The Philippine Economy: Duterte Gives Marcos a Bed of Nails

Analysis and Opinion

By Chemrock

Congratulations to the newly-elected Philippines president Bong Bong Marcos (BBM) who will present his first State Of Nation Address on July 25. Will his ascendancy bring back the pomposity and ostentatious show in his father’s days when SONA brought out the politicians and guests to challenge the Hollywood Academy Award nights? Or will it be subdued and serious given the pandemic and the headwinds of inflation and food shortages? In times of difficulties, such as current days, the leader must give the people a sense of hope. We await his speech that should basically assess the situation of the nation, and his wisdom of how his admin will advance the country.

In assessing the economics landscape, the data surely will be an indictment of President Rodrigo Duterte. Will BBM bravely review in public the data with his Vice President Sarah by his side, who is non-other than the daughter of Duterte?

1. Current Account:

The Current Accounts of the country shows the country’s trade relationship with the rest of the world. Without going into the details, this records the movement of trade in goods and services, interest on loans, and private transfers. A net credit is normally called a trade surplus, a net debit a trade deficit. A trade surplus means there is a net inflow of funds into the country, a net deficit means an outflow of funds.

BBM’s father, President Ferdinand Marcos, had left Philippines a legacy of trade deficits since 1986 which Presidents Cory Aquino, Fidel Ramos and Joseph Estrada could not overcome. Credit to Gloria Arroyo, an economist, who managed to swing the country back to a trade surplus. Pnoy Aquino maintained the surplus levels. Under Duterte, the Philippines slipped back into a trade deficit mode. Duterte gifted BBM a trade deficit of almost US$3 billion.

2. The exchange rate:

The exchange rate appreciation or depreciation is a double-edged sword. A depreciation is good for the folks receiving remittances from overseas which convert to more pesos, importers pay more for their overseas purchase, but Philippines exports becomes cheaper and more competitive. If the peso appreciates, the remittances coming home convert to lesser cash, and imports become cheaper and exports more expensive. What Bangko Sentral seeks to maintain, is price stability. Nobody wants volatility in the rates.

Trade deficit means a net outflow of funds. As more Pesos are sold for foreign currencies to pay for more imports, the consequence is downward pressure on the exchange rate. Pnoy Aquino started with the rate at about USD1: PHP46.0. The rate appreciated by about 10% and slipped back to 46.0. Duterte’s admin saw the pesos depreciate by about 21.8% to 1:51.0

As can be seen in the 2 charts above, the exchange rate moves in sync with the current account status. This makes sense as the net cash inflows and outflows impact the rate. Duterte’s trade deficits weakened the peso, imported inflation, and strained external debt servicing.

3. External Debt:

A Balance of Payments records a country’s cross border monetary relationship with the rest of the world. Very briefly, it is split into 2 parts. The first part is the Current Account, shown above. The second part is called the Capital Account which records inflows and outflows on capital and financial transactions, such as borrowings/lendings, FDI. A deficit or surplus in the Current Account with be balanced off by a reverse sum in the Capital Account, thus the Balance of Payments will technically be zero. A simple example – if a country has a deficit Current Account, it ends up with a foreign loan to pay for the cash outflows. The Current Account has an outflow because of net imports, balanced off by cash inflow from loan that appears in the Capital Account.

All the Current Account deficits of Duterte means there were net outflow of funds. Where the are funds coming from? From external loans of course. The chart above shows Aquino kept the external debt flat but Duterte built up the foreign currency debts. Duterte gifted BBM additional PHP1.5 trillion of foreign debt.

Duterte’s fiscal policies also increased domestic debt by Php 4 trillion. Overall, Durterte exploded national debt by 100% to Php 12 trillion. With the world going into an interest rate war, it is the huge external debt that will challenge BBM.

4. Interest Rates:

Exchange rate regimes manage price levels (inflation) by intervening in the FX market to manage rates. A trade surplus has upward pressure on the rates, so the central bank mops up the foreign currencies to force rates down. On the other hand in a trade deficit the central bank buys domestic currencies to force the rates up. This central bank action is easily reflected in their balance sheet.

The Philippines follows the US way using interest rates and QE/QT (quantitative easing/quantitative tightening) as the tools for monetary management. The effects of changes on interest rates is not easily seen in the balance sheet. However, QE/QT are reflected in the balance sheet.

The chart above shows Philippines have a similar extended downward trend on interest rates like almost all countries. The Aquino admin managed to hold interest rates steady for 6 years. This at a time when the exchange rate was stronger. In Duterte’s admin, the trade deficit of 2018 caused the peso to depreciate, which is inflationary, and Bangko Sentral reacted by increasing interest rates about 200 basis points which in turn caused the peso to appreciate again.

BBM takes over a sustained trade deficit which will depreciate the peso further unless the new president is able to improve the trade figures. A depreciating peso is inflationary. This time round, the situation is exacerbated by the acts of trading partners which are exchange rate regimes, like Singapore and China. These countries with trade surpluses will tighten monetary controls, allowing their exchange rates to appreciate to fight inflation. In other words, peso interest rates need to work double hard. Bangko Sentro has already increased interest rates recently. It is poised to go much higher. Trying to improve trade figures by raising interest and exchange rates is a tough order. You can’t increase production cost and higher export prices and yet remain competitive.

5. Philippines foreign reserves:

One key metric that throws some light on the resilience of Philippines and its banking system is the level of its official foreign reserves. We can see this in Bangko Sentral’s balance sheet which also shows what funded the reserves.

Every country needs to maintain a certain level of foreign reserves to withstand a credit crunch. The World Bank recommends a level to sustain 5-6 months of imports.

The Aquino admin added about US$1 billion to the country’s reserves. Philippines reserves have been on the rise. Where did the money come from to purchase the foreign currencies? By debt (reverse repos and special term deposits – meant to reduce market liquidity) and some currency note printing.

Under Duterte, his appointee CEO of Bangko Sentral, Benjamin Diokno, further increased reserves by about USD1.3 billion, bringing the total to about USD5.5 billion.  Diokno’s reserve purchases were funded by massive currency note printing and government deposits. Where are the huge government deposits coming from – increased domestic debt as shown in the national debt chart. Currency assets carry a valuation risks. Diokno’s reserves now carry a huge unrealised revaluation loss due to appreciation of peso. As at Mar 2022, this unrealised loss stands at USD588 million.

6. Reserves to GDP ratio :

Diokno likes to boast of the country’s financial resilience with building up of the foreign reserves. But aggregates do not tell the full picture. The reserves of USD5.5B may be a very big sum, but it runs out very quickly during a credit crunch. When that happens, companies and the government go into default because the banking system cannot provide the foreign currencies for them to service their external debts. Is Diokno’s reserves adequate? As economies grow, the level of foreign reserves must grow too. A better guage of reserve adequacy is to look at the Reserves to GDP ratio.

Estrada raided the reserves which plunged to its lowest level ever about 12% of GDP. Arroyo did well to bring it up to 20% level, whilst Aquino was quite consistent at the 20% level. Here comes Duterte and the reserves dropped to equal Estrada’s lowest at 12%. For comparison, Switzerland has the highest ratio in the world at 115%. Singapore was at 105% before it moved some reserves to its sovereign wealth fund recently which brought the figure down to 91%.

A low level of foreign reserves heightens risks to a credit crunch just like what happened to Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia in the 1997 Asian financial crisis. A central bank’s inability to provide foreign currency liquidity in a credit crunch subjects the country’s banking system to great risks.

Summary :

Basically, the state of the nation is shaky. Trade deficits mean a depreciating peso which means importing inflation. Diokno has started moving interest rate up to protect the peso. But higher interest cost is no good for business. The inflation in Philippines is not driven by high liquidity or a demand side pressure. It is due to supply side loss of production resources. It is a situation that raising interest rates cannot address.

In all fairness, the central bank does not take all the blame. Although its monetary function is independent of the Executive, it had to work in cooperation with fiscal policies. Duterte is responsible for all the negative metrics mentioned. The trade deficit and huge external debt is a consequence of his infra ‘Build Build Build’ policy. There is a time lapse before hardcore infras can translate into more market efficiency and contribute to economy. The problem is the infras do not seem to be visible. Will BBM suffer the consequences or reap the benefits of his predecessor’s infras programs?

The downfall of Ferdinand Marcos in 1986 was hugely due to the country’s debt position that could not take the shock of Paul Volcker’s massive Fed rates applied on the USD which peaked at 21% p.a.. In our present times, a global interest rate war looms – the days of near-zero interest rates are over. There is fear Fed Chair Jerome Powell may be forced to use a Volcker style high extreme rates approach to tame their 9.1% inflation. History may repeat itself in Philippines. The son now takes over a massive foreign debt and faces a threatening interest rate shock.

If BBM’s first act portends what’s to come, it’s time to buckle up for a rough ride. He acts on the clarion call of Diokno to kick start a digital financial infra with a new USD300m loan. One would have thought the priority is food production in view of the supply chain problems in the world and seriously take the World Bank’s warning of an impending human catastrophe food crisis .

I wish the new president and my beloved Philippines well. Despite my personal misgivings of the family name, I feel we should respect the vote and let BBM the opportunity to work for the people as best he can. There is only one area that I really hope he will never go. And that unfortunately, seems to be one of his favourite calls. I am referring to the revival of the failed and decaying Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. Although I live 2,350 km away, I recall the 1991 Mount Pinatubo eruption blocked out the sun and wind blown volcanic dust reached our shores. The plant is rusting away. It’s only 57 km from Pinatubo and along Philippine earthquake fault lies.

208 Responses to “The Philippine Economy: Duterte Gives Marcos a Bed of Nails”
  1. Chemrock says:

    Thanks Joe.
    Sorry for disrupting the vacation. Have a good time with your family.

    • JoeAm says:

      No problem. You did all the work on the set-up. Easy for me. And a terrific article, well worth the time. Pro-Marcos in the sense it gives him room to deal with the issues.

      In traveling around, I’m struck by the housing being built here, there, everywhere. Local flights have been full. International gates empty of planes. I’m guessing that if this last covid flare-up dies down, the economy will see a considerable surge and may grow into a Marcos economic rescue. Haha. Or he could botch it completely by not believing there is inflation.

      We’ll see.

  2. NHerrera says:

    Thanks, Chemrock, for my continuing quality but free lessons on the economy, especially as it relates to the Philippines, which we both love.

    I am writing this from my current location in the far North on the other side of the globe — my wife and I are on a long vacation with my daughter and her family; it required a 15-hour non-stop flight before traveling to and from airports became very messy and required strong patience for the frustration that entails.

    Re exchange rate, unlike Joe who has oodles of green bucks, I cry ouch whenever I use my account to pay in the local — present location — currency for some things. I cannot rely on my daughter and family not only to feed and shelter my wife and me but buy those things, though they are insistent on preserving whatever little we have. We may shorten our welcome otherwise. 🤣

  3. chemp,

    Thanks for this. it still flies over my head but i think i’m tracking better, much better than before now. but to connect it to current affairs, this week Putin made contact with MBS of Saudi Arabia , i’m sure to talk about oil/gas output.

    But with Chinese CBDC seemingly doing so well, and Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, with Qatar and Oman following suit the testing of waters in CBDC (in particular hooking up with the Chinese network of CBDC),

    what happens if the Gulf Arab countries are in fact persuaded by China (since Putin’s now a puppet of China) to abandon the American system of money, and go all in with the Chinese CBDC system? and to connect to your blog, what if BBM is equally persuaded by China’s CBDC network,

    and throws in with them.there will have to be a restart of sorts , right? Does it follow then that all the above mentioned in your blog, will simply be redrawn, sooner or as a longer process? how would it play out? And then connect that to El Salvador but not with Chinese CBDC network, instead with Bitcoin.

    “The financial problems that afflict El Salvador will not end with the signing of a possible financial agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) this year, said Finance Minister Alejandro Zelaya.

    The Central American country urgently needs a new loan of some 1.3 billion dollars and the refinancing of its debt in order to face the threat of default in the coming months and to be able to cover its high fiscal deficit.

    However, the official downplayed the importance of a possible agreement and its benefits to alleviate the heavy burden of the country that must pay high interest for the service of the foreign debt of more than 24,000 million dollars.

    El Salvador’s problems have become more acute after President Nayib Bukele decided to tie the fate of the Salvadoran economy to Bitcoin (BTC). In September of last year, the government approved the use of BTC as legal tender.

    Despite the potential risks, the protests within the country and the calls from different international financial organizations, including the IMF, Bukele went ahead with his Bitcoin plan and involved cryptocurrency in the country’s economic strategy.

    (Cuz, Bukele either has really huge balls or very stupid, or both, or he sees 10 moves ahead with Bitcoin, which China is similarly seeing but with CBDC. thanks again, chemp. and good to see you on here again, I’ve missed you so. 😉 )

    • chemrock says:

      Lance, as usual, you piled so many topics into one comment. You are really asking opinions on:
      – Can we get rid of USD as world reserve currency.
      – Can Renmenbi (Yuan, CNY interchangebly) take over the role as world reserve currency.
      – Can CBDC take over as world currency
      – Role of crypto

      1. USD as world reserve currency
      1.1. Side issue – many looked at Saudi selling oil to China in Yuan and say aha death knell for USD. We need to look at it with proper perspective. Saudi’s annual oil sales is a couple of hundred billion $, depending on the price. Germany’s global sales of the automobiles is also a hundred billion dollars, and sold in USD. Why all the hoohah about Saudi’s oil?

      1.2. In terms of being held in reserves by central banks, USD is not THE world reserve currency. It is one of the major currencies held as reserves. Central banks hold about 63% in USD, 20+% in EUR. Other major ccy are CHF, Yen, CNY.

      1.3. But USD provides the liquidity that enables the world economy to chuk along. In this sense, it is THE world reserve economy.

      1.4. Any national currency that is used as world reserve currency is doomed to an inevitable collapse. Keynes saw this long ago when he proposed ‘bancor’ as a special one world currency, independently operated by ?????? someone, somebody, some organisation, some country? The Triffin Dilemma postulates the demise of USD eventually, and so too the Yuan if it stepped in. I wrote about this in the link below. Basically, the USD has to obey two masters — domestic monetary sovereignty, and international monetary sovereignty. It’s impossible to workout.

      1.5. It makes sense the world reserve ccy has to be exogenous – outside of world banking system.. Just like God that created the universe, has to be outside of the universe.

      1.6. You are thinking aha — cryptos, CBDC… I have no idea what it can be, but certainly not cryptos nor CBDC, in my opinion.

      2. CNY as the world reserve ccy

      2.1. Currently, CNY is the 5th major ccy held as reserves in central banks. Do you know in percentage terms? …. a miserable 2.8%.

      2.2. I wrote on why the CNY cannot be the world reserve currency, unless an immoveable object is moved — China must lift all Capital controls. A communist mind-set will never surrender this sovereignty.

      2.3. What most people do not comprehend is this. They think USD supplies world liquidity, so the centre of gravity is NY. Actually, the world is oiled by the Eurodollar and Asiandollar. A massive portion of world financial deals are funded by offshore dollars. For example, about USD2 trillion are deposited in Singapore, that’s why we are a major money market hub. HK is the FX hub, much bigger than us.

      2.4 CNY simply has no capability to function as world reserve currency. There are other stumbling blocks.

      3. About CBDC

      3.1. CBDC is simply fiat tokenised. In basic terms, it is using blockchain technology for movement of funds. It is simply a technology platform. Unlike cryptos, it is centralised, regulated, supply is the purview of the central bank as part of their national monetary responsibilities.

      3.2 If you are thinking the e-CNY (the Chinese CBDC token) will go to USD60,000 one day, forget it. It isn’t a crypto. Look at it as if it’s CNY currency notes and coins but in digital form. Fully regulated. Fully controlled. All your transactions fully captured, to be used as evidence against you when you commit some felony 20 years later on.

      3.3 For locals, I think CBDC is great if one does not bother with big brother in the background.

      3.4 For overseas use, sure you can send directly from US to some eskimos directly, provided both parties have some e-CNY wallet and an exchange to cash out.

      3.5 If you are a business person, sure you can try to move a million e-CNY and cross your fingers capital controls don’t send you some forms to sign for permits. If you receive e-CNY from another party, I’m sure you write your payroll checks in e-CNY wherever you may be located.

      3.6. What if PH, or the whole world is linked to CBDC network?
      I tthink your point is what if everybody start using e-CNY, then surely the digital ccy can become one common means of transaction for everyone? This is a one dimensional view purely from the point of an user on the ground. There are tons of reasons against this idea. On top of the heap, Diokno will tell you he doesn’t want to loose his job. Which country want to surrender their monetary sovereignty to China?

      4. On cryptos

      My opinions align with Micha’s. Bitcoin isn’t working out the way Saitoshi intended. Cryptos is a modern day Tulip mania. A bunch of characters got unbelievably rich. Millions got robbed. It is a market that is cornered every ow and then by a small band who is capable of moving prices up or down.

      Cryptos is the geeks’ libertarian idea of what money should be, not the economists, monetary authorities, bankers, financiers, traditional investors.

      In the field of architecture, the architects use the geeks to get project development onto digital platforms. Imagine the architects allow the geeks to build the buildings.

      • 1. “Just like God that created the universe, has to be outside of the universe.”

        Equally valid would be the proposition that God has to be inside, chemp— only we’ll need to know how God works. and as many have already said, God works in mysterious ways. But as it relates to the USD/fiat system. doesn’t blockchain technology allow for this inside and outside simultaneous, thus truly omnipresent (tho’ not omniscient, as that would be the purview of CBDC).

        Example, Tulip mania, there’s the mania, then theres the tulip which IMHO are truly beautiful flowers thus eliciting value. Same with Bitcoin, there is its inherent value which is the longest running blockchain to date (which you yourself have said cannot be hacked), then there is the mania. I’m focused on its value vis a vis blockchain. not the speculation.

        Similarly, the US went the fiat route via Pres. Nixon because of said speculation— mania.

        2. “Do you know in percentage terms? …. a miserable 2.8%.”

        I’m thinking more along the lines of how the USD became (arbitrarily or thru Jekyll island, or both, de facto/de jury) the world’s go to money.

        US had to become world power first, then its USD became the go-to; let’s say China does supplant US as world power, maybe not thru wars, or money, but simply due to loss of confidence in USD, or say China gets to that asteroid made of gold first and starts introducing it to Earth albeit thru manufactured scarcity (like diamonds now from Africa and lab made ones).

        Then just as history “chose” the US to be the world’s leader, China could also take that very role, thus its money too. My point is that “miserable 2.8%” can just as well become 100%. thats how we know history works. arbitrarily then makes sense after the fact.

        So China taking over is in the realm of probability.

        3. “If you are thinking the e-CNY (the Chinese CBDC token) will go to USD60,000 one day, forget it. It isn’t a crypto.”

        I think that’s an upside down way of looking at it, chemp. It’s a crypto first and foremost, only its being used as fiat under the CBDC system (by central banks cuz they cannot imagine de-centralized money that states don’t own as any good, a value judgement based more on fear than optimism really). again centralized vs. de-centalized which is the intent of Satoshi’s white paper.

        Which means the comparative has to account for the propositions involved in your number two, how one state or gov’ts money can become the world’s. Eg. if China is number 1, China’s money becomes number 1 by default. whether China can supplant the US is more a geopolitic question.

        Then its CBDC vs. Bitcoin.

        4. “Imagine the architects allow the geeks to build the buildings.”

        Well to add to this analogy, the IT/computer geeks folks would be in charge of the CAD and networking and digitalizing architects’ design and vision, but to get a building or structure from ground up, you’ll need engineers and contractors (that manages masons, ironworkers, sewage, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, etc. etc. ).

        So to further your analogy, the Tulip mania would be the speculations made on an architects designs on paper or with the help of geeks on CAD or Revit or whatevers… but the nuts and bolts of the designs value from paper to the real world would be done by lesser individuals all working together. And that’s Bitcoin’s blockchain. peer to peer use of it, not the speculation pro or against it.

        Which is the mania. The tulip is what I’m in awe of.

        5. In closing, I don’t envision any of these systems supplanting any of the others yet. it’ll be a process of elimination. But China ‘s focus in space, whereas before countries became powerful only by finding new land or winning big wars, is the game changer. Thus the likelihood of China supplanting the US is still a very valid probability. Because of Space.

        When you have a changing of guards, then that CBDC vs. Bitcoin/crypto part of the calculus follows. IMHO, if authoritarian regimes opt for CBDC/centralize , then the most logical move by open and free nations has to be Bitcoin/crypto (de-centralized).


        a. China vs. US

        b. CBDC vs. Bitcoin

        c. China CBDC vs. US Bitcoin

        The peer to peer aspect of de-centralized money is the thing I cannot envision yet because w/out banks and state economists, how do you control it. it’ll essentially be the truest free market we as humans will ever know. Instead of say a set bar fine of P2,500 on Mango Ave. we’ll be in a constant state of negotiations.

        Which I know some do better than others, like the Arabs love to haggle, but Americans prefer to see a set price on a sticker. but that’s a simple cultural tweak. What i learnt in the 3rd world is you haggle, then agree on a price, and usually when you pay, you give a little extra (for good luck). In a way,

        Americans are already buying and selling and negotiating for a set price via these selling apps like OfferUP and NextDoor, etc. so it shouldn’t be too hard to get rid of banks and state economists. 😉

        • more on Economists:

          That’s Bitcoin, the tulip; not the mania– the chart of bubble.

        • Micha says:


          The natural value of any pretender currency outside the purview of the state is ZERO.

          In case of the so-called crypto currency, since it consumes a lot of electricity in digitally facilitating those anonymous ledger transactions that attracts criminals and tax evaders, its natural value is NEGATIVE ZERO.

          The state is God.

          You might have a hard time wrapping this concept around your head but wrap it around your head, you must.

          Only the state endures.

          What we mere mortals can do is contribute in shaping the character of the state to become benign and benevolent because we are the constituent part of it. That’s the realm of policy debate and decisions. Should we subsidize rice farmers or not? Legalize marijuana or not? Those kind of things.

          All these de-centralized nonsense about crypto is just a fad and lots of folks have been hoodwinked by the scam.

          • chemrock says:

            This is the first time I agree with you totally.
            Whether it is US and USD or China and CNY, it is about a benign state. And I don’t ever see either being so, it is the nature of a state, despite many propositioning that China has never invaded any country.

            • Micha & chemp,

              There’s 3 notions here to consider, and you guys’ optics of said notions are as follows:

              1. USD/fiat system: the 1-6 of this blog is essentially the tried and tested methods of ascertaining (taking pulse) of the various propabilities that can be hedged or encouraged. Mere metrics of past or tried/tested system. chempo is familiar with this divination, Micha is not so familiar with the granular stuff but can talk about the system enough to critique it and offer a solution namely MMT.

              I of course want something new. Thru MMT or below.

              2. New (now in use) CNY/CBDC: currently the concept of this is as tokenized fiat money, as chempo has indicated. CNY is still CNY right now, the CBDC concept of it has not expanded yet. But if we venture to get a feel for it, by simply using 1. USD/fiat system , CBDC seems recognizable but to stop here is folly, because it should be analyzed for its blockchain.

              chempo analyzes it and compares it to USD/fiat system, but obviously since CBDC is more than fiat (technology wise) it should be seen as something totally different. a disruptor of 1.

              Micha, I think , same same as chempo if seeing CBDC as just digital fiat, then would agree that CBDC would be the best to do MMT with, after all “the state” will have control of 100% of it– direct control

              Thus , MMT is better served under CBDC.

              3. Bitcoin/NFTs: This is what I’m selling (figuratively since as a Luddite I’m only selling it academically).

              With Bitcoin the game is totally changed, so the 1-6 metrics that chempo outlined would be totally arbitrary, since its totally new.

              My question to you both, is with what basis are you both agreeing that Bitcoin is a). its worthless and b). its bad??? and a reminder to Micha even the concept of a state is new (human history wise), and so is money first backed by gold, then as fiat. so what did humans use prior to the state and money?

              Point here is people come first , not the state nor money, these are mere technologies that humans devise to make life seem better and beneficial. People in the end decide whether something is useful, so why not go with 3. ???

              Again to totally debunk Bitcoin/NFT (that s anything based on blockchain) you’d have to attack the blockchain itself and then attack its value therein. Without one or the other, your agreement tho’ cute is essentially baseless. Though I ‘m a fan of people agreeing. 🙂 that always makes me happy.

              • Consider this:

                Gucci is already selling fashion in the “metaverse” (actually as skins in some games), but the point is people are buying, and Gucci is seeing potential making profit.

                You two are still fighting the old wars. Something new is afoot.

              • Micha says:

                It’s called the evolution of societies and civilization corporal. Nomadic tribes in the savannah or in the jungles don’t need intricate money system to exchange goods and services. They do most probably have a barter system.

                Modern societies, in contrast, do need a regulated money system to facilitate the exchange of goods and services and to guard against fraud and/or criminal activities. You cannot anymore imagine yourself bringing a sack of potatoes from your backyard garden to Walmart in exchange for ten pounds of meat and broccoli, do you?

                Now, there has to be a central authority to supervise and regulate this modern and intricate money system otherwise you will have chaos and confusion as to what standard values and metrics to use. That central authority is the organized state.

                Your de-centralized crypto system don’t have that functionality of regulation and supervision and the attendant authority to set values and metrics. It’s a useless piece of crap with zero inherent value existing only in the ether.

              • “of regulation and supervision and the attendant authority “

                Yet this is the very thing that produces busts and bubbles, Micha. you can argue its due to lack of it that these things happen, or chemp as a Thatcher conversative can argue, lack is best for businesses to prosper, less gov’t and stuff.

                I’m simply saying that this “regulation and supervision and the attendant authority “ is found in the blockchain. and the peer to peer aspect (once Bitcoin reaches critical mass, not in its speculation but in its utilization) will be inherent to it.

                Rendering your central banks obsolete. When central banks become obsolete then like you’ve said states (nations) will have to evolve into something else. Evolution. its all evolution!!! 😉

              • Micha says:

                Explain the mechanism of regulation and supervision for this imagined de-centralized system of yours, corporal.

                How are you going to guard against fraud and criminal activities? Impose fines? Reverse transactions?

              • Micha,

                Youre naysaying before you’ve studied this fully.

                Like i’ve said its in the blockchain. You’re simply allowing more democracy into a top down current system. Which you’re already against, eg. oligarchy and elitist structures, ie. central banks and WB and US Treasury. Ergo you should be for Bitcoin.

              • Micha says:

                That’s why I’m asking corporal. Explain the mechanism(s) since you’ve already studied this fully. But you’re ditching. Which is a sign you don’t know this either. And I bet you have no idea too of how those graphic presentation is gonna work in the real world.

                For example, in this imagined top down organization that’s more allegedly democratic, who is(are) occupying to top slot?

                That, and the previous question still of regulation/supervision of this supposedly de-centralized system to prevent fraud and other criminal activities which has blown up a number exchanges and crypto hedge funds most recently.

                Waiting for a clear answer, corporal.

              • Who are the folks running the Fed Reserve?

                Who are the folks making policy at US Treasury?

                Who ‘s at Ways and Means, Appropriations , over at US Congress?

                Essentially, who ‘s controlling fiscal policy? Then ask who’s controlling Wall Street and investment banking? etc. etc.

                On the public side of things, its as easy as Googling the names, yes? but in reality, control actually rests in the oligarchs, less easier to figure out, moving large bulks of weath to and fro.

                DAO’s will replace that, but who will eventually control the Bitcoin system I don’t know, though by process of elimination , if we both can agree that the current system is corrupt already (as you’ve stated plenty of times here), then

                DAO will make all this more democratic, the presumption of course is that more democratic is better, eg. precisely your “When they’re gone, we can create a more just and equitable society and only then will humanity be able to make cohesive explorations for reaching the stars.” from the last thread.

                So I don’t have to explain the details, Micha, we just need to agree on how the current system works (which we already do), and how DAO will supplant it with more qualified folks, due to democracy instead of less people. Hence point is made.

                You’ll have to counter with something like, No , Corporal D, more democracy is not good, oligarchy is the best when it comes to these things. and that means checkmate for me.

              • Micha says:

                Getting tired of the non-answer corporal and my patience is wearing thin so let me try this tack one more time.

                Imagine we are now in a fully operational bitcoin monetary system and every single exchange of goods and services are done in bitcoin across the whole continental United States. Every proles and peasants still goes through their routine of going to work, gets paid in bitcoin by their employers who sell their products (and services) in bitcoin. They buy gas and groceries in bitcoin.

                We still have members of congress legislating, gets paid in bitcoins too and appropriate yearly budget in bitcoin. All the iconography and apparatus of our supposedly modern society is still intact except for the traditional banks like Chase and Wells Fargo and the institutional Federal Reserve – modern banking system is gone, kaput.

                In its place, facilitating all those millions, if not billions, of daily and hourly transactions is your distributed network of autonomous and anonymous geeks decoding sets of cryptography.

                Is that how your decentralized crypto money system actually going to work?

              • Yup.

                And i will only add that with DAOs, all those proles and peasants can band together and become asshole oligarchs themselves the sky is the limit— that’s tongue in cheek of course, I don’t know the future.

                But with more decisions documented and in the open for all to see, thanks to blockchain,

                there will be no Biden and credit industry in cahoots doing god knows what to gov’t policies, or Pelosi doing this and her husband doing that, which wags the tail or the dog. with blockchain decisions are better documented.

                There will be criminality of course such is human nature, but the presumption here is with more participation documented, easier to correct. and Bitcoin has proven that , over and over. easier to correct. that’s blockchain.

              • Micha says:

                Superfluous. Same dog, different collar. It will not change the control and power structure of an oligarchy.

                And there are numerous problem areas that’s left unaddressed by your non-answers. Good luck with your bitcoin dream machine. Skipping that out.

              • So you opt for status quo? that’s inspirational.

              • Totally applicable in barangays and local NGOs in the Philippines right now,

              • chemrock says:

                Lance, reply to this comment of yours headlined –
                Youre naysaying before you’ve studied this fully.

                Your liberal mindset keeps harping back to decentralisation, automation, independence, non-regulation, etc.

                In reality, all the cryptos are controlled by a small group of geeks and big players. your fab Winklevos twins amongst them.

                Same old same old as central banks.

              • chemrock says:

                Lance, my response to your 1-5 kept going to spam. Dunno why.

                1. USD/Fiat — of course I agree the system is defective. But for me, MMT is not the answer. To a certain extent, the past 2 decades have seen shades of MMT in western countries.

                By the way, do you know the Federal Reserves is technically bankrupt? As at Q1, they had revaluation losses of US$430b which they refuse to recognise in the P&L (creative accounting). This wiped out their capital many times over. In a rising interest rate scenario (to combat inflation) almost all the western central banks are in same boat as they mark-to-market their huge load of securities purchased in the mad mad mad world of 2 decades of QE printing money (that’s your MMT). Singapore central bank got hit by S$8.7b revaluation losses 2022 due to appreciation of the SGD, but capital remains intact as the MAS has huge general reserves.

                2. CNY/CBDC
                Now I’m not for MMT, but just going with your point.
                I think the term ‘blockchain’ has been passed around as a panacea for some undefined vague idea of a disease of the banking system. To use this in the context of cbdc is actually an oxymoron. Blockchain is foundational to the decentralised liberalised crypto concept, cbdc is centralised and regulated. You can have a centralised cbdc network system without blockchain, at 1/1,00000th of the system cost and energy cost.

                I believe here the discussion is CNY/CBDC as world reserve ccy. I explained in the comment that went to spam, which I’ll repeat here for convenience. Lance, not meaning as an insult, but you are talking here from the perspective of the man in the street, the functionality of a ccy that you can move easily via blockchain technology.That is just one tiny aspect of the function of ccy. One can write a big book on what is required in international finance of the ccy to grease the wheels of the world economy. At the root of it is national monetary sovereignty. No one in Chile or Greenland or anywhere else will allow China to dictate their monetary policy. You can ask Diokno.

                3. Bitcoin/NFT:
                Fiat has an economy behind it. Fiat value goes up and down because of the economy. USD is fading because people are loosing confidence in the US economy. Bitcoin has nothing behind it. It is simply a product, just like the Tulip. Its value goes up and down because of demand. As to why people want bitcoin — its the Greater Fool Theory.

                As for NFT, it’s a fad. What value does this provide to society, I dunno. But sure, people can make money out of crazy ideas as long as there are crazier people out there. Would you pay a S$1.000 for this job?

              • chemrock says:

                Lance :

                Responding to your comment re DAO

                Man, I sure hope the DAO can do something for El Salvador right now!

                I’m sure you are not serious to get the DAO to hand your fiscals? But of course the whole budget will go to blockchain development.

    • chemrock says:

      My replies kept going to spam

      • JoeAm says:

        Ok, it’s out now.

        • “I’m sure you are not serious to get the DAO to hand your fiscals? But of course the whole budget will go to blockchain development.”

          DAO (which I learnt from gian awhile back) is just means of organizing using blockchain; NFT is just means of establishing ownership using blockchain; Bitcoin is blockchain that can be used as money.

          So if you notice its all about blockchain and its uses. now granted people are still trying to hone in on this use of blockchain, that’s why all the artsy stuff in NFT (but you’re suppose to imagine more much more re digital ownership, look past the art stuff), Gucci’s monetizing it now.

          Which takes us back to your point about the Winklevoss twins, yes I get that theres a few that have Bitcoin, the majority of Bitcoin is owned by the ones who acquired it in the early 2010s before its first boom.

          The Winklevoss twins represent the speculators, whilst i believe (and I cannot Google this info) the majority of the original owners are holding on to it in hopes of protecting it from speculators. Because speculators did not develop Bitcoin. This is where DAOs come in.

          Like you’ve said Bitcoin cannot be hacked, they tried, and due to it being decentralized, coders and developers, converge and fix it. as a crowd, people who have vested interest in it, and not as a centralized controlling regime. Essentially, this is DAO at work.

          I concede its a small number. Most DAOs seem to operate around 30-50 members and know each other. thus not really fully realizing the blockchain use. Since trust is in past knowledge of each other. True blockchain DAOs would be total strangers whose interest (financial or otherwise) would be apparent thru the blockchain, thus trust— just like Bitcoin.

          So this trust is best expressed in NFTs, these artsy stuff people are selling and buying. Which brings us to this:

          “Fiat value goes up and down because of the economy. USD is fading because people are loosing confidence in the US economy.”

          This is not true, chemp.

          Look at Sri Langka, they had a pretty kick ass economy. granted there was COVID, which took out tourism, and there was China’s loans, and American dollar reserves (what you said above), then Russian energy due to war. my point its not just economy, in Sri Langka’s case 4 or 5 different things converged, and it didn’t help that the gov’t was corrupt (so corrupt that outsiders are blaming them for going organic!!! going fucking organic, chemp!!! LOL!)

          USD is stronger than Euro now, its all very arbitrary. For something to be of value, something else has to be of lesser value. that’s all BS, i hope you see that, chemp. people are using levers and pushing buttons outside of public view, and that’s why its not just “the economy”.

          which brings us to this point,

          “of course I agree the system is defective. But for me, MMT is not the answer. “

          We all three (all of TSOH too) I think agree that something better needs to come. I’m just pushing back on youz twos unsupported biases against Bitcoin, NFTs and DAOs (all the same thing by the way—- blockchain).

          “Lance, not meaning as an insult, but you are talking here from the perspective of the man in the street, the functionality of a ccy that you can move easily via blockchain technology”

          Again I’m not comparing USD vs. CNY here, I’m comparing CBDC vs. Bitcoin. and as you’ve stated,

          “You can have a centralised cbdc network system without blockchain, at 1/1,00000th of the system cost and energy cost.”

          Well that’s just Apple Pay, chemp!!!

          So any CBDC system has to be blockchain otherwise you’re just playing with current technology, but blockchain doesn’t like to be contained by the very few, the system wouldn’t work with less. like running a Ferrari at 20 mph, blockchain requires more people to participate and i would argue becomes more useful with more people. its just trust right now is low (eg. you and Micha, and most people really).

          Scale. that’s what it has going for it.

          But if we all agree that the current system is rigged, it behooves us to study this thing, not based on previously old knowledge and metrics, but study the potential of it all. I ‘m reading this, as just some dude with a PhD in Google, I’m blown away. But NFTs is the key to understanding its potential IMHO.

          DAOs and Bitcoin will follow suit with NFTs.

          (ps, I’m also experiencing a few unpublished comments, but thought it was the photos attached, so hoping this goes thru. )

          • chemrock says:

            YOU: But NFTs is the key to understanding its potential IMHO…… DAOs and Bitcoin will follow suit with NFTs.

            Firstly I think you may have misunderstood DAO.
            Secondly NFT is non-fungible token, so what you say here is an oxymoron.

            • How so, chemp? Let me clarify…

              NFT is ownership of something, you sell it, people buy it. Right now you can use fiat money to buy NFT.

              DAO is just a means of organizing, you can get say 30 people to buy NFTs pool resources (or whatever you want to buy as a group, don’t have to be NFTs).

              Eventually, you can have DAOs to buy NFTs, using Bitcoin. Thus NFTs come first, and are the simplest way right now of understanding blockchain.

              Since people understand the value of ownership.

              • chemrock says:

                Difficult to have a conversation. Too many comments went to spam. Hope this gets thru.

                Re NFT – In a trade, 2 things happen. Delivery of value, settlement of trade. You buy a NFT which is a non-fungible token of a product. Then you pay for it. They payment part is straight forward — by fiat or crypto. But what is the product? It is not something tangible that you can take home. It is simply the right to a digital file. the seller delivers to you the key to that digital file.

                Re DAO – It is simply the brains, the algorithm that automates decision making in the technology. Eg the DAO in Bitcoin makes the whole proof-of-work function automatic, The DAO is Luna/DST makes the underlying arbitraging decisions that drives the system. It is the DAO that makes all those crypto hands-off by humans. Autonomous vehicles have DAOs that tell the vehicle to stop at a red light, go on green.

              • JoeAm says:

                If you give me an alert, I can try to get them out. I don’t review the spam file regularly. It is very big and busy, a sign of our times.

              • Okay, chemp, now we’re getting somewhere.

                I think we have two different understanding of NFT and DAO here, maybe gian (or someone more savvy than an old dude and a Luddite here) can clarify for us.

                But NFT is just means to ensure ownership like a patent, copyright, trademark, by way of blockchain. So the product can be anything, right now its art stuff but I surmise it’ll be more stuff.

                DAO as I understand it is not AI, yeah theres automation involved, but blockchain is simply used here as a means to guarantee individual interest. so I’m thinking, say we here at TSOH pool our resources to save some river or beach in the Philippines, but we all have varied opinions, so we vote, well DAO ensures the folks voting will be trustworthy, so blockchain is like our past comments here, which allows all of us to trust the consistency and veracity of the stuff we are sharing.

                For example, if instead of rivers and beaches, we at TSOH vote on something related to Russia, well I can protest based on Micha’s questionable streak vis a vis Russia.

                That’s basically DAO, instead of years long “verification and vetting” via our long time knowledge of each others commentaries and blogs, we can “trust” or chose not to “trust” each other’s interests. that’s where the blockchain of DAO comes in, less time and effort, thus more practical.

                But like I’ve said, I’m not familiar with any true anonymous numerous DAO right now, most are acquantances already in DAOs. the true test will be in the numbers and anonymity.

                So that’s how I understand NFTs and DAOs, but my point is that like Bitcoin its all about the uses of blockchain. To me, because the blockchain is holding, all three prove promising.

              • ps— re NFT ownership is to the creator of said digital widget, buyer purchases something whose ownership is quaranteed. so the art industry is the best parallel here. As for “It is not something tangible that you can take home. It is simply the right to a digital file” , yeah, it s neither service nor goods, something new, chemp. but that’s not the point, the point is does the blockchain hold?

  4. punmaker says:

    Practically every economist/writer I’ve read talks of “balancing act”, “walking the tightrope” etc for BBM to navigate these troubled economic times. Control inflation without slowing down the economy. Raising govt revenues without bloating the debt stock. Grow the economy to pay for interest payments but cut down on govt spending and services. How in the world can anyone manage that?

    • chemrock says:

      Yes, indeed, a tightrope, full of dilemmas in every line in your comment. But guess what, somebody did quite a lot of that from 2010-2016 and there was a sigh of optimism from those who understood the big picture. Philippines came a within a whisker of breaking through, gaining a ‘next Asian Tiger’ recognition. Votes have consequences.

  5. punmaker says:

    Remember, too that today, the entire global system is in crisis and is in shock. In our previous economic crises, there were strong, bright areas elsewhere where we could draw help from. I’m being the Nouriel Roubini in this discussion, but that’s how I see it.

    And then there’s his politics. And in my view, his politics (political repression, corruption, cronyism, etc) will undo his economics.

    • chemrock says:

      Exactly. I’ve said the same thing elsewhere in my social media discourse. This is a global inflation, I’m not sure there has been such an experience in world history. Thus my allusion to an interest rate war. I could see clearly in Singapore from just one illustration. Our central bank tightened (shifted the band to allow rates to move further up) the SGD rate 4 times in the last fiscal year. It’s a crawling peg (we are a controlled float regime).. I could see when we tighten, SGD appreciated against PHP. Then Diokno increased interest rate, and PGP regained some ground. We tighten again and SGD appreciated. Diokno increased interest rate again. And so it goes.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        I hope it would launch well, but with the global fertilizer crisis, we must rely more on other sources like manure.
        For now we import 95 percent of our fertilizer.
        I am not that optimistic.
        Like the 21 Php per kilo of rice.
        BBM will just say: “it is an aspiration”.

        • Karl Garcia says:

          Meant for Masagana 150 comment

          • kasambahay says:

            masagana 99, now masagana 150, why not masagana 2022? he is big on aspirations much like the specialty hospitals he wanted on regions far from cities. I hope he has money and funds for the project. specialty hospitals require above board facilities and have higher overheads, regular maintenance of medical machineries and specialist staff that must be paid regularly among others. methink, he contradicted himself, said patients coming for consultation can then be given scripts of medicines to buy, rent, steal or borrow, lol! be treated and be on thier way.

            but seriously, specialty hospitals are of different purpose, he ought to know that.

            and he has no timeline as to when exactly the construction of said specialty hospitals will take place.

            • Karl Garcia says:

              Sounds nice but unbelievable as in no one will believe they can be able to produce 2022 sacks per hectare.

              Again the Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao Heart, Lung, Kidney, Children centers sounds nice.
              I do not see a plan to stop the exodus of our health care workers.
              The Universal health care still has the so called sin tax as its main funding source.
              Vaping to the rescue? I do not think so.

              That is what President Marcos means by the state of the nation is sound. By making motherhood statements that are music to the ears of some sectors he can say that our state of the nation is sound.

  6. punmaker says:

    Masagana 99 has now morphed into Masagana 150. God, I hope it works and becomes sustainable. Otherwise “sana tama kayo, sana mali kami” becomes a nightmare for all.

  7. punmaker says:

    Here’s a dream/fantasy scenario: BBM gathers all the billionaires/tycoons and convinces them to submit to a hefty billionaire’s tax, Marcos family included. Time bound for say three years, and to be rewarded with above board contracts in the future. After all, their wealth grew during the crisis, and they won’t be affected at all.

    Plausible? Too much political skill and capital on the line. Can BBM escape the curse of Michael Corleone? (“Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!”)

    If he does this, a large chunk of my misgivings about his family goes away.

    • kasambahay says:

      back then, his mother used to gather the millionaires and solicit for donations to support her charities kuno. little did people know she was the main event, the charity hierarchy.

  8. Karl Garcia says:

    You will see in this old article that everything is about agriculture or cows.

  9. Micha says:

    Yes chemp, as far as the Philippine national government is concerned, it is only the size of foreign debt that needs to be kept manageable, currently hovering at $108 billion, broken down between public and private sector in approximately 60-40 percent split.

    Not actually bad, but the ideal is zero foreign debt to achieve full monetary sovereignty. MMT course 101.

    Sri Lanka offers us a glimpse of what might happen if foreign debt gets out of hand. Lots of parallel in our socio-economic conditions, so the Marcos dynasty needs to be careful so as not to be people powered the second time around.

    • chemrock says:

      Sri Lanka PM Rajapaksa’s flight to seek refuge in Singapore drew a lot of flak form locals. I think the govt won’t be giving him residency because of public push back.

      Recall Freddie initially considered Singapore, but eventually the US took him to Hawaii. But Imee went Singapore after she was kicked out of US.

      • NHerrera says:

        So the parallelism that Micha mentioned extends to the wish of Marcos Sr to go to Singapore. Interesting these past and recent histories. I hope this (parallelism) does not extend to the near future featuring Junior.

  10. chemrock says:

    Got a couple of comments went to spam again. Maybe it’s a length issue. I saw there are several comments in spam, mostly long ones. My shorter comments, no problems.

  11. Hello chempo. Missed you buddy

  12. madlanglupa says:

    Offtopic: Romualdez, in his supposed infinite wisdom, files HB 11, wherein his bill demands that EVERYONE be drafted for military service for up to 5 years:

    Click to access HB00011.pdf

    And for what threat, except maybe to remove threats against the clan?

    • Logistically speaking if you bring every young Filipino male into the military you’d have to pay them. You don’t pay them you’ll have at best a mutiny, at worst an entire revolt.

      So IMHO the ROTC program makes more sense , just re-instate (hopefully make it more a disaster relief organization), and pay teachers extra for running it like the Boy/Girl Scouts just merge to ROTC, and keep the military away.

      The assumption should be that the military over there is dirrrty, whilst the Boy/Girl scouts runned by the teachers have faired well, just basically doing camping and group activities— imagine re-adjusting all that camping and group activities towards disaster relief and communication when all infrastructures are down.

      Three quotes from different places saying three similar things, from three different angles …

      “The nation that will insist upon drawing a broad line of demarcation between the fighting man and the thinking man is liable to find its fighting done by fools and its thinking by cowards.”

      — William Francis Butler

      “I divide my officers into four groups. There are clever, diligent, stupid, and lazy officers. Usually two characteristics are combined. Some are clever and diligent — their place is the General Staff. The next lot are stupid and lazy — they make up 90 percent of every army and are suited to routine duties. Anyone who is both clever and lazy is qualified for the highest leadership duties, because he possesses the intellectual clarity and the composure necessary for difficult decisions. One must beware of anyone who is stupid and diligent — he must not be entrusted with any responsibility because he will always cause only mischief.”

      — Kurt Freiherr von Hammerstein-Equord

      “‘The enemy,’ retorted Yossarian with weighted precision, ‘is anybody who’s going to get you killed, no matter which side he’s on, and that includes Colonel Cathcart. And don’t you forget that, because the longer you remember it, the longer you might live.” — Catch 22

      Focus on Inday Sara its in the field of Education that you can strenthen the Philippines now, not the military.

      • JoeAm says:

        I was clever and lazy but my commanding officer was stupid and diligent so I retired one bar short of captain. 🤣😂🤣

      • isk says:

        (hopefully make it more a disaster relief organization)
        I think this is the best approach since ROTC by definition is a military training; as such should be at least 18 years old to be enrolled in naval, army and air force science.

        • Karl Garcia says:

          We need force multipliers but I still think it should not be mandatory.
          By the way I just learned a few years ago that officers who graduated from the PMA who retired at age 56 have the option to be in the reserve forces and can be activated any time maybe until they reach 60 or 65.

          Our athletes who are in the reserve, how many of our medalists actually had military training? If you activate them, do you still have to train them? That question also goes to ranked celebs like Senator Padilla even Vice President Duterte.

          Start with our existing reserve force, how many need retraining?

          • Karl Garcia says:

            Going back to disaster relief.
            Lending satellite phones and others with user friendly instruction manuals and a willing trainer of how to use and care for the said equipment.

            Hospital ships, drones, etc. Only those trained in search and rescue should do the rescuing, otherwise they will be the ones who need rescuing as KB correctly stated.

            The dswd and ngos can do the relief goods distribution, the military can assist.

          • isk says:

            “We need force multipliers but I still think it should not be mandatory.”
            I agree, perhaps college education fund incentive for military service ?

            • Karl Garcia says:

              They could do that. The PMA can only take as much.

            • kasambahay says:

              agree totally, rotc should not be mandatory. only those that passed aptitude test ought to take up rotc. there should be option for those that did not fit the mold and could not fit the mold. and our nation ought not put the onus of patriotism only on those that can wear the uniform and can march as dictated.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                Many ways to show and instill patriotism and discipline.

                Another sidenote.

                In PMA only those physically and mentally fit are accepted.
                There are many asthmatics or some other ailment and mental health patients who still apply those who somehow make it would not last a year.
                You can not fake it till you make it.(most of the time)

                In ROTC what if you forgot your inhaler and have an asthma attack and the clinic is closed and the medics were told to call an ambulance only as a last resort, what you get is being told to rest, drink water and come back to formation after a few minutes. Then like the PMA there is also hazing.

            • Karl Garcia says:

              I know officers who did not go to PMA, one is the former AFP spokeman and current PSG head Col. Demy Zagala.
              He is a product of ROTC then the succeeding officer training corps.
              Then there is Gen. Ver of the UP Vanguards.

              On the different service schools. of course there are continuous learning programs for officers.
              before that the Airforce needs pilot training, The naval officers needs Naval training, The Army as well.
              I know a few military brats who chose to be enlisted Navy personnel in the US instead of finishing PMA here.

              • kasambahay says:

                they were lucky, rotc then was not compulsory. today’s rotc is mandated and students who failed rotc exam can be forced to sit for exam again and again until they passed. those that dropout can be forced to turn up for practice or be haunted and jailed. students may well end up running away from home never to be seen again, or commit suicide!

                five years mandatory training is too long, no guarantee quantity yields quality.

                really, there are solons and lawmaker that take out their frustration on student and love to see students suffer!

              • JoeAm says:

                Yes. It is absolutely not in students’ interests, I think. It’s political.

      • NHerrera says:

        Aah, what combination of those traits can bring to mind?

        Talking about officialdom in general, not only military officers, how about those who are diligent, lazy, and stupid — that is, painstakingly lazy and stupid — but good-looking? Something tries to get out of my mind but I tamped it down stat or I may get into trouble. I say, at the very least, those kinds are suited for lawmakers in the US and PH having observed those types in my life. 🤣

        • kasambahay says:

          I have come across those hey! goodlookin’ and goodfornothin’ types, but oh so well connected and that’s what made them scary. they knew who to associate with and how to articulate. behind their laziness and stupidity is a keen mind able to see opportunities and chances for advancement mostly for themselves. it does not look like hard work, but they push the buttons for others to sweat and run around. and sometimes, them goodlookin’ and goodfornothin’ are my kainuman! bouncing ideas around no matter where they come from.

    • JoeAm says:

      I wonder what schools will do about foreign students, or if my son suddenly decides he likes his American passport better than his Filipino passport.

      • madlanglupa says:

        The bill insists that only Filipino nationals are to be drafted. That the bill also aims less at resisting possible threats to sovereignty and more like containing supposed domestic “terrorism” and “banditry”, and to stifle possible popular dissent.

        Romualdez created this piece of toilet paper so as to make old people and others like him happy, trying to recreate the old “utopia” they saw in yellowing pages of Daily Express. He must be imagining himself to be Mussolini.

        • JoeAm says:

          Yeah, it is nutty.

          • kasambahay says:

            if your son has fillipino passport, he could still be subject to philippines laws and may well be drafted.

            anyhow, my kainuman said being rotc may have nothing to do with love of country. young people are impressionable and fall in love with the uniform, maybe how guapito and how guapita they would all look, their straight backs not yet heavily burdened by the cares of daily living, bills to pay, food to put on the table, etc.

            being in rotc would give them leverage, think of the people they can intimidate! the neighbors they can settle scores with, and those they can red-tagged!

            rotc students barely out of high school trained in search and rescue may end up being searched and rescued, cannon fodders sent out on the job so the real search and rescue personnel can stay out of harm! students eager to prove themselves will do anything, and their mistakes can be very costly to themselves and their families.

            • kasambahay says:

              madlang’s “like containing supposed domestic “terrorism” and “banditry”, and to stifle possible popular dissent.” may well mean rotc students will be given the right to spy on campuses, on their fellow students, teaching staff and others, and report to authorities anyone deemed seditious.

            • JoeAm says:

              It’s not a huge issue for Joe Jr. He’ll deal with it if he must. I just think the reason cited, discipline and commitment to country, can’t be forced, but can be inspired. Giving kids a future would inspire them. Making them climb coconut trees would not.

              • kasambahay says:

                I hear you, joeam. just that similar people in your situation have already contacted their own embassies as regards their kids with dual citizenship. I sort of hear the discussion.

                as for those big on discipline, gang members are also disciplined and loyal to their leader and the status quo.

    • Karl Garcia says:

      South Korea and Singapore only require two years of Military service. Some were even rumored to escape service by hiding in PH.

      @Chemrock has first hand knowledge here of that two year mandatory service.

      Five years is too long. As LCX said you have to pay them, the draftees will not only compete with those in the active service, they will also compete with the retired and the widows and widowers.

      • There’s always slave labor too, karl. Works just as good, only labor intensive for those managing slaves.

        “Even slaves did not have to work during Saturnalia, but were allowed to participate in the festivities; in some cases, they sat at the head of the table while their masters served them. Instead of working, Romans spent Saturnalia gambling, singing, playing music, feasting, socializing and giving each other gifts.”

      • kasambahay says:

        I’m sussing who the rotc lecturers are going to be. sen bato de la rosa could well be tapped into service! as much as doctors and nurses are mandated to study health law and ethics, I am thinking it might be the same for rotc. if they have to study military law, human rights and ethics, harry roque may lecture them in those regards.

      • chemrock says:

        I am on record as the guy who held the shortest stick. The rules kept changing, ending me up as the record holder for days served. I served 3 months in special constabulary, then transferred to 1 month in Riot squad, then 3 years full-time in the army, then 5 years reserve in the People’s Defence Force (another wing of the army), after that another 5 years in Civil Defence.

        In the context of Philippines, if you go for 2 years ROTC, you have to take full advantage of one important thing. It buys the government 2 years cushion time of releasing a big cohort of new job seekers into the labour market. Make that 2 years count to lower current unemployment rate.

        • Karl Garcia says:

          Thanks for your input on that.
          You were in the service for a long time. I mean longer than I thought.

    • chemp, is that book series popular in Singapore, and have you read it?

      China diverted a bunch of its military personnel into its very own Space Force. i’ve not read this yet, but since Netflix will showcase the Three-Body Problem, bank rolled by Tencent i read (or they have a Netflix Asia version and a regular version for the rest of Netflix with Eiza Gonzalez who’s the hottest thing right now!)

      And piggy backing on isk and karl’s talk about, it doesn’t have to be via the military to get a bunch of people working together, religion can do this but at the cost of freedom and innovation (too much group think); so too fascism at the cost of individualism; but like the space race of the 60s, if scientists and engineers drive it, you’ll get tangential benefits,

      but in today’s space race, you’re looking at real estate (other worlds) as benefit too.

      isk: “I agree, perhaps college education fund incentive for military service ?” there’s 4 PMA type schools here , West Point, Naval Academy, Air Force Academy, then Coast Guard academy, then you have private military colleges like the Citadel, etc.

      But the bulk of officers in the military don’t come from the service schools, but instead state universities. that way theres less homegeneity in alma maters, so ensure not all (or most) officers come out of PMA, i believe PNP has their own academy too. otherwise

      they’ll be carbon copies of each other.

      My point , though is whatever college education it should focus on going towards space, if anthropology or philosophy then ask what humanity or human thought will evolve to when spacefaring. think bigger. Wider, more expansive. Also becareful of colleges and schools that just want your money.

      Theres plenty of these schools in the Philippines, i know, but to your point about college education, it should be the education that thrusts you to think deeper and deeply. not just license granting, run of the mill type of learning, isk. so professors have to be vetted, not just some professional moonlighting to teach a class or two to pay the rent.

  13. Micha says:

    On why we need a Masagana 99 program:

    • kasambahay says:

      that is a recipe for diabetes, too much rice makes people overweight, and the pancreas can only do so much.

      rice and fish is staple food and ought to be heavily augmented with vegetables and fruits, and drinking water to hydrate. my stupid nephew drinks mainly sports drink, and now, he has gallstones!

      these days with the price of rice not abating, rice smugglers are really in seventh heaven! raking in profits and not paying tax.

      • Micha says:

        Which is why Marcos Junior needs to deliver on that goal of increased production because rice consuming people will, predictably at least, hold him to account if shortages and commodity price inflation continue.

        • kasambahay says:

          we have to wait and see and hold our collective breaths for october when the secretary of agriculture as well as the president, bong marcos, will launch to address rice production. it is hoped by then, he has already developed implementable policies.

          in the meantime, its business as usual, with high prices of commodities a top concern. already, filipinos are eating less rice! this bed of nails duterte has left bong marcos has been passed on to people. not only will people have to contend the bed of nails, they also have to walk on broken bottles! navigating through life.

        • Karl Garcia says:

          I really hope your 4 point plan of subsidies irrigation, tech and know how from the IRRI, mechanized farming. In addition to land use and Agrarian reform plus R and D from Israel, etc. will cancel out the rice cartels, smugglers and neoliberalism.

  14. madlanglupa says:

    Well… damn.

    • Something on his econ legacy:

      privatization and deregulation..

      • Micha says:

        Thanks for the Reddit link Irineo. I wouldn’t want to pile on the legacy of the man as much as possible in deference and in respect of his passing but I’ve been saying this for a while now on these pages that the policy direction under his administration which can be summed up in one broad heading of neoliberalism has, on the whole, direct negative impact on the lives of Filipinos.

        Many of course ignored that legacy and even became apologists but as Popeye would have said, it is what it is.

        Those policies have consequences which, I’d venture to posit, made possible the complete rehabilitation of the Marcos dynasty today.

        • Karl Garcia says:

          Irineo also sort of rebuked me on neoliberalism. I guess yes, neoiberalism caused more problems. I am still awaiting what ism will come out that would be win-win for all stake holders.

          • Micha says:

            Remember that Cory became president on Ronald Reagan’s watch. And while the neoliberal movement itself started way back, it was Saint Ronnie, along with his ideological soulmate from across the pond, Maggie, who gave it a clear dominating presence in politics. Both wanted to shrink the government to a size they could drown it in a bathtub. Government’s role in managing the economy became taboo, regulations were thrown out the window. Regulations like preventing companies dumping toxic wastes into rivers, or spraying carcinogenic chemicals into food crops, or commercial banks dipping their hands into derivatives trading.

            Cory owes Reagan in some very important ways including the scrambling of F-16’s while Gringo and his RAM were staging coups left and right. And while Cory was given a standing ovation after delivering a speech in US Congress and was hailed as the Philippines’ Joan of Arc, men in suits behind the scenes were pressuring her newly formed government to hold still in a neoliberal direction. Regressive taxation, privatization of GOCC, repression of labor movement, refusal to condone/restructure foreign debt, massacre of protesters in Mendiola – those were the early manifestations of neoliberal movement in our post-EDSA republic.

            But it wasn’t until the Ramos presidency that the GATT-WTO pact was signed which made the lives of our farmers, fisherfolks, and laborers even more difficult and miserable. Safety nets were promised but it never came. Many abandoned the farms, their sons and daughters went to the cities or became domestic helpers in Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia.

            Thirty odd years later, here we are, back to a Marcos dynasty and facing the prospect of food shortages.

  15. NHerrera says:

    I tweeted the following in response to Joeam’s use of the word fluid on his comment about the man:

    Fluid is an apt word for FVR. Pnoy is principled. Pnoy’s lack of fluidity is not liked by many Filipinos, especially politicians and Businessmen. Is GMA fluid? I believe the latter does not need a “thinner” to become even more fluid. 🤣

    • NHerrera says:

      Another legacy [aka bed of nails] from the previous Administration?

    • chemrock says:

      Thks for the link.
      In the past few months my remittances to PH gained about 9% in PHP terms. That’s crazy. Lots of FDI put on hold I would assume.

      • NHerrera says:

        If countries are not as enthusiastic with the Duterte Administration except for a few — at least in the beginning — they are even less so with the Marcos Administration. Of course, this is a rather glib statement from me, since there are a whole set of different circumstances. A wait-and-see view at this time — for a lot of reasons, among which are those due to global economic travails?

          • Karl Garcia says:

            Not even being in an election year helped prop up anything.

            • kasambahay says:

              only his aspirations were propped up! to aspirate in medical terms is like vomiting. and aspirating a cyst yields interstitial fluid, lol!

              • Karl Garcia says:

                I do not aspire to be aspirated….

                Another weird medical term is abduction it has something to do with finger movement forgot if it is widening the gap between fingers or the opposite which is adduction.

              • kasambahay says:

                you are correct, widening the gap between two fingers is abduction, closing the gap is adduction.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                Thanks for that kb.

        • chemrock says:

          You guys scrubbed the bottom of the barrel for the least qualified man to lead the nation in such perilous times. Well at least the consolation is you could have gotten Pacman.

          • Karl Garcia says:

            Pac Man could have been worse.

          • kasambahay says:

            uy! I voted for the best, and lost. from now on, our election is going to be like that of russia where putin always win! duterte priorly, now bong marcos, tomorrow their ilk.

            • Karl Garcia says:

              Me too.
              But I am not with those questioning Atty. Leni on why she did not contest the election results. Joe cautioned us here not to have a Trumpian or Trumpist attitude.

              • JoeAm says:

                Trumpet. 🤣😂🤣

              • Karl Garcia says:

                I like that. 🤣

              • kasambahay says:

                leni is not a sore loser and if people want her to contest the election, they should do the contesting themselves. leni got other things to do now, crying over spilled milk is not her forte and mopping because sh–t happened is, I think, utter waste of her time.

                30million voters must now be overly over the moon, drunk on sona and awfully, awfully glad of what they have achieved, their lives now would be much much better, richer and more complete, so deserving of their win!

                those that are still grieving over their loss and saddened of what might have been, be sad and grieve but not for long. life beckons and there is work to do, pieces to pick up and lives re-assemble. be a better person and not bitter for the loss.


    I just saw Dark (Seasons 1-3 on Netflix this weekend), in preparation for 1899 which will also be on Netflix this Fall, from the same husband/wife team of writers. the Sandman by the way comes out this week, and the Three Body Problem which Netflix is filming right now as we speak comes out next year.

    All have to do with Monadology by Leibniz. IMHO.

    Because w/out neoliberalism or Reagan and the Iron Lady, where would we here be today, cause and effect, all cause & effect, but if you apply some counterfactuals , assume that as Leibniz suggested that a perfect world is outlined such (linked).

    Then we have to maybe entertain the notion that we don’t live in a perfect world, and that perfect world, would have have no Reagan, no Margaret Thatcher, no neoliberalism, and what would that world be— the perfect possible world, one proposed by Leibniz. Only not this one.


    “60. Further, in what I have just said there may be seen the reasons a priori why things could not be otherwise than they are. For God in regulating the whole has had regard to each part, and in particular to each Monad, whose nature being to represent, nothing can confine it to the representing of only one part of things; though it is true that this representation is merely confused as regards the variety of particular things [le detail] in the whole universe, and can be distinct only as regards a small part of things, namely, those which are either nearest or greatest in relation to each of the Monads; otherwise each Monad would be a deity. It is not as regards their object, but as regards the different ways in which they have knowledge of their object, that the Monads are limited. In a confused way they all strive after [vont a] the infinite, the whole; but they are limited and differentiated through the degrees of their distinct perceptions.”

    (ps. on a totally separate note I’m also totally looking forward to “Blonde” coming September. 😉 )

    • Micha says:

      Holy crap. Why not just make the case to refute the negative societal effects of neoliberalism instead of making a totally off tangent allusion to predestination and Leibnizian metaphysics.

      • My point is that the counterfactuals to your opinion assumes that the world would be perfect (or more perfect) had there been no Reagan and no Thatcher and thus no neoliberalism. And that’s wrong.

        Because if you’ve seen all the Charles Bronson Death Wish franchise of films, 70s and 80s, needing saving. And socialism wasn’t gonna do it; no other system on the horizon but the Chicago school, was in store.

        Thus although like and feeding the world, now we’re inundated with all this nitrogen in your soil, and fertilizer chemicals, and pollution, etc. the truth is we can complain about all the too much this and that and Masagana 99 and the ship full of wheat that just left Odessa to feed Africa, etc. etc.

        We can only complain about it now, because we have the luxury to do so. Meaning Borlaug and Thatcher and Reagan, as much as we want to demonize them all, served as a stop gap. Now in “Dark” seasons 1 to 3, the show suggests also that if certain people did not exist, the world would be better off, like a more perfect version in Leibnizian view.

        It’s a pro-suicide TV series— which they should really warn people of, lest they trigger suicides. that would be an interesting study if there was a spike in suicides due to the series, but i digress.

        But until you can , you Micha, can describe what system could’ve taken place had there been no Reagan/Thatcher, no Chicago school, no Borlaug to feed the world, you’re simply crying over a what could’ve been that ‘s more in the realm of wishful thought. thus shallow, no deeper thinking involved.

        And that’s where metaphysics comes to play, actually more like counterfactual analysis, but since I just finished “Dark” seasons 1 to 3, you’re getting the Leibnizian optics. 😉 My point, is you’re wrong, of course you’re right that a better more fairer system would be better,

        but historically speaking then, there was none in view.

  17. Micha says:

    No Corporal D, when it comes to human affairs, there is no such thing as pre-destination clearly because we have human agency, we are conscious agents of our fates, we can make social changes given sufficient information especially on such things as what economic ideology to adopt and propagate.

    The neoliberal movement was able to flourish for the most part because not many people even understood what it’s all about; many haven’t even heard the term before, some who do are dismissive of its significance in the scheme of their economic lives or what it does to subdue their economic ambitions.

    That is why it is important to expose its flaws and overall negative implications so that in the intervening political cycles, critical number of people can then make informed decision to reject it.

    The process of informing requires hard work but progress had been made in that direction to the extent that some even already heralded the death of neoliberalism with the caveat and warning that what’s being cooked up by sinister forces in its stead is the allure of authoritarian capitalism.

    What this means is more work for those with progressive leanings and that there is nothing inevitable in the nature of what’s to come because, as what Burke had famously said, “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” We, collectively, are conscious agents of change, Corporal D.

    Your predestination cop out is the laziest socially malignant position.

    • You didn’t answer my question, Micha.

      Are you simply exercising your free will not to answer, or are you predetermined to not know?


      Was there another system in place aside from neoliberalism, meaning Chicago school, that could’ve fixed the ailments of 70s/80s?

      • Backgrounder (which also segues with punmaker’s point below… ) :

        (from Wiki)

      • Micha says:

        You’re the only one making up the what-could-have-been scenario, Corporal D. I haven’t given much consideration of it.

        My position is clear: we are conscious constituted agents of change. We create our own zeitgeist.

        Your inevitability argument is a lazy default.

        It does seem that your sole purpose here is to troll this page again and not really to expound on the merits or demerits of the subject. In which case, count me out of your trollish bait.

        Maghanap ka ng kausap mo!

        • There was deregulation because over regulation proved to be with problems, Micha.

          Then deregulation proved to be with its own set of problems, which I see parallel with the coming of fiat money, eg. thanks to Nixon.

          Nowadays there’s CBDC and MMT, a match perfectly made in heaven since it’ll rid the world of commercial banks. which you i’m sure agree is a good thing.

          My point, is in the course of history unless there was indeed traction for MMT in the 1970s (which I don’t see Googling), humanity had to go with deregulation.

          Deregulation had to follow over regulation. Just as MMT has to follow neoliberalism. And CBDC and Bitcoin after.

          Just like a kid can’t become a 30 year old directly over nite, you have to go thru your teenage years and 20s first.

          So you jumping from one thing to another, and demonizing people and systems in the past with the hindsight of 20/20 is just wrong.

          Its called revisionist history, Micha. You have to study history correctly, and as you’ve said ” I haven’t given much consideration of it.” , then how can you stand on your soap box berating this and that, if you’ve not considered other possibilities?

  18. punmaker says:

    Has anyone noticed that right after a “good” president the Filipino people goes the opposite way, succumbing to propaganda, and elects a scoundrel. “Good” meaning relatively corruption free, significant econ and political achievements, etc.

    Right after Ramos, Estrada. After Pnoy, Duterte.

    Which lends into the argument that whatever gains “good” presidents achieve, it’s simply not enough for the masses. Which lends into the anti-neoliberalism, anti-globalization arguments.

    • kasambahay says:

      that’s democracy, rightly or wrongly, people have the right to choose the kind of government they want.

  19. punmaker says:

    I’ve been watching this Noam Chomsky docu on ” Requiem for the American Dream” , an analysis of how wealth and power has become so concentrated and how it’s being done. It’s spot on.

    From reducing democracy (push back on rights), shaping ideology, redesigning the economy (shifting to finance away from mfg), regulatory capture, etc this is what’s impoverishing much of the world. Not Democrats or Republicans.

    • JoeAm says:

      The lack of a social disbursement mechanism for generated wealth is indeed a failure of our intellect, conscience, and ingenuity. I have not read the statistics. My impression is that most people are not living in wretched poverty, but in material want. Like, they have cell phones but not always meat on the rice, or the other way around. Reducing democracy in the US is predominantly a Republican ambition, so I disagree on that point.

      • punmaker says:

        Extremists in the Republican party, you mean. I hope that third party option pushed by moderate Dems and Republicans gain traction.

        • JoeAm says:

          Republicans vote as a bloc, abiding by the wishes of the power-mad. They vote for spite, not for the people. I can’t tell an extremist from a moderate when they vote like that. I figure there are no real patriots left amongst the whole lot. John McCain, Ronald Reagan, and Abe Lincoln roll in their graves with every vote.

          • The most committed wins, Joe. The GOP now is consolidated albeit more so towards the Trump side, but they are consolidated; whereas the Dems still have not found anything to be passionate about, Pelosi and Biden disagreed whether to visit Taiwan or not; abortion, you saw it coming with Trump’s first justice appointment, no movement then but livid now about it?!!!; this spending bills fiasco that two Democrat senators always block, they just can’t win; and lately during mid terms, instead of drama on the GOP side, you’re getting more drama with the Dems, vis a vis, ‘should Biden run in 2024?’. There’s more GOP ers wanting somesort of gun control bill, but Dems aren’t pushing thru. Now thanks to BLM and Defund the Police you get this,


            “Across America, Black women are taking up arms in unprecedented numbers. Research shows that first-time gun buyers since 2019 have been more likely to be Black and more likely to be female than gun purchasers in previous years, a finding that aligns with surveys of gun sellers.

            Gun sales spiked across all demographic groups during the coronavirus pandemic, and remained high through the protests that followed the police murder of George Floyd, the attack on the U.S. Capitol and other events that many saw as signs of a nation in chaos. The National Rifle Association and other gun-industry lobbyists have long exploited such fears to boost sales of firearms and weaken the laws that restrict their use.”

            • JoeAm says:

              It’s what they are committed to that is the problem. And the social phenomena of media sensationalism, social media infestation by the manipulative, and money from corporate sponsors. Biden’s age is a problem.

              • I can understand the exchanges, eg. Robinhood, then also Gemini, being regulated just like Wall Street is. But I don’t know how you’d go about regulating the use of crypto, eg. Bitcoin and Ethereum (the two oldest), when they figure out the day to day use. right now its just all the speculation.

                Here’s Bank of England’s take on their CBDC which aligns with chempo’s. IMHO the CBDC revolution is where to track, Joe, to understand this crypto regulations stuff.


                “In plain English they said that no blockchain is needed to implement a CBDC. What’s more, they said that a distributed ledger did not match the “trust assumptions in Project Hamilton’s approach” which assumes that the platform would be administered by a central actor (eg, a central bank) and they found that even when run under the control of such a single actor, the architecture creates “performance bottlenecks”.

                (In other words, the core of their discovery was that a blockchain is a very specific solution to the problem of forming consensus in the presence of untrusted third parties but in a Federal Reserve digital currency of any kind there would be no such parties.)

                CBDC design choices are more granular than commonly assumed and the “tokens or accounts” categorisation is limited and insufficient to surface the complexity of choices in access, intermediation, institutional roles, and data retention in CBDC. Generally speaking, the distinction between the two — as noted in various reports from the BIS, Bank of Canada, IMF and so on — is that an account-based system requires verifying the identity of the payer, while a token-based system requires verifying the validity of the object used to pay.

                The Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, Jon Cunliffe, who is overseeing the bank’s work on central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), recently said the Bank plans to release a research paper at the end of the year about how a retail CBDC might look. He expects it will be five or more years before digital pounds are available to consumers and I’m sure that this is a conservative estimate, because a retail CBDC has to satisfy the demands of a many competing stakeholders and it will take along time to elucidate and reconcile such.

                The Deputy Governor further said that any proposed digital pound would likely be managed through some sort of account rather than working like coins or banknotes. His comments seemed to imply that tokens on a blockchain were not all that when it comes to a population-scale cash alternative or some form of electronic legal tender.”


                So like I told chempo above, that’s just Apple Pay!!! not really mind blowing.

                Then realize hey this crypto blockchain stuff is far superior! thus any Central Bank that fails to utilize blockchain will soon realize the value of blockchain. behind the curve.


                As for Biden’s age, well Trump and Biden are just three years apart, Joe. Trump is younger, but at that age pushing on 80 its same-same really. So age isn’t the issue, IMHO. its getting stuff done, and be seen executing things, not terrorists, but getting stuff done.

              • JoeAm says:

                Biden has been superb at getting stuff done, other than the bills blocked by Republicans. But you hear the complaints when gas prices go up, and no news reports when they come down. So there’s a skew to public information that people react to.

                The age is a problem because it’s easy for Republicans to attack him if he stutters or has an accelerated dismount from his bike.

              • It’s kind of a given that Republicans will block him, Joe. no the issue , IMHO. its that as the head of the Democratic Party, and his own party members don’t support him, now in the mid-terms attempting to distance themselves from Biden. that’s the problem.

                Trump had no problems with age issues in his 4 years, mainly becuz he was always in the lime light, warts and all, he made him self seem omnipresent. Biden is hidden doesn’t do interviews, but when he shows always has these gaffs (but that’s always been his pattern, gaffs, thats not really about age).

                So that’s not really the issue, age. its the seeming leaderless Democrats that s what people are seeing. I’m just happy we’re not waging anymore wars. Trump and Biden have that going for them for sure.

              • JoeAm says:

                You are talking in circles again. His gaffes. A lifelong stutterer who rides a bike at 80. Versus Trump’s insurrection and lunging fat boy golf swing. My God, the nonsense is just enormous, the way bright minds get sucked into the information swamp. By the way, here is a list of what Biden has done, the center photo. It needs to be updated, but it dispels the popular myth that he is doing little. Click on the pic.


              • I’m not saying Biden’s done nothing, JOE,

                and i know its a comparative. But the Dems (with Biden at the helm) doesn’t espouse solidarity. just recently Manchin and Sinema are going against Biden again, these things should play out behind close doors, Biden was a senator. So its the disintegration of the Democrats that people are seeing here. again Pelosi and Biden differed in Taiwan visit, etc. stuff like that is what losses people’s confidence.

                I don’t disagree with that list, Joe.

              • JoeAm says:

                What are your core political values? Democratic or autocratic? Democrats are operating as democratic, Republicans as autocratic. Republicans: Bloc voting, not principled voting. Lying, not seeking truths. It’s a party of Alex Joneses. Democrats: Arguing, disagreeing, looking earnestly for solutions. The autocrats now control headlines and impressions. Autocrats are winning as Marcos won, by cheating and bullying and trolling and buying influence. Biden is old school. He believes he can talk to McConnell. Big mistake. For Democrats to do better, they have to become autocrats, too. “Oh look, see Biden sign executive order on abortions.” So we’re screwed no matter what. And you come down on the side of autocrats, too.

              • here’s two graphs for comparason:

              • and here’s two more charts,

              • “What are your core political values? Democratic or autocratic?”

                I’m Bernie, Joe. Never Hillary guy. But happy with Trump cuz he didn’t get us in unnecessary wars; happy with Biden for the same (so far).

                My core political values is simply , no more unnecessary wars. very low bar, but with US history not so low after all.

                Trump is ascendant. unless they can actually imprison him, looks like he’ll run for 2024.

                Biden is weak in 2024, a lot of Democrats want him replaced.

                Bernie’s not running i don’t think, so I hope AOC will. AOC like Bernie won’t get us into wars, and will most likely be the one to legitimize MMT (and I hope UBI). and will take stock with CBDC and do it right, via blockchain.

                She will also go toe to toe with Trump, loudest wins.

                I’m just saying Biden ain’t doing so good, hasn’t been. over here this border issue is ramping up. and the Dems instead wanna focus on abortion and heating world (which I agree with ), but tackle first the most visible issues like inflation and border crossings open border stuff, the two are related.

                If Trump wins 2024, that’s good too, people paid attention when he was president. it was adversarial. that’s democracy. people are dozing off again. Biden’s low energy. AOC is high energy, and more energy than Trump.

              • JoeAm says:

                Biden is suffering from the perceptions, which you help spread, rather than the truth. Any problem, skewer Biden. Any success, report on his other failures. So you have succumbed to the myths and propaganda, the lies and name-calling. You are an autocrat in the making, a pawn of the manipulators, no matter how you try to skin your cats.

              • I’m not the source of this, Joe. Its in the pollings. Biden is not ascendant.

                I’m simply saying Biden is not ascendant, while Trump is always in the news (bad or good) he’s always showed doing something & always mentioned in the news (FOX, CNN & MSNBC, etc. etc. ), whilst Biden is controlled, eg. not answering questions, like he’s being muzzled. when he does interviews its all friendly type questions.

                I agree its a perception thing, but i’m not to blame, its Biden (or his handlers, or both).

              • JoeAm says:

                And you are amplifying the destructive message and superficial gaffes rather that looking at his civil demeanor and productive output and saying, “hey, Joe Biden is working hard for America and Americans.” Trump has gravitas and people are attracted to him like Germans to Hitler.

              • But that’s politics , Joe. all about perception. the public perception of Biden today is lower than Trump’s even as he left office. unless something extra ordinary happens, we have to assume the trend downwards will continue, or plateau as Trump’s 4 years (see above).

              • JoeAm says:

                And the question is, do you play a role in promoting the perceptions or decide, well, maybe more people need to promote democracy and truth rather than its enemy, power, greed, and the misperceptions they advocate. Really, America’s MAGA Republicans are horrid, horrid people.

                “That’s just the way it is, Joe.”


              • “Really, America’s MAGA Republicans are horrid, horrid people.”

                yet they are still very much the minority here, Joe, its just that they live in electoral college which matter states.


                My point, its the Democrats to lose, so why show discord instead of solidarity. they are the ones promulgating this perception. shooting themselves in the foot. they could’ve simply forgotten about Trump, but instead I’m seeing more of Trump than Biden on every news channel and programing here. free advertising.

              • JoeAm says:

                Right. There is a lot of discussion among dems about how to sharpen the message, but no one has pulled it together. Trump’s enduring popularity is a sign of the sickness in mainstream media. The guy is a traitor to the Constitution and his oath.

                Also, MAGA is the minority but they have all Republicans cowed.

              • The last sentence I 100% agree. Why the GOP is licking up Trump is really weird, I never thought Cheney would have to accompany his daughter in Congress to offer some street creds for her. never in my wildest dreams. Darth Vader himself, Joe!!!

    • Micha says:

      The article already validates the core component of MMT, which is that sovereign governments can (and do) create money of their own account through fiat so I don’t know what is still there to oppose.

      The manner, the quantity, and the management and allocation of resources is just a matter of policy option which falls on the political side of things. Do you use those created money to subsidize farmers or prop up big corporations? Build school buildings or lace the bank accounts of your cronies? Those kinds of things.

      Argentina has of course been, for quite some time, become the basket case of Latin America because of its history of defaulting on foreign debt (dollars, not pesos!). Those unmanageable foreign debt is what keeps it tethered to IMF conditionalities which undermines its sovereignty and reduces its option to pursue policies that are actually for its own interest; not that of creditor foreign banks and the malignant economic ideologies they represent. (Echoes of the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and other basket cases around the world).

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  1. […] The Philippine Economy: Duterte Gives Marcos a Bed of Nails — The Society of Honor by Joe America […]

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