Archive for the ‘science and technology’ category

NATIONS FRAGMENT AS 1ST DECADE CLOSES

November 29, 2010

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

30 November 2010

A noble 30th of November! We celebrate National Heroes’ Day in the Philippines as the month closes, so may the spirit of self-sacrifice and change-oriented mindset of our founding patriots be with us all!

As the year closes, we continue to witness the lamentable fragmentation of states across the globe. ‘Failed states’ has become a new standard term to label those former colonies that gained their independence after the 2nd world war, but only to fragment later.

Not only that, governments of once dynamic nations have also been continuously battered by exceeding demands to salve ailing economies, sustain employment drives, and reduce poverty. The US government itself, notably its presidency, continues to see powerful forces that render its institutions as lame duck and weak. It has become more ungovernable than before, and this is an alarming development.

Civil societies are likewise eroding in potency, and fragmenting in ideological squabbles and internal weaknesses. Thus, human rights get to be violated all the more each day as the very vanguards of civility and people’s causes couldn’t grapple with the demands of emerging realities and turn out like nuisance entities in the growing dis-order, while fascistic state leaders and gendarmes clamp down dissenters like unwanted pests.

The serial liberal reform agenda have immensely contributed to the shackling of welfare and erosion of the general interest as a whole. With social services at the grassroots reduced to negligible levels by IMF-imposed conditionalities of austerity, protest and rebel movements at the localities have arisen, thus contributing more to the fragmentation and balkanization of once viable states.

The political landscape in the USA is soon to change as the quantitative equation of party representation had been altered. Protest movements have been flexing their muscles across Europe, fighting a diversity of causes such as garbage collection (Italy), nuke waste (Germany), and extension of retirement age (France). Institutional fragmentation is going on in the West/North right now, and few seem to observe them sharply.

Africa and Western Asia are the most vulnerable at this juncture to balkanization and fragmentation. Latin American countries are experiencing a parallel fragmentation too, owing to new global crime problems of drug cartels and drug-related conflicts. Such vulnerabilities render African economies flat on their backs, while Latin American countries will have to work out doubly harder to insulate themselves from the burning economies and polities of the North.

Fortunately, we see the light of the globe in the very positive developments that are going on in East Asia (ASEAN + India + China + Korea) as their respective economies soar the heavens and drive growth for the globe as a whole. Brazil’s socialist president Rousseff was just elected to power, thus sustaining a general welfare program begun by his very popular predecessor Lula.

Light for the globe is coming from the South, from Asia and the dynamic economies of South America. For as long as such growth exemplars abound, the planet is will not fall into the Hades of another Dark Age.

Clearly, it is the northern countries and their dirty operators that foment troubles across the planet, that are in dire straits. As they seemingly stretch out their hands to engage the dynamic South in cooperation, their leaders at the same time bad mouth China and countries of the South like dirty pests. Such doublespeak is sociopathic, and is indicative of the fragmentation and fascistic behavior brewing up North.

For as long as we have leaders and states that operate along a perspective of ‘dialogues of cultures’, the world will continue to be a livable place. The contagion of the ‘dialogue of cultures’ is powerful enough to make waves, neutralizing the demonic ‘clash of civilizations’ peddled by the intellectual prostitutes of the global oligarchy.

Sometime back, our own patriot Andres Bonifacio turned into a rallying banner for inventing a new nation-state. May each and everyone of us go back to the virtues taught to us by our founding patriots, and let us espouse their very own cause for creating strong nation-states while we also continue to enlarge our spheres of influence for a ‘dialogues of cultures’.

Mabuhay kayong lahat! Long live!

[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]

YOUR ESTEEMED RECOGNITION OF THIS BLOGGER WARMS THE HEART, THANKS!

November 27, 2010

Prof. Erle Frayne D. Argonza

November 2010

Felicitous greetings to you all!

Let me continue to reverb the message of a most heartfelt gratitude to you enthused readers and fellow analysts/writers who appreciate my notes on society, wisdom, and self-development.

My own eyes continue to witness the rise of end-users and discussants, as I visited the search engines to monitory those sites that have quoted or discoursed on my writings. My social blogs ensue being esteemed among the world’s top sociology blogs, warming up my heart ceaselessly.

With your impeccable appreciation and support of my cyber-crusade, information about me on the internet expanded by several folds.

Special thanks to the following online news, magazines and portals for citing my notes as among the top blogs on cyberspace:

http://thedailyreviewer.com

http://humanitariannews.org

http://www.nonprofit.org

http://sociology.alltop.com

http://clpl-india.com

http://pul.se

http://asiafinest.com

http://newestnews.net

http://topcityblogs.com

 

Thanks too to the following sites that have cited, discussed and debated on various notes of mine about a diversity of topics and themes:

 

http://adamsmithlegacy.com

http://alltop.com

http://artsandsciencesfilipiniana.blogspot.com

http://asean-society.org

http://awakento1.org

http://bedico.multiply.com

http://benjaminmangubat.multiply.com

http://blissnbaguio.multiply.com

http://blog.searchaid.info

http://blog-yemek-tarifi.com

http://boardreader.com

http://botd.wordpress.com

http://cantbustme.com

http://castasiaforum.org

http://cc.bingj.com

http://cewek-cantik.com

http://conceptsinproduction.com

http://connect.in.com

http://csmotes.com

http://culturalrelativism.blogspot.com

http://deepmarket.com

http://domainsbyip.com

http://dprogram.net

http://dumiabimdanbella.info

http://eastasiaforum.org

http://eeeph.netbooks.ph

http://en.wasalive.com

http://esthernababan.blogspot.com

http://eternalgodliness.punt.com

http://ewss.ifrance.com

http://extrafastnews.co.cc

http://facetopics.com

http://forum.prisonplanet.com

http://forumpolis.com

http://fototoday.net

http://garneringrightideas.com

http://globalbalita.com

http://groups.google.it

http://hubpages.com

http://iamretromanila.multiply.com

http://jeffmahonc.com

http://jk22.blogspot.com

http://josephparton.com

http://koha.nip.gov.ph

http://lanaodelsur.inetgiant.com.hp

http://leathernews.myip.org

http://lovingenergies.spruz.com

http://luciotanwatch.blogspot.com

http://marketingkristin.ning.com

http://maryraab.wordpress.com

http://mixx.com

http://mmsnews.cz.cc

http://mountzion.ning.com

http://nisim-tw.com

http://nonprofits.info

http://nuip.net

http://omgili.com

http://online-profitsnow.com

http://opitslinkfest.blogspot.com

http://origin-bx.businessweek.com

http://paper.li

http://peacocksandlilies.com

http://penditasuvarmabhuni.blogspot.com

http://petites-phrases.com

http://pipl.com

http://pirs08.webs.com

http://politekon.blogspot.com

http://psychicdirectory.wallwack.com

http://pulitika2010.wordpress.com

http://revspeech.proboards.com

http://r-domain.net

http://shopswissskydiver.net

http://surchur.com

http://tibak.freeserver.com

http://trendbuzz.com

http://tweetmeme.com

http://webpac.lib.nthu.ed.tw

http://wordsdomination.com

http://www.123people.com

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com

http://www.aidworkers.net

http://www.answerbag.co.uk

http://www.asean-society.net

http://www.asiafinest.com.br

http://www.ask.com

http://www.blogged.com

http://www.blogsope.net

http://www.buildhome.tizo.pl

http://www.carboncapturereport.org

http://www.cnn.com

http://www.davidicke.com

http://www.deepmarket.com

http://www.drunkduck.com

http://www.elib.gov.ph

http://www.familycommitment.org

http://www.finir.org

http://www.fiskedepan.se

http://www.godlikeproductions.com

http://www.hcrefund.com

http://www.icerocket.com

http://www.iyou.me

http://www.jamesoo.com

http://www.linkedin.com

http://www.longislandrealestatecentral.com

http://www.lowongankerjajulis.com

http://www.mb.com.ph

http://www.mixx.com

http://www.mode.org

http://www.mynewsdigest.com

http://www.onlineobchody.com

http://www.pakspectator.com

http://www.peekyou.com

http://www.pep.ph

http://www.pointsdevente.com

http://www.politicaltaxes.com

http://www.psychantenna.com

http://www.pubsub.com

http://www.rehabfromdrug.com

http://www.samepoint.com

http://www.spiritbond.com

http://www.tapatt.net

http://www.theakan.com

http://www.toluu.com

http://www.topix.com

http://www.untitledarchive.com

http://www.usforcenews.info

http://www.wallcloud.net

http://www.wealthyauthority.com

http://www.westpalmferrari.com

http://www.wopular.com

http://www.yasni.co.uk

http://www.zitrend.com

http://www.zoominfo.com

http://www3.mbl.sp1.yahoo.com

http://vd.finline.2y.net

http://yasamkadin.com

http://yoga-experts.info

 

Gracious thanks to you all! Mabuhay!

ASEAN AEROSPACE PROGRAM

November 10, 2010

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

Magandang araw! Good day, most especially to fellow Southeast Asians!

For this piece I’m going to focus on the theme of an ASEAN-wide rocket industry-based aerospace program. ASEAN is about to integrate economically by 2015, so may the member states put in the list of agenda for action the launching of a regional aerospace program.

As the region’s member countries grow at immense rates, the middle class of the region will likewise grow that will serve as its sustaining consumption base. A large middle class will mean a higher demand for telecommunications infrastructures that will, in the main, depend on satellite and related facilities.

So, instead of each member country trying to outdo each other by launching their respective rocket industry-based aerospace programs, the countries better sit down together within the aegis of an ASEAN economic union, concur a binding agreement regarding the launching of an ASEAN aerospace program, and fund the entire program internally from ASEAN resources.

With an ASEAN central bank in place by 2015, it wouldn’t be so difficult to generate funds internally for all sorts of grand projects from infrastructures to aerospace. An ASEAN development bank would then be securitized by the central bank and allocate funds for the aerospace program.

Malaysia today is in the stage of research & development for a rocket industry and has begun training & development for its technical experts. It may be prudent for the ASEAN to assign to Malaysia a lead role in orchestrating the ASEAN aerospace, with the quid pro quo of compensating Malaysia for lending its expertise and certain aspects of the backward linkages for the future industry.

The aerospace program would largely be used to launch satellites and only secondarily for space research & development. The space R & D can come later, maybe at a time when the ASEAN will be prepared for political unification in the long run.

With a satellite industry in place, the ASEAN can then compete with other market stakeholders (countries & regions with satellite industry) to supply and launch the satellites of other developing countries. Project costs can be cut down at the satellite production phase, thus bringing down prices of ready-to-launch satellites and ensuring patronage by many developing countries.

All of the essential components—at the backward linkages—of satellite production are now present as running industries in the region. From metallurgy to computer software & hardware, name it and the region has it. Hence the viability of satellite industry is very high enough.

It is in the domain of rockets that the ASEAN would need to co-partner with other countries at the production phase. It can be an option for ASEAN to co-partner with Russia that can supply the rockets that will launch ASEAN’s satellites. China and India are other options also for supplying the rockets.

However, in the long run the economic union should work out to establish a strong rocket industry for itself. The rocket industry can spin off into a more comprehensive program later, one that can be extended to launching R & D in other planets and their respective moons, space tourism, and sending missions beyond the solar system.

Rocket technology can also be modified so as to integrate it into the mining industry, so that in the long term ASEAN can mine for metals in other celestial bodies. Environmental standards are getting to be stricter by the year, standards that can constrain the extraction of rare & precious metals regionally, so the alternative in such a context would be to mine for the metals in other celestial bodies.

The aerospace program is one developmental area that will prove the potency of a regional approach to launching it contrasted to country-initiated approach. Given the gargantuan level of funding that a rocket industry cum satellite industry will entail, funding that a member country will be hard put to supply, then regionalize the program altogether to circumvent country constraints.

[Philippines, 07 November 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]

$100B MEKONG INTEGRATED PROJECT TO BOOST ASEAN POTENCY

November 8, 2010

Erle Frayne Argonza y Delago

Magandang araw! Good day!

Around two (2) years ago, I articulated in one article the gigantic project that will rise in the Mekong River very soon. I was at that time already very supportive of the project, a support that I will re-echo at this moment.

For those unfamiliar with the project, a plan was hatched at the middle part of the decade for an integrated project along the Mekong River. Since the river begins upstream at the China side, China logically has to be involved in it. Finally, with blueprints for implementation on the go around 2007 yet, China committed to fund the projected cost of $100 Billion.

So huge a project, it will have couples of components into it. Power generation, irrigation, flood control, transportation, and tourism comprise the core sector components. A project of that size is four (4) times bigger than China’s own 3-Gorges Dam (it cost $23 at 2000 price index) and could be the largest that the world will ever have experienced once fully accomplished.

Benefiting approximately 300 million beneficiaries along its courses, the project is bound to spur development and generate incomes many folds larger than its total investments. If we use the econometric index of annual income yield that is 10X, then we can expect an annual income yield of $1 Trillion from out of the upstream and downstream industries induced by the project.

Since China is involved in it right now (as implementation is going on), then we expect China to receive the ROI (return on investments) in the widest expanse of benefits possible. That means, once fully operational, China will infuse more investments in the region to fully benefit from the project alone. The ROI will then be much greater than the original $100 accruing to China alone on an annual basis.

We can therefore hope for an excellent win/win situation for China and the ASEAN countries involved (Vietnam is the lead country executor). In the long run, we should hope that the same project would accrue to the growth & development of the entire ASEAN region that is bound to institute an economic union by 2015.

A win/win formula for the ASEAN itself is for it to use the Mekong project as exemplar to design and implement similar projects in other member countries, particularly in island southeast Asia. A particular office can be created in the ASEAN secretariat to oversee and help similar projects that can spin off in other parts of the region.

Since an ASEAN central bank is due for institution by 2015, let us expect that monetary instruments for financial packages can be had for gigantic infrastructure projects of the magnitude of the Mekong project. Probably an ASEAN Development Bank can also rise alongside the central bank, thus reinforcing the potency for launching gigantic projects that will be financed internally by the region itself.

If ever the ASEAN will wish to tap other countries for co-financing of the projects, it should be the emerging markets as top priority such as China, India, and Brazil, countries that will be more sympathetic to regional development. The option will help us veer away from the mal-intents of Northern banks that tied up developing countries in debt peonage and won at the expense of the developing countries.

As a matter of goodwill, ASEAN should better enter into the picture and look at other facets of the project that the future union can fund. The expansion phases of the Mekong project, for instance, can be taken over by the ASEAN itself, thus lessening dependence from external funders.

There are always pains to any large project, these being part of the costs of any undertaking. Nonetheless, the Mekong project should be supported and must go on until full completion. This will render it as an exemplar just right in time for the creation of the ASEAN economic union by 2015.

[Philippines, 05 November 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]

FOR CITING MY WRITES AMONG TOP BLOGS, GRATITUDE!

September 26, 2010

FOR CITING MY WRITES AMONG TOP BLOGS, GRATITUDE!

Prof. Erle Frayne D. Argonza / Guru Ra

Felicitous greetings to you all!

I hereby extend my most heartfelt gratitude to enthused readers and fellow writers who appreciated my notes about social life, wisdom and arts.

Just about three (3) years ago, there was very little information about my person on cyberspace. Today, as I’ve spread my messages of Light and hope to all of the corners of the globe via the blogs and social networks, many enthused souls responded through reading, exchanges of notes, and citations of my works. Finally, after your appreciation and support of my cyber-crusade, information about me on cyberspace increased by gigantic strides.

Special thanks to the following online news, magazines and portals for citing my notes as among the top blogs on cyberspace:

Thanks too to the following sites that have cited, discussed and debated on various notes of mine about a diversity of topics and themes:

http://adamsmithlegacy.com

http://alltop.com

http://asean-society.org

http://blog.searchaid.info

http://awakento1.org

http://boardreader.com

http://cantbustme.com

http://castasiaforum.org

http://conceptsinproduction.com

http://deepmarket.com

http://eeeph.netbooks.ph

http://globalbalita.com

http://leathernews.myip.org

http://mixx.com

http://mmsnews.cz.cc

http://nuip.net

http://online-profitsnow.com

http://origin-bx.businessweek.com

http://peacocksandlilies.com

http://petites-phrases.com

http://pipl.com

http://pirs08.webs.com

http://www.rehabfromdrug.com

http://revspeech.proboards.com

http://surchur.com

http://www.toluu.com

http://trendbuzz.com

http://webpac.lib.nthu.ed.tw

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com

http://www.answerbag.co.uk

http://www.ask.com

http://www.blogged.com

http://www.blogsope.net

http://www.carboncapturereport.org

http://www.cnn.com

http://www.deepmarket.com

http://www.familycommitment.org

http://www.finir.org

http://www.icerocket.com

http://www.iyou.me

http://www.mynewsdigest.com

http://nisim-tw.com

http://www.onlineobchody.com

http://www.pointsdevente.com

http://www.psychantenna.com

http://www.pubsub.com

http://www.samepoint.com

http://www.spiritbond.com

http://www.tapatt.net

http://www.theakan.com

http://www.topix.com

http://www.usforcenews.info

http://www.wealthyauthority.com

http://www.westpalmferrari.com

http://www.wopular.com

http://yoga-experts.info

Maraming salamat! Thank you very much! Love & Light!

September 2010

CHINA’S 3-GORGES DAM: DAMNING ECO-FASCIST CATASTR0PHE DISCOURSE

September 25, 2010

CHINA’S 3-GORGES DAM: DAMNING ECO-FASCIST CATASTR0PHE DISCOURSE

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Good morning to all ye global citizens! Goodwill and peace to you!

For this day I chose to peregrinate on the 3-Gorges Dam of China, a project that cost a whopping $23 Billion to build. The eco-fascist detractors of the project raised the specter of catastrophe that could result from a collapse of the dam infrastructure, so maybe its time to reflect about the giant energy project.

I just arrived from overseas assignment in 2002 when I had the opportunity to discuss the 3-Gorges dam in my social science classes in Manila. At that time, I was offered a Director post in a think-tank of the Augustinian sisters, a stint that gave me opportunity to mine enormous data about the latest development engagements nationally and globally. I also taught as lecturer while directing research, which surely offered me a privileged position to reflect about global issues.

Being one who has been involved in the planning works on ambitious development projects (e.g. industrial estate/free trade zone, economic support projects for marginal sectors worth hundreds of millions of dollars) as a practitioner, I was truly appreciative of the efforts of China’s state to tame the Yangtze and tap its power-packed waters for electrification, irrigation, and subsidiary purposes. Though environmentally-driven myself, I am not wont to deliver satirical and destructive remarks about such a project as the 3-Gorges Dam that can benefit a greater section of China’s population and economy.

There are always negative trade-offs to any big endeavor, such as the displacement of 1.4 million folks along the reservoir area of the dam. What project of such a stature in the world doesn’t have a downside to it anyway? The downsides are the ones highlighted the most by paid hacksters of the West’s financier oligarchs, notably the political greenies whose obsessive-compulsive reflexes are unmatched anywhere in the world.

The USA had its own taste of baptism of fire from destructive commentators when the FD Roosevelt regime built the Hoover Dam. A pioneering infrastructure and energy project during its own time, the project received enormous media detractions that were paid by Nazi  oligarchs in the homeland who, not to say the least, owned and controlled America’s giant media outfits (they own media till these days). The detractors did everything in the books in fact to destroy FDR for his innovative New Deal measures that included massive infrastructures as pump priming tool to take out America from the Great Depression towards recovery and prosperity.

As one can see, the Hoover Dam stood the test of time, and it remains as one of the marvels of America’s public works. It is too early to say about what can happen to the 3-Gorges Dam, but it has parallelisms to the Hoover Dam and other ambitious infrastructure projects of the New Deal heydays, projects that the predatory financiers in America couldn’t play their hands with as they are primarily state-sponsored.

Understandly, the West’s financiers can not benefit directly from projects initiated by China’s government, even as it is now too late for destructive Western forces to take down China’s economy through massive looting of the financial markets the way they’ve done to their own domestic economies in the EU and USA. So they employ those civil society groups that receive funds from the financiers’ ‘corporate social responsibility’ coffers, with the expectation that the activist funds recipients would drum up the destructive impacts of projects they cannot control such as the 3-Gorges Dam.

In the event of heavy rainfalls however, there is reason to keep watch over the waters’ possible exceeding the 175-meter limit of the dam’s reservoir. As shown by our own precedents in the Philippines, the dam’s administrators used the contingency tool of releasing parts of the waters before the same could ever do damage on the dam through an overflow that could trigger a catastrophic burst of the infrastructure.

With decades of hydraulics experience behind our local experts here, this much I can say: so far so good! True, there were casualties who suffered from the inundations caused by the contingency releases of the rising floodwaters. But no single dam ever burst catastrophically yet, a catastrophe that could have resulted to higher casualties of at least a couple of millions of folks.

It’s now the start of the ‘ember’ months, and so far we are witness to the 3-Gorges Dam standing tall. So far so good! There are still three (3) more months to hurdle before the storms will bring heavy rainfalls, but so far the indications are the dam administrators can manage the hydraulic flows efficaciously.

If there is any message I can deliver to the eco-fascist blabbermouths, they should spread themselves across the world’s continents and plant trees in the de-forested boondocks. This behavior would be truly exemplary, as it will show that sociopathic groups and persons can also exhibit productive behavior during times of crisis.

[Philippines, 15 September 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]

ENLIGHTENING ARGONZA WRITINGS SURGE WORLD TOP BLOGS!

September 23, 2010

ENLIGHTENING ARGONZA WRITINGS SURGE WORLD TOP BLOGS!

Good day to all endeared readers, friends, fellow global citizens!

A truly gladdening news has been breaking the cybersphere of late. Prof. Erle Frayne Argonza, a social analyst and self-development guru from Manila, has been continuing to gain mileage in his magnanimous efforts to enlighten humanity about the current social and cosmic issues.

To date, dozens of online newspapers and magazines across the globe have featured Prof. Argonza’s writings on their very own websites. Championing the causes of peace and global cooperation, Prof. Argonza has continued to reach out to enthused readers, writers and spiritual seekers. The latter contributed to the upsurge in the numbers of citations of Argonza’s writings aimed at accelerating awareness-raising.

For your reads and exchange of notes about Prof. Argonza’s blogs, please visit:

SOCIAL WRITINGS:

https://unladtau.wordpress.com, http://erleargonza.blogspot.com

WISDOM WRITINGS:

http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com, http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com

ART & POETRY:

http://erleargonza.wordpress.com, http://argonzapoem.blogspot.com

Join now the growing numbers of global citizens who find Light in Prof. Argonza’s englightening blogs!

Argonza & Associates Consulting

September 2010

TOP BLOG SITES:

http://thedailyreviewer.com

http://humanitariannews.org

http://www.nonprofit.org

http://sociology.alltop.com

http://clpl-india.com

http://pul.se

http://asiafinest.com

http://newestnews.net

http://topcityblogs.com

CITED ARGONZA BLOGS FOR DIVERSE THEME DISCUSSIONS & ANNOTATIONS:

http://adamsmithlegacy.com

http://alltop.com

http://asean-society.org

http://blog.searchaid.info

http://awakento1.org

http://boardreader.com

http://cantbustme.com

http://castasiaforum.org

http://conceptsinproduction.com

http://deepmarket.com

http://eeeph.netbooks.ph

http://globalbalita.com

http://leathernews.myip.org

http://mixx.com

http://mmsnews.cz.cc

http://nuip.net

http://online-profitsnow.com

http://origin-bx.businessweek.com

http://peacocksandlilies.com

http://petites-phrases.com

http://pipl.com

http://pirs08.webs.com

http://www.rehabfromdrug.com

http://revspeech.proboards.com

http://surchur.com

http://www.toluu.com

http://trendbuzz.com

http://webpac.lib.nthu.ed.tw

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com

http://www.answerbag.co.uk

http://www.ask.com

http://www.blogged.com

http://www.blogsope.net

http://www.carboncapturereport.org

http://www.cnn.com

http://www.deepmarket.com

http://www.familycommitment.org

http://www.finir.org

http://www.icerocket.com

http://www.iyou.me

http://www.mynewsdigest.com

http://nisim-tw.com

http://www.onlineobchody.com

http://www.pointsdevente.com

http://www.psychantenna.com

http://www.pubsub.com

http://www.samepoint.com

http://www.spiritbond.com

http://www.tapatt.net

http://www.theakan.com

http://www.topix.com

http://www.usforcenews.info

http://www.wealthyauthority.com

http://www.westpalmferrari.com

http://www.wopular.com

http://yoga-experts.info

ANOTHER STIMULUS PACKAGE BY OBAMA?

September 22, 2010

ANOTHER STIMULUS PACKAGE BY OBAMA?

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Good evening from the paradise boondocks south of Manila!

The weather in this tropical area where I reside right today has been so fine for almost two (2) weeks now, and this is unusual for the month of September when four (4) storms pass over the country on the average. At any rate, this makes me a bit happy, enough to ruminate again about the global economy specifically the White House policy pronouncements.

I was among those analysts and development experts in my country who made a go for stimulus packages as core ‘pump priming’ strategy for staving off the ill effects of the global recession. To recall, I even went to the extent of saying my kudos for America’s own stimulus package that was pronounced late by then president Bush and then extended by the new president Obama.

Being all to familiar with pump priming, as I had been witness to how this tool was wielded every time we experienced the pains of spiraling crash right in my own country, I have been all too eager to see the tool be employed judiciously in the Northern countries (EU, USA-Canada, Japan) that have either remained flat growth-wise for successive years or crashed calamitously such as what the USA went through in 2002 and 2007.

The Obama administration had its chance of employing this tool, with no less than $800 Billion as war chest for its execution, and somehow the pump priming proved to have stopped the catastrophic collapse that went on after the implosion of the realty bubble in ‘07. As per my own textbook orientation in macro-economics, it takes two (2) years for a stimulus program to optimize the economy back from appalling sub-optimal performance accountable to a recessionary crash.

The two (2) years since the package was begun by Bush yet will end this month, as far as I can recall the beginnings of it. After the two (2) year gestation period is over, it is standard task for policy-makers and stakeholders to evaluate the overall performance of the measure. The evaluation will unveil what kinks remain that were largely un-addressed by the measure.

It is surprising on my part to learn of the latest pronouncements from the White House that the US president is again ready to launch a new stimulus package on top of the existing one, coming at a time when the first package has never been evaluated to the fullest. The next package includes tax cuts that are but a rehash of the Bush-era stimulus for big business.

I just hope that the pump priming won’t be misconstrued as rendering the stimulus tool into a permanent policy tool. Just by pronouncing that a new stimulus package is on the drawing board can already send jitters to business stakeholders as the pronouncement is a tacit acceptance of the failure to revive the economy as a whole, and that a new round of recession could be in the offing.

Maybe the White House has in mind not only the US economy but also that of its Atlantic partner Europe. Hasn’t the USA been handling fresh cash to Europe to mitigate the bursting of bubbles and gnawing crisis there? Did the White House or Federal Reserve even bother to submit a report to the US Congress about the subsidies to Europe, subsidies that should be hands-me-down to America’s laborers who continue to suffer from the ballooning unemployment in the homeland?

The White House pronouncement is also sending bad signals to Asia’s emerging markets that have already been growing appreciably over the past eight (8) months of the year. Asia’s own stock markets, financial and money markets are trembling over the Obama stimulus news, and there are now silent moves inside board rooms to map out contingency measures in case that the USA will go thru another round of recession in the aftermath of the failure of the first stimulus package to induce totally recovery.

If there is anything I can advise to the White House and Federal Reserve technocrats at this point, it is to desist from making such an untimely measure. Ensure that the most optimal results from the first stimulus package were achieved first of all, report the results to the US congress and the world community, and show clear patterns of transparency in the dealings regarding the pump priming.

If a stimulus package is utilized largely to fatten the purses of corporate executives and owners, who will then use the same to buy new yatch and spend most luxuriously for their board meetings, then the clear message is this: forget about stimulus package!!!

[Philippines, 14 September 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]

RURAL DEVELOPMENT SHOULD BE TOP PRIORITY WORLDWIDE

August 26, 2010

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Good evening from the Philippines’ highland suburbs!

For this note I will focus on the thesis that rural development should be pursued by developing countries. The world’s nations have pursued growth that has been badly skewed towards urbanization and commercialization since after World War II, a total effort that has seen many people become poor as a result. Most of the poor folks are in rural hinterlands and fisherfolks.

The Philippines is a classic case in point that has been direly affected by the badly skewed development in favor of urbanization, an endeavor that has been fostered at the expense of rural communities of farmers, fisherfolks, and Indigenous Peoples or IPs. Today, Philippine population is 66% urban and 34% rural, with 2% added to urban population every year.

As urbanization grows, rural poverty likewise grows in my beloved country. Rural to urban poverty ratio here is 2.5:1 and is still moving up. It was 2.1:1 in 1989, and the situation has been deteriorating ever since. 70% of the country’s poor families are rural, with only 30% as urban. Very clearly, between the two, it is rural development that must be pursued with vigor to reverse the poverty situation in the country as a whole.

To demonstrate what I mean by skewed development, consider the following information:

ü  MetroManila or simply Manila, the national capital region (NCR), produces 30% or nearly 1/3 of the nation’s wealth. Yet it supports merely 12% o3 1/8 of the nation’s population.

ü  As of end of 2009, Manila contributed a whopping US $65 Billion to the country’s $186 Billion GDP or gross domestic product. Using UNDP converter index, Manila’s GDP, multiplied by 4, registered an enviable $260 Billion-Purchasing Power Parity or PPP for 2009, rendering it as wealthy as the whole of Vietnam.

ü  Included among the world’s 35 most wealthy and powerful mega-cities—comprising the ‘global nexus’—Manila’s economy remains at 65% services and 35% industries, with nary a food base worth documenting. These economic sectors are the highest in value-added, ensuring high levels of income for all component cities and towns of the mega-city.

ü  Poverty in Manila has been reduced to a manageable 8%, rendering it on an even much better situation than the USA’s whose poverty incidence had climbed from 12% in 2002 to 15% today. Manila has all the resources it needs to solve its own poverty and development problems, which made it drastically reduce poverty since the 1990s.

ü  Therefore, Manila should no longer be subsidized by national government in terms of development projects, from roads to international airports (Los Angeles & US cities are building their own airports without federal or state government support). Yet, as records show, billions of dollars are still being poured by national government to bankroll gigantic projects here, such as lightrail systems, international airport expansion, and flood control.

ü  On top of those national government-initiated projects is Pagcor City, a world-class theme park-cum-gaming complex that is costing U.S. $25 Billion (with private participation). It will employ 250,000 and will house the world’s tallest tower. It is targeted for completion in 2014.

So, as you can see from the Philippine case, whereas the mega-city receives billions of dollars for new projects and urban renewal, the rural areas continue to wallow in appalling states of abject poverty. Lucky enough if a region outside Manila would be appropriated P1 Billion or U.S. $24 Million at any given year from the pork barrels of Congress.

Fisherfolks in my country are particularly the most vulnerable to poverty and deleterious living conditions spawned by it. With poverty incidence at 66%, you could easily see why past 40% of fisherfolks’ children suffer from advanced malnutrition. The situation of over-fishing in the entire country compounds the poverty situation of marginal fisherfolks who can ill afford to equip themselves with state-of-the art fishing gears to compete with commercial fishers.

To say that the Philippines is in a transition phase, and that poverty and malnutrition will disappear it time as the country reaches development ‘maturity’, is pure delusion. Without active intervention to improve the capacities and capabilities of fisherfolks, farmers, and IPs, the problem of poverty will never fade away but will, as a matter of fact, worsen with time.

With so many rural folks wallowing in cesspools of pauperization, we can at best watch more rural insurgencies feast upon the resentment-filled minds of the rural poor. As the Philippine case has shown, past rural insurgencies have ceased only to be replaced by new, bigger, and more ferocious insurgencies.

[Philippines, 11 August 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]

WATER RIOTS IN MANILA: TOO SOON!

August 5, 2010

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Good evening from the Philippines!

A water crisis is now looming big in Manila (the entire metropolis), the Philippine’s premier big city. The western side of the big city is particularly badly affected by pilferages and spillages (over 55% lost), thus reducing the volume of water available to around 7 million people more or less.

Such a situation has been causing panic lately on urban residents, a panic that could lead to water riots. The western side of the big city is flatlands, which renders it vulnerable to floods and consequent destruction of water pipelines during calamities. Contrast that to the eastern side that comprises of highlands where watershed areas are nestled.

Just recently, the palace officials in Manila have been pronouncing the mobilization of army troops to help deter possible water riots. This is a new twist in the history of army missions, as the mission is one of police task in an urban setting (most army missions comprise of anti-insurgency tasks in rural hinterlands).

The outbreak of water conflicts right at the heart of Manila appears  culled from the futuristic narratives of Isaac Asimov. The sci-fi genius prophesied (right after World War II) that the future will see communities divided between suburban highlands and urban lowlands. The residents of the suburbs, whose living comfort in gated villages is accompanied by robot sentinels, will comprise the upper class, while those of the urban lowlands, who will be exposed to the hovels of pollution, will comprise the lower class.

The urban-suburban divide seems to be gelling so fast in this country today. The water crisis caught palace officials and utilities bureaucrats flatfooted, even as they have been acting in near-hysteria fashion. A water war right in the big city is looming ahead, and there’s nothing in the management textbooks of the officials that can offer them quick solutions to an escalating crisis.

I do recall well that in the late 1990s, when I went back to graduate school to hone my skills in development policy via retooling with state-of-the-art analysis and social technologies, we already forecast the possibility of water wars (during classroom discussions). At that time, certain towns in the Cordilleras (mountain range to the north) began matter-of-factly to quarrel over water source and distribution. And so the challenge for us development workers was to craft mitigation measures that can deter such wars.

As soon as the new millennium began, Singapore and Malaysia did have some diplomatic confrontation regarding the issue of Singapore’s access to water sources found in Malaysia. The water source, so to speak, was getting depleted, thus slowly disabling Singapore from meeting its water needs. Desalination was the strategic solution to the problem, a surefire solution by Singapore’s visionary leaders that averted another conflict between the two polities (the earlier conflict led to Singapore’s separation from the Malaysian federation).

Certain policy experts and development workers are quite prepared for the eventuality of water wars in this 2nd world country, true. But those in the palace and even the legislature just may not have that luck of being exposed to new policy and institutional tools to deal with water-based conflicts.

Certainly too, the local execs and bureaucrats of Manila are unprepared for such a gargantuan crisis and eminent conflict based on water access and distribution. They haven’t retooled, and I know this for a fact based on my interaction with local officials known to me in the big city. They are mired in the old world, a world that is long gone (10 years ago in today’s context of rapid change is too long a time gone).

A water-based Asimovian nightmare is shaping up fast in Manila, and probably in other mega-cities around the world as well, a nightmare that is over-stretching the competencies of Establishment bureaucrats and politicians. The crisis exacerbates the urgency for urban lowland dwellers to leave the flatlands once and for all for the greener and water-rich highland suburbs, which could be the lowlanders’ panic complex response.

As an analyst and development practitioner, I am critical of any decision to use police state tactics to resolve the crisis. Scare tactics won’t let the problem fade away at all. The stakeholders better do their homework well, by getting together to dialogue, think and act. Through good all consensus they can configure what course of action to take that includes desalination of waters off Manila Bay.

Meantime, I am now all the more discouraged from ever residing or working in urban flatlands. Safely niched in Manila’s western highlands and suburban Calabarzon for the longest part of my life, I’d now rather heed the Asimovian option of better living in the suburbs, with or without the robot sentinels in our subdivision villages.

[Philippines, 23 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]

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

July 31, 2010

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’ billionaire 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]

[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]

BRAZIL JETTISONS ECONOMICALLY: KUDOS, SUSTAIN & LEAD!

July 27, 2010

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Brazil is now clearly leading the growth path of the entire South America, and this is a most welcome news. I am truly impressed by the developments down south that Brazil had led, and so I extend my kudos to the citizens and development stakeholders of Brazil.

Under the able stewardship of the very popular president Lula, the growth policies of the country were strengthened and sustained. The added feature is that, under a socialist regime, Brazil’s social policy had been further stressed and strengthened, with the hopeful gains of growth distributed more equitably to the poor folks of the cities and countrysides.

As we should all realize, South America isn’t exactly following a growth trend akin to East Asia’s. While Asia generally surges upwards, breathing new life to the global economy, that of South America’s could only count on specific countries (not general trend) jettisoning their ways further upwards. Brazil, Argentina, Chile are the most concrete success stories, while Mexico burns in the embers of an anti-drug war (Mexico sputters in its role as a growth driver).

Among all regions down south (America), it seems that the Brazil-Mercosur promises the greatest hope for the continent. It remains to be seen though how far this can be sustained. Contrast this to Asia, where three regions—Northeast Asia (China-Korea), Southeast Asia (ASEAN), and South Asia (India-led)—are acting as a grand chorale that enchants and enthralls the global economy as a whole.

Brazil, as an emerging market, clearly leads the pack in the whole of the continent, and being large enough by itself, it can jettison ahead and be the equivalent of China-India-ASEAN of the south. Its ‘real economy’ is the base of its growth that enables it to veer away from the anarchic and destructive ‘virtual economy’ policies up north (America).

Such an upward surge should move on till the aerospace program of Brazil will clearly be established as solid rock, thus ensuring the country’s entry as a top producer of affordable satellites for diverse end-users. It can go on and establish, in 25 years’ time, active metallurgical R&D in other planets such as Mars and Jupiter that can be alternative sources of metals for our own planet.

Also, Brazil better lead in creating a continental-looping railway that can accelerate development of the other regions, quicken the movement of skilled peoples and information across borders, and magnify continental trade by many folds. Likewise should Brazil lead in cyber-looping the continent with state-of-the-art infotech cables like what the East is now ambitiously embarking on.

Likewise should Brazil lead in massive energy investments, with clean technologies leading the way. Incidentally, biofuels and other clean energies are now surging upwards in the emerging market, with a policy environment in place that qualitatively is as sterling as East Asia’s (the Philippines has one such policy environment now well built up).

On the other hand, Brazil should better go slow in taming the Amazons with massive energy projects that could sadly kill the indigenous cultures that are among the country’s top endowments. Furthermore, in no way should the Amazon jungles’ diverse species be terminated for the sake of producing power, mineral resources, timber, and heavy industries for the country and its trading partners.

The world is watching Brazil mutate into a gigantic pillar of the global economy, we in Asia are surely watching with awe, and such a rise of a giant will ensure that the imperialist power up north will tone down its hegemonic attitudes towards the southern continent in the short run. The USA should better choose the path of cooperation with the south if it desires to remain relevant at all, as its own economy slides down a 3rd world level notwithstanding the continuous ‘virtual economy’ predation of its industries, agriculture, and infrastructures.

Surging upwards under a series of conscienticized and enlightened leaders, Brazil will continue to come on as sweet and enchanting as samba and bossa nova. To celebrate Brazil’s victories, we better chill out with Brazilian music & dance while we relish Brazilian cuisine in a spirit of peace and cooperation worldwide.

[Philippines, 21 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]

EUROPE & AMERICA ON DOWNWARD SLIDE TO 3RD WORLD ECONOMIES

July 24, 2010

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]

[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]

APPRECIATING PARK CHUNG HEE

July 17, 2010

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Magandang araw! Good day!

For so long now did I harbor an admiration for certain leaders of the South, one of whom is the late Park Chung Hee of South Korea. Among the most admirable of developmentalist Asian leaders, I nurtured wishful thoughts that hopefully we can have the equivalent of Park Chung Hee for many developing economies so as to accelerate the graduation towards prosperity.

His governance style was authoritarian, which I surmise worked well for demonstrating political will in pushing through reform programs and the industrialization of his poor country. I am no dogmatist who contends that democracy is the only true best governance modality, though to my mind this is the most fit for my country the Philippines that has failed in attaining a mature developed economy via the martial law route.

South Korea was so poor as its economy was wrecked by two great wars, World War II and the Korean civil war. Right after the truce with the North, South Korea experienced the additional misfortune of selecting a corrupt leadership under Shingman Rhee which proved costly to the fledgeling nation.

Pushing through first of all with agrarian reform, by enticing the chaebols (big landlords) to divest in land and invest instead in manufacturing concerns, just couldn’t make a headway under that corrupt regime. And so it has to take the iron hands of a developmentalist authoritarian regime, under President Park, to rectify the malady and propel South Korea towards industrialization.

President Park thus enticed the chaebols to establish the strategic or heavy industries of the nation, with the state providing sovereign guarantees to their installation. The caveat was: the state will help the chaebols enable their newly owned industries and accumulate gains, but in no way should they engage in investments outside of Korea.

In an interview before with Dr. Antonio Arrizabal, former science & technology secretary and foremost expert on steel industry in the Philippines, he revealed that Park was forewarned by the Americans not to push through with the heavy industries. The first salvo of retaliatory measure by the American elites was the blockage of financing for the big projects.

Unwavering in his decision to pursue heavy industrialization, including the installation of steel and shipbuilding industries, President Park instead diversified the financing source. He turned to Japan for alternative financing, which the latter acceded to. The rise of Pohang Steel Works (once the world’s biggest steel producer) and Hyundai are clear testaments to the success of the industrialization program under the stewardship of President Park.

Very clearly, Park pursued a nationalist economic development policy regime for his country, using interventionist measures as well as capital controls. As shown by the experiences of other countries that have industrialized, state intervention and capital controls were necessary measures to propel their respective countries to industrial prosperity. Attendant social policies led to the creation of a huge middle class in the same countries, thus ensuring a steady and strong domestic market (consumption) for the manufactured goods of the country.

Park knew his economic lessons very well, and he coupled his vision with the determination and zeal to build a prosperous South Korea and a huge domestic market in the long run. And he was undaunted by external threats by the main imperialist power, the USA, of retaliatory attacks for establishing industries that would later compete with America’s and Western powers’ articles of manufactures.

For his deep patriotism and nationalism, he lost his life eventually. Inside the Korean government was a puppet of the Americans—the very chief of the Korean intelligence body (KCIA)—who snuffed off President Park’s life with a bullet.

I wish that the young Koreans and youth across the world today, who would become leaders in their own countries some day, would re-study the exemplar from Asia in the person of Park Chung Hee. No matter what threats may come from vested interests aimed at retarding the development of their respective country, they should go ahead just the same and stand pat on their wise judgement and decision to pursue highly ambitious yet doable and noble goals for their country.

Be ready to become martyrs for the cause of liberating your own country and people from poverty. For after you’re gone, there will be other patriots who will carry on with your cause and bring your sublime vision to fruition.

[Philippines, 10 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]

PHILIPPINES’ NEW PRESIDENT: AKBAR OR NERO?

July 1, 2010

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Magandang umaga! Good morning!

The whole Philippine nation is glued today on the event that will see the installation of the new president of the republic, the Hon. Benigno Aquino III or ‘Noynoy’. Whatever this day forebodes let us relegate to active file for the meantime, as my fellow Filipinos bask in the optimistic air created by the election of a new presidency via the first automated elections in the Philippines and the ASEAN.

The problems of the country are gargantuan, with governance problems of graft on top of the list. Tax revenues are falling short of targets, a ballooning budget deficit is threatening another round of fiscal crisis, poverty incidence is at least 1/3 of households, education is in crisis as it remains badly under-funded, grains self-sufficiency goals are a mess, and direct foreign investments or FDIs are negligible (1% of GNP).

Noynoy inherited from the outgoing presidency of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo both boons and banes. The above-stated situations are the primary banes. The boons are the graduation of RP’s economy from poor to middle income, the consistent positive growth befitting an emerging market, the reversal of a fiscal crisis, and the doubling of the economy since 2001.

Furthermore, the economy today has a balance of payments surplus, healthy current account situation, an annual foreign remittance level that breached the $17 Billions mark, while both exports and imports have moved upwards after the 2009 slack. Our Gross International Reserves or GIR stands at past the $45 Billion, enough to buy us worth nine (9) months of imports, beaconing that the old ailment of lack of foreign currencies (US dollar most specially) is now way behind us.

Thus, with the momentum of growth and big projects sustained at pace, the ‘high growth’ stage of our economy can end soon as we graduate to development ‘maturity’ before 2016. That done, we can move on to an ‘overdeveloped’ economy, the last phase of development, before 2025. Expectedly, Luzon will lead in that effort, followed by Visayas and Mindanao respectively.

Roughly, RP’s Gross National Product or GNP will hit $200 Billion by end of this year 2010. The figure uses the nominal value of the peso to the dollar. If we use the more accepted Purchasing Power Parity or PPP method, with multiplier of 4 to get us to our GNP-PPP, the country’s GNP is forecast at roughly $800 Billion (using UNDP index calculations).

Such a GNP figure renders the Philippines wealthier than many European countries for that matter. Even the Dutch, who were once the wealthiest people in Europe, would bow in reverence to us Filipinos for our Herculean efforts expended to get to where we are. Wait till RP gets to ‘overdeveloped’ stage yet when the GNP will hit beyond the $2.5 Trillion mark (PPP), which is now a visible possibility, thus effectively transforming the country into a creditor nation lending funds to cash-starved Western and developing countries.

Banes notwithstanding, the Filipinos had so much gains accrued across many decades of post-war survival. From geophysical to political turbulence the Pinoys experienced in grueling fashion of constant bombardments, yet the nation withstood them all as it now stands tall and confident in the community of nations.

RP has been transformed into a global nation, while its capital region Manila has mutated to a gigantic mega-city that is a constitutive part new global nexus of 35 top megacities in the world. Dr. Jose Rizal, the first Filipino and first global citizen of the humble nation, now possesses the reasons to feel happy over what has become of that nation that he died for (executed by the Spanish regime in 1898).

Now that Noynoy has the presidency in his shoulders, and a liberal-oligarchic alliance has been installed to power, what’s in store for the country? We’ve had decades of liberal reforms before us, with policy impositions from the IMF-World Bank and global oligarchy, so will the Noynoy regime recycle the same austerity measures and policies that led to greater mass poverty and the Filipino diaspora?

Will Noynoy become an Akbar whose reign saw efficiency and good governance that led to the re-emergence of a country from the shambles of fragmentation and neglect to prosperity and fame? Or will he be a Nero of Manila who fiddles in the presidential palace as he watches his polity & economy burn upon his own behest?

Where goes RP’s our gains after Noynoy’s six (6) years of incumbency? At the end of his mandate in 2016, will the Filipinos still sing “should I stay or should I go”?

[Philippines, 30 June 2012]

[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]