The Philippines Will Remain the Same Unless We Shun Big Government and Government Dependency

Candidates

Ever notice that the campaign promises and platforms of our national candidates sound pretty much all the same? Basically they all promise a government that will provide pretty much everything under the sun for the people. From education to health care, candidates pretty much love to promise government nurturing from cradle to grave. I don’t really blame the candidates because this is what the majority of the electorate wants to hear. In a country where mendicancy is acceptable (and even coddled), its majority feel that they are entitled to such lofty promises. Instead of personal responsibility and accountability, most of the people want the big old government to provide them with pretty much all of their needs for nothing. Unless Filipinos start taking charge of their own lives and shun government dependency, the country will remain in the rut it is in. The candidates whose platforms involve the expansion of dole-outs and coddling of dependency are contributing to the continual stagnation of the Philippines. I believe it is high time to look at candidates who will inspire personal independence and achievement. We need someone who will strengthen the free market where people’s innovative talents are harnessed and used to make products and services better. We need a John F. Kennedy type of candidate who will encourage the citizens not to look for what the country can do for him but what he can do for his country instead.

Back in 2012 during the last US Presidential elections, the Obama campaign released an interesting interactive web advertisement. In it was a fictional character named Julia who is swaddled and subsidized throughout her life by an all-giving government. At every stage, the government provides all of her needs such as preschool classes, college loans, birth control, maternity care, business loans and retirement. Obama’s campaign suggests that it is the government’s role to step in and fill in the void for all of the people’s needs. This strikes me as very similar to what Vice President Jejomar Binay seems to be trying to sell to the electorate as he presents his case, from his stint in Makati, where the local government has provided perks to its citizens (especially the elderly) from free movie tickets, quality health care and education, to free birthday cakes. But as the saying goes:

“A government big enough to give you everything you want, is a government big enough to take away everything that you have.”

I find it very disappointing not to see any of our current crop of candidates with the opposite message of promoting individual liberty and earned success. I long to see a candidate make the case that earned success is preferable to government dependency. I long to see a candidate encourage and promote independence and hard work as integral foundations of a free and economically thriving country. But perhaps this is just wishful thinking.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not against government providing for its people. I am, however, an advocate of very limited government that promote responsible behaviour and I am agreeable in paying for very basic things supported by the Constitution. So what does the constitution say about the role of our government? The Constitution states the following:

Section 4. The prime duty of the Government is to serve and protect the people. The Government may call upon the people to defend the State and, in the fulfillment thereof, all citizens may be required, under conditions provided by law, to render personal, military or civil service.

Section 5. The maintenance of peace and order, the protection of life, liberty, and property, and promotion of the general welfare are essential for the enjoyment by all the people of the blessings of democracy.

Section 9. The State shall promote a just and dynamic social order that will ensure the prosperity and independence of the nation and free the people from poverty through policies that provide adequate social services, promote full employment, a rising standard of living, and an improved quality of life for all.

The constitution states that the government’s role is to promote general welfare and to come up with policies that provide adequate social services, to promote full employment and basically an improved quality of life for all. It doesn’t say that it will provide for everyone’s needs from cradle to crave although one can certainly argue that it is responsible for coming up with policies, at the very least, to promote access to all our needs. So when it comes to the military, police force, justice system, roads, bridges and other infrastructure, there is no objection there (although I would argue that the private sector can very well do a much better job in the production and maintenance of some infrastructure and public utilities). Tax collection to produce and maintain such things is justified. The objection lies not in government provided infrastructure but in the redistributionist taxation scheme (taking from the rich or the fully employed to provide for the poor) and in expanding entitlements. I certainly am not willing to pay for the contraceptives of someone making an individual sexual lifestyle choice. So I am against a giant and all-powerful controlling State that thinks that it is entitled to as much of my hard-earned money as it wants and can make policies it sees to impose with or without my consent. For the government, it is their way or the highway!

Now if you think about it, it isn’t too hard to see that the government is filled with this kind of attitude. Think of a time when you went to a government office such as the DFA (for passport application) or the NSO (for a copy of your birth certificate) or the LTO (for a driving exam). How do you feel about those experiences? Did you enjoy the long line-ups and the run-arounds? Did you enjoy all the hassle and did you feel that the people working in those offices were so concerned about the value of your time? Do you often enjoy the level of customer service you get from your government? No? Well, tough luck buddy! What do those people care? They are not going to lose their jobs for being rude or indifferent or slow. What are you going to do, go to another DFA or another NSO or another LTO? Those are the only designated offices to handle your needs!

ConservativeThis brings me to my next preference after small or limited government – the advantage of private businesses and free enterprise. Far from what many people think that businesses are run by those fat greedy bastards wearing those tall monopoly hats conspiring to screw the people in cigar smoke filled conference rooms, I think private enterprise is better than big government. Government through its taxation can take your money by force but businesses have to persuade you into buying their products or services. Dealing with a private business is a free will transaction. In a truly free market, competition is the driving force for persuasion. Through competition you can get better service, better quality, lower cost, and essentially better value for your money. If we are not satisfied with what we get from a private business we can always go to its competitor. You can’t do that with government offices and agencies.

Often times, the objection that I hear against private enterprise is that they make costs high. This is certainly the case for the people voicing their objection to the planned privatization of the Philippine Orthopedic Center. Often times we hear that it is immoral to mix profit and health care. But it is precisely this misplaced disdain for the motivation for profit that perpetuates our penchant for mediocrity. The pursuit of profit should not be looked at as a mortal sin. The pursuit of profit brings quality and innovation. You want free health care? Then you shouldn’t be complaining about having to wait a long time to receive treatment for a critical illness or having to put up with rude and incompetent staff. There shouldn’t be any complaints regarding dilapidated facilities and medical equipment that breaks down at a drop of a pen. Two months ago I underwent a kidney transplant operation at St. Luke’s Medical at the Bonifacio Global City. Granting that I paid through the nose, I still wouldn’t trade St. Luke’s to any other hospitals in the Philippines (or even in a lot of medical facilities in North America). What I got was top-notch care at a top-notch facility. If I dealt with a public facility such as the Philippine General Hospital or even the National Kidney and Transplant Institute, I’m sure I wouldn’t have received the same level and calibre of care I got from St. Luke’s. So it is really about getting what you pay for. And what’s more important than health?

When it is all said and done, my preference for small government and free enterprise is rooted on human nature itself – that humans are not perfect or perfectible. Contrary to what uber liberals think as they sing John Lennon’s song “Imagine”, I believe people really act on their selfish interest. Am I being too cynical and pessimistic? Well you may find it ironic that this very same belief acts as a check and balance against the accumulation of too much power in the hands of too few people. I want to keep more of my hard earned money so that the government can have little of my money to play with; I would rather not empower it too much to give it more control over my life.

Pretty much all the candidates are trumpeting “Change”. But without anyone advocating for personal responsibility, small government, and free market, I’m afraid we are just doomed to get more of the same. As I mentioned in my last article, it is not really about electing the “righteous” politicians to run our country. It is really about narrowing government responsibilities. It is absurd to think that the humongous government bureaucracy is going to identify and eliminate the waste in government. Every congressman or senator will argue that his or her two bit project worth millions or billions of pesos in pork will swear that the funds they are asking for is vital to the national interest. As long as the system is designed for a spend-it-or-lose-it type of budgeting, it doesn’t matter who sits in Malacanang or which party wields power. No one spends other people’s money as carefully as he spends his own. The key is to switch from non-competitive incentive structure of politics to the competitive incentives of the free market.

Now do tell, which current candidate shares my vision the closest?

Photos taken from cnnphilippines.com and pinterest.com

print

35 Comments on “The Philippines Will Remain the Same Unless We Shun Big Government and Government Dependency”

  1. what makes you think that privitizing the NSO, LTO or DFA will make these institutions more efficient?

    we tried privitizing utilities and as we’ve seen that was and is an unmitigated disaster in a poor country highest electric bill in asia type way.

    well i may be miscasting your position. surely you would not oppose regulation of free markets by the state. how much of a free market are we talking about? free selling of drugs, people (damn the philippines is de facto already there)

    maybe it is not a big government or small government issue at all but a discipline and following rules issue.

    1. The privatization of utlities in the past failed because it wasn’t really done under a truly free market condition. That wasn’t capitalism but crony capitalism. What I suggest they do is to get rid of restriction on foreign businesses to get business control on fields like energy and telecommunications. The current laws were designed to protect the local oligarchs against the threat of competition against external firms. Thanks for reading!

      1. HG, you have an idealistic view of private enterprise. Certainly the Philippines needs the government to stop stifling it, but it only really works in cultures that strive for excellence as an end in itself.

        Filipinos, mostly, are not like that. Even the decent folk are happy to just get by from day-to-day. In general, they have no ambition either for themselves or for the country. Under those circumstances, mediocrity in either public or private services is inevitable.

        Also, most Filipinos don’t grok the most basic ideas of capitalism: capital and investment. Investment means spending money now with an expected (larger) return at some later date. Capital is stuff that you can leverage to produce an income.

        I’m endlessly getting people asking me to “invest” in their dumbass business ideas. What they mean is “give me money”. I’ve met three families awash with capital – land, healthy family, a house – who insist that they have none. How is free enterprise going to work in that environment?

        You yourself miss this point with your rants about free contraceptives. The Pill costs next-to-nothing, so although it’s true that the average village idiot could afford it, we all know he/she won’t buy it because the CC tells him not to. If the government needs to spend 25 pesos a month to push him/her to the pharmacy, then that’s money well spent.

        Why? Because it prevents another oxygen thief from being born. 80% of the children born today in the Philippines will not only produce nothing during his/her lifetime but will absorb wealth from others – for example, by squatting on land that he doesn’t own, or refusing to work on land that he does. Investment in contraception is one of the most profitable that an over-populated, cash-strapped country can make. It will then have the resources to educate the (fewer) children that are born through choice.

        1. No need for eugenics, guys. Let’s just stop all this “Children you can’t feed or educate are a gift from God” nonsense.

          A birth rate like the RP’s is guaranteed to produce poverty. Conversely, getting the country down to replacement rate (~2.1 kids/family) is probably the single best way to prevent that happening.

        2. In all seriousness, maybe have a government program where people who already fathered 2 children will get Php5000 cash if they have a vasectomy. I think it would pay off in the long run.

        3. Hey drastic times call drastic measures. To birth someone into an existence where they sleep/bathe in a shit filled river-sewer is a crime.

          We can put the sterilization drugs in the iodine and vitamin packs the govt already doles out. Then maybe a popsicle?

        4. Hi marius,

          HG, you have an idealistic view of private enterprise. Certainly the Philippines needs the government to stop stifling it, but it only really works in cultures that strive for excellence as an end in itself.

          Perhaps you are correct that I have an idealistic view of private enterprise and you brought out a good point that our culture does not really strive for excellence as an end in itself (not with that “pwede na yan” attitude). But that is the things, the country cannot change unless we change our mindset which includes dependency (be it with the government or any other external bodies). A government that coddles the current type of mentality is not helping the country. For private enterprise I am more optimistic. With the government they can remain in mediocrity because their customers don’t really have any choice but to go to them. Private enterprises are different in the sense that through competition, they have to stay on their toes or else their competitor will threaten their survival. I’m not saying that mediocrity isn’t evident in Filipino businesses. I do know that two bit operations and businesses are a dime a dozen in the Philippines. But I would argue that most of these businesses don’t survive long. It is those that put in some decent effort in competing that last long or improve and expand.

          Also, most Filipinos don’t grok the most basic ideas of capitalism: capital and investment. Investment means spending money now with an expected (larger) return at some later date. Capital is stuff that you can leverage to produce an income.

          I think most Filipinos know the basic idea of capitalism (capital and investment). However, I do believe that mediocrity becomes a hindrance. Two bit businesses are a dime a dozen in the Philippines. Business schemes out to make a fast buck are everywhere. They obtain capital and invest their capital to start and run their business but a lot of them lack to follow-through. We have a problem with ningas cogon. The few that strive to compete are the ones that improve and last.

          Filipinos, mostly, are not like that. Even the decent folk are happy to just get by from day-to-day. In general, they have no ambition either for themselves or for the country. Under those circumstances, mediocrity in either public or private services is inevitable.

          True, there are a lot of Filipinos who seem to be just happy to just get by. But I think this is also more of a matter of laziness. I think they have ambition for themselves (probably not necessarily for the country) but a lot of them don’t want to put in the work to achieve the ambition. A lot of them depend on other people or circumstances (e.g. luck) to enable them to achieve their aspirations. I would argue that if a typical Pinoy would be handed success on a silver platter to him, he would take it in a snap. This dependency mindset (e.g. to other people, to luck, or even divine powers) stifles personal progress.

          I’m endlessly getting people asking me to “invest” in their dumbass business ideas. What they mean is “give me money”. I’ve met three families awash with capital – land, healthy family, a house – who insist that they have none. How is free enterprise going to work in that environment?

          😀 lol Like I said, two-bit business schemes are a dime a dozen in the Philippines. A lot of people have a penchant for quick money making schemes. That is why pyramid schemes are everywhere! Filipinos love the idea of making a quick buck for zero or very little effort. The wealthy folks you mentioned are probably just being careful with their money. I don’t blame them given the fact that there are so many scammers in the Philippines. I have also been approached by a lot of people asking me to invest in their schemes. I also give a lot of them the same answer that I don’t have money or at least I don’t have any liquid assets to use. But given a feasible proposal, I am open to investing. Free enterprise would work when there is a consensual agreement between two parties having mutual benefit. But that’s the thing… both parties have to benefit and it should never involve coercion or force.

          You yourself miss this point with your rants about free contraceptives. The Pill costs next-to-nothing, so although it’s true that the average village idiot could afford it, we all know he/she won’t buy it because the CC tells him not to. If the government needs to spend 25 pesos a month to push him/her to the pharmacy, then that’s money well spent.

          I’m sorry but I don’t share your idea. You really think that the average village idiot would not buy the cheap contraceptive because the CC tells him not to? I would argue that the average village idiot doesn’t even really care what the CC says if it doesn’t benefit him/her. Do you really think that the majority of the baby makers aimed by the government to benefit from the RH Bill has engaged (or are engaging) in sex before marriage? Do you really believe that they even go to confession before receiving communion? How about just following all of the 10 Commandments? Do you really think that these folks would ace the 10 Commandments? (Good luck with idol worship, using the Lord’s name in vain, making false witness, coveting, or even adultery) So I don’t really think it is the CC that is the problem. I think it is the attitude of the people. I bet you even if these contraceptives are free a lot of the dolts wouldn’t even get them or use them (at least the way these are intended to be used) unless these are actually delivered to them. So I don’t support the idea of government shelling out contraceptives to these people because this is supposed to be an individual responsibility. If these people want to screw till Kingdom come (pun intended  ) then I have no business in what they do in their bedrooms. But there is no way in hell I would be willing to pay for their sexual lifestyle choice. I think the government ought to promote policies that highlight personal responsibility instead because this will benefit people more in life in the long run (even in life aspects other than sex) than band-aid dole out schemes. Sorry, but I think the RH Bill will add to another source of waste very much like the other dole-out schemes the government has.

          Why? Because it prevents another oxygen thief from being born. 80% of the children born today in the Philippines will not only produce nothing during his/her lifetime but will absorb wealth from others – for example, by squatting on land that he doesn’t own, or refusing to work on land that he does. Investment in contraception is one of the most profitable that an over-populated, cash-strapped country can make. It will then have the resources to educate the (fewer) children that are born through choice.

          If the motivation for the RH Bill was population control then they should have said so. It really irks me when the proponents were using the argument of “health issue” or “women’s health” in pushing for the bill. But I would argue that there are other better ways to curb population growth than to give out contraceptives for individual’s sexual lifestyle choice through a government run program funded by other people’s money.

        5. Thanks for the long reply HG 🙂

          >> They obtain capital and invest their capital to start and run their business but a lot of them lack to follow-through.

          Well, see, that was my point. Capital is not money. Capital is things that produce money. Sure, you can buy capital with money, and money can be a type of capital, but most Filipinos actually have a lot of capital, and they don’t know they have it. So they sit around moaning that they don’t have “capital”, when what they really mean is that they have a cash flow problem; they lack liquidity.

          But yes, I have noticed Filipinos get bored with any project if it doesn’t yield profits immediately!

          >> A lot of them depend on other people or circumstances (e.g. luck) to enable them to achieve their aspirations.

          Sure, that too. This is not a uniquely Filipino problem: I have seen it in EVERY impoverished culture I’ve encountered. Psychologists call it “external locus of control” (ie., your fate is not in your own hands or altered by your own decisions) and I’m convinced this is the root cause of poverty.

          >> But there is no way in hell I would be willing to pay for their sexual lifestyle choice.

          You’re not subsidizing anything: you’re investing. It might cost P10,000 pesos to provide contraceptive pills for a woman’s entire reproductive lifetime. By preventing useless children born to useless parents, the country will save about P5,000,000 per child in terms of lost natural assets, subsidized health costs, cost of crime, etc. That’s a 50000% return on investment.

          >> You really think that the average village idiot would not buy the cheap contraceptive because the CC tells him not to?

          Oh, absolutely yes. The mouthbreathers are not Christians; I never said they were. They’re Papists.

          >> If the motivation for the RH Bill was population control then they should have said so.

          Come on HG. You’re Filipino, yes? Surely you know that when the CC tells the President to jump, he says “how high?”. The RH bill was held up for years precisely because the CC realised it was about population control.

          There are many people who support the CCs position: they genuinely believe that God wants them to have lots of kids who will die in misery and poverty.

          The government could never, ever say that it needs to control the population. It would be political suicide; and in any case, poverty and overpopulation is good for the oligarchs. More sheep to milk.

      2. All Philippines had is its abundant of man power… And some type of natural resources which it cannot develop without foreign investors ,that’s it, we are in the mercy of foreign investors and we exports quality laborers that are being exploited. That’s all .. With government restrictions and corrupt politicians , it drive away investors , that is why millions are Un employed in the Philippines .the only thing it has are laborers, the rest are OFW ‘s. That’s is the fact, what ever idea you are saying it won’t help a bit..

        1. Cezar,

          The Philippines is designed to be an agricultural country, not an industrialized nation. Most Filipinos are compromising their food supply to push for modernity. The government needs to stop turning this fertile land into a “concrete jungle.”

          Aeta

        2. Totally agree, Aeta. Somebody, somewhere, has to produce the food for 7 billion people and the Philippines is actually ideally placed to do that.

          I made the point elsewhere about competitive advantage. If the Philippines could get their agricultural act together they could potentially corner the local market as Cargill etc have in the West. All of the technology they need would then be available to them via trade. Very few advanced nations are entirely “self-sufficient” – you don’t need to be.

          >> All Philippines had is its abundant of man power… And some type of natural resources which it cannot develop without foreign investors ,that’s it, we are in the mercy of foreign investors and we exports quality laborers that are being exploited.

          Not really, Cezar. It’s true that it’s hard to develop without advanced foreign PRODUCTS (which are denied to you), but you don’t need foreign MONEY – especially since you are denied foreign products! It’s just lack of imagination, laziness, and government interference that prevents the RP from progressing.

    2. By the way… I wasn’t suggesting that we privatize the LTO, DFA, and NSO. (Although I wish we could.) These agencies were given as examples to highlight a typical crappy experience we get when dealing with the government and we are not left with any choice but to merely suck it up. My inclination is that private businesses would produce better quality results because of competition. Of course, things would have to be under a truly free market system and not under crony capitalism.

  2. All this talking are good and a part of what’s needed in the Philippines, but you people are not seeing the root of all this problem….Not enough available jobssssss for the people…a lot of OFW,s why ???????can,t you people doesn’t see that ……why they look do jobs over seas in other countries…..Because the Philippines does not not have enough good paying job for its people….that is the problem….tell that to your favorite politicians who wants to be president , congressman and senators…..demand them to find a way to attract jobssssss in the Philippines…and the rest will be easy….Demand the creation of jobssss for the population…

  3. The Philippines will remain the same as long as the Filipino people think as ‘individuals’ instead of as ‘one nation.’ Our self-serving (makasarili/kanya-kanya) and aristocratic (hambog/mayabang) are too embedded in our subconscious mind and way of life. What the Filipino people need is a complete overhaul of their dysfucntional value system.

  4. The Philippines will remain the same as long as the Filipino people think as ‘individuals’ instead of as ‘one nation.’ Our self-serving (makasarili/kanya-kanya) and aristocratic (hambog/mayabang) nature are too embedded in our subconscious mind and way of life. What the Filipino people need is a complete overhaul of their dysfucntional value system.

    Reply

  5. The Philippines will remain the same as long as the Filipino people think as ‘individuals’ instead of as ‘one nation.’ Our self-serving (makasarili/kanya-kanya) and aristocratic (hambog/mayabang) nature are too embedded in our subconscious mind and way of life. What the Filipino people need is a complete overhaul of their dysfucntional value system.

  6. Hi Cezar. Good point. However, I think we also have to ask what can be done to enhance job creation. What do you think about enhancing the free market by encouraging competition? Let’s shun crony capitalism and let the free market do its magic. Thanks for reading!

    1. Free Market is already in place and it is humming like a nuclear machine with China on the lead as well as competition. capitalism is fueling that machine….the rich get rich and the poor will be poorer…and the spread of technology is uncontrollable ..it is triggering the manufacturing of copy cats products….the uncontrollable thievery of technology are rampant and China is on the lead….It is creating havocs in the western industrial nations…China is like a run away train and they are winning with billions of people for cheap labor …..How can you beat that and they know it…America and the western capitalism is a messsss ..now being the real power behind all this …….IT IS PERSNAL GREED. Now that my friends is the future …HOW CAN ANYBODY CONTROL THAT???

      1. Well, free market has done and is doing wonders for China. The Philippines? Probably not so much or at least not on the same level. The problem with the Philippines is that because of the constitutional restriction on foreign control of businesses in certain sectors like telecommunication, energy, etc., what we have is crony capitalism. Crony capitalism is what we get when there is a cozy relationship between government and business. Under this setup, government gives special privileges to a particular group (e.g. majority shares/control, etc.). In a true free market, a business has no more power to use government protection to gain advantage over competitors. Government regulation helps favored businesses crush competitors who might offer consumers better deals. I would argue that if foreign telecommunication firms were allowed to fully compete in the Philippines, we would have better quality internet and probably cheaper alternative packages as well.

    1. Hector Gamboa,

      Not for the Philippines. For the most part, our people’s individualist (kanya-kanya/makasarili) attitude and behavior have been more detrimental than beneficial. Our country’s history and current state will tell you that.

      Aeta

      1. Hi Aeta,

        When I say individualism vs collectivism, I mean it in the rational sense. There is nothing wrong with rational self-interest (that’s what I meant with my use of individualism) because rational self-interest is also beneficial to the entire community. In collectivism, individuals can take from a common pot regardless of how much they put in. In this setup there is an incentive to be a “freerider” – to do as little as possible and take as much as possible because what one fails to take will be taken by someone else. Soon the pot will be empty. This is the Tragedy of the Commons. In individualism, effort is connected to reward and this creates an incentive for people to produce. If there is a free market, people trade their surpluses to others for things they lack. Mutual voluntary exchange for mutual benefit makes the community better.

        1. Hector Gamboa,

          In the current state of the Philippines, the Filipino people can no longer afford to think and live as individuals. Those generations of living like “it’s every man for himself” has done nothing but fock up the country and the people. We Filipinos need to start learning what collectivism means and start practicing it–like the Japanese–if we want to remain intact and survive as a nation.

          Aeta

  7. I would say, why I agree with some liberal ideas, some conservative views are worth listening to. Actually, I would place myself in between the two sides. For individualism, I’m sure what Hector means is, we should all individually desire respect for public space instead of relying on a government “punishing” us to respect the public space. In a sense, the collectivist aspect of the Filipino is that they all are “kanya-kanya” and those who call for respect for public space are actually acting individually. I hope people get this.

    What Hector is hitting is what I explained in another article: the desire to have dole-outs for life. Because of this, peoplle are voting in candidates who they believe will give them dole-outs (which they problem), but instead end up stealing from the government, while at the same time enact policies that cripple the true free market which would have given a better economy and better government services. St. Luke’s, yes, while for the rare can-affords, could be an example of real business working without cronyism. The worry with public hospitals going to private hands is not going into private per se, but because the private hands may be cronies! Look at what happened to the Laguna Bay dredging project, MRT, LTO and others. Filipinos are actually accepting cronyism, because they voted the people who want this cronyism. So you think cronyism is only in Marcos Era? Think again! That is, if you know how to think.

    1. What the unwieldy Filipino people–who are unwilling to set aside their self-interests and differences and start acting like one nation–is to give up the leadership of their country to the United States or China (or whoever is foolish and greedy enough to try to get this chaotic country under control).

    2. I would say, why I agree with some liberal ideas, some conservative views are worth listening to. Actually, I would place myself in between the two sides. For individualism, I’m sure what Hector means is, we should all individually desire respect for public space instead of relying on a government “punishing” us to respect the public space. In a sense, the collectivist aspect of the Filipino is that they all are “kanya-kanya” and those who call for respect for public space are actually acting individually. I hope people get this.

      Hi Chino! Good point. That’s exactly what I mean. To expand on my conservative view on this (regarding respect for public property), I think that individualism, when rational self-interest is applied, would benefit the entire community. Let’s say there is a public park in my neighborhood where I enjoy taking my son to play. It would be in my benefit if the park is clean and crime-free. So if I pick up my trash (or other trash I come across when I’m at the park) and if I monitor and report any suspicious activities in the park, I would be doing something that would continue or ensure the benefit I receive from the park. I don’t need to wait for government action to fulfill my self-interest. So through my action in respecting public property, I am acting on the fulfilment of my self-interest and I am not necessarily doing it for other people or the entire community.

      What Hector is hitting is what I explained in another article: the desire to have dole-outs for life. Because of this, people are voting in candidates who they believe will give them dole-outs (which they problem), but instead end up stealing from the government, while at the same time enact policies that cripple the true free market which would have given a better economy and better government services.

      Yes, also what I oppose in the propagation of government dole-outs is the potential to lead to the Tragedy of the Commons. People on the dole will not have the incentive to put in individual effort because regardless of the little effort they give their needs will be met courtesy of the common pot. In your explanation, I agree that the problem with people voting in candidates who they think will give them more dole-outs end up stealing from the government. If people were only less dependent on the government (or others for that matter), then there wouldn’t be any need for sleazeball candidates.

      St. Luke’s, yes, while for the rare can-affords, could be an example of real business working without cronyism. The worry with public hospitals going to private hands is not going into private per se, but because the private hands may be cronies! Look at what happened to the Laguna Bay dredging project, MRT, LTO and others. Filipinos are actually accepting cronyism, because they voted the people who want this cronyism. So you think cronyism is only in Marcos Era? Think again! That is, if you know how to think.

      Yes, that is true. When public facilities (e.g. hospitals) get privatized, real free market should prevail and not crony capitalism. Crony capitalism stifles the free market.

      Thanks for reading!

    1. I agree self-respect is the root of discipline. Unfortunately for Filipino, though, too much self-respect has lead to self-arrogance; and they are unable to “say no” to oneself’s desire to covet more than what they need to live.

  8. I agree with the idea of letting private enterprise take the helm of developing as much as can be relinquished by incompetent government agencies/institutions.

    let’s have more PPP projects. Also we need to expand and add more Zaxxun zones
    http://zaxxun.com/zaxxun-zones/

    A federal form of government on the other hand can create competition among federal states – modeling the free market of open competition that leads to improvements and excellence.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.