Edu Manzano’s Anti-Capitalist, Statist Rants Versus Call Center Industry
The solution to poverty and joblessness is for the government to decontrol and let the job creators and the people mind their own business!
Administration’s vice-presidential candidate and movie actor Edu Manzano blames the rise of the call center industry for
young people’s lack of interest in pursuing higher learning. In an Inquirer report, the actor-turned-politician expressed concern that the country’s biggest job creator is pulling young people away from professional disciplines.
“To be globally competitive, what is being looked at today is having PhDs (and the) mechanisms where students are active (and) vying for higher learning,” he said during a forum held at the University of the Perpetual Help System in Binan, Laguna. Echoing the vision of his teammate, presidential candidate Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro, the actor-politician called for the “revisiting” of the education system in the country.
Manzano is simply reverberating the statist pragmatism and economic defeatism of the Arroyo administration that doubled the size of the government and its debt in a period of nine years. He is merely expressing the dominant trend and the collective ‘mentality’- hatred of the good for being the good- that is poisoning people’s mind in this country. Yes, the ugly face of this mentality is toting its reptilian head, and on its forehead it is written: Anti-Capitalism. I should not single out Mr. Manzano and his party, because all presidential aspirants and their ilk are bearing the same anti-capitalist, statist, pro-poor slogan.
Manzano is simply echoing the statist pragmatism and economic defeatism of the Arroyo administration that doubled the size of the government and its debt in a period of nine years.
Perhaps Manzano is not convinced that the rise of the call industry that created hundreds of thousands of jobs in the country truly yielded positive results. Perhaps he’s intimating that something must be done in order to solve what he calls “problem.”
“There’s a problem,” he said. “‘Wag ho sanang magagalit yung iba sa ‘tin dito, pero maraming first year college tapos umaalis. Call center! Ang starting sa call center P16,000; dalawa sa pamilya P32,000; maginhawa na ang buhay ng pamilyang iyon (But there’s a problem, I hope I’m not offending some of you, but a lot of first year drop out of school to work in a call center. The starting salary in a call center is P16,000. Two in the family, that would be P32,000. That already makes a good living).”
I don’t want to go to extremes by assuming that Manzano is simply showing his elitist tendencies by driveling on about the ‘negative effect’ of this industry on young people’s behavior and ambition. I don’t think his pathetic rant was intended to belittle talented and hardworking young people who chose to make a living rather than pursue a college degree. The problem with Manzano is not that he totally underestimated the economic value of the call center industry and the young people who work as call center agents, but that his anti-capitalist, statist drivel or gibberish is good-intentioned, and this what makes him a dangerous politician.
Manzano claimed that based on his “personal study,” call center workers accounted for the highest number of cases of sexually transmitted diseases, drug abuse, alcoholism, problems in the family and low self-esteem.
He went on to say that these problems caused by the job-generating industry “are social causes.” “We can’t have that kind of citizenry (but) we need educated citizenry if we plan to move forward,” Manzano said.
“There is nothing wrong with the system, but the status (in the) system.”
What did Manzano mean when he said “we can’t have that kind of citizenry?” Was he trying to imply that something must be done to the call center industry? That it must be controlled, regulated and restrained by the government? Was he trying to imply that there must be some ways to control the behavior of the job creators, as well as the choices of the job-seekers?
The problem with Manzano is not that he totally underestimated the economic value of the call center industry and the young people who work as call center agents, but that his anti-capitalist, statist drivel or gibberish is good-intentioned, and this what makes him a dangerous politician.
The problem with Manzano is that he missed the fundamental law of logic— the law of identity and the law of causality. The law
of identity would tell him that there must be some reason why most young people choose to work, and that’s because they realize that there are no good jobs waiting for them after they graduate. That most young people seek jobs because of the worsening state of poverty in the country. The law of causality would tell him that this country is poor because of corruption and dysfunctional government programs and excessive government controls and regulation of the economy. That this country is poor because it’s not attractive to foreign investors.
According to 2010 Index of Economic Freedom, the Philippines has an economic freedom score of 56.3, making its economy the 109th freest in the 2010 Index. Our country ranks 20th out of 41 countries in the Asia–Pacific region, and its overall score is slightly below the world and regional averages.
Indeed, Manzano wants to double the size of the government through a flurry of controls, regulations and welfare statist programs. Like his running-mate Gibo Teodoro, Manzano’s political proposal is to officially make this country a “Nanny or Mommy State.”
He said the Philippine government has been spending only $134 per student per year, while countries such as Singapore and Japan have been spending $1,800 and $5,000, respectively, for each of their students. This proves that he wants to make the government the provider of people’s needs. Echoing Teodoro’s “nanny state ‘program, Manzano promised more tuition loans, scholarships and grants to the students.
“At the same time, let us not forget that teachers have the greatest multiplier effect…Youth is the hope of the nation but who hones their beliefs and attributes?” he said, drawing applause from the audience.
The administration bets should never forget that the call center industry is the source of economic pride of their party leader, incumbent President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Mrs. Arroyo has been boasting that she created millions of jobs in just a very short period of time thanks to job-creating call center companies. If not for these job-creators, Mrs. Arroyo would have been removed from office long ago through a bloody, leader-less uprising. If not for these job-creators, the government would have been forced to tax the people or borrow money from foreign creditors.
Mr. Manzano claimed he conducted his personal study, which led him to believe that call center workers accounted for the highest number of cases of sexually transmitted diseases, drug abuse, alcoholism, problems in the family and low self-esteem. If this is the case, I assume that Manzano is simply a bad researcher. Did he not discover there are also many young people who work as call center agents to support their studies? For example, I have several classmates who work for high-paying call center companies that offer not only high compensation package, but medical and dental benefits as well. Because of competition, these most-hated businesses by the leftists and statists were forced to offer higher compensation package and more benefits.
In 2001 we gave her the highest job in the country only to corrupt government institutions, issue statist edicts that breached our individual rights, make hundreds of millions through picking stocks, turn a blind eye to some members of her family who benefited from peddling government favors, and double the size of our government and its debt.
I have a classmate who’s earning more than trice the monthly salary of a public school teacher. While she observed that most Filipino-owned companies are not appreciative of the competence and contributions of their employees, she said that most American-owned or foreign-owned call center firms offer higher compensation and more benefits.
Yes, Mr. Manzano missed the fact that there are many young people who also consider their call center jobs a building block of their future plans and ambition. No, Mr. Manzano, this country doesn’t need PhDs but economic freedom and more respect for individual rights.
Also, this actor-politician is guilty of non sequitur fallacy and hasty generalization. He assumed that it is the “job” that leads young people to indulge in vices and immoral behavior. It does not follow. Jobs ‘per se’ do not turn people into unthinking brutes. He spoke of “social causes” which he did not define nor elaborate. Even if a person holds the best job in the world, it is still his choice to be immoral or not.
Just look at the curious case of President Arroyo who is a product of an elite education institution. In 2001 we gave her the highest job in the country only to corrupt government institutions, issue statist edicts that breached our individual rights, make hundreds of millions through picking stocks, turn a blind eye to some members of her family who benefited from peddling government favors, and double the size of our government and its debt. Between a president who ruined a country’s self-esteem and liberty and an 18-year-old call center agent, the latter is more honorable and respectable. Between Manzano who firmly believes in the crucial role of big government and an 18-year-old call center agent, the latter is more dependable because he knows the importance of reality-based economics to his/her life.
To Mr. Manzano, the solution is not to put the blame on job creators who help uplift the country’s economy. The solution is not to feel sorry for these young people who, instead of pursuing much-hyped college degree or professional disciplines, choose to work for a living. The solution is not “nanny statism” or “welfarism.” The solution is to decontrol and let the job creators and the people mind their own business. It has been proven that the government cannot be trusted in anything, let alone babysit its people.
There’s ONLY ONE WAY for a President or any politician to improve the economy and the lives of the people: Let the job and wealth creators mind their own business. The government is not or should not be in a business of job creating. Do not vote for any presidential contender who tells you that his primary goal is to create jobs. Even our semi-socialist Constitution does not mandate the President to create jobs. To improve our economy the government must decontrol, let the businesses do their jobs, and respect and protect individual rights.
The government must lower income and corporate taxes by half, if necessary, in order to attract domestic and foreign investors. Logic tells us that if there were more companies, large or small, doing business in an economy, there would be more jobs and taxpayers, thus a higher tax collection for the government. The government must deregulate and respect competition and the free market principles. If there’s unbridled competition, businesses would be compelled to lower their prices and offer more efficient services and better quality of products to consumers. It must also privatize the incompetent government owned and controlled corporation (GOCCs) that are a source of corruption, nepotism and cronyism. Let the competent capitalists run these government-owned firms. This is what I call CLEAR AND CONCRETE ECONOMIC PLATFORM!