Thursday, October 09, 2008

Economic fundamentals

THE US economy is supposedly based on solid fundamentals—until Lehman Brothers, Washington Mutual and their pesky peers caught the world by surprise and declared that America was in a worst downturn after the Great Depression in the ‘30s.

Strangely enough, during the Great Depression nobody had to be told that they were in a bad shape, because every Tom, Dick and Harry (now include Oprah!) felt it. This time, the banking industry had to do the spinning and convince the treasury to convince congress to liberate the “banking economy” with a $700 billion bailout. And while the bailout debate was on progress, Lehman Brothers was shelling out millions in bonuses to its executives.

Apparently, after sending jitters to the Bush administration and the ongoing political campaign, observers concluded that US economy was after all based on subprime commodities, as the real state, which are umbilically tied with the banks. Consequently, any default in mortgages would impact heavily on the banking industry. Because, in America everything is loaned from the banks: from houses to washing machines and the fancy evening dress.

Not so in the Philippines. Close all the banks and the Filipino will continue smiling all the way. First, because only an iota of the 85 million or so Filipinos has loans in the banks; the others won’t be granted anyway. Second, the vast majority of Filipinos have comfortably nothing in their wallets to waste for the banks. So, why the heck?

Take it or leave it, but the Philippine economy is founded on a most solid fundamental—its people. Principally, Philippine economy is based on OFW’s and their wives who go on a wild shopping spree every after monthly visits to Western Union. The higher the population, therefore, the more OFWs. Logically, the more OFWs, the better for Philippine economy. Conversely, remove all OFWs and their remittances, and the Philippine economy collapses. (But perhaps, Malacañang, the only gambling operator in the world that is government-based, will not worry a bit if only jueteng operations will be implemented in every town and PAGCOR be established in every street corner of big cities—and make gambling as the paramount economic fundamental.)

Which is why, it is incomprehensible why some people in Congress wants to kill OFWs (they comprise, according to an educated guess, 25% of the total population) even before there are born. The likes of Lagman, still believe the myth of the ‘60s that the lesser the population the better the economy while about 70 countries in the world today are bewailing the irreversible demographic winter.

The “pro-reproductive scheme” people seem not to understand why the most populous countries in the world are the most economically progressive while the least are passing out in hunger.

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