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What Local Support Are You Talking About?

June 26, 2012

It’s actually my first time to hear or read the name “Cynthia Alexander”, however, the author of this online piece is complaining

Are you getting sick of this Filipino pride madness???

Are you getting sick of this Filipino pride madness???

that the home-grown talented song writer/singer gets no ‘local support’ and that’s why she’s leaving the Philippines for good.

Yes, the main reason, according to the article writer, is career-wise: Cynthia gets “very limited local support”.

The writer also made the following commentary:

With Cynthia leaving, I can’t help but think about the hysteria surrounding American Idol also-ran Jessica Sanchez, a Filipino-Mexican American.

Her lineage had us all waving the flag of Pinoy pride. We lionized her as “our own.” Like the half-Pinoy contestants before her whose names we’ve forgotten, we want Jessica to come “home” so we can bask in her glory.

Meanwhile, homegrown geniuses like Cynthia Alexander are leaving home.

Who’s waving the flag?

Will Cynthia continue to wave the Philippine flag for us when she settles and works elsewhere?

Should she?

But then, the other question is: does Cynthia need to go abroad and “make it” before WE wave the flag for HER?

MUST READ: Destroying the ‘Filipino First’ Mindset

I really don’t get it. What kind of support is this online writer talking about? Is it government support?– industry support?– or individual support of Filipinos? Do we have a duty to support our local artists just because we share the same nationality?

 Cynthia Alexander

Cynthia Alexander

There are a lot of very talented Filipino artists out there who turn to YouTube or use online technology only to be noticed. They sing cover songs, which is unfortunately not very much appealing to some snooty people who have a very bizarre and elitist understanding of ‘success’. I’m NOT against singing cover songs if that’s just one effective way to market one’s talent since many local record companies in the country seemingly value mediocrity over real talent.

Perhaps that’s the reason why the local music industry is now on the wane. A lot of people now buy music on iTunes and I’m one of them. Technology is actually changing the rules of the game in the music industry and traditional music companies are not comfortable with this setup.

Also, I observed that such a ‘local support’ mentality is the philosophical motivation behind the proposal to regulate foreign artists from doing concerts in the Philippines.

People need to understand music business is very competitive. One doesn’t get noticed by simply being talented, which is a very sad reality in the global music industry. A lot of so-called music icons like Paris Hilton and Lady Gaga had to do their best to look awkward and do bizarre things just to broaden their fan base. The reality is: music is all about business or making money, not about patriotism or local support.

We’re not yet a socialist country, comrades. Wait for this already bankrupt country to degenerate to complete socialism– that’s the time our local artists would get absolute communal support from the central government for  singing nationalistic songs.

Cynthia Alexander doesn’t need our ‘local support’. I’m sure that she’s talented, and if she’s talented enough she can go a long way in her chosen career. I respect her decision to look for greener pastures, but I disagree with the writer’s trying to pin the blame on lack of ‘local support’. We have protectionism in this country, comrades!

Should she achieve success elsewhere, she doesn’t have to look back and say: “I’m proud to be a Filipino!”

Charice Pempengco did not achieve international success because of ‘local support’, but because of her selfish determination to help and improve her ‘self’.

  • NOTE: To all Charice fans who are so worried about my use of the word selfish, read THIS!

78 Comments leave one →
  1. June 28, 2012 3:38

    i support an artist because i like his/her talent, not because of her race/nationality/color. i had the same sentiment with similar fb posts on my wall. as if these guys bought at least one original album nor watched any cynthia alexander’s gig.

    • June 28, 2012 3:38

      THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT… However, some people think that such a belief constitutes ‘crab mentality’.

  2. June 28, 2012 3:38

    thanks for sharing your thoughts. insightful blog.😀

  3. Tiff613 permalink
    June 28, 2012 3:38

    Who?

  4. NYChaster permalink
    June 28, 2012 3:38

    Aylabyo Chariceeee!!! ^_^

  5. Ysabel912 permalink
    June 28, 2012 3:38

    i just want a clarification of your statement that “Charice Pempengco dd not…. but because of her SELFISH determination to help and improve herself… I capitalized the word SELFISH bec.im confused of what you mean by that… Can u pls shed light on this?

    • June 28, 2012 3:38

      I used the word “selfish” because there is no such thing as SELFLESS determination to achieve. Every action or endeavor directed toward improving or serving one’s interest or status is SELFISH or SELF-MOTIVATED.

      • June 28, 2012 3:38

        It’s still a poor choice for a word since ‘selfish’ also implies total disregard for others. I don’t think Charice is that type of person.
        Leave out the word, and you’re left with an equally effective statement (perhaps even more effective) – It didn’t require inclusion at all.

      • lziel permalink
        June 28, 2012 3:38

        You can simply say/write, “self determination…”

      • June 28, 2012 3:38

        The word selfishness has no moral evaluation…

      • Liv permalink
        June 29, 2012 3:38

        I dont know why you guys are focusing on the word “selfish” and why you are very touchy with it. The writer is actually praising Charise in her last sentence.. It just meant that Charise went big because of her own effort and determination.. Nobody said she as a person is “selfish”.

      • Liv permalink
        June 29, 2012 3:38

        The word selfish is used to stress the point of the sentence.. And the article is not abour Charise.. I think even Charise is not vain enough to think that.. so why are we discussing only Charisse here?

  6. lvacoustic permalink
    June 28, 2012 3:38

    if local doesn`t want to support thier own artist then that is fine but atleast don`t be a crab or hypocrite.

    • June 28, 2012 3:38

      What do you mean crab or hypocrite? Music is a personal choice. You go to a concert because of your personal choice (e.g., you’re a fan of the artist or you simply like his music). You buy a singer’s album because you like her songs. If you don’t listen to a musician’s songs that doesn’t mean you’re a hypocrite or you’re inflicted with crab mentality.

      • Anthony permalink
        June 28, 2012 3:38

        While it’s true that not buying a musician’s songs doesn’t necessarily mean hypocrisy or having the crab mentality, the act to put someone down just to get themselves to the top, does.

      • June 28, 2012 3:38

        What made you say that then? I’m asking the article writer what local support is he talking about? Can you tell me his context of local support? Why should there be local support of for local talents? Why? What kind of local support?

        Putting someone down? Wow! Your imagination went way offbeat, dude!

      • lvacoustic permalink
        June 28, 2012 3:38

        i advise you to read the twitter timeline of charice.she is constantly bullied by her own people. if you stay longer monitoring her timeline then you will understand my first comment.

      • June 28, 2012 3:38

        Ivacoustic,

        Well, that’s simply the price of being famous. Marilyn Monroe had a word for it, and it’s ENVY. Some people unfortunately begin to bash or hate someone for his/her recently achieved success.

        In response to Anthony’s comment… I don’t like Sarah Geronimo’s music. I think Charice is way more talented that her. Does that mean I’m trying to put Sarah down?

  7. Anthony permalink
    June 28, 2012 3:38

    Once again, a Philippino trying to use Charice’s name for fame. The traffic generated on this web-blog before Charice’s name was m̶e̶n̶t̶i̶o̶n̶e̶d̶ used in this article was significantly low. My point exactly! I believe it’s insensitive and irresponsible of you as an aspiring a̶u̶t̶h̶o̶r̶ crab to use Charice’s name to drive traffic to your b̶l̶o̶g̶ blah. Enough said.

    • June 28, 2012 3:38

      Last time I checked, Charice’s name is not patented and there’s no legal prohibition to use her name. Also, I can mention any name here if I want to…

      • Anthony permalink
        June 28, 2012 3:38

        CRAB MENTALITY- This is analogous to the behavior of a person who diminishes or pulls down anyone else who achieves or is about to achieve success greater than their own. What a perfect description of your behavior!

      • June 28, 2012 3:38

        @ Anthony,

        Only if you’re honest enough to point out a particular statement i made that constitutes what you call ‘crab mentality’…

      • Liv permalink
        June 29, 2012 3:38

        I think Anthony is trying to pull you down Froi ha ha ha ha😀

  8. yann permalink
    June 28, 2012 3:38

    “but because of her determination to help and improve her ‘self’. would have sound better🙂 the word Selfish has always been viewed as something negative…

    • June 28, 2012 3:38

      To some people the word ‘selfish’ connotes negative attributes. But to people who understand success like Linux creator Linus Torvalds, being selfish is what motivated them to pursue their ambitions. The other term is rational self-interest.

  9. teejay permalink
    June 28, 2012 3:38

    wth!!! CRAB MENTALITY

    • June 28, 2012 3:38

      Crab mentality is what mindless pricks use whenever they can’t understand the context of an article…

  10. teejay permalink
    June 28, 2012 3:38

    who the hell this writter?

  11. LORA permalink
    June 28, 2012 3:38

    “America has respected Charice enough to let her be herself, whatever version of it is there, who is always overwhelmed, always thankful, complete with limited English skills to what is now distinctly an American accented English distinct to Pinoys. Yes, she ain’t perfect in our eyes, and she ain’t as pretty as those Fil-Ams who are sort of making it in the US, isn’t as tall as the beauty queens we celebrate.

    But Charice in fact outdoes all those images of the Filipino that we don’t mind claiming. She outdoes them, because she has outdone us, an audience that thinks itself intelligent, but fails at taking stock of what’s here and now, and apparently in the future, which can only be a life of international stardom for this little girl who could. Now, anything less than an appreciation of Charice’s achievements and talent, regardless of her English and outfits, just sounds like crab mentality. And that is our problem, educated as we come. ”

    – HS, GMANews.TV
    http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/201428/lifestyle/people/the-charice-challenge

  12. June 28, 2012 3:38

    If I may be allowed a comment, I have to say the premise of “talent=support” in Cynthia Alexander’s case is by far an oversimplification, as are comparisons to other singers whose music is primarily oriented towards entertainment. Although it DOES entertain, that isn’t what Cynthia Alexander’s music – complex music which both lyrically and musically explore themes such as identity, self actualization, and social responsibility – is about.

    A more apt comparison would be to opera or orchestral music, or to improvisational jazz … er, wait, among the foremost of Cynthia’s musical roots IS improvisational jazz.

    Cynthia Alexander’s body of work (including but not exclusive to her discography) takes a bit of an education to get into, and that’s the whole point of her art. Traditional economics would suggest the reduction of barriers to entry, but in this case, the effort is an integral part of the experience. Part of its intent to help you grow as a person.

    The phrase “lack of local support” is unfortunate in its vagueness, but in many ways, I think those who use it are simply describing the societywide exclusion of things traditionally listed further up on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and the downright derision our people often direct towards their proponents — the sense that the national narrative seems to have branded the entire Quinary (research and culture) sector of our economy as irrelevant at best, and at worst culture traitors simply because they have not given into the least common denominator’s demands that all narratives be oriented towards allowing the the public to feel sorry for themselves.

    (Oh my, apologies, that turned out wordier than I’d first intended, but it’s 2:19 in the morning and I’m afraid I’m not yet fully awake. hehe. I’ve tried trimming it, but that’s the best I can do on reduced capacity.)

    • June 28, 2012 3:38

      A person’s choice of music, or any sport or hobby for that matter, shows his/her individuality. You cannot simply say people who live in a single social unit have a duty to support one or two of their members simply because they share the same social identity. That’s the essence of the free market. You buy a product simply because you like or need it. We should not be compelled by anyone, not even the state, to support a musician or a sportsman simply because we share the same nationality.

      • June 28, 2012 3:38

        Wait, what duty? What compulsion? At no point in my post did I say anyone was “obliged”. And most confusingly, I certainly did not mention the state! (I’ve never been fond of states, so that last one leaves me a bit irked.)

        I simply said that Cynthia Alexander’s body of work has higher barriers to entry because its function is not limited to entertainment, and that I think there is limited merit in lumping that body of work with “pop music” whose main defining characteristic is accessibility.

        Or, put more simply, Cynthia Alexander’s isn’t pop. The market values are different, thus the market is different, thus all things are not equal and the comparison is skewed. Like Vegetables and Bubblegum.

        I was disagreeing with the assessment: “I’m sure that she’s talented, and if she’s talented enough she can go a long way in her chosen career.” I was saying that while talent is one factor, the capacity of the audience to discriminate and discern is another factor.

        Again, Cynthia Alexander’s isn’t pop.

        (I will not diss pop here out of respect for those who like it, but let me use this sentence to add some emphasis to my personal dislike.)

        Much as I disagree with the idea that the value of art be measured in strictly monetary terms, I ONLY said that by her being forced to leave means the market wasn’t willing to pay the high barrier of entry for Cynthia’s music – that there weren’t enough people willing to rise to the necessary level of awareness/appreciation.

        Which means she’s leaving – what I’m sure you’ll say is a reasonable response to the lack of demand.

        The unstated implication being that there’s that much less value in the local artistic environment and that much less reason for me to stay, myself.

        So maybe I questioned the values of the market… FINE, I did also question the collective ability of the market to discriminate. (“least common denominator”)

        I haven’t said ANYTHING about obliging anyone to buy anything. As for me, I paid in full for the complete discography, and for the complete discography of several of her associated acts.

        If I lament, it is also because continuing to invest in this market by staying seems to me to have become less wise, and that factors in on the calculations for “stay or go.”

        If your house were to be flooded waist deep with floodwater, surely you would lament that also? And surely that lament does not imply that you are demanding that others share in your lamentation?

        So there you go. She’s leaving, and I PERSONALLY consider myself be MUCH MUCH poorer for it. And in my estimation you are also much poorer for it, but I am not asking you to share in that estimation.

      • June 29, 2012 3:38

        Well, there’s no question that Ms. Alexander is a talented woman, but like I said it’s all up to the market or music consumers because music today is regarded by the industry as a commodity. What I’m against is when some people try to blame a society for not giving what they call social support.

      • June 29, 2012 3:38

        Hm. Okay. My take is that more complex music will probably need to find a feasible non-mass-marketing model just to keep their genres alive. Something even more indie than indie.

        Unfortunately by limiting the range of the marketing even further, that’ll make it even HARDER to raise the least common denominator and make the environment more stimulating for our next generation (aka kids), but.. c’est la vie.

  13. intnetkilledmytv permalink
    June 28, 2012 3:38

    I get where you’re coming from. However, to make it clearer, I will paraphrase the whole idea.
    Any ‘moral’ support and ‘sense of nationalistic pride’ from locals is not really necessary for an artist to be successful, so, nobody has to demand it. But, a fan base does make an artist successful, because that is where the money (sales) will come from. So, an artist who is bitter to the public due to lack of recognition from them is his/her attempt to deny his/her shortcomings and put the blame on others. The public is always smarter than the artist. The public knows what’s good (not literal) music to them, thus, they buy it. If the artist can’t produce music that the public likes, then, it is his/her problem; you cannot force people to like your music.
    On the other hand, Filipinos getting enamored with foreign artists with Filipino roots is completely psychological. It is an escape goat from being always the unpopular, the-never-heard-of’s-in-the-world, giving oneself a pat on the back saying, “we also got one from here,” although, not really! On the downside, local artists are now overshadowed by the ‘Filipino foreigners’, because to Filipinos, local artists are just ‘locals,’ the same old never-heard-of’s-in-the-world. It’s ingrained in the Natives of the Philippines (people who are living and raised), it’s in the culture, passed on by the Spaniards. Filipinos were the oppressed, and will always feel that way, so, everyone is always waiting and begging for recognition.
    Regarding Charice, she is one of the best examples of how each Filipino should act. She had a dream, and never stopped until she got to that dream, and still, she has never stopped dreaming. It’s the people who are making up their negative opinions about her. They accuse her of not looking back to her people and where she came from, but was there really anyone for her to look back at now? Everybody despised her in the first place, until America saw her, then Filipinos started to own her and demand her respect like she owed them everything. Apparently, every bad perception from them has no basis and solid proof to back their accusations with. Everyone of us has the prerogative to do what we wish to do, and so is Charice. To date, Charice has never abused, maltreated, disrespected or insulted anyone, yet some Filipinos call her names. And nobody else in the world does that. Other countries love her and respect her.
    And this boils down to the ‘crab mentality concept.’ Filipinos feel betrayed whenever someone is going up, to them, everybody should stay together and suffer together. And the ‘oppressed’ must remain oppressed just like how they treat Charice. Regardless of all the recognition she brought home for the Filipinos, they bully her because to them she’s still the poor girl she used to be.
    Filipinos who get better lives are mostly to both look down on others, and be pulled down by fellow men. Thus, the idea of demanding someone’s support to achieve personal interests, and be bitter if denied, is the derivative of this crab mentality. The feeling of being betrayed.

    • June 28, 2012 3:38

      Need I say more? I think you nailed it. Some local artists demand recognition and local support, yet it seems they’re unaware that recognition and support must be earned. They have to earn the public’s respect and support just like the way Apple and Samsung try to win more consumers. They simply demand that their fellow Filipinos support them because they’re part of the Filipino society. The music business is not about being a Filipino or being an Asian; it’s about one’s individuality and personal choice. I have a problem with some people who call you names when you try to question their ‘local support’ rhetoric.

      • intnetkilledmytv permalink
        June 28, 2012 3:38

        It’s just common sense, support and admiration are two of the products of a great work, talent, or ideals. One cannot blame others if he/she is not famous. Especially in art and music field for that matter, those are very subjective matters. People decide whether or not they like an art, and no one can impose to them what to feel and think. Food to some, poison to others. If Filipinos don’t buy Cynthia’s music, perhaps, somebody else will. And she has the freedom to find her luck somewhere else, and should never question her own people. But question herself what has she not been doing instead. American artists never demand support from fellow Americans. Also, American people will recognize you if you’re good regardless of nationality and race, just like what they did to Charice, Adelle, Rihanna, Gloria Estefan, Shakira, and bunch of others. Unlike most Filipinos, in America, we don’t care how you look, it’s how you get things done.

  14. darrengraham19 permalink
    June 29, 2012 3:38

    We should support the people in our country and help them rise up in our country, then allow them to decide whether or not they would like to go international. We should not tear down others when they are not at their best! Its like telling you best friend that he’s dumb because he got a B instead of a A in a test and he usually gets A’s. What is the point if we only support those that actually call the name of PINOY overseas. Eg Charice. She was only supported once she got famous in the states and overseas, she was not recognised here and she was constantly torn down by negativity by her fellow filipinos. BTW that comment in the text
    “Charice Pempengco did not achieve international success because of ‘local support’, but because of her selfish determination”
    That is an unacceptable comment, the word “selfish” should have been taken out, it actually sounds better as other people have stated before.

    • June 29, 2012 3:38

      To you and some people the word “selfish” is unacceptable. But to me and many people who understand its moral context, I do find it very much acceptable. The word selfish means “concern with one’s own interest”. If you go to school to try to get proper education, if you try to look for a high-paying job, if you take care of your health, that’s being ‘selfish’. What’s the opposite of the word selfish? SELFLESS. Is there such thing as ‘selfless’ determination? If you’re selfless you’re nothing. So I’m not worried at all with my use of the word selfish.

      Related article: https://fvdb.wordpress.com/2012/06/13/linux-creator-is-pro-galt-open-source-is-about-being-selfish-not-about-getting-everybody-to-serve-some-common-good/

  15. nicole_charice permalink
    June 29, 2012 3:38

    I’m sorry but the word you used specifically SELFISH is not the correct word. You should change it before more fans like me leave comments here. thanks

    • Socrates permalink
      July 8, 2012 3:38

      What is the correct word, then? Care to enlighten us?

      • July 8, 2012 3:38

        These Charice fans are so dogmatic and worried about my use of the word ‘selfish’. How pitiful…

  16. ChasterLei permalink
    June 29, 2012 3:38

    Why is it easier for locals to support non-local talents who are equally or less talented than their local talents? I believe that’s the real question here. There’s crab mentality, colonial mentality, superficiality, lack of interest, lack of awareness, etc, etc. No, we don’t necessarily have to support local talents just because they’re home-grown. No, we don’t have to ridicule, make fun of, bash, slander, or bully anyone just to mask our own insecurity. Her artistry and self-expression has not harmed humanity, has it? We are most likely better because of it, whether we realize it or not. No, no one’s required to thank or support her even though it’s well-deserved. But if what you have to say is unkind, untrue, unnecessary, unwarranted, or not constructive, why say or post it and show the world this is how we treat our own? Why do many locals take it personally and scapegoat her for their negative emotions toward her? Yes, it’s their issue. No, the home-grown talent I’m referring to is NOT bitter NOR selfish (YES, “selfish” is a poor choice of word unless you’re being deliberate about implying a negative or ambiguous connotation). She’s proud to be herself and she brings pride to her country, and the world respects her for that. They may not be a fan of hers, but at least they are fair to her. YES, this is a complex matter. YES, this artist is causing us to re-examine who we are as a country. YES, it’s time. YES, there’s an ugly side to our culture. But YES, there’s a beautiful side to ours as well. YES, I’ve seen it in a petite body and big voice that is CHARICE. YES, she is beautiful! NO, I don’t mean your definition of beautiful. YES, if you don’t share mine, you need to re-examine who you are before you judge her. YES, you’re entitled to you definition or opinion. NO, you have no right to bash or bully anyone just because you’re protected by anonymity behind your computer. YES, we all can try to do better and be a better human being. YES, we all can learn from CHARICE!

    • June 30, 2012 3:38

      I advise you to read the blog again.

  17. July 3, 2012 3:38

    I agree. Getting “local support” is just too vague. It seems the writer of that article was just too upset and wanted to pin the blame on just everybody. Cynthia Alexander is a genius, but the writer shouldn’t make it sound like she’s the only musical genius we have in this country.

    The local music industry will get its support once it straightens up its own act. If you play mediocre, you get mediocre support back. Everyone recalls the glory days of Pinoy Pop music, but they hardly remember why it was so successful then. The major difference between the OPM then and OPM now is that OPM then were all original while OPM now are just cover songs from both local and foreign artist. You can’t beat originals.

    To add to this, we have this thing where media outlets like to saturate their ‘stars’ out to the public. They are on TV all the friggin’ time. People talk about regulating foreign artists performing here, but they fail to see the main reason Filipinos come and watch. Its because most of us have never seen them perform live, ever. People follow these artists because of their artistry because they work like artists. Our artists here work like its a job, they do it all. They host, they dance, they act etc etc even if the only thing they know they’re good at is singing.

    There are many flaws and I wouldn’t want to point out every single one of them. I guess, the most significant change I hope the music industry makes is shift from covers to originals. Find and develop more songwriters, or if Filipino songwriters are still not enough in numbers, then get songwriters from the US or from other countries. The point is to make ORIGINAL SONGS. SK is doing this, I hear Kpop on the airwaves everywhere, many if not most of their songs are written in the US then translated to korean. But still, the songs are original and is something new to people’s ears. Its still original.

    No to covers. Yes to originals.

    • July 6, 2012 3:38

      Older generation artists are better than the ‘artists’ we call today. It’s everywhere, not just in the Philippines. Recording artists 20 or so years ago could really sing. Everybody sounded like nobody else, danced like nobody else, and dressed like nobody else. Most of them played an instrument or two,or more, wrote their own songs, had their own style, and never got afraid to dress and show people how they think and feel (wasn’t afraid of what people would think and say). In other words, they all had their own IDENTITY and COURAGE TO EXPRESS WHO THEY REALLY WERE.
      On the other hand, most ‘so-called artists’ today are dumbed down, half-baked, and overrated good looking individuals. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE LOOKS and LESS OF THE SKILLS. Most of them are merely copycats of famous artists before them. In the Philippine, as I have observed by watching vids of Filipino singers, after Regine Velasquez made her own name, everybody else wanted to sound like her, then eventually everybody else actually sounded the same. Most singers repeatedly sing covers that other singers had already covered before (you are absolutely right with what you mentioned), most bands play the same style, and everybody wants to dress and look like Koreans/Japanese, what is up with that?!
      I agree with what you said that the Filipino music industry has to get its act together. Most people not just artists, are so scared to go ‘against the grain’. They conform to what’s trendy because they’re so afraid to be criticized by judgmental people who judge your whole being by the way you dress and cut your hair. They copy others and care less to come up with own ideas and own identity. Philippine music will only get its glory back when somebody starts to stop being lazy copying others’ work.

  18. July 8, 2012 3:38

    Charice is the best period !!!

    • July 8, 2012 3:38

      Nobody’s saying that Charice is not the best, stupid. The stupid comments of these Charice fans make me sick to my stomach. Is music dumbing down stupid people? LOL! Read the blog!

  19. July 9, 2012 3:38

    The comments here show Charice Filipino fans are so STUPID! Talk about stupid people who comment without reading the entire blog… That’s more than stupidity.

  20. July 9, 2012 3:38

    It won’t help if you have more STUPID FANS than the ones who truly understand the meaning of ‘talent’…

  21. 32annay permalink
    July 9, 2012 3:38

    i think your the one who miss-interpreted Charice’s twitt she said she’s very much contented w/what she have i think she’s referring to your topic “Local Support” something i believe she’s very much aware she never had/needed to get to where she is right now…. besides her loyal pinoy fans…yeah i know what you mean about the word ” selfish ” e.g You must put on your own oxygen mask before helping others…that sounds like a selfish act but it’s the only logical way..it’s just that the word “selfish” is embedded as a negative character trait in a lot of people’s mind cause it usually describe an individual who is willing to sacrifice the needs of others in order to meet his own… 🙂

    • July 9, 2012 3:38

      This blog is not about your idol chareeese. Duh! It helps if folks used their coconut shell a bit…

    • July 9, 2012 3:38

      There is nothing wrong with being selfish. You’re selfish with every mouthful of food you take, that you haven’t given to another person “more deserving”, you unselfish thing you.

  22. 32annay permalink
    July 9, 2012 3:38

    i mean besides the support she’s getting from her loyal pinoy fans🙂

  23. July 9, 2012 3:38

    Perhaps Charing, este Charice, and her BOBO-fans want the word “selfless” instead. Hindi porke sikat ka na at magaling ka nang kumanta may ‘UTAK’ ka na.

    I challenge this Charing, este Charice (aka Maverick), to be SELFLESS… I challenge her to give away everything she has – her money, assets, etc.- to the poor and live a selfLESS life. Tingnan lang natin.

  24. 32annay permalink
    July 9, 2012 3:38

    jeezzz i never said it was duh!!! i was trying to say she twitted your blog and her comment was about Ur Fucking topic and not the fuki’n selfish word…..( because i saw you twitted the meaning of the word selfless to her) i want you to understand that 90% of those who read ur article sees selfish as negative and we can’t change that.. i agree to the fact that it’s not always considered as a negative character trait read carefully …. @Maveric is another pinoy patay gutom pretending to know something about the topic…

  25. 32annay permalink
    July 9, 2012 3:38

    your one to talk about commonsense really??? her twitt was crystal clear referring to ur “local support” topic and she didn’t took ur blog as something negative… it’s written in filipino for crying out loud and you can’t comprehend ..

  26. Marinong Pinoy permalink
    July 9, 2012 3:38

    While i agree that blaming somebody for you own failure is wrong, what Filipinos fail to see is “the bigger picture”. Some things are necessary to our national interest. It’s like protecting our own local farmers from competition of imported goods. Intense free market competition should only be allowed between local market industry and imported goods should be regulated. But we should find the “perfect” balance. We usually think that it has nothing to do with us so we don’t care. Look at the Pasig river. People who don’t care just throw anything and pollute it because they think it has no direct effect to them. What will happen to our environment and natural resources then? If we all not going to care, who will? the Americans? We fail to see our hidden responsibility as a citizen because we always think of ourselves. Too much of anything can really be bad. And bad could turn to worst. We must find the “perfect” balance and exercise good judgement. The local music industry should do their part in improving their services to the people and we as Filipinos should do our part too. Instead of complaining, we identify the problem and do something about it. Find the solution. We, Filipinos are confused and the Philippines, as a nation is divided. If our bad attitudes will not change, then the Philippines will remain as it is..A divided, impoverished, and corrupt country.

    • July 9, 2012 3:38

      “Intense free market competition should only be allowed between local market industry and imported goods should be regulated.”

      So, according to you our protectionism that limits foreign participation in our economy is NOT enough, and we need to limit the entry of foreign goods? What a nice idea. But wait a minute. Last time I checked our protectionism did not only destroy our economy, it also punished millions of unemployed and underemployed Filipinos (PLUS underpaid by stingy Filipino companies), as unemployment and poor economic growth continued to worsen due to poor FDI, poor technology transfer, and cronyism. Even many oil-rich Arab countries understand the value of foreign participation, which fuels FDI, local economic growth and technology transfer.

      What I’m trying to say is limiting the entry of foreign goods (or even foreign performers, for that matter) will only hurt our economy, including millions of ordinary Filipinos in the long run. How will you limit foreign goods to protect our local industries? There are only a few ways to limit them, and they are as follows:

      1. Impose more tariffs and custom duties on imported goods;
      2. Impose a special tax (like EVAT) on all imported goods;
      3. Regulate imported goods thru taxing them (so it’s all about taxing them);
      4. Totally ban foreign goods.

      How many Filipinos use foreign goods? In most cases, foreign goods are cheaper and have higher quality than local goods. So we buy foreign goods due to their affordability or good quality.

      If you try to limit foreign goods through any of 1, 2, 3 (or a combination of the three), you’re only going to hurt the poor and many middle class Filipinos who buy these goods. Not only that, the government is going to protect INCOMPETENT, UNPRODUCTIVE, NON-INNOVATIVE local industries that can’t compete fairly in the marketplace.

      What you don’t realize is that protecting our so-called local industries breeds CRONIES and OLIGARCHS that the leftists and people who favor protectionism hate and detest. Isn’t that so ironic? Pinoy leftists and statists (translation: those who favor protectionism and excessive government intervention) HATE and detest Filipino oligarchs like the Lopezes, Enrique Razon, Ayalas, Lucio Tan, etc. yet they’re so naive and clueless to understand that it’s protectionism and regulations of foreign investors that keep these protected cronies and oligarchs in government-backed economic power.

      For your information, China is more economically free than the Philippines. While former socialist countries like China, Vietnam and Myanmar opened their economies to foreign investors, allowing the latter to own up to 100% equity in business and land, the Philippines continues to limit foreign participation and discourages foreign investors due to rampant corruption in the government sector, high taxes, more regulations and restrictions.

      Masyadong MAYABANG ang pinoy. What you don’t know is that even developed and oil-rich countries in the Gulf region like Saudi Arabia, UAE and others long understood that they needed foreign investors to prop up their economies. Saudi Arabia, for example, liberalized its economy and introduced business-friendly economic reforms to attract foreign investors. Today, Saudi Arabia enjoys more than $24 billion in FDI. Not only that, the Saudi government is determined to upgrade to TRIPS-plus (Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) through multilateral and bilateral agreements with developed nations (e.g., USA and EU) to attract TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER and more foreign investment in its pharmaceutical, technology and petrochemical industries. Why is Saudi Arabia, which is far richer and more developed than the FAILippines, doing this? Because its officials understand that it has no technical capability to create technologies; it can only acquire new and most-needed technologies through technology transfer, and technology transfer is made possible by establishing a business-friendly environment, embracing economic reforms and liberalization, and protecting intellectual property rights. No foreign investor in his right mind will ever invest in an economy that limits foreign participation.

      What do most Filipinos, particularly professionals, do today? They migrate to developed nations, which allow them to enjoy things and rights (e.g., practice of their profession, ownership of land and business, etc.) that are denied to foreigners here in the protectionist FAILippines. In fact, FOREIGN INVESTORS SHOULD BAN RP. Economically freer nations like Hong Kong, Singapore, USA, Canada, Japan, among others should NOT do business with the Philippines. We’re being unfair. We limit foreign participation in our country, as foreigners are not allowed to own land and to own beyond 40% equity in business, when Filipinos do not face the same restrictions in many countries.

      Hanggang domestic helper na lang tayo. Mayabang pa tayo. BOBO na, NAGYAYABANG PA. Nothing will happen to our so-called rich and abundant natural resources because NO ONE in this country can convert them into new forms of wealth. Asahan mo yung mga taga-UP na mga sayangtists kuno? Good luck with that!

      After years of protectionism our country achieved nothing but a higher degree of poverty, unemployment, and KAYABANGAN. A number of Asian countries learned from their socialistic past. China prospered economically after joining the WTO in 2001 and embracing economic reforms that attracted foreign investors. Singapore did the same. In fact because of Singapore’s less regulated economy, lower taxes (it has no capital gains tax and other taxes), and foreign-friendly business climate, billionaire and one of Facebook founder Eduardo Saverin decided to renounce his US citizenship and moved to Singapore.

      Great leaders understood the role of marketplayers in improving a domestic economy. IDIOTIC, STUPID, MORONIC, DIPLOMA-TOTING FILIPINO TRAPOS know nothing but more papogi and pa-welfare effect. And many stupid Filipinos are buying their lies, including the BIG LIE that we must limit foreign participation to make Filipinos the master of their own land.

      • Marinong Pinoy permalink
        July 10, 2012 3:38

        Whew!very long response!and look those are you getting angry?ha ha ha! you must have a lot of time in your hands to respond like that. Well, i don’t, that’s why my statement is a little bit generalized. Maybe if i have more time i will make detailed and longer response. Anyway, your argument about free market is arbitrary. Regulate the market. It’s about finding good and sound decision based on it’s effect to our national interest, not based on our selfish gains. I was trying to question our leader’s decision making based on their intent or motive. I think you already know that all countries in the world “regulate” their own trades. When you tried to paraphrase one of my previous statements, you did not include ” But we should find the “perfect” balance”. It was taken out of context. It simply means control & supervise and make decisions relative to prevailing economic climate and what benefits our country as a whole. Our country and the Filipino people should have the upper hand not the foreign individuals or corporations. My only point is, the root cause of all the ills of our society is our attitudes. From richest to the poorest Filipino, a lot of us have no genuine concern for our country. Those greedy and corrupt businessmen, politicians and people in power who make decisions based on self interest and greed and those ordinary citizens who simply throw garbage and pollute the river are somewhat similar in it’s intent or motive. That is, they will do things for their own comfort no matter what it’s social, & environmental cost/s. We are inter connected. We live in an inter connected world. A lot of points in your argument agree with my premise. That is, how we Filipinos should discern between when & how are we going to exercise being selfish for our own advancement or when & how we start thinking for our national interest. The fine line between being selfish, unselfish & being greedy. Let’s consider this analogy, the ship “M/V Philippines” is on “fire”. What will you do? A. are you going to keep blaming each other for causing the fire, and do nothing until we all burn or sink to the bottom of the ocean, B. immediately abandon the ship & save your own ass, while your shipmates are crying for help & die, C. join your shipmates to start fighting the fire before it could make more damage & cause the ship to sink & possibly save lives, property & the environment. The choice is yours. We always have a choice. Even not making a choice is a choice. But always remember mga Kababayan, we are all responsible for our own actions. The key is with in ourselves. United we stand, divided we fall, or shall i say, “divided we sink”?Our nation is calling us. Desperately. Big or small, we can make a difference. Now is the time to change, for the
        better.

      • July 11, 2012 3:38

        First, being very much familiar with this issue, since this blogsite focuses much on economics and politics, it only took me five or so minutes to respond to your comment.

        “Regulate the market. It’s about finding good and sound decision based on it’s effect to our national interest, not based on our selfish gains.”

        Well, in case you’re not yet informed, our market is heavily regulated. Are you aware of the 60-40 protectionism and the prohibition on foreign professionals to practice their respective professions in the Philippines?

        Read these related blogs– https://fvdb.wordpress.com/2011/08/14/uncle-sam-to-pinas-scrap-protectionism/

        https://fvdb.wordpress.com/2012/01/30/competition-is-good-regulation-is-evil/

        https://fvdb.wordpress.com/2012/03/17/myanmar-now-more-economically-free-than-rp/

        YOU SAID: “But we should find the “perfect” balance”. It was taken out of context. It simply means control & supervise and make decisions relative to prevailing economic climate and what benefits our country as a whole.”

        — What perfect balance? Kindly give me some examples using the Philippine experience?

        Again, I refer you to the blogs above…

        YOU SAID: “Our country and the Filipino people should have the upper hand not the foreign individuals or corporations.”

        — Funny you’re NOT even aware we already have that. Read my ORIGINAL RESPONSE. Apart from North Korea, the Philippines is one of the MOST PROTECTIONIST COUNTRIES in Asia. Again, Are you aware of the 60-40 protectionism and the prohibition on foreign professionals to practice their respective professions in the Philippines?

        Related articles: https://fvdb.wordpress.com/2011/08/28/destroying-the-filipino-first-mindset/

        https://fvdb.wordpress.com/2012/02/12/capitalism-and-individualist-culture/

        YOU SAID: “Those greedy and corrupt businessmen, politicians and people in power who make decisions based on self interest and greed and those ordinary citizens who simply throw garbage and pollute the river are somewhat similar in it’s intent or motive.”

        That is purely leftist hogwash. Corrupt businessmen? It’s our political system that makes them corrupt. Read my original response. It’s our Constitution that breeds OLIGARCHY.

        Related articles: https://fvdb.wordpress.com/2010/12/27/collective-ignorance-the-roots-of-dictatorship-and-economic-chaos/

        https://fvdb.wordpress.com/2012/04/23/is-henry-sy-an-oligarch/

        https://fvdb.wordpress.com/2011/10/01/the-folly-of-the-oil-deregulation-law-and-the-intellectual-bankruptcy-of-its-statist-opponents/

        It’s REGULATIONS that make your so-called corrupt businessmen corrupt.

        Since you’re NOT aware of the HEAVY NATURE OF REGULATIONS in the Philippines, I refer you to the following thin tanks that ranks the RP in terms of business regulations and economic freedom index.

        From economic freedom index — http://www.heritage.org/index/country/philippines

        From doing business index — http://doingbusiness.org/data/exploreeconomies/philippines/

      • August 13, 2012 3:38

        There’s a reason for the restriction in ownership in some industries including those industries that involve the work of our own professionals and those involving natural resources. The constitution even explicitly states the reasons: for purposes of “SECURITY, DEFENSE, RISK TO HEALTH AND MORALS
        AND PROTECTION OF SMALL AND MEDIUM-SCALE ENTERPRISES”

        I agree that some of the restrictions in other industries should be loosened, but we should still be cautious. Case in point, mining. I heard someone speak about the mining condition in the Philippines. Let in the big foreign companies and the Philippines will benefit–in the form of taxes, fees, etc, they say. But ultimately, do the benefits accrue to the small individuals whose communities are savaged for the sake of the value it adds to the economy and supposedly by extension to them?

        These communities are opened to the vulnerabilities of landslides, even flashfloods caused by heavy rains and just how much of the addition to the national wealth goes back to them? You cannot put a price over the lives of people.

        So there’s the argument that only local companies should operate in the local scene–as pushed for by this said speaker. But these are like any other companies who are in it for the money–and will not pay for pollution abatement without incentive, including penal consequences.

        I’m just saying this to emphasize that 100% ownership is not by its own a panacea–as I think many people have been misled enough to think (And I’m not even implying you; I’m addressing the general reader) . More of the free market, and everyone will benefit! But no right, since what’s good for the whole will not always be good for all its parts and the pareto principle still seems to stand. Efficient may equal to good to one, but it most likely will equal to bad for another. Should the government let in foreign companies in the future, even in mining, to increase the competition and weed out inefficiencies, it should still be as extensive in its programs to protect the poor who may not have a voice as strong as the rest to fight for their own interests or who may have been programmed to think that they deserve no better. More rules to make companies, local or foreign, responsible for their waste, responsible for overhauling the communities damaged throughout the terms of their contract or after. Or to increase the participation of the poor in the economy by investing more in their education and training. Certainly, it helps to remember that a free market does not benefit everyone, not without intervention.

      • August 13, 2012 3:38

        “There’s a reason for the restriction in ownership in some industries including those industries that involve the work of our own professionals and those involving natural resources. The constitution even explicitly states the reasons: for purposes of “SECURITY, DEFENSE, RISK TO HEALTH AND MORALS
        AND PROTECTION OF SMALL AND MEDIUM-SCALE ENTERPRISES””

        — Yet those stupid constitutional restrictions are failing this country. Your reason is NOT even very clear. Don’t you know that we’re in breach of the PRINCIPLE OF RECIPROCITY in international law? Just tell me what particular country became economically successful by restricting its economy? Tell me. Or do you even understand basic economics? Why is it that Filipino professionals are allowed to practice their respective professions in many countries and we deny the same right to foreign professionals? That’s the only issue here. When we restricted our economy to foreigners in the name of making every Filipino the master of his/her own land and home, do you know the result of that stupidity? Yes, did we become the master or owner of our own lands and homes? Look who’s trying to monopolize our resources and industries? It’s the Filipino oligarchs and cronies. Or do you even know the real source of monopoly in RP? And what happened to many Filipinos? Many of them went abroad to work as yaya, maid, and menial laborers. The rest of what you said is just plain incoherent gibberish.

  27. Marinong Pinoy permalink
    July 11, 2012 3:38

    You are missing the point of my argument. First of all i am NOT a proponent or opponent of free market or trades.The perfect balance i was referring to was about having a favorable balance for the Philippines. Like for example, according to some economists, more exports than imports. Well, i leave that argument to the economists, or experts who specializes in that field. What i am after & what i am actually focusing was how the decisions of people in power or ordinary citizens will be affected by their own motives or self interests. Consider this simple example, a lot of Filipinos know that “bawal umihi dito” or “bawal tumawid dito” or “bawal magtapon dito”. Yet you will see a lot of people doing the deed or breaking the rules. A big capitalist country or a big foreign corporation can corrupt a smaller impoverished country by corrupting those people or group of people in power. Now, those people in power if they choose to be corrupted, they will make decisions based on their motive or self interests. Those loopholes in our system or constitution, whether it’s too regulated or not, are just an alibi or an instrument for those scoundrel, criminals, corrupt or those people who make decisions based on their selfish gains or greed regardless of it’s social and environmental cost/s. They will try to find a way to go around and beat the system. A rope if used in a good way can help you but if it’s used as a weapon, you can actually kill a person with it. A mini skirt wearing beautiful and sexy young woman should not be raped or harassed just because she seems vulnerable and weak to you. In industrialized country like Italy, you can actually see girls taking off their bra in beaches where it is close to road where a lot of people passes by. Yet nobody harass or rape them. If she do that in the Philippines god forbid, big chance she will be in harm’s way. It is the malicious intent or intense selfish desire with in people that will put that girl in harm. Now, the problem in the Philippines is there are a LOT of people who think for their own self interests & greed regardless of social & environmental costs, more than those who actually discern when & how to act for their own self advancement and when & how to act for the welfare of all or for our national interests. The ROOT CAUSE of it all is PEOPLE, it is the people who make decisions, who make policies and execute policies. It is the people who pollute our environment, buy & sell pirated Cd’s & DVDs. It is a combination of change in harmful policies and most importantly, the social values of people that will save the Philippines.

    I came into conclusion about what is the root cause of all the ills in our society. Based on my premise. I’m sorry to say that i am not convinced with your argument. If you find yourself not agreeing with me, or intolerant, so be it. I just hope that you stop trash talking certain people or groups of people without proper reason to do so because they are irrelevant to our arguments. Like those ” UP sayangtists”. It seems to me you have personal issues with them. Like how you refer to Filipinos as bobo, mayabang, stupid moronic diploma-toting Filipino trapos. Trash talking will not help us all. Based on your “motto” above. HONESTY. I will not judge you for that. i don’t know you that well. INTEGRITY. Sorry,you don’t have “steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code”. OBJECTIVITY. Sorry, you don’t have “judgment based on observable phenomena and uninfluenced by emotions or personal prejudices”.The Philippines has a tarnished image already. Don’t add more insults to injury. So there you go. Thank you for your time though. I’m out of here..

    • July 12, 2012 3:38

      I fully understand your point…

      FIRST, I was merely responding to your statement: “Intense free market competition should only be allowed between local market industry and imported goods should be regulated.”

      There LIES in big problem. See my response again.

      You said: “The perfect balance i was referring to was about having a favorable balance for the Philippines.”

      — What perfect balance? When you speak of balance, you should understand that the Philippines:

      1. Is a PROTECTIONIST STATE as evidenced by its Constitution. That means there is NO balance at all, since almost ever opportunity is given to Filipinos under the Constitution.

      2. Every industry in the country is heavily regulated.

      3. The state plays an ACTIVE role in promoting what they call welfare and common good in favor of Filipinos.

      So will you tell me what you mean by “perfect balance”? You think there is IMBALANCE in this country, politically and economically?

      YOU SAID: “Like for example, according to some economists, more exports than imports.”

      — I don’t see any problem with this and I don’t see its connection with your “perfect balance”. First, economics is all about human action. If you want perfect balance, then what constitutes balance? Who should determine balance?

      In regard to export and import, do you want it to be 50-50? Well, I don’t think the government could achieve that when exports and imports are determined by the needs of our economy. What kinds of things do we import and export? Usually we export fruits, coconut oil, semiconductors and electronic products, transport equipment, garments, copper products, petroleum products, while we import electronic products, mineral fuels, machinery and transport equipment, iron and steel, textile fabrics, grains, chemicals, plastic.

      YOU SAID: “What i am after & what i am actually focusing was how the decisions of people in power or ordinary citizens will be affected by their own motives or self interests.”

      — Well, that’s the problem or concern of every individual member of our society. Why do you care how people make decisions? Unless you also want to legislate personal decisions. If that’s what you’re trying to say, you certainly want a socialist society or a fascist slave pen.

      “Consider this simple example, a lot of Filipinos know that “bawal umihi dito” or “bawal tumawid dito” or “bawal magtapon dito”. Yet you will see a lot of people doing the deed or breaking the rules.”

      — That issue should pertain to people’s PROPERTY RIGHTS. For example, you don’t want anyone peeing within your property or its premises so you posted a sign that reads “Bawal umihi dito”. By exercising your property rights, you can prohibit others from bastardizing your property (for example if you own a building, a house, a school, or any real estate property).

      Unless you want to LEGISLATE how people behave in public like where or how they pee.

      YOU SAID: “A big capitalist country or a big foreign corporation can corrupt a smaller impoverished country by corrupting those people or group of people in power.”

      — That’s a LIE. That’s one of the most ridiculous myths and lies against capitalism. First you need to understand the concept of capitalism. You must be thinking of Fascism or Corporatism. Even many UP morons and so-called intellectuals and book authors don’t actually understand the proper concept of capitalism.

      As to capitalism versus corporatism — https://fvdb.wordpress.com/2011/07/30/formspring-answers-on-corporatism-and-spratly-issue/

      https://fvdb.wordpress.com/2011/09/25/on-government-gambling-and-obamas-corporatism/

      As to the proper concept of capitalism — https://fvdb.wordpress.com/2011/12/09/capitalism-defined/

      https://fvdb.wordpress.com/2012/02/04/the-nature-of-capitalism/

      As to the morality of capitalism– https://fvdb.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/blog-debate-on-the-morality-of-capitalism/

      As to the SO-CALLED abuses of capitalism — https://fvdb.wordpress.com/2012/01/17/the-fallacy-of-capitalist-exploitation/

      https://fvdb.wordpress.com/2011/09/29/capitalism-and-zoning-laws/

      As to the difference between capitalism, communism and fascism — https://fvdb.wordpress.com/2010/04/28/insane-socialists/

      You said: “In industrialized country like Italy, you can actually see girls taking off their bra in beaches where it is close to road where a lot of people passes by.”

      — That’s the problem. You don’t know the proper concept of capitalism so you’re now attacking a straw man.

      For your information, Italy is NOT a capitalist economy; it is a corporatist, MIXED ECONOMY.

      So far today, no nation or state can be considered a capitalist economy. Most countries are MIXED ECONOMIES, or a mixture of government controls and freedom, or spcialism and capitalism.

    • August 13, 2012 3:38

      Hello, you two may have exhausted almost all arguments in your discussion. If I may add though, what does industrialism have to do with nude people in beaches? You were perhaps referring to the culture, not the economy.

  28. Maxwell permalink
    July 11, 2012 3:38

    The Case Against Free Trade

    By Jeff Faux

    People of different nations have bought and sold from each other for centuries but rarely have they traded freely. Historically, countries have treated goods made abroad differently from goods made at home, primarily by charging taxes, or tariffs, on imported goods or setting quotas to limit the quantity of imports. For most of its history, the United States used both tariffs and quotas to regulate foreign trade.

    Regulating trade helps protect the standards that we set in our own domestic markets. For example, in order to protect public health, the United States government requires that food sold in our stores be fresh and clean, that toys be safe, and that products only be made in factories that do not pollute the environment. To protect workers from being exploited by business, the government sets minimum wages, defends the right of employees to bargain collectively through unions, and prohibits people from employing young children. To protect business, the government enforces commercial contracts and protects corporate trademarks and patents. This balance of protections for consumers, workers, and business has helped make America the world’s most successful economy.

    Meeting labor and environmental standards often adds to the cost of production. Therefore, if businesses could lower their costs by not meeting the standards, they might make more profit and lower the price of their products. Yet most people in the United States believe it is worth protecting workers and our air and water, even if that makes goods and services produced in America more expensive.

    However, different nations have different values. Governments in many countries, especially those that are not democracies, often do not protect workers or the environment. The prices of goods imported from such nations will tend to be cheaper than goods produced in the United States. In that case, consumers who usually look for the lowest prices will buy foreign goods in preference to products made in the United States. As a result, U.S. workers will lose their jobs.

    This is not a problem in markets for imports that the United States cannot produce much of here, such as bananas, coffee, or tea. It does become important for imported goods that compete against goods made in America, such as automobiles, clothing, or cameras. Placing tariffs on such imports adds to their price, thus making it easier for goods produced under U.S. standards to compete with imports.

    By regulating imports through tariffs and quotas, the United States, until recently, kept its international trade in balance—that is, the value of the goods we exported to other countries roughly equaled the value we imported. Therefore, we paid for our imports with the money we received from our exports.

    Beginning in the 1970s improvements in communications and transportation technology made it easier for American companies to locate their factories in nations with little or no labor and environmental standards and import the products from these factories back into the United States. This was a way for companies to sell to the U.S. market but avoid the cost of meeting U.S. standards. These U.S. companies were able to persuade the U.S. government to deregulate trade by drastically reducing tariffs and quotas. They argued that cheap products for U.S. consumers were more important than protecting the environment or providing jobs for workers in the United States. As a result, there was a flood of imported shoes, clothing, television sets, cars, and other goods into the country. This surge of imports was a major factor in the loss of 2.6 million manufacturing jobs in the United States from 1979 to 1999.

    Recent treaties signed by the U.S. government, under both Democratic and Republican administrations, have encouraged this shift of production from the United States to areas of the world with low standards. These include the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Mexico and Canada and the treaty establishing the World Trade Organization (WTO) with 135 different nations.

    These treaties are often called free trade agreements because the nations that signed them agree to reduce tariffs and quotas. Unfortunately, they also create new, unequal standards for the global economy by protecting business but not labor or the environment. For example, the WTO forbids a citizen of Mexico to copy a compact disc made in the United States without paying a fee to the U.S. company that sells the compact disc. However, the WTO allows a U.S. company in Mexico to make compact discs in ways that pollute the air and water and treat workers unfairly.

    These so-called free trade agreements even give foreign corporations the power to stop the U.S. government from enforcing its own standards in the United States. For example, in order to protect U.S. air quality, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a rule in 1994 to ensure that all gasoline sold in the United States met certain levels of cleanliness. Oil companies in Venezuela and Brazil complained to the WTO that the rules would put them at a disadvantage. The WTO ruled against the United States, which then had to change the rules, thus weakening air quality in the United States.

    Big businesses increasingly move factories in and out of different countries. This mobility gives them the power to demand that governments also lower their domestic labor and environmental standards or else the companies will lay off workers and move elsewhere. The result has been called a race to the bottom.

    Henry Ford, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, pointed out years ago that high wages are good for business as well as workers. He believed that when workers have more money in their pockets, they buy more products. However, when businesses produce goods for export to another country, they are not primarily interested in selling to their own workers. Higher wages in that case simply mean higher costs of production and less profit. So it is not surprising that when a business locates a factory in a country to produce for export, they do all they can to lower labor standards.

    For example, since the passage of NAFTA, hundreds of U.S. factories that made autos, apparel, computers, and other products closed down their U.S. operations and moved their production to Mexico, where the laws protect them and not the workers. Mexican workers in factories along the border (called maquiladoras in Spanish) get low wages and work in unhealthy conditions in places that pollute the air and pour toxic waste into the rivers. One incident reported in the New York Times in 1998 is a telling example. In an auto parts factory in Mexico owned by a U.S. company, workers attempted to form an independent union. The company let thugs from a government-controlled union come into the plant and beat up the workers. The police did not intervene, and the Mexican government sided with the attackers.

    The result of this imbalanced protection under free trade is that workers in both Mexico and the United States suffer. Mexican government statistics show that five years after NAFTA went into effect, ‘real’ wages (adjusted for price changes) in Mexico fell by 25 percent. The most recent poverty statistics show that 42 percent of all Mexicans are living on less than $2.80 per day. In the United States, the Economic Policy Institute estimates that in 1999 alone, more than 230,000 workers lost their jobs because of the rising trade deficit with Mexico.

    Workers in other countries also suffer because of free trade agreements. In El Salvador, for example, many young women now work in factories that make garments for major American brands. The factories “are hidden behind 15-foot walls topped with barbed wire, locked metal gates, and armed guards,’ according to a February 2000 report by the National Labor Committee, a nonprofit organization in New York sponsored by churches and labor unions. The 70,000 workers, mostly young women, are stripped of their rights and paid starvation wages.” Work hours are often from 6:50 am to 10:30 pm, seven days a week. The heat within the factories often reaches 38°C (100°F). Of the 225 such factories in El Salvador, not one has a union contract. Workers get paid about 74 cents for making a woman’s jacket that sells for $118 in the United States and 20 cents for a $75 sports shirt.

    Free trade has also encouraged the use of child labor. The International Labor Organization (ILO), an agency of the United Nations (UN), estimated in 1998 that there were at least 250 million children from the ages of 5 and 14 working for wages. Researchers at the University of Veracruz in Mexico recently reported that child workers there are exposed to dangerous chemicals, carry heavy loads, and do not get enough nutritious food to eat.

    There are about two million child workers in Brazil. Many work 10 hours a day producing sisal for rugs, rope, and handbags sold in the United States. According to a report in 2000 in the Washington Post, “The sharp blades and processing machines used in the fields have left many children and their parents with punctured eyeballs, missing fingers and amputated arms.”

    The problem with free trade is the unfairness that results when business is protected while labor and the environment are not. That is why some 30,000 people from all over the world marched through the streets of Seattle, Washington, in protest when the WTO met there at the end of November 1999. The marchers called upon the WTO to protect the rights of people and the environment just as it protects the rights of corporations. For the same reason, many people oppose the entry of China into the WTO. In China in 2000, the typical worker made 13 cents an hour and was not allowed to complain about conditions. The government of China strongly opposed making worker and environmental rights part of the rules of trade.

    In the United States, free trade has destroyed our balance of imports and exports. Since the movement of U.S. production to other nations began in the 1970s, U.S. imports have grown much faster than its exports. By 2000, the United States was buying almost $350 billion more than it sold to other nations. This deficit is financed largely by borrowing the money from foreigners to pay for imports. Since the United States has been running a trade deficit for more than 20 years, Americans now owe more than $1.5 trillion to foreigners. As the debt grows, so does the interest that has to be paid back to overseas lenders, which reduces income in the United States.

    The promoters of free trade argue that its benefits always exceed its costs. Yet, in the 20 years since international trade and investments have expanded, the growth in incomes of the world’s workers has slowed. In advanced nations, such as the United States, Japan, and the countries of Western Europe, after adjusting for inflation, incomes per person are now rising at about half the rate they were before the increase in global trade. People in the poorest countries have been even more hard hit. According to a 1996 UN report, since 1980, “economic decline or stagnation has affected 100 countries, reducing the incomes of 1.6 billion people. In 70 of these countries, average incomes are less than they were in 1980 and in 43 countries, less than they were in 1970.” As a result, the gap between the incomes of the world’s richest and poorest countries has widened.

    Within countries, the gap between rich and poor has also generally increased. In the United States wealthier people tend to receive more income from owning shares of companies, while poor and middle income people get most of their income from wages and salaries. If a company makes more profits by moving its production offshore, those who own its shares will see their incomes rise while those people who lost their jobs will see their income fall. So as the trade deficit has increased, the rich have gotten richer and the poor have gotten poorer. In 1997 the richest 1 percent of people in the United States owned 39 percent of all the wealth in the country, according to economist Edward Wolff of New York University.

    Advocates of free trade point to the lower prices that consumers pay for imported goods. How great are the benefits of cheaper goods and are they really worth the cost? One telling measure of the limits of free trade comes from a 1999 study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a group that favors free trade. The OECD study estimated that if all of the tariffs in the world were eliminated, and if everyone who lost a job immediately got another one, the result would be just a 3 percent reduction in the prices that people paid for the goods they buy.

    We need to ask ourselves, is a 3 percent price cut for sneakers or t-shirts worth adding to the pollution of the world’s air and water and the suffering of millions of the world’s workers—including children?

    For most people in the United States, the answer is no. A 1997 poll commissioned by the AFL-CIO (a trade union federation) bears this out. The poll showed that 72 percent of Americans thought that labor and environmental protections should be part of trade agreements and that the U.S. government should restrict imports from countries that violate them.

    Free trade, in the sense of markets without rules, does not work between countries any more than it works within countries.

    About the author: Jeff Faux is the president of the Economic Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington, D.C., that studies labor and environmental issues. He is the author of The Party’s Not Over: A New Vision for the Democrats (1997) and has written numerous articles in the liberal magazine The American Prospect.

    • July 12, 2012 3:38

      Read more posts on this blog about capitalism. That article made lots of LIES, false assumptions, unsubstantiated claims, and propaganda that it will take a a full-blown article to address them one by one. The author’s defense for minimum wage had long been blasted by economic realities and many studies. If businesses and corporations commit abuses, then, APPLY THE RULE OF LAW. That’s what capitalism is all about. Capitalism is NOT corporatism. It does that not mean corporations should be above the law. That’s corporatism, by definition, and that’s what’s happening in America and in many European countries nowadays. It’s the regulations that make corporate abuse possible. If banks and corporations fail, the government SHOULD NOT bail them out. They should just let them fail. That’s what free market is all about. But it’s very unfortunate that those who hate corporations and advocate government regulations were the first ones to call for or support government bailout. Well, talk about hypocrisy.

    • July 12, 2012 3:38

      Most appropriate FB pix!

  29. Oblation Run permalink
    July 13, 2012 3:38

    WOW! the author of this blog is really intolerant! even the professional opinion of experts doesn’t matter to him. He said” Even many UP morons and so-called intellectuals and book authors don’t actually understand the proper concept of capitalism”. Really? Wow! self declared genius! LOL! He has a world of his own. He has no objectivity. The only truth in his universe is his twisted sense of truth!LOL! What’s his credibility anyway? He is out of touch of the real world. How can you apply rule of law properly if people can be corrupted? Suhulan ko lang ang isang mataas o grupo ng mataas at makapangyarihang pinuno ng isang bansa, pwede ko nang gawin gusto ko. Pwede na akong wag sumunod sa standard ng isang bansa. Gaya nga ng di pagsunod sa environmental standard para makatipid. Sabi mo, they should.. Eh hindi nga yan nangyayari sa tunay na buhay! Gets mo ba bopols? LOL! Ikaw pala bobo jan eh. Ano na ang nangyari sa tinatawag na FREE WILL? Pwede naman nilang piliin na huwag magpa corrupt bakit pa nila ginagawa? Kasi ganid sila! pangsarili lang nilang interes at agenda ang iniisip nila! Tama yung isang nag comment dito. Ang problema sa bansa natin ay ang mga tao. Lalo na yung nasa mataas at makapangyarihang posisyon! Ang mga may mabuting hangarin at kapakanan ng bayan ang iniisip, yun ang dapat magsulong ng pagbabago regulasyon, batas at sa lipunan. Dapat mas marami sila. Tayo. Nasa tao pa rin ang susi. Talagang dapat meron nang pagbabago lalo na sa mga taong katulad mo. Lalo na kung madami kayo lalo na kung sila ay marami sa mataas na posisyon. Kung hindi wala talagang asenso ang bayan natin. Tama yung isang nag comment dito. Dapat mas marami rin ang nag iisip pra sa kapakanan ng bayan. Lalo na yung nasa mataas at makapangyarihang posisyon. Dapat maging PROACTIVE tayong mga Pinoy. Dapat makiaalam. Dapat magbantay at dapat magbago para sa kapakanan ng ating bansa! Yung ang magandang solusyon dahil tao pa rin ang kikilos tungo sa pagbabago. Naiintindihan ko yung perfect balance na sinasabi ng isang nag comment dito. Ayon nga kay Jeff Faux “This balance of protections for consumers, workers, and business has helped make America the world’s most successful economy”. Gets mo ba bobo? Dapat lahat makinabang para nasa ayos ang lahat! You are extremely biased. You have prejudices. You said “hanggang domestic helper na lang tayo”. Bakit, ganun na lang ba kababa tingin mo sa mga DH? Buti pa nga sila nakakatulong sa pamilya nila saka sa bayan natin. Eh ikaw ano nagawa mo sa bayan natin? Manglait ng kapwa mo Pilipino? You have very serious personal issues.
    Bakit, ano problema mo sa mga taga UP? tinatawag mo pa kaming mga moron ha. Na reject o na kick out ka ba sa school namin?LOL! Yung isang nag comment dito nagbibigay lang sya ng analogy para mas malinaw iniiba mo na ang meaning!LOL! Hoy Froi Vincenton! You just got owned! LOL! Dapat isara mo na tong blog site mo kasi kahit di mo man aminin sa amin at sa sarili mo, nilunok ka ng buong buo ng isang nag comment dito. Sya pa lang yun ha, lalo na siguro kung mga taga UP na naka debate mo? pupulutin ka na talaga sa kangkungan! O naasar ka na naman dahil “UP na naman”??? LOL!

    • July 14, 2012 3:38

      What “professional opinion of experts” are you talking about? Professional and experts in what way? This country was and is being destroyed by the “professional experts” you’re referring to. Those who drafted the 1987 Constitution are the country’s worst breed of political MORONS and IGNORAMUSES.

  30. Oblation Run permalink
    July 14, 2012 3:38

    Hayy..wala talaga…Moron ka talaga saka ignoramus..sige na nga ikaw na lang mag isa dito sa blogsite mo..LOL!

    • July 14, 2012 3:38

      LOL!

  31. July 27, 2012 3:38

    Artists do need local support, or how else are they going to improve on their art? After all, art needs to be seen just as music needs to be heard.

    I think what the author was trying to say is that Filipinos nowadays only like musicians who are visually appealing but don’t really have much talent to boast of. The ones who are conscripted today by the music industry are ones who they can market to teenage girls and boys, singers who can do decent covers and sing the high notes, and especially singers who have won televised singing contests. I listened to Cynthia Alexander and her songs are easy listening—a genre that just doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

    What I am trying to say here is that the mainstream Filipino “audience” or “listener,” dare I say it, is a little insipid when it comes to music taste. They think mediocre covers of classic songs are enough to say that a singer is “good.” Cynthia Alexander is not famous here because—let’s face it—she won’t really sell.

    I agree with the post on Facebook saying that we will probably love her ridiculously when somebody else snags her up and makes her famous somewhere else. That’s what happened to Charice. The music industry in the Philippines has become more, more, more on business and very little on music. This is the truth that I see.

    So does this answer your question about what “local support” she needs?

  32. June 26, 2013 3:38

    Hi! Just my two cents’ worth: your statement “Cynthia Alexander doesn’t need our ‘local support’. I’m sure that she’s talented, and if she’s talented enough she can go a long way in her chosen career” — that’s exactly the point! Cynthia is VERY talented, pero hindi siya tinangkilik dito because most of the people here (from my age group at least) are busy lamenting the “long-gone” glory days of OPM. We don’t recognize talent even if it stares us in the face, because we’re too busy consuming whatever Western companies sell our way. And please, you should have at least bothered to know her before blogging about her.
    Sincerely,
    a fan who bothers to look up people and issues I don’t know about before attacking them

Trackbacks

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