Thursday, May 9, 2013

Should Philippines follow the North Korean Model?


Comment from a reader on The Philippines is stagnant:

You are correct in that the Philippines is the 2nd fastest growing economy in Asia. However, the poverty and unemployment levels have remained the same. Where is the money being spent?

And another:

The flip side of the coin, even the Philippines agrees that there is 25% unemployment (probably more) and that the so called booming economy is not helping anyone but the rich...WHY are you in denial on this?

And another:

Beg to differ---virtually none of the money at the top of the Philippine food chain/stock market etc is filtering down to the poor...and MOST of the PHILS is poor, or dirt poor...hence the stagnation among 80% of the any of that money being used to clean up the garbage, traffic, pollution, crime, generating jobs, infrastructure, clearing slums, providing education? For the vast majority, I don't think so...

From the Bugle: Thanks all for the excellent comments. These are all good points, but what is the alternative? Should the Philippines abandon capitalism and follow the New People’s Army to a North Korean state of paradise? I have some hard news for you guys: in a capitalist system, the rich get richer before the poor get less poor. That is true in every country.

The only proven path out of poverty is for a country to institute reforms; have those reforms recognized by international agencies which in turn attract job-creating investments, particularly in manufacturing. The rural poor move into factories, have enough money to pay taxes and educate their children, and the educated children then become middle class tax payers who demand less corruption and better government. The increased tax revenues are then poured into infrastructure and other investment-attracting activities. That is the only proven path. That is what China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and other middle class countries have done. The Philippines is not stagnant. It is on the move, but it has a long way to go before it translates high economic growth and institutional reforms into broad poverty reduction.

This is the real question: Will the Philippines go off track, as it has done in the past, and fall back into corruption and economic stagnation?


  1. many good posts and fair reply, thank you Mr. Bugler...believe it or not, even the guys who hate the BS in the Philippines (and email you here) believe it or not, actually love the good things in the Philippines, never know whether to laugh or cry here...comedy/tragedy...maybe that's where some of the vitriol and the negativity come on this site from, out of concern/disappointment/shock/sadness, so much suffering here...

  2. what makes you think that the only two economic/political/social choices are Philippines corruption or a Nor Kor styled dictatorship?


All comments are posted anonymously. We don't care who you are, we just care about what you have to say. But let's keep it civil. No slander. Talk about issues, not individuals. No racism. Cool it on the profanity. Like Sinatra said, "You don't need to work blue. You'll never play the big houses with that crap."