Charter change and further economic liberalization

July 13, 2012. Once again, our politicians and their patrons are peddling the lie that the only path to the economic salvation of the Philippines is through more intensified foreign intervention in the economy and a more intensified liberalization of “key industries”. It is almost like routine, from the administration of President Fidel Ramos, to Joseph Estrada, to Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to Benigno Aquino III, every year or two, the leaders of both Houses of Congress peddle the proposal of changing the economic provisions of the Constitution in order to liberalize the remaining sectors of the economy with “nationalist restrictions.” True enough, faithful to tradition, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte comes out today, a few weeks before the State of the Nation Address and the opening of the last session of Congress, to promote “charter change.”

This begs the question, is “free market” liberalization the only path to economic prosperity? A brief look at the economic history of today’s prosperous and developed nations will prove that the path to economic prosperity is paved by national industrialization with strong basis in state intervention through regulation and subsidies, and protectionism–quite the opposite of the neoliberal dogma most of these countries now peddle and force upon the throats of the people of the “third world.”

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From the rotten house

February 6, 2008. When I got home late last night, I turned on the TV to watch parts of the proceedings in the House of Representatives. As everyone knows, an overwhelming majority of the House voted to oust Rep. Jose de Venecia from his leadership as Speaker. One of his sons may be one of my friends, but I didn’t feel any sort of sympathy for the Speaker as he was betrayed by his fellows in Congress and by the administration he has so fervently supported and defended all these years. For me, the circus in Congress and his consequent ouster was a natural phase of decay in a rotten institution. It is natural for a rotten body to decay and destroy itself. It’s sickening how the words change and reform were raped by the congressmen last night. What change and reform are they talking about? They are largely the very institution that sustains the status quo. Their political maneuverings only seek to preserve the prevailing order of an Arroyo-controlled government and all its crimes. My god, I’ve rarely heard that much bullshit in one night. It can only come from Congress! If we should be certain about one thing, it is that congressmen are some of the last people who will be real agents of change in this country, for they are those who thrive in our present and tragic condition and social order. There are some who fear that the events of the past days only reinforce the theory that the President and her family are preparing to maneuver its way into post-2010 control of the government. Scary thought, but all too probable.