The First World can’t help the Third World because they don’t understand Third World poverty

Q: What do the conflicts in the Middle East, pestilence in Africa, and chronic poverty in the Philippines have in common? A: The West’s insistence that it can “help” the Third World. How many more times will the West’s intervention in the Third World end in disaster? Many more times — because the First World presumes to “help” the Third World on the basis of a flawed understanding of the nature of Third World poverty.

At the heart of the manner with which the West misunderstands Third World poverty is our simple definition of poverty:

Poverty is a habitual entering into commitments one is inherently incapable of honouring.

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In the context of the above definition, the fundamental root issue that underpins Third World poverty is population. Increasing one’s population involves a commitment to the people who constitute said population — one entered into not just by a country’s government, but by the very people who are members of said population itself.


What fuels population growth? Originally it was the luck of the draw. Back in the old days, communities that are lucky enough to find themselves in places where food is abundant grew big. Others were not that lucky. Left to her devices Mother Nature has a lot to do with population levels. In a lot of cases, she will keep it in check. In human societies, natural selection will then work to shape genes and culture to adapt to whatever Nature brings on.

Human population skyrocketed when humans figured out how to exempt themselves from Mother Nature’s fury. The dawn of technology enabled people to eat when they want, where they want. The key metric that describes the value of technological development is energy capture — specifically how much energy is available per capita to consume. In rich societies, energy is so abundant that it allows people to use it for lots of activities that are non-essential to basic survival. In poor societies, energy is enough only to keep a body functional enough to produce the energy it needs to live.

So in First World countries, there are many times more kilojoules available to the average person for every kilojoule he expends in his daily activities. In the Third World, there is a lot less — which is why poor people don’t have the time nor resources to do much of anything beyond scrounging around for their next meal.

Why then did the populations of Third World countries balloon to their enormous sizes today? Two words: foreign technology.

Much of what enables countries like, say, the Philippines to sustain their enormous populations is underpinned by foreign technology. Agricultural, economic, financial, and health technologies are at work helping the people of the Third World multiply and keep their offspring alive to sexual maturity (thus ensuring that population growth is sustained).

The offspring of people who lack these modern technologies are characterised by a high infant mortality rate — because lack of food and the impact on health this lack brings will kill most children before they reach reproductive age. So in pre-technological societies, population is kept in equilibrium with those societies’ inherent ability to capture energy.

The populations of “modern” Third World countries are not in natural equilibrium with their inherent energy capture capability. Foreign technology is an artificially-introduced variable in the resource management equations of such societies. Third World countries are entirely dependent on foreign technology to boost their energy capture capabilities to “modern” levels. In the Philippines, for example, the very research facility that developed farming technologies to increase the yield of the national staple — rice — is owned and managed by a foreign organisation. The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) has been operating in the Philippines since 1960 and is credited with developing much of the high-yield rice crop varieties that are now cultivated by major rice producers around the world.

Still, the Philippines remains a net rice importer. Its population has grown to a size that utterly dwarfs its inherent and its foreign-credited ability to produce rice combined. Indeed, even with the IRRI planted well within its shores, the Philippines still had not learned to produce enough rice for itself!

What sorts of help do the West have to offer impoverished countries like the Philippines to rescue them from their poverty? You guessed it: more foreign technology.

The same problem besets the Philippines’ ability to generate enough electricity for itself. The Philippines relies on externally-supplied power generation facilities and fuel. Because its domestic currency (a rough reflection of its domestic production prowess) is weak vis-a-vis world-standard currencies, it will likely forever struggle to keep its citizens electricity-happy. An electricity-enabled lifestyle, suffice to say, remains an alien lifestyle in the Philippines. And those who enjoy it to the fullest are really a small elite dependent on something not inherent to their society. Until the Philippines can produce its own fuel and power generation technology and facilities, it is at the mercy of foreign markets and even its most elite citizens at high risk of catastrophic lifestyle failure.

Trying to solve a problem created by foreign technology using more foreign technology is like trying to pay off debt by borrowing more money. It’s a fool’s way of life.

Albert Einstein once said:

You cannot solve a problem using the same thinking that created it.

Foreign capital (of which “technology” as we define it is one form) will not cure the poverty of societies that remain inherently unable to embrace, absorb, and embed, foreign capital to productive (as opposed to consumerist) ends. Living within one’s means involves aspiring to a living standard commensurate with one’s inherent ability to produce economically valuable stuff to sustain that living. The Philippines, like many Third World countries aspire to live to a standard way beyond that inherent ability. And that is why the Third World remains poor despite the First World’s “best efforts”.

48 Replies to “The First World can’t help the Third World because they don’t understand Third World poverty”

  1. While the population situation described above is true now, I’m quite sure this wasn’t the case before. Even with a substantial agricultural base during those times, our economy was booming during the 60’s and 70’s. We were even able to export rice during the 1980’s! All these were from the reconstruction efforts using technology and capital that had to be imported during the 1940’s, since most internal capital was destroyed during the war.

    This is why I can’t fully accept the contention that “an electricity-enabled lifestyle… remains an alien lifestyle in the Philippines”. The fundamental question, energy capture is true. However, ongoing debates have discussed the idea that access to electricity is a human right. If this were the case, the contention is moot.

    1. Access to electricity is not a human right. If it were, then we wouldn’t need to pay for it, do we? That’s sort of up there with the notion that Internet access is one as well. You wonder about who creates these concepts. There are lots of people around the world who lead pretty decent lives without electricity and the Internet. If that weren’t true, then nobody would be camping for fun today. The notion that access to these non-essentials are “human rights” was created by people who are incentivised on Web ad space, smartphone and electrical appliance sales figures.

      The only reason we need access to electricity and the energy-dense fuels that generate it is because we belong to a society that affords us — even encourages us — the luxury of losing our individual ability to kill or grow our own food. Our kind would die without electricity and the sort of economy that electricity enables. But to call access to electricity or the Internet a “human right” disrespects communities that managed to persist on a basic subsistence (read “sustainable”) economy and old-fashioned ways of human existence that is in perfect equilibrium with nature.

      1. Yes, there are communities that can fulfill their individual and social needs without the use of electricity. Un(?)fortunately, we aren’t one of those. Moreover, we can’t put the technological genie back into the bottle; once technology is discovered, it remains available for use. We can’t put the population genie back with regards to those already born, either. If using more “foreign” technology is not favorable as a solution, what do we do? Should we then limit access to said technology until our population returns to sustainable levels?

      2. @Gustaf: Indeed, we cannot undo. But recognising what we had done helps. Reflecting on what it is that we are good at goes a long way towards developing the right development strategy. Getting a reality check on the unsustainability of our population growth alone was a decades-long exercise. So though there are a lot of obvious solutions to the Philippines’ problems, the issue seems to be a rather baffling aversion to said obvious solutions.

        For example, recent history has largely discredited the notion that Filipinos can compete in a free market. “Globalisation” has actually resulted more in a flooding of the Philippine economy with imports and there is hardly any evidence that local industry is in any shape to compete with foreign goods and services. So rather than stimulate competition, globalisation’s effect on the Philippines was more of an atrophy in domestic industry. What does that say about Filipinos? Perhaps that Filipinos are simply not one of those people who collectively possess a natural knack for industry at world-class scales and levels of quality and efficiency. Coming to terms with that reality should shape development strategy.

        So if we cannot undo, what do we do? Limit our exposure to those liabilities that are causing our poverty — population, debt, and consumption. It’s easy to get into debt but 10 times harder to get out of it. And that is the reality the Philippines faces. It will take 10 years to pay for each year’s worth of liabilities accumulated.

  2. ….Not clear to me what you are exactly advancing here. You can’t rollback technology. As soon as some humans thought of wheels and levers, any human would have been foolish not to use them after that. Of course it is more complicated than that now, but the basic premise should be that technology is there to serve humans and not humans serving technology. When one buys the most expensive smartphone beyond one’s means, that is a human trying to be a slave to technology, although that may be more reflective of one’s mentality and twisted priority (and I think this is what you are trying to say). Thus, we are going back to the premise that Third World problems may actually have something to do more with mentality and priorities (esp with allocation of scarce resources), and not with technology per se.

    What is frustrating with PHL is not the intent, most have the best of intentions, but the propensity of many to understimate, or even to ignore, the mentality that has caused an event or action. Many just don’t dig enough to look at the paradigm, or the principle and philosophy that ungirds a mentality, or a meme. (Just listen intently to local media, some of our legislators, and particularly PNoy and Binay, and you know what I mean). Everything seems to be about personalities, mainly about biases and sentiments re personalities. Pinoys don’t have time for philosophical discussions and for brainstorming ideas, things almost non existent in public discourses — reason why a good part of the population can’t discern whether a politician, or any one, is bullshiting or is serious. “They are not open to any possibility that an ‘enemy’ may actually have the better idea.” However, just looking at a thing, and ignoring the mentality behind that thing, is like building a house without an architectural plan.

    Going back to technology, it is therefore about knowing how best it serves a need. And, it is not about serving the needs of vested interests. Yet, vested interests seem to be the driving force behind every priority that PHL has set for itself. The EPIRA law at the start of Gloria’s term is good example. Our understanding now is that said law was specifically worded to fit to what an Argentinian potential investor in energy wanted. This is no different from the emergency power being now asked by PNoy which they are claiming could be used to solve energy short supply next year. But as Congress is finding out, it may just be an emergency power to allow them to purchase from an Australian provider with out public bidding (the mentality of these people in govt is ……aaarrggghh). Experts tell us now that the EPIRA law among others is one reason why PHL has the most expensive energy cost in Asia. (And, we are not even talking about the information highway from Appari to Jolo that Gloria was pushing with all her heart and might…..well, as NBN-ZTE hearings did imply, Gloria has received incredible amounts of cash advances from ZTE)

    No, we cannot open a debate where technology seems to a culprit. That would open an endless one as that related to gunless societies — which is the problem, men with guns or the gun itself? PHL could always go towards nuclear energy if it wants to, or jump towards the high tech renewables to which Germany seems decided to pursue. Based on their priority plans, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand are headed towards nuclear power — when those materialize, talagang good-bye PHL na. Today, China has 21 nuclear plants, with additional 28 under construction (uc); Japan, 48 +2uc, Pakistan, 3+4uc, India, 21 +6uc, SKorea, 23 +4uc, and Taiwan, 6 +2uc. Except for Japan, up to late 1980, everyone on the list was a Third World; then all advanced, except Pakistan. That should tell us something — problem has something more to do with cultural mentality. PHL could have been among the first in nuclear technology (recall there were about 18 Pinoy nuclear physicists and about to be in grad schools in US in the 80s probably ready to come back), but Cory’s hate for anything Marcos and the ignorance of populace re nuclear tech, plus prevalent corruption in NPC then, has led us to a different direction. Today, we are dependent on coal and oil, the most expensive fuels, not because cheaper ones are not available, but because we are stupid.

    When did PHL become stupid? When it decided to make English and Spanish as just electives in schools. It cut off a good part of the population from knowledge. Important books, literatures, technical write ups, etc are definitely not in Pilipino. The bridge to knowlege used to be a steel bridge, now it is a bamboo that shakes everytime the wind blows. Look at Singapore and Malaysia, they didn’t try to erase fact they were a British colony at one point. They embraced that, unlike Filipinos who are trying to forget its Spanish and American past. Today, there is News Asia competing with the likes of CNN, BBC, etc. You may laugh at the diction, accent there, lah… but you cannot deny there is now an English, called Singlish, and people around the world just have to take it for what it is. Don’t tell me about nationalism, because the move of PHlL towards no english was spawned out of a twisted mentality and by vested interests. For one, they hated the “bourgeois” set being produced by Ateneo, LaSalle, and other private schools. How can you make a far reaching policy based on hatred of something or of someone, though the Left will never admit this. So instead of upgrading all schools to catch up or compete at Ateneo’s level,…..well, take the easy way out, and just bring down the standards of all. Today, we have dumbed down teachers all over the land. It is not about technology, friends; we are our own enemies.

    1. Sooory, several typo…. ungirds should read undergirds to a culprit, shoukd read to be a culprit

      There are others, i think. If there are others, appreciate you telling me. Just hope I got some msg accross.

      Anyway, thanks Benigno for this space in your site. Addy

    2. I think the language assertion was beside the point. There really isn’t any set point as to when a people “became stupid”, much like there isn’t a set point as to when a people “becomes poor”. These are dynamic processes, much like progress.

      benign0’s article discusses poverty using a lens more fundamental than the conventional narratives about poverty, like lack of economic trickle-down, political idiocy, or culture. That’s why I asked for a clarification, which he gave during his replies. It’s not that the Filipino chooses wrong in terms of technology, but that the presence of technology gives the Filipino the illusion that he can live beyond his means.

      Let’s take agriculture, for example. We are somewhat like Japan – an island archipelago with lots of mountains and natural disasters. This geography necessarily constricts the amount of food we can produce, and forces domestically produced food to be expensive. However, for some weird reason, we grew to a nation of 100 million people. How were we able to feed all those 100 million (give or take 20 million OFWs)? Foreign technology – big irrigation projects, food importation, factory-based food processing. We did innovate in terms of food production, like the rice terraces scattered throughout the country. But those domestic innovations cannot support 100 million people, and so we turned to technology importation. Now, is this a sustainable situation? benign0’s answer is NO, and I agree with him on that.

      1. Bingo. This is spot on:

        It’s not that the Filipino chooses wrong in terms of technology, but that the presence of technology gives the Filipino the illusion that he can live beyond his means.

        The equivalent of easy credit.

    3. @Add: I’m not really saying that technology is the problem. I’m saying that the Philippines’ ability to develop and apply technology has long been recognised to be very limited and, as such, our commitment to lifestyle levels and population should have been commensurate to that indigenous ability.

      Obviously technology is good. It’s just that Filipinos lack an ability to create and use it. So like the proverbial less-talented or less-able person, they shouldn’t really be buying that Mercedes Benz. So yes indeed, you are spot on, for example, when you observed that the Philippines ‘became stupid’ when it junked Spanish and English as primary languages of instruction. Turns out pride in a “national language” as a medium of instruction was something Filipinos actually couldn’t afford. That notion is premised on the Filipino possessing an indigenous knowledgebase of info and skills vital for success in a modern world. Unfortunately all that had to be learned from foreign texts all of which, of course, is written in English and other languages native to societies with deep and extensive achievement in science and economics.

      So recognising those facts about the national character, the next step would be formulating the right development approach and path.

      1. Thanks, Benigno & Gustaf….. Yes, I get it We are discussing about ….”a lens more fundamental than the coventional narratives about poverty”……
        ….about….”the illusion that a Filipino can live beyond his means because of the presence of technology”…..

        ….and “knowing the facts about national character, the next step would be formulating the right development approach and path.”

        On the premise that Benigno has advanced, I guess I will have to agree with his conclusion as well. But if I may, I look at a country from a simple lens. I would like to think of it as a group of 10 boy scouts on a hike. It is good if all 10 are lean, they have all the choice of routes and speed by which they could arrive at their destination. The problem is when there is one scout who is somewhat obese. This one individual would slow down the hike, and the group may have to choose flat terrains as the route. Now, if that were a manufacturing process, all attention would naturally be towards that one obese since he is the “bottleneck” constricting the process flow.

        Problem with PHL is that we may have three critically obese plus an additional three more who may not be that obese, but are also no lean. There are only four who are lean and mean. Well, we have the following choices: (a) just dump the three critically obese ones (population control)… but wouldn’t that remove the fun when it is being advertised that it is more fun in PHL? (hahaha)….( b) introduce technology, by putting the obese in a stretcher, or by allowing them to bring their bikes or motorcycles, but then it would no longer can hike, … (c) just forget about the hike …(d) other options.????

        Ahh, maybe we are talking same thing…. hehehe, I don’t know, maybe, my lens is more hazy.

        Before I go, however, could I make a ‘pahaging’ on the Conditional Cash Transfer of DSWD. There is something fundamentally correct about it It is directly addressing the “obese” or the “bottleneck” problem……. However, I think the program is a corruption galore. My part time housemaid, who has managed to enroll in the program is only receiving per month Php1000 cash, when she has lately noticed that she has been signing vouchers that says she is supposed to have been receiving Php3500. She is being told now that barrangay fee..this fee and that fee, etc has to be deducted. My ‘kasambahay’ refuses to complain afraid that she might lose even the miserable P1000…….. ay naku, how can we really help the “obese” in the population!!

  3. You got this half right. Our ability to adapt to technology is individual based due to us being a market economy. There a lot of self made people at least middle class who were in poverty a decade or so ago. Filipinos do not have equal productivity. If you look the least most productive, these are tambays, just like our unemployed wherein half of them don’t even try to look for a job. Poverty if you look it objectively is a self inflicted individual problem. No amount of help from the government if the individual is lazy, or unproductive, uneducated, or commits lifestyle inflation. This points to the root cause of the problem which are personal management and financial management by each individual.

    Expensive electricity locally is a matter of market speculation. We are not anymore a command and control economy wherin power is generated by the government. power producers will only produce enough electricity to earn profit. They won’t overproduce since they won’t make any money by overflowing the supply of electricity.

    1. I would disagree with poverty as a self-inflicted individual problem with individuals. There are cases like a person getting sick, not of their own fault, and needing to stop work, despite their life depending on their salary from work. Sometimes, these individual cases do need help.

      However, “self-inflicted” perspective better applies to Philippine society as a whole. This society, since after World War 2, has depended on dole-outs. For example, the US aid is what made us the top nation in Southeast Asia. So when people “reminisce” that we were supposed to be the “top in Asia” back then, they should recall this fact of US aid. And after this, with US aid depleted, the country can’t seem to move on its own and develop itself, even if it should.

      Part of the problem is what Benign0 is hitting, which could partly be described as consumerism. For example, most workers in the BPO industry would splurge their money on the latest items, like the latest iPad model, branded clothes, etc., instead of properly investing or having businesses, which defeat the purpose of having a high salary. So people end up still poor. In a sense, you might partly blame the first world for it, since this behavior is more associated with the First World. In other words, the Third world should drop the consumerist habits of the First World, but should take the positive things that made the First World first. Problem is, the Third World is likely doing it the reverse way.

      1. What you describe are very small cases. There aren’t millions of Filipinos who stop working because they are sick. There are millions of tambays though. We are in denial that there are a lot of lazy and unproductive people in the Philippines.

        If you read what I wrote, spending beyond your means, that is lifestyle inflation.

        1. What means, the population is lucky to make $5/per day and no one can live in any type of decent way on that amount of daily stipend. Do not blame the First World, blame the poverty wages that employers are forced to pay employee’s due to the fact that the electricity rates are 3 X’ the rates in nearby Bangkok,Thailand. 300% higher electricity rates are making elites wealthy and stagnating what could be a lucrative textile manufacturing base, but with the costs in electricity alone, some talented seamstress’s that I know personally are unable to hire extra people in order to become the next ‘brand’ name in the West,ala Vera Wang. No, they are unable to do it, not because of the First World is unable to understand the Filipino 3rd world poverty……whatta bunch of shit that is.

    2. I really don’t see how one can separate external conditions and personal decisions as causes of poverty. Especially when it concerns lack or incompatibility of education.

      1. We go back again to the individual and their family. Did their parents work hard enough to make their child graduate? Did the individual choose the right course, learned from school, finish school? Try to find work, pass the qualifications and Better than their peers to get a job.

        You would be surprise there are Filipinos who make their children stop to go school rather than work harder so that their children won’t have to work.

        1. Given the fact that once a Filipino is past the age of 30, no one wants to hire him/her and the Filipino enetering what is the most productive part of a Westerner’s working life….is forced to drive a cab that runs on the most expensive gasoline in S.E.Asis ,again, due tothe excessive tax levied on the petroleum products in the country. The gov’t. is also corrupt as the day is long and way overdue for a massive violent revolt.

        2. I would be surprised if just working harder for the same pay would pay for household expenses, tuition, miscellaneous stuff to make life livable and not a hell in Spartan settings, etc.

          But it would surprise me even more if the outrageous cost of living here in this country (or at least Metro Manila) didn’t contribute to the pervasive poverty, though that is probably a chicken-or-egg matter.

  4. The First World cannot understand the Third world countries, because mainly on their different mindsets and cultures.

    Third World countries were mostly colonized. They were subject to all kinds of indignities by their foreign colonizers.

    When the cololizers were gone; the Elite families of the Natives, were left to rule over most of them.

    Take the Feudal Oligarch case. This class was installed by our former colonizer: Spain. When Americans came, as our colonizer. They did not remove these Feudal Oligarchs. They just sugarcoated them as our rulers, in some kind of Sham elections, including HOCUS PCOS. They called this: Democracy.

    It is up to the Filipino people, to change themselves. Renew their mindsets; and learn from their mistakes.

    No amount of Financial Foreign Aids can change our country. These foriegn Aids will just be wasted or pocketed by our corrupt Politicians.

    Remove what is not working in our culture/in ourselves. Renew our mindsets. And, we must have :SELF DIGNITIES. That pandering mindset/attitude will never get us anywhere. We will remain stagmant, with it. Addicted to foreign aids…

    There are Filipinos who accomplished and excelled in various fields of endevour in foreign countries; including the fields of: Medicine, Science and Technolology. If these people can do it. Why can’t some of us?

    1. Technology serves mankind; not mankind serves technology…the reason, we are not self-sufficient in power/electricity is; our leaders lacked the comprehensive plans to sustain enough power/electricity for the future.

      They even want to have the country in power/electricity shortage. So that; they and their cahoots can sell more electric generators and gasoline. Greed in the worst sense. Like the greed of land of the Aquinos/Cojuangcos on Hacienda Luisita…

      It is some kind of a cruel Joke; that a country with the International Rice Research Institute, is importing tons and tons of rice. While,the Vietnamese, Thailanders, etc…come to this Research Institute; learn about growing more rice…then, export rice to the Philippines…how much of idiots can our Leaders get?

      We look to foreign countries, to solve our technology problems…it is because most of the Best and the Brightest Filipinos have already migrated to foreign countries….the only one left are most of those YellowTards or “Istambays, and some thieving politicians…”

      1. I thinks there is gap along race lines. Most of the Filipino professionals here in New York look Chinese variant to me. However people in the Philippines look dark native Malay. Before my first trip to the Philippines I was part of the Filipino community here and I had the false illusion that Filipinos here are the same race as most Filipinos back in the Philippines. Boy was I wrong. Your “dark naive” people are way behind and are a very different or separate group the way I see it. I also visited an Aeta town to educate myself. They are your “Native American Indians”. I just see a huge gap along the race lines in the Philippines.

        1. Filipinos are mostly crossbreeds of different races. The Spaniards came, and crossbreeded the natives. The Chinese came as merchants and intermarried with the natives. Some people of India also settled here.

          The aborigines are the “Aeta”…then, the Malays came.

          So, we are some sort of everything. Poverty is always in any country. But, it is worst here, because our leaders have no comprehensive plans to fight poverty; create more jobs. Population explosion is caused by religion; fighting against birth control…

      2. Sorry rice production has nothing to with poverty. It has more something to do with Carp and land reform. Due to Carp and land reform, rice self sufficiency isn’t achievable. Having equal land does not equate equal productivity nor equal wealth. not only that, because businessa/land owners are discourage to invest in agriculture to the limitations of land reform and limitations on How to deal with tenants, you end up with unproductive farmers given land by DAR who farm the same way since spanish colonial times.

        1. Land Reform is a must to our country. A feudal country will never progress.
          Most of our leaders are Feudal Lords; they have hundreds of tenants.

          if you are a tenant/serf, you will never get out of poverty. Our case is like before the Russian revolution. The Russian serfs were living in abject poverty. While the Czar and the Russian Aristocrats were living in excessive wealth.

    2. at first I thought you were blaming the West, and that is BS. The Filipino is eating its young and the young are content with screwing their brains out to produce more food for the elites.

      The countries problems are vast, and most can not even agree on where the poverty comes from and thus articles like this, in its authoritative narrative on the subject matter and its causation, serves to further misunderstand the problems…BUT SO FUCKIN WHAT? SOLUTIONS ANYONE ?

  5. History has proven again and again that whenever “First World countries” interferes with “Third World countries”, no matter how well intentioned that interference may be, the results are invariably disastrous.

  6. Create local solutions for local problems and forget about First World pretensions. What’s going on in Singapore or Malaysia may not be palatable to Western countries, but can we deny the fact that their people as a whole live better?

  7. This article FAILS to look at what is really happening in the FAIL-IPPINES….the causes of the poverty are not as the author states, at least not MOST of it. The majority of the problems are based on the massive population explosion, the failure of the family unit and rampant energy speculation that is producing the world’s most expensive electricity rates ala the ENRON scandal in the USA.Filipino’s trying to start manufacturing business’s in order to compete in the lucrative textile markets are unable to do so, not because the First World doesn’t understand the Filipino style poverty BUT ,rather, THE FILIPINO UNDERSTANDS how to speculate in the energy markets that the Filipino elite have copied from the Western style of scumabgerry, see ENRON scandal for more of an explanation.
    The failure of the family unit, due to whatever reason, is producing more single family households with 3rd world configurations, multiple Fathers in multiple child families where no farm exists to warrant such a ‘crop producing’ family, the cycle of poverty is amplified ,not reduced…and these are two reasons why the poverty is being ascerbated in the Fail-ippines. It has nothing to do with the West ,or First World, not understanding 3rd World poverty and evrything to do with Filipino leaders understanding the speculative machinations of the energy markets (Elites are laughing at the way Filipino’s are paying these electricity rates,the highest in .the world,LMAO !).

    As usual the Filipino,or FLIP for ‘flipping the script’, writing this article is willing to blame the First World for the problems that the Third World creates for itself.

    1. All countries started equal in the beginning their was no 1st world or 3rd world. Some sort their shit out and become 1st world. Others just keep making the same mistakes decade in decade out going around in circles and never progress.
      Very few 3rd world countries ever cross the bridge and become 1st world.

      1. Indeed…

        Very few 3rd world countries ever cross the bridge and become 1st world.

        The notion that all countries are destined for or even entitled to 1st World affluence is as stupid as the notion that all people are destined or entitled to be as rich as Bill Gates.

        1. Did i say all countries are destined to become first world?

          Maybe you should actually read and understand what i wrote YOU STUPID CUNT

    2. Actually, if you analyze the conventional narratives of poverty so mentioned in your reply, you will arrive at the same conclusion as the article. The question why there is a population explosion was already answered in the article.

      Energy speculation may be a factor in high energy prices (cf PSALM), but I have to beg the question: who the hell would want to build energy plants in a country that is geologically, meteorologically, and regulatorily unstable in the first place? These three factors, along with high consumption given the Filipino’s propensity to believe in the illusion that he can afford the lifestyle enabled by lots of electricity, contribute to high energy prices even without speculating.

      benign0’s article did not imply that the poverty of developing countries is caused by the failure of developed countries to understand said poverty.

      The idea that fathers are producing multiple children without adequate support is an example illustrating benign0’s definition of poverty as inability to honor one’s commitments.

      1. A grossly simplistic way to look at that is: as far as I know, Japan doesn’t have any issues with energy security despite being in the same geological and meteorological straits as us. So what’s the difference? Lack of R&D investment for Philippine-specific energy solutions, reasonable (and reasonably unsullied) energy regulations (not to mention a culture that permits and encourages the practice of those regulations), and of course our ballooming population, which after all puts a strain on our existing energy resources by raw numbers alone.

        1. Population growth or population shouldn’t be the issue. Malthus theory has never been proven a fact. We have almost the same land area as Japan and more natural resources. However, their people are more productive than filipinos.

          Most importantly you cannot control R&d of private energy companies in the philippines. If you are so eager, start your own R&d company or energy company or ask the congress to increase funding to dost. With regards to our R&d both private and public, philippines spend less than 0.1% of our gdp for it. More advanced countries spend1-4% of their economy in R&d both public and private sectors. So if you put our r&d to 1% of our gdp, dost should have 3b usd or around 130b php budget per year instead of the 250m usd or 12b php per year.

  8. If I must be a contrarian to a contrary blog, I’ll say that while your definition of poverty may well define the plight of some of the millions of poor Pinoy families, it is not the only one that exists, nor can it be presumed to cover all cases.

  9. “Filipinos are mostly crossbreeds of different races”. Yes but they are sharply divided along the race lines in wealth distribution. Is it realistic to say that the the ruling Chinese cast who also holds power is also responsible for the sate of this country? They should reform themselves, right?

      1. Who are the decision makers in the Philippines and who are the privileged? The Chinese! Bingo! I keep hearing about white privilege in the USA. The same condition exist in the Philippines and it should be called yellow privilege. They are the ones who have the power not the Aeta and the the poor masses. You could beat up your fellow Filipinos for being uneducated and not able to vote intelligently however they will not be able to do it on their own. Your Chinese leaders have to do it themselves or it will be the same forever.

        1. Decision makers are the present leaders. Our government is a: Feudal Oligarchy. We had been a colony of the United States, for fifty (50) years.
          U.S. has a lot of influence on Philippine politics, up to now.

          It seems they cannot let go of their former colony…we receive massive financial aids from U.S., annually; which are mostly stolen by our political leaders…we look for U.S., for our defense….

  10. Haven’t you noticed that Third World countries are more populated than First World countries? The problem with Third World countries are overpopulation (India, Philippines) while First World countries are underpopulated (Japan, Sweden, Germany). Why is that? How come people First World countries have a declining population?

    By the way, Philippines will remain a Third World country because of PINOY PRIDE and they can’t take constructive criticisms.

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