Archive for the ‘development studies’ category

PERSIA RE-AWAKENS TO CONFRONT REVIVED ROME (EU-USA)

February 15, 2016

PERSIA RE-AWAKENS TO CONFRONT REVIVED ROME (EU-USA)

 

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

Good day! Magandang araw!

 

In previous articles I have articulated about ancient racial consciousness that could awaken at some juncture after a long dormancy period. The dormancy could be 2,000 years approximately, which coincides with Arnold Toynbee’s 2,000-year civilizational life.

 

The revival of ancient Roman consciousness had already been galvanizing, with the European Union and USA (w/ Canada) serving as the two (2) sections of the New Rome. Brussels is the capital of the revived Rome, a fact that is now well established. The revival of Bonapartism, also articulated in previous articles, is also unfolding at this moment, with war policy serving as option to abolish nations.

 

As such an eventuality is happening, another ancient power, Persia (Romans termed it Parthia) is also re-awakening. To recall history, Persia/Parthia challenged Rome with devastating results, and Rome was never able to conquer the Persians who continued to harass Roman provinces in Asia till the beginnings of Byzantium.

 

If there is any one power that knows the agenda of Rome (knows it instinctively or unconsciously), it is Rome’s ancient enemy Parthia. Parthia is now rising like a phoenix, and it is preparing to face New Rome in an offensive manner. ‘Offensive’ means confronting an adversary from a position of strength, just to stress the point.

 

New Rome has already prepared the Semitic coalition (tackled in previous articles) which it will use as a buffer against a marauding New Parthia. Both Sunni (gulf states) and Zion are armed to the teeth and are showing a semblance of an offensive coalition as well, though it remains to be seen whether the coalition will indeed be able to demonstrate muscle in a ‘clash of civilizations’ with revived Parthia.

 

A forecast Zion-Sunni versus Parthia conflict could indeed take place any time now, with New Rome (probably using American assets) igniting the war at its inception. But on the unconscious level, Zion & Sunni isn’t what Parthia will be staking claims on.

 

Parthia is after Rome (EU primarily, USA secondarily), and it will use the conflict with Zion & Sunni precisely to scourge the latter so that its scared peoples will migrate westward in massive herds. Waves after waves of Semites (largely Arabs) will move by land, water, and sea to Europe, the most likely new home, to escape Parthia’s wrath.

 

Berbers, Hamites, Arabs and black Africans will also most likely take sides in such a conflict, even as many of their scared peoples will move northwards to Europe from Africa in massive herds. Whoever the African hordes will be siding with, the result will be the same: tens of millions of its peoples buzzing off northwards to perceived safe havens.

 

The possible destruction of Iran via conventional means and limited frontier nukes may not necessarily destroy Parthia. Parthia is bigger than Iran, as Shiite allies will join the fray and be home to guerilla assets who can be used to harass the West no end. While the West uses conventional warfare, Parthia will use a combination of conventional and non-conventional strategies (e.g. Hezbollah rocket attacks inside Lebanon, Syria, and maybe even inside Europe).

 

Destroying and depopulating Iran will prove to be a hallow victory. Because even with Iran gone, at least 150 Millions of Arabs and African hordes will have nestled in Europe who, a short time later, will continue the ‘clash of civilizations’ wars via cultural conflicts and economic over-stretch for a continent that is now rapidly decaying back to 3rd world status.

 

Cultural decay in the West can be a catastrophic result of the coming clash with Parthia. Just as in ancient times, when “barbarian” hordes took over Roman provinces, Arab and African hordes will be moving up to squeeze themselves in lands they will occupy. Meanwhile, Parthia will be having the last laugh as its ghost will hover over Europe via the migrant hordes.

 

If New Rome wishes to survive the coming decades, its sane stakeholders should think many times before waging a cataclysmic war versus a revived Parthia. No one power can ever win such a conflict, the only winner being Death & Destruction of a scale heretofore untold.

 

[Philippines, 24 July 2010]

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GULF STATES: ENFORCERS OF OLIGARCHIC ‘CLASH OF CIVILIZATION’ MADNESS

January 26, 2016

GULF STATES: ENFORCERS OF OLIGARCHIC ‘CLASH OF CIVILIZATION’ MADNESS

 

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

Magandang gabi! Good evening!

 

Dusk is the mark of the day as I write this note. I wish to continue writing on the theme of Arab gulf states—whether they’re Asian or not. It seems that the ‘twilight of the gods’ scenario has been engulfing the gulf states altogether, a sort of reprieve prior to Armageddon.

 

For this piece, I’d focus on the observation that the Arab gulf states are the enforcers of the Anglo-European oligarchy’s ‘clash of civilizations’ madness. There has been so much military build-up in the gulf states lately, proof of a preparation for a larger conflagration. (The expenditure level measures by the hundreds of billions of dollars, with KSA leading the hemorrhage of military hardware buying spree.)

 

East Asia, as we can see, has been operating on the modality of a ‘dialogue of cultures’ expressed as economic, political, and cultural cooperation. The entire region has been the growth driver of the global economy for some time now, and will perform such an optimizer role in the foreseeable future.

 

Such a trend, however, does not characterize the gulf states. Already filthy rich with their petrodollars, they nonetheless aren’t progenitors of growth driving for the global economy. They grow for the sake of sustaining their own development gains and prepare themselves for the eventual drying up of the oil wells.

 

Gulf economies’ billionaires are deeply encumbered to the financier operations of the Anglo-European oligarchs who have been using the former as their dummies and/or junior partners. There is hardly any big commercial and industrial concern in the gulf states today that are not immersed in the investment interests of the likes of George Soros & cronies who represent the Who Is Who in the West.

 

Arab sheikhs style themselves in fact as Western-honed leaders who are no different from their Western counterparts. The difference lies only in the sheikhs’ profession of Islam, an ultra-conservatism that the West allowed to thrive to render the sheikhdoms as buffer regions versus pan-Arab nationalism or pan-Arabism of the Iraq, Syria, Lybia, and Nasserite Egypt.

 

Pan-Arabism is now rapidly decaying, and so the polarity game has shifted to Shiite Islam as the key enemy in lieu of the former. The Arab kings and sheikhs are surely having a great time nurturing hatreds versus the ayatollahs of Persia whom they demonize with deep disdain.

 

Back home, the sheikhdoms have to neutralize their homegrown jihadist movements led by the Al Qaida. While the home enemy grows in size and intensity of terror, tension grows as the sheikhs can’t help on anticipating the attacks by the revolutionary guards of Persia, attacks that may be accompanied by limited nuclear weaponry.

 

The situation in the gulf region had pushed the sheikhs into a toxic alliance with the Zionists who are the other leg in the beachhead of the Anglo-European oligarchy in regaining control of the entire Western Asia. A loose Zionist-Sunni (gulf states’ ecclesial religion) alliance has been in formation since couples of years back yet, to recall.

 

In my own analysis, it is now too late to see the possibility of the sheikhs dis-engaging from their active participation in the polarity game of the West’s oligarchy. The sheikhs and Arab billionaires are an organic part of that oligarchy while they feign difference via Sunni wahabism or equivalents. A superficial difference that is, to note.

 

The clock now ticks for the gulf states, an Armageddon clock that could unleash the forces of destruction in the region. And such a clock will continue to tick, unless a paradigm shift will be initiated by the sheikhs & Arab billionaires which is nauseatingly impossible an eventuality at this moment.

 

[Philippines, 22 July 2010]

EUROPE & AMERICA ON DOWNWARD SLIDE TO 3RD WORLD ECONOMIES

January 15, 2016

EUROPE & AMERICA ON DOWNWARD SLIDE TO 3RD WORLD ECONOMIES

 

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

Magandang gabi! Good evening!

 

It’s dusk time as I write, and this dusk at a time of intensifying monsoon rains seems to bode images of a grim future for the West at large. The European Union or EU members and the USA, the gigantic pillars of the global economy, are particularly in dire straits as they have entered the zone of flat growth and perpetual recession.

 

As already tackled by me in diverse articles, the East is surging forward bringing life to the global economy as a whole. In contrast, the West is spiraling downwards, and the strategies their stakeholders are putting into place to arrest the downslide are at best palliative. As the East continues to surge upward, the West continues to stagnate and decay.

 

After World War II, both Europe and America embarked on massive infrastructures and heated industrialization that saw both economies dominating the global economy’s wealth production. The result of that was an OECD producing 60% of Gross World Product or GWP for some decades (today that’s down to 40% of GWP and will still go down).

 

That was the situation back then. By the 1990s, the situation had been badly reversed as a result of liberal economic policies instituted in the previous decade (80s). The rise of a ‘virtual economy’ dominated by predatory finance was instrumental in the West’s massive de-industrialization, decay of relatively unattended infrastructures, decline in science & technology research, and neglect of the transport sector (only Japan & Germany were actively pursuing maglev railways).

 

By the early 1990s yet, certain experts among economists and sociologists in America began echoing alarming notes about the possible downslide of the USA into a 3rd world country should the economic decay, such as that of relatively unattended infrastructures, be allowed to continue till past 2010s.

 

In the late 1990s, my own circle of political economists in Manila (Sunday Kapihan/Independent Review) saw such a possibility ourselves as we consolidated the data made available to us thanks to the internet. By 1998 all fellows of our circle were convinced of the catastrophic direction that the USA and Europe were plunging themselves into, which could begin with a depression past 2005 and a thirdworldization by 2010s (both have been hit by recession this decade as a matter of fact).

 

When Katrina struck the USA and when those floods struck Europe just a few years back, and the same free market policies stubbornly remained in place, I knew the downslide would turn out to be irreversible. The fate of New Orleans, with its residents lining up for food akin to a depressed city, revealed an appallingly decayed 3rd world city inside the USA which, to my mind, is but a fractional tip of a gigantic iceberg that are America’s decaying cities on the way to 3rd world infamy.

 

If, for instance, just about 55% of the top 700 cities of the USA will be so badly decayed by 2015 and be declared as 3rd world or ‘developing cities’, then we know more or less that America had catastrophically seen its worst state. With 97% of U.S. population living in cities (urban), likewise will the whole of the USA be declared as a ‘developing economy’ as early as 2015.

 

That is, again, if the destructive ‘virtual economy’ policies will not be taken down and reversed sweepingly. As I’ve declared in previous articles before (when Obama was still campaigning for the presidency), America must quickly return to a New Deal-type policy regime: interventionist, with great stress on revivifying infrastructures, revitalizing transport R&D (railways, shipping, etc), upscaling science & technology investments (including rockets), returning heavy industries (revive steel and many dead manufactures), and ensuring agricultural productivity.

 

Europe is not far behind such near-catastrophic downslide of the USA, just to remind our friends in Europe and the globe. Decisively institute interventionist policies in the continent, regulate the financial-banking sectors (criminalize predatory finance), and revivify social policy that were hallmarks of a once strong and mighty European economy.

 

And there’s no better time to act then now. Failure to act soon, by stubbornly instituting the palliatives (e.g. bailing out failing big banks, semi-regulating stock exchange), will be the best sure-fire formula to see a rapid thirdworldization of the West.

 

Before long, some messianic mad leaders in both continents would be drum-beating their being “stubbed behind the back” and generate new Hitlers and Bonapartes in their backyards. Act now, Western peoples, to avoid this eventuality from ever taking place at all.

 

[Philippines, 21 July 2010]

 

EUROPE & AMERICA ON DOWNWARD SLIDE TO 3RD WORLD ECONOMIES

January 15, 2016

EUROPE & AMERICA ON DOWNWARD SLIDE TO 3RD WORLD ECONOMIES

 

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

Magandang gabi! Good evening!

 

It’s dusk time as I write, and this dusk at a time of intensifying monsoon rains seems to bode images of a grim future for the West at large. The European Union or EU members and the USA, the gigantic pillars of the global economy, are particularly in dire straits as they have entered the zone of flat growth and perpetual recession.

 

As already tackled by me in diverse articles, the East is surging forward bringing life to the global economy as a whole. In contrast, the West is spiraling downwards, and the strategies their stakeholders are putting into place to arrest the downslide are at best palliative. As the East continues to surge upward, the West continues to stagnate and decay.

 

After World War II, both Europe and America embarked on massive infrastructures and heated industrialization that saw both economies dominating the global economy’s wealth production. The result of that was an OECD producing 60% of Gross World Product or GWP for some decades (today that’s down to 40% of GWP and will still go down).

 

That was the situation back then. By the 1990s, the situation had been badly reversed as a result of liberal economic policies instituted in the previous decade (80s). The rise of a ‘virtual economy’ dominated by predatory finance was instrumental in the West’s massive de-industrialization, decay of relatively unattended infrastructures, decline in science & technology research, and neglect of the transport sector (only Japan & Germany were actively pursuing maglev railways).

 

By the early 1990s yet, certain experts among economists and sociologists in America began echoing alarming notes about the possible downslide of the USA into a 3rd world country should the economic decay, such as that of relatively unattended infrastructures, be allowed to continue till past 2010s.

 

In the late 1990s, my own circle of political economists in Manila (Sunday Kapihan/Independent Review) saw such a possibility ourselves as we consolidated the data made available to us thanks to the internet. By 1998 all fellows of our circle were convinced of the catastrophic direction that the USA and Europe were plunging themselves into, which could begin with a depression past 2005 and a thirdworldization by 2010s (both have been hit by recession this decade as a matter of fact).

 

When Katrina struck the USA and when those floods struck Europe just a few years back, and the same free market policies stubbornly remained in place, I knew the downslide would turn out to be irreversible. The fate of New Orleans, with its residents lining up for food akin to a depressed city, revealed an appallingly decayed 3rd world city inside the USA which, to my mind, is but a fractional tip of a gigantic iceberg that are America’s decaying cities on the way to 3rd world infamy.

 

If, for instance, just about 55% of the top 700 cities of the USA will be so badly decayed by 2015 and be declared as 3rd world or ‘developing cities’, then we know more or less that America had catastrophically seen its worst state. With 97% of U.S. population living in cities (urban), likewise will the whole of the USA be declared as a ‘developing economy’ as early as 2015.

 

That is, again, if the destructive ‘virtual economy’ policies will not be taken down and reversed sweepingly. As I’ve declared in previous articles before (when Obama was still campaigning for the presidency), America must quickly return to a New Deal-type policy regime: interventionist, with great stress on revivifying infrastructures, revitalizing transport R&D (railways, shipping, etc), upscaling science & technology investments (including rockets), returning heavy industries (revive steel and many dead manufactures), and ensuring agricultural productivity.

 

Europe is not far behind such near-catastrophic downslide of the USA, just to remind our friends in Europe and the globe. Decisively institute interventionist policies in the continent, regulate the financial-banking sectors (criminalize predatory finance), and revivify social policy that were hallmarks of a once strong and mighty European economy.

 

And there’s no better time to act then now. Failure to act soon, by stubbornly instituting the palliatives (e.g. bailing out failing big banks, semi-regulating stock exchange), will be the best sure-fire formula to see a rapid thirdworldization of the West.

 

Before long, some messianic mad leaders in both continents would be drum-beating their being “stubbed behind the back” and generate new Hitlers and Bonapartes in their backyards. Act now, Western peoples, to avoid this eventuality from ever taking place at all.

 

[Philippines, 21 July 2010]

 

EUROPE & AMERICA ON DOWNWARD SLIDE TO 3RD WORLD ECONOMIES

January 15, 2016

EUROPE & AMERICA ON DOWNWARD SLIDE TO 3RD WORLD ECONOMIES

 

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

Magandang gabi! Good evening!

 

It’s dusk time as I write, and this dusk at a time of intensifying monsoon rains seems to bode images of a grim future for the West at large. The European Union or EU members and the USA, the gigantic pillars of the global economy, are particularly in dire straits as they have entered the zone of flat growth and perpetual recession.

 

As already tackled by me in diverse articles, the East is surging forward bringing life to the global economy as a whole. In contrast, the West is spiraling downwards, and the strategies their stakeholders are putting into place to arrest the downslide are at best palliative. As the East continues to surge upward, the West continues to stagnate and decay.

 

After World War II, both Europe and America embarked on massive infrastructures and heated industrialization that saw both economies dominating the global economy’s wealth production. The result of that was an OECD producing 60% of Gross World Product or GWP for some decades (today that’s down to 40% of GWP and will still go down).

 

That was the situation back then. By the 1990s, the situation had been badly reversed as a result of liberal economic policies instituted in the previous decade (80s). The rise of a ‘virtual economy’ dominated by predatory finance was instrumental in the West’s massive de-industrialization, decay of relatively unattended infrastructures, decline in science & technology research, and neglect of the transport sector (only Japan & Germany were actively pursuing maglev railways).

 

By the early 1990s yet, certain experts among economists and sociologists in America began echoing alarming notes about the possible downslide of the USA into a 3rd world country should the economic decay, such as that of relatively unattended infrastructures, be allowed to continue till past 2010s.

 

In the late 1990s, my own circle of political economists in Manila (Sunday Kapihan/Independent Review) saw such a possibility ourselves as we consolidated the data made available to us thanks to the internet. By 1998 all fellows of our circle were convinced of the catastrophic direction that the USA and Europe were plunging themselves into, which could begin with a depression past 2005 and a thirdworldization by 2010s (both have been hit by recession this decade as a matter of fact).

 

When Katrina struck the USA and when those floods struck Europe just a few years back, and the same free market policies stubbornly remained in place, I knew the downslide would turn out to be irreversible. The fate of New Orleans, with its residents lining up for food akin to a depressed city, revealed an appallingly decayed 3rd world city inside the USA which, to my mind, is but a fractional tip of a gigantic iceberg that are America’s decaying cities on the way to 3rd world infamy.

 

If, for instance, just about 55% of the top 700 cities of the USA will be so badly decayed by 2015 and be declared as 3rd world or ‘developing cities’, then we know more or less that America had catastrophically seen its worst state. With 97% of U.S. population living in cities (urban), likewise will the whole of the USA be declared as a ‘developing economy’ as early as 2015.

 

That is, again, if the destructive ‘virtual economy’ policies will not be taken down and reversed sweepingly. As I’ve declared in previous articles before (when Obama was still campaigning for the presidency), America must quickly return to a New Deal-type policy regime: interventionist, with great stress on revivifying infrastructures, revitalizing transport R&D (railways, shipping, etc), upscaling science & technology investments (including rockets), returning heavy industries (revive steel and many dead manufactures), and ensuring agricultural productivity.

 

Europe is not far behind such near-catastrophic downslide of the USA, just to remind our friends in Europe and the globe. Decisively institute interventionist policies in the continent, regulate the financial-banking sectors (criminalize predatory finance), and revivify social policy that were hallmarks of a once strong and mighty European economy.

 

And there’s no better time to act then now. Failure to act soon, by stubbornly instituting the palliatives (e.g. bailing out failing big banks, semi-regulating stock exchange), will be the best sure-fire formula to see a rapid thirdworldization of the West.

 

Before long, some messianic mad leaders in both continents would be drum-beating their being “stubbed behind the back” and generate new Hitlers and Bonapartes in their backyards. Act now, Western peoples, to avoid this eventuality from ever taking place at all.

 

[Philippines, 21 July 2010]

 

PUNISH BUSH & NEO-CONS FOR WAR CRIMES!

January 5, 2016

PUNISH BUSH & NEO-CONS FOR WAR CRIMES!

 

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

A global Establishment has already galvanized before us, just as the global order had been established by the capitalist oligarchy that constitutes this Establishment. The same Establishment has been defining for us who should be punished for war crimes and who should not, and this is truly bothersome for us global citizens.

 

The likes of Bush, both father and son, who espoused hawkish policies of war and attrition in the guise of America’s role as global policeman, are indubitably war criminals. Yet they roam the world so freely like the wildest monsters that call the shots in a jungle.

 

I will never forget the Bush father & son, as the war policies they hatched emboldened the hawkish policies of the army of my own country, an army that is a compliant clone of the Pentagon up North. Not only did the peoples of Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, and countries affected by their war policies suffer miserably, my very own Muslim compatriots and countryside folks suffer from the war policies of the neo-cons clone army here.

 

With displeasure I regard those actuations of Western liberals who condemn the war crimes of the leaders of Sudan and Serbia but who are blind to the very war crimes of the hawkish leaders of their hegemonic countries. For if they indeed are sincere with condemning such war crimes of their leaders, they should by now be prospering in the cases they file at the International Criminal Court versus such criminals.

 

One would say, “hey the ICC is funded by Soros & cronies, so how can the ICC ever punish the likes of Bush father & son and crony neo-cons who are their colleagues in the global Establishment?” True indeed, the Establishment funds the ICC, and it may prove futile to file cases against their members.

 

Be that as it may, why don’t the West’s liberals and New Left advocates push through with the filing of war crimes just the same? Whether they file it at the ICC or in their own home countries, the challenge of the day is for such cases to be filed most urgently.

 

Monsters that were responsible for the destruction of nations and genocidal deaths to millions of people, such as what the Bush & crony neo-cons have factually committed, shouldn’t be allowed to roam freely around the planet.

 

Failure to file such cases can be misconstrued by us Eastern observers as an attempt of White liberals and their colored humanoid clones to cover up for their Establishment sponsors. So to speak, an instance of White intellectual prostitutes paid to kowtow to their own kind, or paid dogs of Establishment masters who can rock the boats provided that they don’t touch their masters who feed them lusciously.

 

The cycle of mass terminations by the likes of Bush & neo-cons have to cease soon enough. And the Establishment war criminals should be made to pay dearly for their crimes. Just exactly when will such a payment of crime happen, if in case it would happen at all?

 

[Philippines, 13 July 2010]

 

[See: IKONOKLAST: http://erleargonza.blogspot.com,

UNLADTAU: https://unladtau.wordpress.com,

COSMICBUHAY: http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com,

BRIGHTWORLD: http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com, ARTBLOG: http://erleargonza.wordpress.com,

ARGONZAPOEM: http://argonzapoem.blogspot.com]

 

 

POVERTY: PHILIPPINES‘ ACHILLES HEEL

December 16, 2015

POVERTY: PHILIPPINES‘ ACHILLES HEEL

 

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

Poverty is the Achilles’ heel of the Philippine state, and will be so for at least two (2) more decades. Amid the appreciable growth the economy has sustained so far, with the national economy doubling in just eight (8) years during the incumbency of president Gloria Arroyo, poverty remains very high.

 

If we go by the yardsticks of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the World Bank, the Philippines has been performing fairly well on wealth production as a whole, so much that the country graduated to a middle income status by the turn of the century. No more a poor economy by world standards, yet the country’s poverty increased from 28% in 2001 (when Arroyo took over the presidency) to 33% today (per latest government statistics).

 

Paradoxical, come to think of it, that while the economy has been growing and had moved to middle income status, more people have become poorer. Tough, very tough, is the task of mining for the ‘gini in the bottle’ that would reduce poverty considerably to a negligible 5% or less, a level that is easily manageable and where state and communities can simply decide to fully subsidize the remaining poor.

 

Whether the Philippines can meet the UN’s Millenium Development Goal of cutting poverty by half in 2015 seems much clearer now to social forecasters: the dream is elusive and unattainable. Not even if the economy will double again from mid-2009 to 2015 which is a most likely development.

 

The Philippines’ poorest happens to be the rural populations, notably the fisherfolk sector where malnutrition runs the highest rate (2/3 of children/families). Rural population is now down to 34% or 1/3 of the population, while the urban peoples comprise 66% or 2/3. Urban to rural poverty ratio is 1:2.5, meaning that for every 1 poor person in the cities & towns, there’s an equivalent of 2.5 persons in the countrysides.

 

The message is clear to the next government (formed by the new president after the May polls this year) that the attack zone on poverty should be the rural population. Both antipoverty and anti-hunger programs should be initiated at very high levels in the countryside to be able to bring down total poverty by a large degree.

 

Failure to solve rural poverty in the long run redounds to perpetuating insurgency. Even if the present insurgent groups would concur peace pacts with the state, new insurgent groups will emerge again in the foreseeable future should the rural folks remain paupers.

 

Urbanization is now moving up, and with its growing eminence has come the rise of new cities. Citification has seen the incomes of communities treble by leaps and bounds, thus permitting the same communities to spend on infrastructures and social development.

 

Left to themselves, without massive migrations from rural folks, the cities can accumulate enormous income surpluses to solve unemployment, poverty, and malnutrition (both hunger and obesity). Philanthropic groups consequently rise from civil society and market players, and boost surplus production for solving poverty.

 

However, such is not the case even as the migration of the poor from the countryside to the cities continues in steady waves. So this brings us all back to the challenge of solving poverty right at the backyards where the poorest are most concentrated. This means that the food producers shouldn’t be left out in the development game, even as rural development should be brought to its next level.

 

Goal-wise, the realistic target is to reduce poverty from 33% in 2009 to 25% by 2015, or an average of 1.33% reduction per annum. Means-wise, an appreciable mix of good governance, right socio-economic policies, and strengthening of institutions would do a long way to bring down poverty altogether in the short run.

 

Urban population will grow to 70% around 2015, while rural population will go down further to 30%. With lower rural populations to manage by then, there is no more reason for government not to be able to do something to solve poverty. And we say government, because the increase in poverty largely came from governance-related factors such as poor absorptive capacity (to handle large budgets), inefficiency, graft, poor inter-governmental coordination, and low political will to pursue audacious solutions to daunting problems.

 

In 1989, this analyst wrote an article “Prospects of Poverty Alleviation in the 1990s,” a piece that I delivered as a symposium lecture at the University of the East (Prof. Randy David was also a speaker). At that time, poverty was a high of 49%, while urban to rural poverty was 1:2.1.

 

Since 1989, we have seen poverty reduced from 49% to its present level of 33% (a 5% increase since 2001 though), although rural poverty moved up paradoxically during the same period. Poverty reduction is not really impossible, as evidenced by the huge reduction across a 20-year period. Bringing it down further to 25% by 2015 is a doable target.

 

So let us see how the nation will fair under the next government of the republic (after May polls), when we see a new set of political leaders and cabinet members installed to power. As I’ve mentioned in earlier articles, my standpoint is that a nationalist coalition, such as what the present candidate Sen. Manny Villar, is most equipped with policy paradigm and tools to deal with the Achilles heel of pauperism, aside from the competence and visionary acumen of the noblesse senator.

 

By nationalist, I mean that of moving towards a regulated market and fair trade, with high propensity for ‘physical economy’ policies. We can no more return to the days of liberalization policies that saw the economy crash down in ’83-’85, stagnate for a time and grow again before hitting the next recession in ’97, and finally move up to middle income status only after a turtle pace struggle taking three (3) decades.

 

Liberalism and its propensity to be pro-Big Business and Big Landlord is a big no in our fight against poverty, whether in the Philippines and other nations of the globe. In my country, nationalism is the antidote paradigm and social technology watershed to reverse decades of liberal policies and solution to poverty. I’ve been echoing this theme since my teenage years yet, and remains steadily anchored on it.

 

[Philippines, 20 March 2010]