President Noynoy Aquino may have a good reason for giving a no-go to charter change!

In a pre-emptive strike on the whole discussion around ‘charter change’ that is likely to come up after the opening of the 16th Congress in July, President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III issued his two cents on the matter of foreign ownership of land in the Philippines.

“I don’t think they are necessary detriment to getting foreign investors into the country,” he told reporters in Cavite in an interview aired over the government-run radio.

The President cited China, which grew economically despite a prohibition on foreign ownership of land. He also cited past studies by chambers of commerce showing that poor peace and order, bureaucratic red tape and lack of infrastructure, more than the economic provisions, hinder investments.


Perhaps President BS has a point. Before you sell your building you need to fix its rotten floors first lest the new owner’s furniture fall through it.

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If there are fundamental problems that dampen confidence of both foreign and domestic investors, then the old reliable principle of first thing’s first applies. It’s really that simple. Unless you are one of those crooks who paints over rotting wood and crumbling concrete then places a FOR SALE ad with a photoshopped image of the property on the papers, there are things basic decency dictates you need to do before you schmooze with potential buyers.

The Philippines clearly has a chicken-and-egg problem where determining the root causes of its chronic collective wretchedness involves a toss-up between its image and its profound cultural dysfunction. Is the country’s image as a black hole where investment funds disappear forever the root cause of its lack of come-on to rich folk looking for a place to park their excess cash? Or is its people’s renowned inability to productively capitalise on the abundance of resources and opportunity within their own islands the real heart of the matter?

Harping about not having enough “foreign direct investment” in order to progress sends a simple message:

Filipinos are hopeless at creating capital indigenously.

In a pre-globalised world, people simply invented and produced what they needed locally. Being hooked on foreign capital is what frames the “debate” around what the development strategy of the Philippines “should be” today — a debate underpinned almost solely by a blanket acceptance that Filipinos are simply too lazy or too brain-dead to think their way out of the rathole they currently find themselves in. The basics of living within one’s means now simply fly over the heads of our lot who are slowly starving as the intravenous feed of foreign capital (in the form of both FDI and OFW remittances) either slows to a trickle or is engulfed by our galloping mall-hungry population. The principles are easy to grasp even for the current crop of name-brand solons who now infest the Philippines’ legislature:

(1) Self-sufficiency — being able to produce domestically what is consumed locally in order to;

(2) Reduce unhealthy and un-secure dependency on global trade and reliance on unnecessary shipping of goods.

(3) Simplification of the concept of economic value tying it squarely back to production and tangible assets all sustainably created through;

(4) Domestic capital creation — an ability to rely on one’s own inherent cleverness to create physical, intellectual, cultural, and (ultimately) financial capital indigenously.

Tough luck for us though. If we evaluate the Pinoy condition along the above four points, we get bad news spelled out for our lot. Our economic value as a people is tied squarely to the amount of capital and commercial activity that the industrialised world is able to generate (like rats and roaches who live off by-products of human activity). Now that we are seeing a withdrawal of this activity by the rich world, we will be left to increasingly rely on our own cleverness to replace this with something to keep our economy buoyant. A reliance on a cleverness that historically was never evident in us is a scary prospect. Personally I’d put my money on roaches and rats.

Protectionism, perhaps, could be a much-needed reality check and possibly the bitter pill we need.

Sometimes you need to give your 19-year-old kid an ultimatum. Get a job or start paying rent!

If we shut our ports to cheap Chinese celphone trinkets (among other useless things we import) — our consumption-driven economy will slow down.

This will have a triple effect:

(a) Pinoys start feeling the pinch and spend less.

(b) Whatever remaining Pinoys who have cash to spend will have lesser stuff to spend on.

(c) A bigger chunk of household incomes (specially incomes sustained by OFW dollars — remitted by whatever is left of the overseas labour force) will remain parked in bank accounts.

As oligarchs who once earned their fortunes by convincing hollowheads to part with their hard-earned OFW dollars in exchange for useless trinkets and over-priced restaurant meals shift their businesses (hopefully) back to manufacturing and farming (activities that actually produce stuff), our society then gets back to building a nation the old-fashioned and sustainable way. And, guess what, all that money parked in the financial system that would have been spent on cheap Chinese trinkets becomes available to fund our next-generation sustainable capital expansion!

The formula is simple, really.

Reliance on foreign capital and foreign commercial activity is an obsolete concept embraced by losers. The trouble with the Philippines is that it is a long loooonggg way down the road in its addiction to foreign capital. It is physically incapable of surviving without it.

What is the usual and most effective treatment for drug addicts? You lock them up in a room and hope they make it through the night without hanging themselves.

[Photo courtesy]

45 Replies to “President Noynoy Aquino may have a good reason for giving a no-go to charter change!”

  1. Orion’s solutions sucks. You have become the image of GRP so you have to go down along with your cha cha advocacy. Benigno must be the face of GRP. All solutions of Orion has to be deleted. Long live the no solution, pure criticism articles of GRP!! The solutions in our no solution, pure criticism articles can be found when you read between the lines! Pure critical thinking rules!

    1. Are you guys so insecure that you throw titanic hissy fits each time other people voice out the slightest hints of doubt towards your ideas?

  2. The way to solve the chicken and egg and also attract foreign investment is to both phase and target industry sectors and geographic areas where overseas companies can own more than the existing 40% ( IBM quietly has a special dispensation of the law, so it can apply to others).
    It does not have to be all or nothing.
    The most important aspect is investor confidence, and clearly that is not there at the moment and will not increase until positive steps are taken. Motherhood statements from pnoy cut no ice.
    If protectionism remains the no. 1 policy, supported by an unreliable judicial system then investors will go elsewhere and do not need the philippines as much as vice versa.
    The value of all 344 companies listed on the philippines stock exchange is far less than just 1 top 10 american corporation – and maybe therein lies the fear, the days of easy money and monopolies would be challenged.
    Good for jobs, competition and pinoys, bad for oligarchs dynasties and chinoys.

    1. Pretty sure new, smaller Filipino Chinese entrepreneurs would adapt more readily to challenges from foreign companies willing to work with local talent than calcified oligarchies.

      1. I am seriously considering personally funding a 2 year study into the interwoven issues of dynastic politics and charter change, issues which i think could be central in 2016 ( if not before with TPP, Millenium Development Goals, ASEAN 2015).
        It would build upon rather than replicates work already done, but fill in the gaps, and differ by adopting a comparative and competitive analysis across ASEAN countries, and use advanced and rigorous analytical models for economic projections/scenarios.
        A good paid PhD project/book for someone.

        1. AIM economics professor Ronald Mendoza, who also writes for RAPPLER.COM, cites a lot of circumstantial evidence that suggests a strong correlation between political dynasties and poverty in the Philippines. Dynastic succession is another sticking point in the constitution that hasn’t been acted on in nearly 30 years.

          Mendoza writes “what causes concern here is that political dynasties in the Philippines thrive in regions with relatively higher poverty, lower human development and more severe deprivation. Our initial study does not yet allow us to conclude causality, but the two competing explanations already paint a worrying picture. Either poor people continue to vote for political dynasties, or dynasties continue to frustrate poverty-reduction efforts. And as I have argued before, neither of these explanations is palatable for most of us who long to see development accompany democracy.

          “A democracy is supposed to empower the poor and low income groups — in effect de-concentrate political power which would otherwise be the case in a non-democracy. Yet this does not seem to be what is happening in the Philippines. Even if we ‘just let the people decide’ as one dynastic politician urges, there are often not many options placed on the table. In many Philippine provinces, dynastic politicians run unopposed or are opposed only by other dynastic politicians. There is not much of a choice if clan politics effectively monopolize the system.”

      1. well, pnoy is failing on all counts
        and knows about as much about economics as you do about intelligent comments

      2. TROLL.

        Ang dulot ng kahirapan ay hindi corruption kundi katangahan, sobrang pag-party at katamaran.

        Your call. 😀

    1. Propaganda fail yet again.
      Is that all you guys at the malacanang miscommunications group can post here? Nothing but recycled propaganda crap?
      Troll harder, eduardo

      1. I have noticed in every response you post, always has to do with trolls. Are you in-charge of it, every time an optimist shows up?

  3. That’s probably the most sensible statement Noynoy has made as president so far. And that’s saying a lot because he hasn’t said much sense three years into his presidency. But of course he has vested interests in it. It just so happens his interests fell in place with practicality. How convenient.

  4. Very little cry for change because it don’t affect anybody here…? So the same foreigner deal of joint ownership in business even though he’s married to a Philippina, no large companies will do this.

    Malls(they all look and carry the same things) and buildings/condos continue to be built and at best the only money coming into the Philippines is the OFW, and pensioners, tourists, not a good plan, same plan no stradgedy for business or sharing it’s all one-way.

    Barter as a way of life continues as usual for many citizens here.

  5. Pnoy is seen as an incompetent puppet and those who side with him simply as weak self-interested turncoats who will just as quickly change allegiance as power shifts. Result – nothing substantive is ever achieved, simply people jockeying for posituon/pork barrel, keeping their head below the parapet, and avoiding work at all costs.

  6. I for one disagree for the president. While it’s true that we have a terrible bureaucracy, which also affects Indonesia, Malaysia and other Southeast Asian nations… I do still remember what the American Chamber of Commerce itself said. Change the Constitution, or you’ll suffer for it.

    But you have to wonder, are we reminded, as Benign0 indicated… are we made to endure protectionism so we could be more thrifty and less wasteful? Remember what I wrote about Filipinos’ bad money habits.

    1. We must remember that we were not made to endure protectionism. Protectionism was enshrined by those who have big businesses just so they won’t have competition. If there are less jobs, then there is nothing to save if the costs of basic goods keeps on rising.

  7. “‘He also cited past studies by chambers of commerce showing that poor peace and order, bureaucratic red tape and lack of infrastructure, more than the economic provisions, hinder investments.'”

    All of which have either failed to improve or have arguably gotten worse under BS Aquino’s watch. What the president fails to realize is that these factors are not mutually exclusive.

    Full ownership for foreign business interests will mean nothing if there are running gun battles in the street, knife wielding drunks knocking at your door, warrant-less arrests and illegal detentions by police and the military and kidnap gangs operating with impunity. Local and foreign companies will take their investments elsewhere if government paperwork takes months to accomplish. Compare that to Israel where business registration and set up only takes a week. Or the Cayman Islands where it only takes a couple of hours. Speaking of infrastructure — anybody remember the power situation in Mindanao? Or the looming blackouts here in Luzon and Metro Manila? What about the dismal condition of Metro Manila’s main roadway — EDSA? And the fact that since Holy Week, NAIA 3 has been as hot as the inside of an oven. In three years, the stupidity and lack of focus exhibited by BS Aquino’s administration has let several opportunities slip by through inertia and lack of initiative.

    I’m appalled! It is preposterous that BS Aquino now attempts to blame prevailing conditions in Filipino society — much of which could have been alleviated these past three years but for his indolence and sloth — to explain away his reasons for not implementing ANY kind of economic strategy.

  8. The usual nationalistic jargon of NONSENSE coming from that author did not fail to astound me, like it did by others who said the same thing, everytime

    What BSA has said is that the limits by law on foreign ownership, such as the 60-40 in the Constitution, is not a hindrance to FDIs. He has cited China as the prime example for his stand.

    It is the approach of “Cha-cha” and amending the constitution in allowing foreign ownership as a solution to attract foreign capital is where he has a disagreement.

    This is because to BSA – and he cited a study to support his stand – it is improving the country’s infrastructure, answering the peace and order problem and addressing the bureaucratic red tape, are what will attract the FDIs more than changing the constitution.

    Therefore the author concluded the opposite of what BSA said when the author wrote this NONSENSE:

    “Reliance on foreign capital and foreign commercial activity is an obsolete concept embraced by losers”

    Which is what primitive socialist fools have always said to us contrary to what has happened in the real world that outlived bartering.


  9. Here the points that Benign0 missed about “economics”;

    1.) Protectionism, perhaps, could be a much-needed reality check and possibly the bitter pill we need. Sometimes you need to give your 19-year-old kid an ultimatum. Get a job or start paying rent.

    My answer;
    Protectionism cannot be compared to the 19 year old kid force to get out from parent’s house and be independent. And that’s wrong. I will say, our government is over protectionist about our assets that supposed to be marketed long time ago inorder to help the majority of the population to get a job. For a very long time, we tolerate the 60/40 percent restrictions to the foreign investors. It is like;

    “Choking their neck at the same time pickpocketing their wallet”. Do you think that is fair for them? Of course not!

    P-Noy compared China that doesn’t tolerate the land ownership to the foreign companies. Remember that China doesn’t allow land ownership to both local and foreign investors since Mao. But China is starting to disseminate the land property to farmers. The government was planning( started half decade ago) to try to distribute the lands little by little to the people. But it can’t be happened one at a time. That is one of the long term plans of China. The real estate “land property” in China is stagnant and can’t go into market because it is not owned by people. They wanted to emulate the USA that land property can be marketable.

    They are always adjust the policy to suit the current needs of their economy for free market. As far as I know, China only allow restrictions on banking sectors, they do not allow 100% ownership from foreign investors. Benign0 and PNoy failed to see the perks of free market to allow 100% ownership of the foreign companies. Additionally they failed to see that “China is very very quick in changing their policy to fit-in in the current needs of the economy”.

      1. I agree with Boo Chanco. The whole idea is to stimulate investment, not drive it away. The anachronistic provisions of Article XII are doing just that by creating a system that’s rigged against foreign competition. Who’ll want to invest/trade in that kind of environment?

    1. @Goody Baja: You simply highlight the point I make in the article. Da Pinas has a bad problem: dependency on foreign capital to get ANYTHING done. No foreign capital no jobs. No foreign ownership, land remains idle. No foreign employment, tambay na lang sa kalye. And yet we multiply like roaches as if there is no tomorrow.

      1. The song Bahay Kubo is something DA PINOY should learn from.

        1. You should make productive use of whatever resources you have

        2. You should strive to be self-sufficient.

        Of course, some people are going to take this literally and point out that squatters don’t have land to plant their food in. (And it’s not really about this, but just to take a quick jab at that thought, Barangay Holy Spirit poor folk have turned their roofs in vegetable patches — growing all manner of veggies in pots made from discarded tires, buckets, etcetera.)

        And lookit OFWs who send all of their money home to their families.

        That’s a big mistake.

        What they should do is keep most of the money, invest that money in passive income earning investments, and THEN SEND THE PROFITS.

        1. This is the very thing: people’s personal habits and values are the main factors affecting their lives. There certainly is a danger that FDI could be rendered almost inert or insignificant by poor handling and decisions by Filipinos. It is evident in the article I wrote about poor money habits. Filipinos’ consumerist lifestyles are one of their greatest banes – along with their pride.

          Somehow, I also believe this is what led partly to the crisis in America. Consumerist lifestyles made people borrow against the value of their homes, so when the bubble burst, debts could no longer be paid, liquidity suffered and… hmmm, I’m not a finance expert, but I believe those experts can explain why rampant consumerism can be dangerous.

          Well, I still agree with letting the FDI come in. But when we ‘use other people’s money’ (phrase borrowed from that secret of the rich article), we should learn to use it properly.

        2. Ah, here’s another thought that just occurred: the desire for much FDI may also be a reflection of the MOOCHER mentality of the Filipino. Instead of working to build one’s own capital base, Filipinos seek to depend on dole-outs. This is not a perfect analogy, but the essence is similar. I believe Benign0 said this before.

        3. Noynoy said:

          “He also cited past studies by chambers of commerce showing that poor peace and order, bureaucratic red tape and lack of infrastructure, more than the economic provisions, hinder investments.”

          Let us say that those things above are gone right now by fluke. And investors are happy now because there is now peace and order, and no more corruption in the Philippines. But how can they invest if they are only limited to 60/40. Not all foreign investors want giving 60% of their business to Filipinos whom they know you can never trust these monkeys.

      2. There are a lot of things that needs capital to start with. Therefore, if you need capitalization, it is not important anymore if it is locally sourced or foreign sourced. The problem is there is too little with locally sourced.

  10. Just wanted to clarify some things.

    To start off, BS Aquino’s position is flawed from the outset. Perhaps he was again too lazy to do the proper research or maybe it’s a deliberate attempt at obfuscation.

    The argument holds that “China…grew economically despite a prohibition on foreign ownership of land.

    The president implies that the same situation prevails in the Philippines as in China. That is untrue. The constitution of the People’s Republic of China DOES NOT PREVENT FOREIGN OWNERSHIP NOR RESTRICT FOREIGN INVESTMENT. Article 18 states: “The People’s Republic of China permits foreign enterprises, other foreign economic organizations and individual foreigners to invest in China and to enter into various forms of economic co-operation with Chinese enterprises and other economic organizations in accordance with the law of the People’s Republic of China. All foreign enterprises and other foreign economic organizations in China, as well as joint ventures with Chinese and foreign investment located in China, shall abide by the law of the People’s Republic of China. Their lawful rights and interests are protected by the law of the People’s Republic of China.”

    This is the critical bit: foreign entities are permitted to invest “in accordance with the law of the People’s Republic of China.” All implementing rules and guidelines governing foreign ownership and investments are handled SEPARATE from the constitution by the appropriate agencies and/or laws passed by the National Peoples Congress. Regulatory guidelines which may be amended, modified, replaced or done away with altogether, according to the judgment of state planners and the prevailing economic conditions. As was the case in May 2012, when China raised the cap on foreign ownership in domestic joint venture securities firms from 33 to 49%.

    In contrast, Article XII of the 1987 constitution specifies that NO company in the Philippines shall have less than 60% Filipino ownership. In other words, we have enshrined in the primary law of the land a mechanism that places restrictions on the free market. It ensures a situation that within our borders we will only ever trade with ourselves by barring competition from foreign companies.

    That fundamental difference is the point of contention. When America’s founding fathers wrote the US constitution, they did so with the realization that they could never account for, nor anticipate ALL possible (legal) situations. Nor did they want to. Instead, what they intended was to create the best possible framework which would serve as the basis for the law of the land. Laws which would then be crafted by a legislature composed of elected representatives of the people. The Philippines, on the other hand, formulates policy based on restrictions that limit free market competition from the start built into our constitution.

    The provision has been detrimental to the Philippines’ economic growth. Instead of promoting the development of local industries, Article XII has strengthened the stranglehold of the old monopolies. It has turned away potential investors looking to partner with local companies who see the restriction as Filipinos telling the world to bring the money without giving much assurance that they’ll get it back; technically, it will all be in the local partner’s name. And when there are foreigners willing to invest, you can always be assured that there’s going to be a canny local partner who is willing to use a little graft and corruption to find ways around the rules.

    If we want to get the economy rolling along the right path, that change in the charter can’t come too soon.

    1. IDK/don’t care about charter change but your contention bout “America’s ‘Founding Father’s'” and their desire to create “the best framework to serve as the law of the land and then be crafted by the legislature composed of elected representatives of the people”, is way off!
      The way the whole U.S. gov’t. was originally set-up was to protect the wealthy land owners of the South and the industrialists of the North, that is RICH, WHITE MEN.
      The illusion of a gov’t. run by ‘elected representatives of the people’ is just that,an illusion.
      Woman had no rights until the 20th century, slavery was around(some still think it still there!) until 1865, Jim Crowe etc, etc, etc. So if what you mean by ‘elected representatives of the people’ means Representatives of RICH WHITE Southern Landowner’s/Northern Industrialists Men, then you are correct. BUT you did not mean that, did ya?
      UH UH UH UH UH, did ya?

      1. “Thou hath not so much brain as ear wax.”

        Gerry’s unparalleled stupidity, his tendency to believe anything that bolsters his conviction that there is a grand conspiracy to keep him poor and his unreasonable loathing towards what he considers the “elite” is astounding.

        His comment reveals that he has never bothered to read the US constitution. Article 6, clause 2 states “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”

        Translation: The US constitution was crafted purposely to serve as the foundation of their system of governance. Whatever laws were passed AFTER the constitution was adopted are the product of the INDIVIDUAL states, NOT a national/universal prescription.

        Now comes the childish tantrum — listen to Gerry rant about how the US CONSTITUTION is a LYING SHAM and the petulant personal attacks against anyone who expresses views contrary to his opinion.

        1. Wrong again, as you always are when it comes to thinking you know anything about me!OR THE U.S.A.OR just about anything else!
          A poor MAN? NO, not by a long shot.
          The framers of the Constitution wanted to keep what they fought so hard for and it certainly is no accident that black people could not vote, nor woman either until sweeping reforms were ushered in a century after the country was formed and not a single ‘founding father’ was still alive.Then again a century later w/the civil rights act of 1964. You are the clueless one and your insults prove it, Ya got nothing D.B., including ZERO understanding about what is going on outside of the Fils..Shit, you don’t even understand what a charade is being run on the people in your own country (if you are actually a Filipino)and yet you pretend to be informed about the U.S.A. a country you probably have never even visited.
          “A People’s History of the U.S.A.’ by Howard Zinn MIGHT be a good place for you to start reading up on what actually happened in the U.S.A. almost 250 yrs. ago rather than always relying in “Wiki”-this or ABS-CF-them and FOX news to give you your oh-so dumb-as-they-come opinions on what YOU are so clueless about. and before I forget….JACK-A$$$!
          I C I am not the only one that you and your idiotic buddy Liberty-ASS insult when you are shown to be the non-authorities you two non-entities obviously are! Stick to bashing the malacanang knuckle-head trolls to win your moronic arguments, coz you can’t touch ME. and IF I need a shoe-shine….looky here BOY!!

        2. WARNING: Please watch your step. Someone forgot to clean up after their dog and left GERRY all over the sidewalk.

          So now its about slavery? The subject of the article was the debate on charter change to effect economic liberalization. However, this pile of ordure — Gerry — now decides to rant about a topic completely extraneous to the matter at hand in a misguided attempt to prove how limited his knowledge is. As usual there are the lies to make history conform to his twisted picture of the world and the gratuitous profanity to puff up his microscopic ego.

          “The framers of the Constitution wanted to keep what they fought so hard for and it certainly is no accident that black people could not vote…”

          What this has to do with economic liberalization in the Philippines is beyond me. In any case it is INCORRECT. Only 3 of the 7 founding fathers were slave owners.

          There were 7 founding fathers of the US Constitution: Franklin, Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Jay, Madison, and Hamilton. 3 were slave owners (Washington, Jefferson, and Madison all from Virginia). 3 were not (Adams, Jay, and Hamilton) In fact they were adamantly against slavery. Benjamin Franklin became an abolitionist after the Constitutional Convention in 1785 and freed both his slaves.

          In his book, Battle Cry of Freedom, James McPherson summarizes Abraham Lincoln’s argument that the Founders put slavery on the path to ultimate extinction:

          “The founding fathers, said Lincoln, had opposed slavery. They adopted a Declaration of Independence that pronounced all men created equal. They enacted the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 banning slavery from the vast Northwest Territory. To be sure, many of the founders owned slaves. But they asserted their hostility to slavery in principle while tolerating it temporarily (as they hoped) in practice. That was why they did not mention the words ‘slave’ or ‘slavery’ in the Constitution, but referred only to ‘persons held to service.’ ‘Thus, the thing is hid away, in the constitution,’ said Lincoln, ‘just as an afflicted man hides away a wen or a cancer, which he dares not cut out at once, lest he bleed to death; with the promise, nevertheless, that the cutting may begin at the end of a given time.’ The first step was to prevent the spread of this cancer, which the fathers took with the Northwest Ordinance, the prohibition of the African slave trade in 1807, and the Missouri Compromise restriction of 1820. The second was to begin a process of gradual emancipation, which the generation of the fathers had accomplished in the states north of Maryland.”

          In Lincoln’s 1860 Cooper Union speech, he noted that of the 39 framers of the Constitution, 22 had voted on the question of banning slavery in the new territories. 20 of the 22 voted to ban it, while another one of the Constitution’s framers — George Washington — signed into law legislation enforcing the Northwest Ordinance that banned slavery in the Northwest Territories. At Cooper Union, Lincoln also quoted Thomas Jefferson, who had argued in favor of Virginia emancipation: “It is still in our power to direct the process of emancipation, and deportation, peaceably, and in such slow degrees, as that the evil will wear off insensibly….”

          The founding fathers were definitely ANTI-SLAVERY. Quite the opposite of what the ordure Gerry claims.

        3. The predilection shown by the pile of ordure calling itself Gerry for radical, even anarchist writings explains why it resorts to name calling, petulant tantrums and recitations of irrelevant factoids when someone challenges its position.

          Case in point — Howard Zinn. As a historian his work is utter hogwash. Zinn himself admits he cared less for historical analysis than political opinion. He assessed a work of history by its author’s partisan loyalties, not its arguments about causation, influence, motivation, significance, or experience. Zinn takes the position that objectivity and empirical responsibility do not matter, and makes the dubious leap to the notion that a historian need only lay his ideological cards on the table and tell whatever history he chooses.

          “A People’s History” eschews the historian’s obligation to explore the viewpoints of elite actors, however unattractive, not to parcel out sympathy in proper proportions, but to show, in a faithful account of the past, the interconnected-ness of the rulers and ruled, and of all strata of society, and how one group’s experiences influence another’s. It wasn’t “balanced;” its a sermon detailing Zinn’s biased belief that “history” really just serves as a tool for shoring up the power of established elites and put down stirrings of protest.

          I will say though that Zinn contributed to the study of history by offering new perspectives and proposing previously unconsidered arguments. The point of views of the American Indians and slaves to name two. What is more troubling is the effect Zinn has had on modern scholarship. He created massive confusion by mingling political agenda with historical fact and declaring it dogma. Today we see that confusion taking the form of propagandist screeds like Oliver Stone and Michael Moore who persist in the ludicrous notions about a conspiracy regarding America’s “evil.” And even pathetic dilettantes such as the Gerry pile whose vocabulary doesn’t reach further than douche-bag and jackass.

      2. Here’s another bit Gerry will never mention because it doesn’t fit with his selective view of history: The FIRST TRUE SLAVE OWNER: that is, the FIRST to hold a BLACK AFRICAN SERVANT AS A SLAVE in the mainland American colonies was A BLACK AFRICAN MAN.

        Anthony Johnson was an Angolan held as an indentured servant by a merchant in the Colony of Virginia in 1620, but later freed to become a successful tobacco farmer and property owner. By July 1651 Johnson had five indentured servants and owned some 100 hectares of land. A court case was brought against Johnson in 1654 which contested the freedom of a servant, John Casor. Johnson won the suit and retained Casor as his servant/slave for life. The case made Casor the first true slave in the continental United States.

    2. HA, you and that JACK@$$ liberty-ass always come off as if you know it all and I’ve been sitting back waiting for one of you to stick your foot in your mouth and IT DID NOT TAKE LONG! Always patting each other on the back, AS IF…WELL,LMAO at both of you!
      IDK who is a bigger laugh, YOU, thinking you comprehend what the framers of the U.S. constitution set out to do, or him with his “I’ve been thinking about funding a two year study”, OH YEAH! SURE YOU ARE AHAHAHAHAH!!!
      at any rate, YOU BOTH MAKE ME LAUGH!!!!
      SO NOW WHAT? gonna come back with some of your patented not-so-witty insults? HUH?
      Neither of you has a clue. I’d give you both $100 but you wouldn’t know where to buy one. If you think you live in a Democracy, OR that changing the constitution is going to change anything, AAAAAHAHAHAHAH!!! the jokes on you!

      1. Ah, the class dunce is back.
        Always wanting to vent personal anger and envy in the absence of any relevant thought or meaningful contribution.
        Some of us are rich and successful through hard work. Try it sometime.

        1. What an obnoxious and envious twat.
          Self evident why he has a chip on his shoulder, and an attitude which keeps him at the bottom of the heap – whatever the system.

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