Yellow Pad RSS feed for this section

Beheadings and tortilla chips

Al Qaeda forces, or at least the men behind the masks, are on a
beheading spree. They believe they can win the war by decapitating
their enemies.

The Americans, on the other hand, have a different approach to fighting wars. They believe they can win by handing over formal sovereignty to the Iraqis.

Before handing over formal sovereignty to Iraq, L. Paul Bremmer, the
American proconsul, took steps to ensure that a eunuch would rise from the ashes of the old Iraq.

The Global Insurgency

An insurgent is anyone who rises against “established authority”.
Insurgents can be Benigno Aquino, Nelson Mandela, or George Washington and “established authority” can be despicable regimes like Marcos, apartheid, or King George. Insurgents can also be Iraqis who simply don’t want an occupied Iraq. So, what is “global insurgency”? Those who disagree with the American war frame?

Social Capacity for Economic Development

Fr. De la Costa’s brief account of our postwar history reveals a dismal record of the institutions that governed the development of the economic factors of labor, capital, and technology. He noted that Filipinos have not yet achieved the moral and social discipline
necessary to achieve progress. Institutions and economic projects have been abused, resources wasted.

The Day After Tomorrow

Scientists don’t scare anybody. Nobody was frightened when a scientist announced the discovery of a giant hole in the earth’s ozone layer and warned that the incidence of skin cancer, among many other nasty things, would rise. People simply bought sunblock lotion with higher SPF (sun protection factor) ratings.

Movies do a better job of scaring us out of our wits. “The Day After
Tomorrow” is frightening, although no one really believes the effects
of global warming will come in such a dramatic fashion. Nature is much more subtle than Hollywood, so people will not pay attention to global warming until it’s too late.

Is the Philippines Going To Be Another Argentina?

The past few months, concerned investors, business leaders, policy
makers and students increasingly ask economists whether the Philippines is heading towards an “Argentina Crisis.” There are good reasons to worry. Hence, it is a good question to ask. But the main answer is “no”. The argument follows.

Policy Reversals, Lobby Groups, and Economic Distortions

Except during the Ramos administration, the various liberalization
episodes in the country have always been marred by reversals. The
inability of the government to sustain trade reforms can be attributed not only to the crises that have plagued the country but also to intense lobbying by interest groups. The Marcos administration suspended the first Tariff Reform Program (TRP) because of the 1983 crises. The Aquino administration signed Executive Order (EO) 413 in 1990 to simplify the tariff structure but it was never implemented because of the vehement protests from domestic manufacturers. It even led to the formation of the protectionist advocate Federation of Philippine Industries. In 1998, the Estrada administration passed a comprehensive tariff reform through EO 486. Barely six months after, the opposition by local manufacturers resulted in the issuance of EO 63 to increase the tariffs on textiles, garments, and petrochemicals. The same pattern emerged under the Arroyo administration; TRP IV, legislated under Estrada, never really took off the ground due to intense lobbying pressures. Consequently, tariffs were frozen from 2000 to 2001 and the twin EOs 241 and 264 were issued in 2003 to increase tariffs on selected agricultural and manufactured products.