November 3, 2006. The administration will surely play the economy card come election period. Perceived to be unpopular and bound for an election defeat due to countless political controversies, I’m betting administration candidates will try their best to paint a good picture of the economy, what with the rise of the peso, upgrades in the country’s credit outlook and supposed monthly budget surpluses, and then they’ll continue to harp positive numbers to back them up.
Second world my ass. I cannot comprehend nor reconcile such numbers with the fact that a fourth of our population still live on 36 pesos a day (and this is only refering a poverty threshold at its barest minimum) and that incidents of hunger are its highest in years. How are these numerical increases in credit outlook or peso-to-dollar values relevant to common Filipinos?
My economics, conservative and bourgeois friends always argue with me with this. To them, such numbers are significant and relevant. They tell me I should wait for the benefits to trickle down to the masses. In the first place, there’s something wrong with that statement. Are the poor confined to be left waiting for just spoils to trickle down to them? The people are supposed to be the foremost beneficiaries of improved social services due to such credit outlook upgrades. Not bureaucrat capitalists nor the already-rich ruling class.
The way I see it, this credit outlook upgrade only allows the government to borrow more money, which supposedly in turn brings about more state investments in social services, right? But that’s not really happening, is it? Where does increased credit go? Corruption thrives in this administration.