CHANGE IS DEFINITELY COMING. I wrote an earlier blog but sadly, it disappeared here. Anyway, I have high hopes that this President would deliver the goods so to speak.
But, let's not kid ourselves.
Six years is surely not enough to really change things. For one, this system has been designed to benefit the few, the forty wealthy families identified by Forbes which control 85% of our country's resources. From the very day we created this Republic, there was no plan for the basic masses to benefit from the economic gains of this system precisely because the very system we adopted, which is capitalism, is really not designed to benefit the many. Under this system, expect a monopoly of capital because that is exactly how capitalism was designed--capital as concentrated in the hands of the few. The very laws from which relationships are based in our society created this anomaly and our problems right now is not a question of what kind of governance model we adopt--it is basically what kind of economy we want that is most relevant.
But of course, the discussion right now is centering on the change in the governance model because the elites of this country do not want to share or re-distribute their wealth with the rest of us. And why would they? They think that they earned their status thru their industriousness, their honesty and the ways they conducted themselves in business.
" That is the job of government--to cure poverty," says " Them". Poverty is the result of a disparity in access to capital. Many people are hungry and are living in poverty because they were deprived of the economic opportunities which the traditional elites actually enjoy.
Study how these elites of today earn their fantabulous wealth and one common denominator exists--land. Even in a capitalist system, land obviously is one darn asset. In an underdeveloped society such as ours, development can only come thru the development of land, and the use of land is one thing which the elites have exploited to the hilt.
Re-distribution of wealth is the best solution to poverty because it will allow people to gain more access to capital. Of course, this cannot be done now, oh no. These elites would never allow a change in the relationship of production and even in the change of property rights, because this is precisely what gives these elites the advantage over most of us, ordinary mortals.
That explains why government right now has no choice---instead of the elite, it would have to be government to create the necessary conditions for the people to gain more access to capital.
At the onset, the government needs to lower basic taxes for people to enjoy the value of their monies more and spend more. Spending is the one keeping this economy afloat, and consumer confidence would surely rise if the government lowers income tax, not corporate tax.
The government should likewise use its regulatory powers to put businesses in line with the law. If the Duterte administration could only lessen the abuses committed by private enterprises against the people, that would surely ease things a lot. For example, if the Duterte administration succeeds in lowering rates in electricity, water, and telecommunications, that would not just improve the quality and standard of life--it would benefit the people directly and even improve the SME sector.
These are doable. We don't really need a change in the governance model but we definitely need a change in the way the economy is being handled. In the interim, keeping this capitalist system as the basic economic platform is okay but eventually, we need to transition more towards a Socialist-inspired economic system if we hope to change things.
If we don't do this, we would not solve the poverty problem and would even see the exacerbation of things which we eventually lead to a crisis of capitalism. The more we mismanage surplus capital, the more things within capitalism get worse which inevitably lead to more crises.
Now, again, let us not kid ourselves that under this administration or any other administration, we would be able to totally eradicate the scourge of poverty. Like I said, poverty is the primary feature of capitalism because it is a symptom of a bigger problem in terms of relation and control the means of production.
Federalism as a governance model would not permanently solve the problem---it would even worsen things because developmental funds from the government would benefit political families who now control these local economies.
Let us break the economic hold of these political families first before we entertain shifts in the governance model. If don't do this, there would never be a change in our affairs. The fact is---things would surely lead to a perpetuation of these traditional elite power centers and people would still get the brunt end of the bargain.
If Duterte truly means change, heed the advice of the people and change the economic system.