It’s Labour Day again and that time of the year when the familiar background din of poverty porn and rhetoric around the “victimisation” of workers is put front-and-centre and amplified to circus-grade. At the centre of all this noise is the idea that need determines pay and wealth obligates “giving”. Never mind, of course that the very same drumbeaters of this perverse “socialism” are the very same ones who espouse “freedom” in the similarly perverse way they define the term.
The fact is, there is this inconvenient formula that governs pretty much all life on Planet Earth — the Law of Supply and Demand. When one appreciates and embraces this fact of our very existence, the true reason why so many Filipinos don’t have jobs becomes crystal clear.
How much you are paid or whether or not anyone is interested in paying for your work, for that matter, represents the monetary value society rates you. When you struggle to find work, it simply means your value to society is zero. Simple, right? You can wax poetry about how a “liveable wage” is a “right” ’til the cows come home and you may even get all sorts of “socialist” legislation crafted after twisting the arm or arms of a politician or two. Ultimately, however, what goes up most come down one way or another.
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One cannot argue against the fact that the Philippines’ is a capital-poor economy. On a per capita basis, there are few assets that yield sustained income. It is upon the blood and sweat of Filipino workers and the businesses that profit off what these workers consume that the Philippine economy ticks along. It is a labour-added-value- and consumption-based national economy. Foreign “investors” come to the Philippines to farm out work the value of which is not worth the First World salaries they’d pay onshore for. Their bean counters did the maths and worked out that the lower productivity and quality of work in the Third World is an acceptable cost vis à vis the peanuts they will be paying the average worker there. Other foreign “investors” come to put up businesses that sell to these same workers the final product of their labours — at enormous premium, of course.
It is important to note that work that requires exceptional skill — precision, craftsmanship, design and lateral thinking, and expensive specialist training, among others, are retained onshore by First World businesses. Brands that allow these businesses to demand prices ten times the cost of manufacturing their product are also owned by these businesses. All the foreign “investor” really values in the countries where they “offshore” work to is raw labour.
All this sounds quite stark when one applies an emo mind to the truth about contracts between capital and labour. It is this habitual emotional take on the banality of this contract that communists and wokedom feed upon. The destructive ideology of victimhood they propagate is what keeps today’s Philippine Opposition from evolving towards the constructive political force Philippine democracy needs.
Labour Day obviously celebrates the worker. It is communism’s Christmas Day. It is a celebration of all that the Philippines is to the world — a vast well of labour. Beyond this “resource” what else in the way of economic value do Filipinos offer the world? Not much else.
Happy Labour Day.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.