months.

      “Our results indicate that brain diseases and psychiatric disorders are more common after COVID-19 than after flu or other respiratory infections, even when patients are matched for other risk factors,” said co-author Max Taquet. “We now need to see what happens beyond six months. The study cannot reveal the mechanisms involved, but does point to the need for urgent research to identify these, with a view to preventing or treating them.”
      https://www.cbsnews.com/news/covid-19-survivors-diagnosed-neurological-mental-health-conditions/

      Tangentially, this may also explain the rise in Asian Hate, and other hates. Its like Zika when your head shrinks after being bit by Zika mosquito, but 1 in 3 is pretty significant statistic, Micha. But then again i noticed psychedelics is up, so maybe thats the cure.

      • Micha says:

        Hahaha..the world and life itself is full of madness so I don’t see why adding a million more into the asylum would make that much of a difference.

    • chemrock says:

      Micha

      Treasury fund their expenditure by debt. There is no MMT. Period. This is stone cold fact.

      What folks like to read into as MMT is when the Fed purchases govt debt in their QE which releases liquidity into the economy. But in reality, this has nothing to do with MMT. Fed’s QE is in pursuance of their monetary policies. MMT is all about govt expenditure. Print and spend. That is not what is actually taking place.

      The US govt is able to continue to secure debt for spending so long as Treasury bills and bonds are still in demand. Again, this is stone cold fact. No demand, govt treasury auctions will fail.

      All those govt debt purchased by Fed go to build up the Fed’s balance sheet. The Fed is choke full of govt debt assets. What happens to these assets in the Fed (which are govt liabilities)? In Quantitative Tightening, Fed sells them back into the market. If Fed hold onto them till maturity, govt repays them by rolling into new T Bonds.

      Does the govt print any money as in MMT? Nope.

  10. Karl Garcia says:

    Fishermen to be armed…with radios.
    Like the debate whether to.arm tanods or not

    https://opinion.inquirer.net/134844/a-philippine-maritime-militia-in-the-wps

    • kasambahay says:

      I think, radios are already in use as long hauled fishermen can send sos in case there is disaster and they can call coast guards for help too. and they have beacons and flares and other navigational aids.

      these days, radio signals can be jammed and scrambled. radios are also 1st thing the enemy disabled, no message going out, no message coming in. there are times when fishermen have to rely and use their own wits.

      as for tanods, most of them are already armed and licensed to carry guns. almost everyone in our country have guns. even the dead have guns, some planted, some not, lol!

  11. Micha says:

    The Pentagon is awash with cash. It’s a bipartisan consensus to pour more money into the MIC than what the generals could handle.

    https://www.defensenews.com/breaking-news/2021/04/09/biden-requests-715b-for-pentagon-hinting-at-administrations-future-priorities/

    It makes more sense then for both Pinas’ and US interests to forge a fair agreement to rebuild a naval base in Palawan.

    • LCPL_X says:

      All this further militarization seems wrong to me.

      Karl’s article on the fishermen to be duly deputized as military is unnecessary really… why not just give them proper communications, and or the ability to live stream events; also recording equipment that can zoom into ships, etc.

      But keep them civilian.

      I’m sure the US can help in this regard with old comms gear and old binoculars to really good recording devices, connection for live streaming I’m not as sure, but I’m sure Elon Musk would be more than happy to test out his Starlink tech right above the South China sea.

      As for Micha’s idea of naval bases in Palawan, I ‘d hate to sea another Olangapo and Angeles in Palawan, as is right now foreigners who dive or vacation in Palawan bring their own girls (from Olangapo, Angeles, Cebu, etc.) there’s not a sex tourist infrastructure per se.

      You guys should keep it that way.

      Instead of military bases, why not encourage sea protection/clean up organizations like 5 Gyres inst., or Green Peace, or Sea Shepherd, etc. (there’s a bunch) safe harbor and amenities so they can do their thing.

      On that same vein invite US schools to study there, like Scripps institute of oceanography, https://hopkinsmarinestation.stanford.edu/ ,etc. there’s a bunch of academic and private organizations who’ll go there if proper harbor and infrastructure is stood up– this can be a joint US/Philippines thingy, with seabees and army corps of engineers with Filipino counterparts building these civilian centers around Palawan.

      The return on investment is better environmental knowledge, clean-up, awareness, more studies; but also military ROI because you’ll have populated further the South China sea area, instead of just sailing by back and forth, you’re actually doing work there.

      Utilize the area is better than militarizing it.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        Yes a high tech waterproof satellite phone perhaps. For the Videos an old digicam would do but live streaming ? If there cel phones have signal then what is stopping them from recording bullying.

        Are sex r and r the only thing you are after here LCX. Do you have wife and kids?
        I am sure by not Rming the they would be civilian. if the Chinese fishermen can have missiles, why can’t we do the same?

        • I’ve deleted LCX’s last post, and your response, and agree it is a distasteful line of discussion that LCX raises repeatedly. I’ve also put him back into moderation because I don’t trust that he grasps the point.

          • Karl Garcia says:

            Thanks.

            • kasambahay says:

              karlG, “if the Chinese fishermen can have missiles, why can’t we do the same?”

              the pretend chinese fishermen carry missiles and torpedoes, unlike our own fishermen whose flimsy fishing boats are not made to carry extra cargoes as missiles and torpedoes. too heavy and too technical, it will sink their humble bancas.

              it falls on the navy and coast guard to police and enforce our sovereignty in the high seas, make it safe for our fishermen to fish. failing to do thier mandate, I think, navy and coast guard and their households should not be welcomed in any local fish market, not sold fresh fish or they can eat their own fingers, fishfingers, lol!

              • Karl Garcia says:

                Let us not bother, LCX says we have nothing to defend.

              • LCPL_X says:

                No.

                Filipinos don’t have nothing to defend.

                A bigger Filipino Navy has nothing to defend, karl.

                Filipinos can defend children and their future;

                defend from propaganda;

                defend from Chinese loan scams;

                etc. etc.

                A bigger Navy has no defensive purpose, at least vis a vis China– they’re already inside the Philippines!

                Local fishermen have several options, they can start farming so they don’t have to go all the way out to fish; like marine grain https://www.cerealmarino.com/en/what-is-marine-grain/ they can maybe herd Dugongs for a living (taste like pork, Filipinos like pork).

                The argument for protecting fishermen, when in fact the fishermen are actually just poverty stricken folks that the gov’t has pretty much failed, seem contrived.

                Thus a bunch of bangkas and rusted trollers, don’t need million dollar ships. Does not justify it.

                The Philippines larger fishing industry is better served by establishing world class infrastructure in the Philippine Sea; take General Santos city for example, the Japanese have set up infrastructure but for them, so they get fresh tuna. Filipinos get the tiny ones still, so in a way win-win for all.

                Infrastructure , karl, not bigger Navy.

              • It’s a good thing you weren’t a consultant on the American Revolution. We’d be typing realise instead of realize.

                Your lack of appreciation for the struggling Filipino small-time fisherman is about the most elitist thing I’ve read this year.

              • LCPL_X says:

                I’m not not appreciating the local fishermen , Joe.

                I’m saying they’re a lost cause, just like the South China sea. Accept defeat.

                Does it really make sense to go to war with China for fishing rights? NO!

                But it makes sense that a hungry China will start poaching in the Philippine sea and Celebes sea, so why not set up there first;

                the funds that would go to a bigger Navy, can go to fishing industries for both those seas,

                then ally up, Japan has connection with Celebes sea ; why not partner up with say Taiwan , the US and micronesia in the Philippine sea;

                It just seems like everyone fighting for the poor Filipino fisherman that fishes in the South China sea, where were they to help ’em out like 20 years ago? see how it’s contrived?

                Your using the fishermen as pawns in this game. If that’s not appreciation I don’t know what is, Joe.

                Help ’em out; like the General Santos fishermen, but even then those guys are pawns to the Japanese tuna industry, so theres a flaw in the Philippine gov’t s inability to protect its fishermen’s interest (and other interests, like farmers, etc.), that’s in

                in general. Start there and then talk about appreciating Filipino fishermen.

                This all reminds me of when Marcos used Moros to invade Sabah, for the moros. Because he appreciated moros. Nope.

              • The Philippines is a complex society. Fishermen are not being used as pawns, there is no game, and real people’s livelihoods are at stake. Because you say something is this way or that does not mean it actually is this way or that. Your judgments are easy. Your ideals beautiful. It’s the getting there that is hard. You are gifted with no capacity to put your words into action, so no need to judge those who go out every day to live in the Philippines the best way they can.

              • I do not associate with Americans in the Philippines. They are obnoxious know-it-alls in the main. I’ve blocked some who come to the blog to pronounce their greater, elitist wisdom about the Philippines and Filipinos. You are approaching the point where I wish to avoid you, too.

              • LCPL_X says:

                Wait, wait , a minute , Joe.

                Joe you yourself arent working with them fishermen right?
                Nor karl? nor Francis?

                Nor Micha? nor kasambahay? Ireneo for sure isn’t.

                So we all here are just giving our two centavos as to how to prioritize and affect behaviours.

                Micha may be closer to monetary policies; chempo to banking; Ireneo and sonny to IT/computer science, you to accounting/business, Francis to law, i think kasambahay is medical field?

                But for sure none of us know closely about the fishing industry there. Everyones even steven here.

                All i know is that there’s fish mongers that sell door to door over there and even for them in general Filipinos tend to nickel and dime them. So now Filipinos appreciate fishermen?

              • Filipinos appreciate fishermen. Everyone really poor nickels and dimes others when they have to, which is often.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                There is this word called. Empathy you %#=+*!!!

              • LCPL_X says:

                karl,

                if you look at the beginning of this thread, me commenting under Micha’s comment.

                I’ve been consistent in arguing that fishermen should not be militarized.

                Using civilians in this manner is w/out empathy. They are up against the Chinese.

                Why put them further under harms way??? There’s not deterrence really, so evaluate i mean really evaluate the level of empathy in placing fishermen’s lives in harms way by arming them, deputizing them, and using them as justification for further militarization.

                Its like saying yeah likes get all the sama-badjaos out there and arming them, and they can help in the bee fleet, hell theres a good chance they may very well be displaced badjaos from the wars in the 80s.

                is that right? I’m arguing no. its not. Thus probably the most sympathetic position here. I’m arguing for the fishermens welfare, their livelihood can be moved.

              • LCPL_X does have a point. I recall a beach outing in high school were classmates were positively shocked that I was talking to fishermen, and were gesticulating to me to avoid them as if they were “dangerous” or “too low”.

                Well, same crowd that at a reunion years later didn’t even look up when a classmate nearly ran over a street vendor while backing up his Pajero. Poor guy saved himself jumping aside. R. Padilla BTW got time for running over one.

                The pretty perceptive Alex Garland novel Tesseract has a middle class village girl moved to the city to get her away from her fisherman boyfriend.

                In India BTW many fishermen became Christian to escape the lowest caste.

                By contrast, I have seen how Mediterranean societies respect and celebrate their fishermen almost like UNESCO intangible legacies. Their farmers too. Clearly the Philippines today is not the obnoxious and pretentious place it was in Marcos times and as some of my classmates I still am friends with today I was with the wrong crowd, folks who are mostly DDS now, types who always were matapobre, but the points still hold – there are those who cared about Gem-Ver like VP Leni did and those who simply didn’t.

              • My first real friend in the Philippines was a fisherman. Mindanao. His wife worked at my place, he over-fished in what should be a hatchery, I put one of his kids through college – his wife cried when he graduated – he warned me when NPA were coming through so I could be gone, he cheated me on dirt being being hauled in as fill, he offered to get a job done on a neighbor that was hassling me, for 10,000 pesos. I declined. He welcomed me to the helper’s party in the dirty kitchen during a birthday bash on the property; said I had to eat with my fingers, too. He’s a good man. Life is real, it is complex, and simplistic judgments are not necessary.

              • Some of the nicest people in the Philippines are at the margins of society.

                Westerners treat them as human while many Filipinos don’t, which is why they become real friends to them the way our labandera was 100% loyal to my mother.

              • Boy, that’s ‘spot on!’

              • LCPL_X says:

                Ireneo,

                I saw this with farmers, fishermen, and carpenters (mechanics too) basically people who sweat for a living are looked down upon by people who don’t sweat for a living like office workers, banks, accountants, lawyers, politicians, etc. etc.

                But my bigger issue here, and i think the underlying principle which has consistently given me grief, is the whole notion

                that other people can volunteer you to fight their wars. Here, here’s a gun go fight over there, here’s some weapons fight for your country. When that very notion of country has done nothing for them.

                that is what’s leaving a bad taste in my mouth. But yeah I totally agree with your generalizations of Filipinos, it is mine too. I’ve seen Filipinos actually cover their nostrils in front of said folks. Now all of the sudden its rah rah ra, beat war drums, let’s get weapons?

  12. Karl Garcia says:

    In ASEAN, ome code of conduct is encouraged,but could this apply to SCS? Am I even asking the right question?
    Irineo?
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montreux_Convention_Regarding_the_Regime_of_the_Straits

    • Re Montreux Russia or USSR for a while has by and large complied with treaties. One can even see how they disclose Sputnik-V vaccine data.

      Trouble brews as long as China insists on playing by another set of rules.

      There was of course a similar thing in occupied Berlin when Russia let us say saw things differently, or in the Eastern Ukraine or Crimea where it still does. Except that land borders are better defined, less volatile, than maritime ones.

  13. Micha says:

    Locsin’s diplomatic protest over the presence of Chinese vessels in Julian Felipe Reef is hilarious. Wasn’t it his pea-brained boss who invited them in?

    https://www.ft.com/content/1ec532e8-2ed0-44ea-82ce-942b74b9b8d3

    • Yes, that’s one way to look at it, and many do. It depends on your framing. I see Secretary Locsin as a man spurned by President Aquino, after serving Cory Aquino. He went ‘to the other side’ when a prestigious cabinet slot was offered. So he has some history to him, and some attitude that is over-the-top. But he is much more the patriot and diplomat than his two predecessors under Duterte, Yasay and Cayetano. He has done some important things, putting a stop to joint oil drilling with China by insisting that Philippine laws apply, helping hold to the VFA and military relationship with the US, and bringing a couple of hundred thousand stressed OFWs home during the onset of the virus. His staff think highly of him and work purposefully in ways other agency heads can’t master. So one has to sort out the good from the bad, and that which is his vs that which is Duterte’s.

      I think the language was stepped up on the go ahead from Duterte after China gave him the finger by the audacity of parking 200 ships in the WPS. So there is a progression to it that makes sense. Today the US and Philippines started a two-week joint training exercise that I suspect will be the beginning of a real operating partnership. There are some rumples to it, like Bong Go being untrustworthy for classified information, Duterte’s erratic temper, and how the US works the relationship. Finally, according to former Senator Trillanes, a lot of military officers see Duterte’s real character now, and don’t like what they see. They will abide by orders, but his effort to commandeer AFP loyalty essentially failed.

      The situation is fluid, seems to be moving in the ‘right’ direction, and Locsin is a principal to how it plays out.

  14. Francis says:

    @Karl,

    Thank you for your article. I have been having somewhat similar thoughts lately on our national security. I hope my comment doesn’t come too late in this discussion.

    Last Wednesday—a question came to me. With China intruding on our waters, how much was our naval spending compared to our neighbors. Were we underspending relative to the region? That day, I discovered how hard it is to get budget data (even basic data on naval spending) for foreign countries online—and how surprisingly transparent DBM is. But I digress.

    I found data for overall spending per military branch in Malaysia, Australia and India. Here are the ratios I got:

    Malaysia (2020 Budget): Army – 29% ; Navy – 36% ; Air Force – 35%
    Australia (2020-21 Budget): Army – 35% ; Navy – 32% ; Air Force – 34%
    India: Army (2020-2021 Budget): 73% ; Navy – 11% ; Air Force – 15%

    (This is as a percentage of combined overall spending for the three services as listed in the budget documents available. Does not include spending on HQ, etc.)

    Given the data available, I think that Malaysia and Australia are good proxies for the ideal mix for a maritime power; Malaysia is an island nation located right in our neighborhood (Maritime Southeast Asia) and Australia is essentially a giant island. India, on the other hand, is a good proxy of a continental/land-based power—and worth noting that India’s greatest strategic rivals (Pakistan and China) share *land* borders with it.

    Hence, it is worrisome that the mix in the Philippines is closer to India (a land-based power) than “maritime powers” like Malaysia and Australia:

    Philippines (2021 Budget): Army – 61% ; Navy – 20% ; Air Force – 19%

    And as I found tonight, using my free time to scour through DBM data—this has been a longstanding trend in PH defense spending since the 2000s, as the following data shows:

    A. Spending per military branch, as a percentage of combined spending (air + land + sea) between the three branches.

    2000 – Army – 53% ; Navy – 24% ; Air Force – 22%

    2009 – Army – 61% ; Navy – 21% ; Air Force – 18%

    2016 – Army – 59% ; Navy – 20% ; Air Force – 20%

    2021 – Army – 61% ; Navy – 19% ; Air Force – 19%

    B. Increase in spending, 2016 v. 2021 budget (% of total increase for three services combined = 79 B PHP)

    Army – 63% ; Navy – 19% ; Air Force – 17%

    This is also reflected in capital outlay spending where much of the dramatic increase in the Duterte administration in capital outlay spending per military branch has gone to the army. For instance, under Duterte (2017-2021):

    Army:
    Years where capital outlay spending >=2B PHP: 3
    Years where capital outlay spending >=1B PHP: 1
    Years where capital outlay spending =2B PHP: 0
    Years where capital outlay spending >=1B PHP: 0
    Years where capital outlay spending =2B PHP: 1
    Years where capital outlay spending >=1B PHP: 4
    Years where capital outlay spending <1B PHP: 0

    ———–

    I am a civilian, so I freely admit that I don't know anything. But as an uneducated layman looking in through budget documents, I am a bit worried. We are spending excessively on our ground forces, while not spending enough on our naval and air forces—crucial in projecting force in the disputed waters of the West Philippine Sea.

    Again, I freely admit I don't know anything but as a social sciences graduate—I think it is possible to infer that this mis-matched ratio in land-sea-air spending has given our defense establishment some perverse incentives.

    Money is power. And going by who has the cash—that the army has the most power in the AFP. Therefore, its needs—and wants—disproportionately shape the needs (and wants) of the entire defense establishment, for better or for worse.

    I do not mean to be blunt or offend, but I am not surprised given this that the AFP can be very gung ho when it comes to the very controversial Anti-Terror Law—but at the same time very nonchalant about DITO setting up telecommunications equipment near military bases, despite DITO being backed by a state-owned Chinese telecommunications company. China is simply not their problem.

    Hard to increase focus on external security when the most dominant branch of the military is the one that is extremely focused on internal security.

    And I think our experience under the Duterte administration has made it very clear that an excessive focus on internal security probably helps breed a certain anti-democratic sentiment among our security forces and our government, and raises tensions between the military and the civilian population.

    ———–

    For these reasons, I think that a major feature of our national security strategy should be a genuine shift towards an AFP where the spending on each branch is roughly on par with each other. This does not mean cutting the army's current budget—but I think all future increases should be primarily directed towards the navy and air force until the proportion between the navy, air force and army equalizes.

    I think simply doing this would yield enormous dividends for the nation. Increased naval and air spending allows us to greater project power in our waters and generate a *virtuous* cycle as a stronger navy and air force mean a stronger constituency for external defense, while (relatively) decreasing the prominence of the army should decrease civil-military tensions.

    ———–

    @Karl,

    I agree with you that building up industry should be a critical part of our national security strategy. However, I would add that I think it would a good idea to use rising defense spending in the Philippines (part of which goes to procurement of new weapon platforms) to help spur and catalyze industry in the Philippines.

    That is, I think we should try to find ways in which development of industries related to defense manufacturing can "spill over" to the civilian economy. For instance, I think it would be a good idea to consider prioritizing—and negotiating for—the domestic production of dual-use components in defense platforms (e.g. the electronics in ships, etc.).

    Given from little what I've heard, I think we merely pay lip service to the idea of indigenizing even a part of the defense technologies we use and mostly focus on procurement and licensing. For that, I think we should have a mini-DOST in our DND to serve as an equivalent to the US DoD DARPA. Our DND needs a technological perspective of its own to better grasp its own capabilities—as well as the challenge of the twenty-first century.

    ———–

    I am happy that there are articles like this out there. Frankly, I am not happy with the tone of the opposition so far. There is so much anger towards China—justified. But there is not as much discussion on "how" to deal with China. We must realize that we cannot just shout at China and file endless diplomatic protests against it. Our analysis cannot just stop at: "This is unjust!"

    Might only respects might.

    When Admiral Perry came to Japan in his "black ships," it dawned upon the Japanese elite that they need to seriously reform—that is, strengthen the nation—in order for their people's independence to survive. To meet the challenge of China, we need to consider strengthening our nation: to boost our military strength, our economic strength…

    One motto of the Japanese during the Meiji Era says it best: Fukoku Kyōhei—Rich Country, Strong Army.

    (I would accept tax raises or borrowing from the government, if only to help better fund our navy and air force.)

    • Francis says:

      Correction:

      Duterte (2017-2021)

      Army:
      Years where capital outlay spending >2B PHP: 3
      Years where capital outlay spending 2B>1B PHP: 1
      Years where capital outlay spending 2B PHP: 0
      Years where capital outlay spending 2B>1B PHP: 5
      Years where capital outlay spending 2B PHP: 1
      Years where capital outlay spending 2B>1B PHP: 4
      Years where capital outlay spending <1B PHP: 0

    • Karl Garcia says:

      Thanks for the research on the military or defense spending of our neighbors. My dad did a presentation on that a few ways back.
      On development of our industry, I had this article here at TSOH.

      https://joeam.com/2020/09/30/philippine-industrialization/

      I also agree that we spwnd more on the Army that is because of our endless insurgencies abd some even say due to the service affiliations of the past Sectetaries of defense ehim mostly came from the Army.

    • LCPL_X says:

      I’ll share this poem,

      Although its understandable Army will have a bigger budget than Navy, because ships cost more.

      The bigger scope of your argument Francis is where money should come from, and how to justify it going to the military much less the Navy.

      Over here , I think the Air Force get more money. And it shows too, they get better food and services, compare that to the Marine Corps who gets its budget from the Navy, and its pretty measly , but then a certain culture emerge s that embraces this fact.

      Similarly, that poem above becomes relevant.

      So the Philippines unlike Malaysia and India, is broke. It relies mostly on balikbayan boxes and remittances, and OFWs coming home and treating freebies to friends and relatives. The word medicant karl uses alot. Same idea. Goes to individual interactions.

      Basically, the Philippines cannot afford.

      Best to make friends and allies of those who can (for now), then ensure you have interests that intersect. This way Filipino tax dollars go to where its needed like education and services, etc. Leave the fighting and posturing to bigger fish , like NATO and US.

      Prioritize education, not military.

      • LCPL_X says:

        ooooops… Army will *not have a bigger…

        Also, Elon Musk’s Starlink is being set up right now, why not the Philippines be the country that will test out efficacy of satellite internet for fishermen giving them a chance with the Chinese.

        My point, there’s plenty of other cost effective means out there, than buying more war ships. or expanding one’s military.

        https://www.starlink.com/

        • Karl Garcia says:

          We do not have the luxury to even consider the cost effective alternatives.
          But the super powers are going full spectrum domination and while not yet there, they must stop the craziest among crazies.

        • Karl Garcia says:

          If I suggest what you suggest then we continue with our beggars can’t be choosers mendicant mentality.
          This is no t like the right to bear fire arms debate.
          I know the long time insurgencies may want “peaceniks” to accuse the defense establishment of manufactured wars to justify its existence.
          The AFP must soldier on and defend the nation.

          • The roots of insurgency today are often similar to the reasons for people going remontado in the 16th-18th century or becoming tulisanes in the 18th-19th century: economic hardship and social marginalization.

            Once the people on the edge don’t feel the government is their enemy (like some in Samar during the Marcos era called government forces “Hapon” = Japanese, meaning they were seen as occupiers) they will be less easily recruited. Of course one has to go against hardened rebels and terrorists like one has to deal with hardened criminals, but the wholesale red-tagging and renewed human rights abuses today make things worse.

            Of course there are for example Reds who are recruiting Lumads, and yes of course they are manipulating them. Miyako Izabel who is a Lumad writes about that, and certainly she knows the situation. But there are reasons why Lumads run to the Reds for help.

            There is a reason why places that have achieved relative prosperity now like Bikol and the Cordilleras hardly have rebels anymore. Between naive peacenik approaches and those that only cause new conflicts there is certainly a more sustainable long-term way.

            Meanwhile Marawi which was destroyed and isn’t even rebuilt until now is a breeding ground for new resentment and trouble. Miyako BTW mentions tokhang orphans among NCR urban poor as a new lost generation that may grow up desperate or even in hatred.

          • LCPL_X says:

            karl,

            I know that the Philippine AFP and PNP are doing counter insurgency, when insurgencies are best dealt with via policing, not really military.

            Now its become apparent that PNP isn’t really all that, especially under the DU30 admin. most that have big estates in Mindanao are former PNP (and AFP) enlisteds, karl.

            To think of the AFP as saviour now is ludicrous. Any entity that is exposed to corruption, will be corrupted.

            This is even more the reason not to catch up with India and Malaysia as posits Francis above.

            For counter insurgency less is best, makes you deal with people closer; makes interactions more personal.

            South China sea is not counter insurgency, but China can fund insurgencies by proxy, drug war as this is is totally probable, ie. heroine with China and the British 1800s. been done before.

            Defense and Policing are two different things, policing should be priority. I agree that coast guard is policing, over here they go under the DHS before it was Transportation.

            But the Philippines going full on Teddy Roosevelt and increasing its Navy seems to be a waste of money at this time. because there’s nothing to defend, karl. Internally the Philippines is so messed up,

            that that should be priority. Nothing worth defending. The point of a Navy is to defend something that’s already been gotten and worthy of protecting, then to project said power.

            • Karl Garcia says:

              Nothing to defend???

            • Karl Garcia says:

              Endless insurgencies even with a 100k police and 100 k soldiers.
              I am after security sector reform, I did not say insurgencies will end with more policing, I am scratching my head on how to end insurgencies, crimes etc.

              What do you want robocops, drones? I know you hate drones.
              Icelandic prison reform where you get to live in luxury or at least free enough to escape if you want to like in that Spider-Man movie scene, is that what you want? We still have sardine cans here, still far from happening.

              • LCPL_X says:

                karl,

                You’re right counter insurgency is a bigger problem.

                But like Ireneo said above, the problem which becomes a positive loop is the PNP/AFP itself, they are the ones creating rebels, insurgents.

                How did Bikol and the Cordilleras rid itself of insurgents? how ever they did it, I’m sure

                it doesn’t included more Navy ships, karl. By virtue of ridding itself of insurgents, your answer to what’s worth defending will IMHO become apparent.

                As such my stance remains the Philippines really has nothing to defend, thus does not really need a bigger Navy. what for?!!! The Chinese already own the South China Sea, do you think they’ll retreat from their bases once the Philippines buys bigger newer ships, no!

                Thus, no need for a bigger more expensive Navy.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                If you are in a team you woukd like to contribute a little right, so long as there are big brotheres you want the Philippines just to be a bench warmer.

              • LCPL_X says:

                What would be the purpose of a bigger Philippine Navy, karl?

                What China needed to take , they’ve already taken.

                So why not focus energy instead in stuff that can be value added for the team,

                i dunno… like the fact that there’s Filipinos living and working in pretty much every nation in Asia, much less the world— hell, I’m sure there’s a few in Antartica as we speak.

                My point, the Philippine has strength in other ways that NATO and other 1st world countries do not, why not focus on that.

                the Philippines has no money, so why not leverage strengths that’s already there that need no funding. There’s tons of Filipinos that work for the UN, why not have them do sit ins or hunger strikes. The UN would come to a full stop.

                Something do-able, karl.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                With or without China we need a bigger Navy. Because we have a small one
                Sure no need for air craft carrier and submarines. so if indeed China has taken a lot, we can take some back.
                Again I maintain a bee fleet would do the job, not easy targets like big vessels.

              • Agree, or missile ships small-medium, built locally.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                Very doable.

              • LCPL_X says:

                I agree with missiles, I mean rag tag Argentinians were able to keep UK at bay with only a few of ’em.

                https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/oct/15/exocet-missile-how-sinking-hms-sheffield-made-famous

                And the Philippine AFP need not buy ’em, they can make a deal and have ’em on loan, if they use ’em they buy ’em sorta deal.

                But that’s the thing about these missiles you have to at least use one to deter.

                To your bigger fleet, karl, if you can simply utilize hand me downs from other nations fleets, then even better.

                My point here is not to divert funding to such a useless enterprise, education is money well spent (the asking and answering kind, not the memorize and recite kind prevalent in the Philippines).

              • Karl Garcia says:

                Many projects and funds could be diverted like intelligence funds.
                All road projecrs that lead to nowhere should not be funded and there are a lot.

                Many more, not Navy modernization.

                I reiterate our fleet is aging and needs to be replaced, we do not have much of a coast guard fleet

                Our coast line is longer tgan the US
                Enough with your point justifications they are pointless.
                I was sorry for typing a deletable post yesterday now i am pissed again.

              • The Coast Guard is important. Maybe try to secure the archipelagic waters first before thinking of the EEZ.

                As for Navy at least try to patrol the coast up to 100 km outwards.

                Why? Because a lot of modern navy artillery, based on what is publicly available, have at least 80 km range.

                Don’t give up claim to WPS as it remains a political bargaining chip.

                LCPL_X is a bit right about fishermen being marginalized. I think that is also a symptom of lost maritime awareness, see my contrast to Mediterranean.

              • Filipinos are the seamen of the planet. And they fish. Fishing boats go out everywhichway from everywhere, often at night, all kinds of boats, big, small, commercial, private, near, far. They fill Century Tuna’s cans and the street vendor’s bicycle basket. They get little help from government even when China runs over them in the ocean. Define “marginalized.”

              • Marginalized as in getting little respect from the mainstream of society.

                Why was the way VP Leni treated Capt. Insigne of the Gem-Ver refreshing? Because the other one who came before her basically threatened them. And as I mentioned there are people who won’t give fishermen the time of day in the Filipino middle class, people like some of my ex-classmates in high school. It is a pretty disgusting attitude. Well most of them are DDS so I am not surprised.

              • Okay, yes I understand now. I was surprised there was not more of an uproar over the ramming, so that’s consistent with your definition.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                Thanks Irineo

              • LCPL_X says:

                “LCPL_X is a bit right about fishermen being marginalized.”

                Exactly, and when you weaponize them, deputize them, you’re essentially making them your pawns.

                Instead of making them fight for you, why not prioritize other options for them, ie. relocation, retraining, education, etc. etc. give them options.

                So they don’t have to be fishermen, or if they wanna stay fisherman give them helpful tools, not weapons.

                Over here when I think fishermen, I’m thinking sole proprietors with maybe 2 deck hands as workers, good money… fish too is fairly prized. fishermen here live comfortably,

                If 1st world fishermen can do this, what is stopping them in the 3rd world??? same with carpenters, plumbers, mechanics, all skill based laborers get good salaries, maybe work for themselves, maybe its the unions, but over there

                I dunno if they are a dime a dozen, thus saturating market, or professional folks are the ones keeping them down. But there is a caste system in the Philippines, Ireneo.

                And the 3rd world has a bad track record of getting the lowlies fighting their wars.

                I don’t know how to make the fishermen there like the fishermen over here, but I do know arming them and making them part of your military is the wrong move.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        Even without discussing each provision in detail, it’s fair to say that this law does not equip the AFP with the ability to respond to either invading states or non-traditional security threats of the 21st century. However, beyond that, this unchanged defense act has another problem: it institutionalized the importance of ground forces in territorial security. Since 1935, the Philippine Army (PA) has dominated the entire defense establishment. Though other factors helped establish the PA’s leading responsibility, particularly the communist insurgency, secessionist Moro rebels, and now terrorism, it is essential to highlight that the PA has borne nearly the entire burden of national defense since the establishment of the AFP.

        While the other branches of the military service were established in 1947, and the AFP was reorganized in 1950 through the issuance of presidential executive orders, the military was still largely dominated by the PA — not just in terms of leadership but also in fiscal support and even in terms of the size of its ranks. This was justifiable and accepted among the other services during the Cold War, given that the threat of communist insurgency was a primary concern at the time. Furthermore, since the U.S. 7th Fleet was stationed in Subic Bay and Clark Air Base hosted U.S. Air Force fighter planes, the army-dominated AFP chain of command saw the PA as the one military service the U.S. was not able to replace. Even if a meager budget was allotted to the Philippine Navy (PN) and the Philippine Air Force (PAF), with fewer sailors and airmen, it was expected that the U.S. would deter or subdue any external security threat.

        However, when the geopolitical dynamics shifted after the Cold War, the U.S. bases were no longer permitted to stay in the Philippines. When the Americans left, it revealed the Philippines’ poor external defense capability, particularly with regards to the PN and the PAF. This was exposed when the Chinese took over the Philippine-occupied Mischief Reef in 1995. Such an incident could have been the turning point for lawmakers to reassess and evaluate the antiquated law that outlines the Philippines’ national defense structure. Instead, President Fidel Ramos pushed for the AFP Modernization Act, which laid out a 15-year plan for defense capability acquisitions for the PN, PAF and PA. However, due to the Asian financial crisis, military modernization was set aside, and once again, the American military was welcomed through the Visiting Forces Agreement in 1998.

        Incidentally, during the near-decade-long term of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, there was no emphasis on revising the National Defense Act or modernizing the PN and PAF. The military has persistently been dominated by the PA, with 11 of Arroyo’s chiefs of staff coming from the army. Though an air force general was appointed on one occasion, he retired after barely three months in office. During the Arroyo administration, the AFP focused on counterinsurgency operations against the Moro rebels in Mindanao, which remained the justification for the army’s significant cut of the defense budget. Interestingly, Arroyo openly relied on retired army generals, who dominated her cabinet during her presidency.

        Under Benigno Aquino, however, the guidance for the military was to concentrate on external defense and not on internal security operations. China’s aggressive behavior in the South China Sea could have been an opportunity to call for Congress to reevaluate the obsolete National Defense Act, but Aquino pushed for the extension of the AFP Modernization Act instead. Though this became an excellent opportunity for the PN and PAF to realize their shopping list, some acquisitions never materialized. A case in point is the scrapping of the shore-based missile system (SBMS) in favor of purchasing individual combat equipment like helmets, night goggles, body armor and radios, among other things. The change was supported by Aquino.

        For the current president, Duterte is replicating Arroyo’s political playbook, which is relying on retired army soldiers to form part of his cabinet. On the other hand, he recognizes the importance of modernizing the AFP by supporting the acquisition of military assets for the PN and PAF. But the army’s sway has remained strong. In 2018, his defense secretary, a retired army general, approved the creation of a single army division that is estimated to be composed of 4,500 personnel, which is almost one-third of the troops of either the PN or PAF. And the top military positions remained a revolving cast of army generals.

        Hitches of the National Defense Act of 1935

        The biggest downside of Congress’ failure to amend the existing National Defense Act of 1935 is the Army’s entrenched domination within the AFP. The act’s focus on the ground forces gave the PA leeway to consistently position itself as the entire military organization’s strategic leader. Its ability to adapt to various developments involving the country’s strategic environment has made the army a domineering actor in setting policies that work to its own advantage, whether that concerns the budget, personnel complements, or even the acquisition of assets.

        Looking at the AFP’s annual allocation, the most significant portion of defense spending still goes to the army, which accounts for almost half of the entire budget. Despite the clear and present danger beyond the Philippines’ shorelines, the PA still managed to convert the acquisition of missile systems into purchases of helmets. The overused argument that the army’s main contribution is countering insurgency and separatist movements is not convincing — those problems have never ended, despite the overwhelming focus on them.

        In terms of troop size, it is worth mentioning that out of the 140,000-strong AFP, almost 100,000 troops serve in the army. Just about a quarter of troops are from the PN, which includes the Philippine Marines, and PAF. While other countries are building their navy and air force by training more sailors and pilots, the PA remains the priority for additional personnel quotas. In 2019, Duterte stated that the AFP needs an 25,000 additional soldiers to fight insurgency and terrorism; it can be assumed that a significant portion of these recruits will be given to the PA. Moreover, it is worth noting that the PA has an additional force multiplier through the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) Active Auxiliary Service, whose manpower is estimated to number around 60,000.

        Likewise, chances remain slim of officers from the PN or PAF being granted the position of chief of staff. Currently, this serves as a sinecure for loyal army generals, and a means of incentivizing the AFP to remain loyal to the commander-in-chief. This was a strategy adopted by previous administrations, and it still pertains today. The failure of the National Defense Act to govern the particular term and selection of the military chief has allowed patronage politics to influence its leadership.

        Lastly, though the PN and PAF are both prioritized for modernization efforts, it is evident that the PA is still able to lobby to alter some of the items in the procurement list. As explained, this is made easier since the PA and its senior commanders have direct access to power — currently, army generals serve as both the chairman of the joint chiefs and the defense secretary.

  15. Karl Garcia says:

    We should all be aware of what the National Marine Policy is:
    (From the link)
    Recognizing the archipelagic and maritime nature of the country, then President Fidel V Ramos issued in 1994 the National Marine Policy (NMP) to guide various stakeholders in the maritime community, especially those in government, in managing the “blue economy.” The policy contains four key areas: Politics and Jurisdiction, Area Regulation and Enforcement, Area Development and Conservation, and Maritime Security. Although bereft of a legal mandate NMP is in consonance with the national interests.

    With financial assistance from the National Coast Watch Council the University of the Philippines Center for Integrative and Development Studies reviewed the NMP in 2015-2016. One of the six objectives of the review was to “assess the accomplishments, gaps, issues, challenges, and opportunities in ocean governance, resource management, and the protection of the country’s territorial integrity.” Given the rising tensions in West Philippine Sea/South China Sea (WPS/SCS) and other significant developments in the maritime domain revisiting the NMP can provide valuable insights to understand the importance of subjecting a public policy to occasional review.

    On politics and jurisdiction, the new Baselines Law of 2009 (RA9522) incorporating the areas defined by PD1596 (Kalayaan Island Group) and PD1599 (EEZ) established our national identity as an archipelagic state and defined our maritime boundaries in accordance with UN Convention of the Law of the Sea. Three years later the UN recognized the country’s extended continental shelf in the Philippine/Benham Rise area thereby expanding our maritime zone by some 30,000 square kilometers. In 2016, the government formed a National Task Force West Philippine Sea to coordinate policy on South China Sea. These gains in defining the extent of territory are threatened by the brewing WPS/SCS conflict, the continuing Sulu Sultanate claim, the absence of ASEAN Code of Conduct in WPS/SCS, and the impractical local maritime zone limits that consider only physical boundaries rather than economic resource management. These are some of the challenges that need more attention, and are worthy to deal with.

    On maritime area regulation and enforcement, the focus is on the protection of marine ecology. The inter-agency and convergence actions in Palawan and the community-based initiatives in other localities to protect selected marine areas contribute a lot in regulating the utilization of marine resources. In Cebu, the local government organized a system to monitor water quality and set measurement parameters for chemicals to prevent pollution. The modest gains in this area may increase once the stakeholders address the issues of fragmented implementation, enhance legal and administrative procedures and hasten the transfer of knowledge, skills and resources. Integration and coordination are central in regulating and enforcing the various issuances as regards to the use of maritime zones and resources.

    On area development and conservation, the main priority is the management of the marine economy and technology to balance demands for utilization and conservation. This involves fisheries, seabed resources and ports and shipping. The concept of Integrated Coastal Zone Management has taken roots. DENR, PPA, PCG and MARINA are jointly working on abatement and control of marine pollution while other agencies continue to conduct research and assessment on marine resources to help in poverty alleviation and livelihood development. Authorities have established marine protected areas (MPAs), mandated seasonal fishing and crafted policies and strategies to mitigate the impact of climate change. BFAR and marine scientists have started to explore the fishery, aquatic and seabed resources in Philippine/Benham Rise for food, energy and income. The nautical highway initiated by PPA and MARINA some years back now links the island provinces with the major centers of the economy. MARINA’s development plans led to the country’s elevation to top 5 among world’s shipbuilding nations in terms of tonnage and in many ways improve coastal and maritime tourism. The several challenges faced by this priority area to truly harness the potential of the country’s marine economy are: weak development planning that is predominantly landward looking, poverty in coastal communities, inadequate port facilities and shipyards, mismanaged MPAs and improper valuation of damaged marine resources like reefs and corals.

    On maritime security, the recent acquisition of naval, air force and coast guard platforms strengthened the country’s ability to confront low-intensity conflicts in the maritime domain. BFAR also enhanced its capability to enforce fishery laws. But these government agencies and transiting merchant ships are constrained by ill-defined sea-lanes, weak mapping of the EEZ and existence of lawless groups that prey on commercial vessels. The vastness of the sea areas enables illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing to proliferate. The number of patrol ships for maritime zone is short of the required to prevent, deter and suppress maritime violations. The protection of future marine-based energy sources will need a stronger navy, air force and coast guard.

    The NMP reviewers also formulated strategies to address the gaps in the four policy areas and added a fifth: climate change and disaster risks. The country’s participation in the Framework Convention on Climate Change is a big step that is aligned with the NMP. The creation of the NDRRMC is also a welcome initiative to minimize the disastrous effect of natural and man-made calamities. The enactment of Human Security Act is another. The challenges in this area include: mangrove conversion to aquaculture ponds, storm surges, unsustainable fishing practices, contamination of food and water supplies, and disruption of transportation, communications and power lines.

  16. Karl Garcia says:

    Click to access EPB_2018-04_Galang.pdf

    Promoting Philippine SCS Interests

    Based on its hierarchy of priorities, the NSS indentifies three sets of Philippine national interests: “core,” “important,” and “other.”15 In each of the aforementioned categories, there are relevant national security interests in the SCS. Under “core” category, the relevant security interests are: 1) “Preservation of the sovereignty and integrity of the national territory;” and 2) “Pursuit of independent foreign policy in the exercise of national sovereignty and self- determination.”16 The salient “important” national interest is the “[d]evelopment of credible armed forces.”17 The pertinent “other” national interests are: 1) “Adherence to international agreements;” 2) “Participation…in the United Nations and other international fora;” and 3) “Promotion of dialogue and negotiation to solve any issues of mutual interest.”18 To note, the NSS harmonizes these interests with what it calls as the “goals” of national security, which are the “action areas” that “form the basis for the formulation of agency/institutional courses of actions.”19 Understood in Lykke’s theory, the following relevant national security goals can be viewed as the “ends” of the NSS with respect to the SCS: 1) “Safeguard and preserve national sovereignty and territorial integrity;” 2) “Ensure maritime and airspace security;” and 3) “Strengthen international relations.”20

  17. Micha says:

    @LcplX

    • LCPL_X says:

      “At the same time, officials at the Treasury’s Office of Economic Policy conducted a series of modeling exercises to “stress test” the virus relief package and how it might change those price and expectation measures if put in place. They considered scenarios where consumers quickly spent their aid money, which included $1,400 checks, or where they did not spend much of it at all right away. They talked with large banks about trends in customers’ cash balances and how quickly people were returning to the work force. Ms. Yellen, a former Fed chair, helped adjust the models herself.

      The exercises produced a wide range of possibilities for inflation. But they never suggested it would rise so rapidly that the Fed could not easily handle it by adjusting interest rates or other monetary policy tools. They saw no risk of a sharp return to recession — and no reason to pull back from spending proposals that administration officials believe will help the economy heal faster and help historically disadvantaged groups, like Black and Hispanic workers, regain jobs and income.”

      I was looking for MMT…

      “If the data proves that forecast wrong, officials say privately, they will be quick to adapt. But they will not say how. If inflation were to accelerate in a sustained and surprising way, some officials suggest, the administration would trust the Fed to step in to contain it.

      There is no plan, as of yet, for Mr. Biden to consider inflation-fighting actions of his own.”

      Then I found it. More taxes. Smaller streets. Bingo! MMT.

  18. chemrock says:

    Karl

    Congrats on the article. It is ambitious in scope.
    I have only 2 general comments.

    1. Almost none of your wish list can be checked with the Dude sitting in Malacanang. The sad trajectory will continue with a sheriff-slapping cookie who tried to display toughness the physical way, or a toughie who thinks running a country is as easy as dancing in a ring.

    2. As to current external threats from China, Philippines has only two realistic recourse, both of which unfortunately are not being pursued. One is of course much talked about, ie strengthening military links with the US. The other is Phiippines should take the initiative to draw Asean into the equation. Cambodia and Laos may hold different views, but the other Asean countries are all concerned with China’s encroachment. Only the combined Asean market can make China pay attention to our concerns. Again unfortunately, none of the Asean countries are willing to make a uniateral move.

    • Karl Garcia says:

      Thanks, I miss your presence here.
      if we elect Bong Go, Sara or even Paquiao, if we are doomed now, we will be damned. Sad thing is Paquiao Igbo win and he wil just challenge all opposirors to a fist fight, at least he would not threaten to shoot them.

    • Re 2. Military exercises with the US resumed this week and there is a definite movement toward greater alignment, inspired by China’s 200 boats. The initiative rests with Lorenzana and Locsin who are pro-US as Duterte has stepped back due to public outcry. ASEAN is a mess and unlikely to be any kind of glue or defense. Ties with Japan are sound.

      • chemrock says:

        “ASEAN is a mess and unlikely to be any kind of glue or defense” — Ya sadly, agreed.

        With Suharto, Kee Kuan Yew and Marcos gone, there’s a regional leadership vacuum. Marcos may be all things bad, but he had stature in the region once.

        • Marcos was one of the first to make an island in the WPS a permanent outpost. The old, rotting runway on Pag-Asa island dates back to his time. I once saw an eerie documentary showing rusted anti-aircraft guns from the 1970s there.

          As for SEA leadership, it was Magsaysay and his successor Garcia who had truly enormous respect in the region, Marcos just a little of that.

          Marcos did ruin part of his relations in SEA by stuff like begging Lee Kuan Yew for loans, or by seeking confrontation with Malaysia on Sabah. And of course it wasn’t possible to seek common ground with Vietnam yet in those days.

          Imee Marcos BTW said recently she has the least issue with China as it “never invaded Philippine shores” – technically correct but short-sighted. The Marcos clan of course feels let down by its former “patron” (in their eyes) USA in 1986.

          The Philippines COULD find some common ground with Indonesia as there is no conflict between the two countries, unlike Philippines-Malaysia which due to what happened since the 1970s re Sabah and Bangsamoro have little trust.

          Common ground with Vietnam would be possible if the policy wonks had some degree of fantasy. And if they realized that the world we are in today is no longer that of the 1970s. In fact we are half a century removed from that now.

          • chemrock says:

            Thanks for providing some depth.

            I was’nt thinking of Asean in some defence alignment vs China. My thought is on the combined economic power of Asean to leverage against Chinese expansionism.

  19. chemrock says:

    Joe, sorry I don’t see the link of this comment to MMT.
    Just for interest sake to your comment –

    1. Generally, when cost of funds is low in relation to inflation, makes good sense to leverage and pile up assets. That’s the reason equities have such high valuations today. Cheap money is funding the market like crazy.
    2. Whether it’s good investment decision depends on the individual. A fresh graduate with many active economic years ahead of him/her sees it differently from a geriantic balancing on a walking stick.

  20. https://www.rappler.com/nation/chinese-news-tv-airs-abs-cbn-channel

    The ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC) has entered into an agreement with a Filipino-Chinese media company to air “Chinese News TV (CNTV),” a nightly weekday news program delivered mainly in Mandarin Chinese.

    CNTV began airing on the cable news channel on Monday, April 12. According to its website, “CNTV is the first news program that regularly reports Philippine headlines in Mandarin Chinese.” It also uses English and Filipino as supporting languages.

    It aims to “promote shared Filipino-Chinese culture” and “spread the One Belt One Road advocacy,” China’s initiative that aims to link the economic circles in East Asia and Europe, connecting China – on land and over water – to  partners in Asia, Europe, and Africa.

    CNTV is produced by Horizon of the Sun Communications, Incorporated, the same team behind Chinatown TV, the longest running Filipino-Chinese lifestyle show. Horizon of the Sun Communications is headed by Lolita Ching and daughter Louella Ching-Chan. CNTV also aired on government station IBC-13 and the Iglesio ni Cristo-owned channel NET25.

    Ching-Chan said CNTV has been airing since November 2017 and has always catered to the local Filipino-Chinese community..

    • madlanglupa says:

      Nearly everyone is up in arms, wondering how the hell that happened and who made the decisions leading to this so-called “collaboration”. Right now, the “cancellation” is happening among the young progressives, and it won’t be equally surprising the pro-regime fanatics will make a celebration out of this.

      • I am wondering what made them do that:

        A) threat to “find new reasons” to harrass them
        B) promise to return their franchise “if they comply”
        C) a mixture of both threat and enticement

        Anything is possible with the present regime.

        • madlanglupa says:

          Some say it’s the money, and if it is so, all the defense made by citizens and progressives on the behalf of the station may have come to naught. To them, the presence of Mainland content is conquest and thus fait accompli. It does not bode well as defeatism is at an all-time high among the young, seemingly preferring to leave than defend.

          Which leaves both Rappler and PCIJ as the remaining prime bodies unaffected.

  21. LCPL_X is wrong in saying “there is nothing left to protect” in my opinion.

    He is right though in saying the Philippines has failed its fishermen often.

    The solution though isn’t in giving them up as he seems to suggest.

    The question is how can they be protected better by the government?

    For further information the report Chiara Zambrano made about fishermen, the report that got her ship chased by Chinese vessels:

    https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/04/13/21/mangingisda-west-ph-sea-ibinahagi-kalbaryo-china

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