PNoy’s Malthusian/Marxist Economist: ‘PH must manage its population and decrease its dependency rates’
The political and pseudo-intellectual proponents/supporters of the RH bill have been fooling us much too long. They have been playing the public like a broken guitar.
First, the bill’s proponents in Congress categorically stated the government must control/manage the country’s growing population. Tongressman Edcel Lagman, one of the proposal’s staunchest proponents, said it. In an opinion piece published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer on August 3, 2008, Lagman stated the following:
“[The RH bill] does not claim that family planning is the panacea for poverty. It simply recognizes the verifiable link between a huge population and poverty. Unbridled population growth stunts socioeconomic development and aggravates poverty. The connection between population and development is well-documented and empirically established.”
The context of that statement is very clear for us to see and understand. The Marxist tongressman is talking of population control. However like the man-made global warming alarmists who now adopted the term “climate change” to push for their globalist-environmentalist agenda, the political backers of the bill in Congress did not only change the bill’s name– from RH bill to Responsible Parenthood bill– they also modified their tactic. Instead of parroting their original population control rhetoric, the measure’s trapolitical (traditional politician) and pseudo-intellectual backers started changing their tone, saying their neo-Malthusian agenda is merely about encouraging responsible parenthood and empowering indigent family women, apparently to fool anti-RH Catholic priests and religionists.
Leftist/statist organizations and partylists started to promote the RH measure’s capability to empower women, help the poor, reduce poverty incidence, provide informed choice, among others. Pseudo-intellectuals and media personalities like Winnie Monsod and Fr. Joacquin Bernas, an alleged constitutionalist who doesn’t even understand the proper concept of rights, talked about the RH bill being pro-poor and pro-women, promotion of reproductive health, helping the poor, etc. In other words, their arguments are purely built on emotionalism, not on solid reason and logic. Instead of using logic, which is an art of non-contradictory identification, they appeal to pity, authority, the popular. They also use fallacies of equivocation, straw man argument, red herring, etc. to defend their RH dogma.
In fact, both sides– the anti-RH catholics/religionists and the pro-RH fanatics are guilty of all the aforementioned fallacies. Again, let me reiterate that there are independent-minded individuals in these parts who do NOT base their anti-RH arguments on faith or religion; they base them on logic and reason (this secular, non-religious or atheist group is also against the RH bill).
I’ve been saying for years that the anti-RH catholics cannot base their arguments on faith or religion. They have to fight a purely secular issue with secular arguments.
I stated in this previous blog the following:
It is no longer surprising that even the self-avowed agnostics and the atheists are completely sold to that malicious, stupid, pathetic canard that those who reject this evil bill are Christians or religionists. One cannot oppose the altruistic RH bill on religious grounds. The religionists are not making any sense by basing their opposition on biblical dogmatism, while the blind apologists of the bill rely on pragmatism, altruism and mysticism.
In this post:
In effect, there are two evil camps that try to rob us of our freedom and rights:
- The religious conservatives who push for their anti-family planning and anti-contraception campaigns. These people sacrifice individual rights and freedom of choice to mystical beliefs and revelations.
- The communists and the Filipino Freefarters and their mindless cohorts who oppose these religious conservatives and champion a statist, neo-fascist brand of ‘secularism’. In fact, they are worse than the religious conservatives because their political agenda completely contravenes individual rights and freedom. Their concept of “freedom of choice” is utterly distorted and perverted, as they believe that the state must provide perhaps almost everything the people need.
The RH bill is an intellectual issue, not a religious issue, and this is what its proponents and blind supporters do not understand. If it were a religious issue, then we should be sending Catholic priests, protestant pastors and Imams to Congress. But it is not. It is an intellectual issue as it covers numerous disciplines and fields, such as philosophy, economics, politics, the law, science, medicine, and religion. Yes, religion is just one of the many ramifications of this issue.
No matter how the pro-RH fanatics try to conceal and equivocate their ultimate goal, it is very much clear that their proposed measure is all about population control. All the talks about empowering indigent women, helping the poor, RH or sex education, informed choice, free and open access to RH services, etc. are merely the means to an absolute end: a managed/controlled population.
Finally the RH camp’s real agenda was exposed to the public yesterday (August 6).
In a very interesting, revealing event at the Senate yesterday, Director General Arsenio Balisacan of the National Economic Development Authority told the senators that “the Philippines must manage its population and decrease its dependency rates.” A strong advocate of population control, this neo-Malthusian economist said the country’s problem “has more to do with the fertility rate. About a third of economic growth in Asia is due to population management.”
I say: Oh really? Is that the reason why Japan is so much worried about its declining population? Is that the reason why Singapore’s first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew expressed regret over his aggressive population control program?
I really find it very much disturbing that the country’s economic czar and former dean of UP school of economics had the guts and pretentiousness of a drunken lout to tell our senators that “about a third of economic growth in Asia is due to population management.” I actually
don’t know where he got that utterly ridiculous information. Last time I checked, Singapore, Hong Kong and other Asian tigers achieved economic growth by adopting free market reforms. Perhaps China’s one-child policy helped lighten the communist regime’s welfare concerns, but it certainly improved its economy after it joined the WTO in 2001 (related studies here, here, here, here, here ) and compromised its Maoist principles by embracing free market reforms (see related studies here, here).
The following except from an Inquirer report shows a very interesting exchange between Balisacan and Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile:
“Are you suggesting (we) adopt … population control in the country?” asked Enrile, who attended a rally sponsored by the Catholic Church on Saturday in a show of clout—somehow dampened by monsoon rain—against a perceived administration move to ram through the controversial reproductive health (RH) bill in the House of Representatives.
“Ah, I don’t think, sir, that we need to really provide the same level of access to the poor in terms of…” Balisacan trailed off.
“All right, I’ll reverse the question,” Enrile interposed. “What in your opinion as an economist and in charge of national economic development, what should be the ideal level of population growth for the country?”
“I, I, I, sir, I think that we can move naturally in the same way…” Balisacan stammered.
“You’re the economist, you must have an idea,” Enrile said.
Balisacan noted that the United Nations had set a 2.1-percent fertility rate for countries.
Enrile asked how the Philippines fared.
Balisacan said the country had a population growth rate of “roughly 2 percent, actually 1.98 percent.”
“In other words we are below the UN acceptable rate,” Enrile remarked.
Balisacan must be talking of the 2.1 replacement fertility rate. But aren’t we slightly below the replacement fertility rate? That exchange clearly shows that Balisacan cannot offer a definitive, objective idea about his ideal level of population growth for the country. He merely wants to have our population controlled or managed because of his utterly erroneous, fallacious presumption that about a third of economic growth in Asia is due to population management. If that’s the case, then, all poor countries in the world should just manage or control their populations even without focusing on the protection of rule of law, property and intellectual property rights, or any economic concerns. Balisacan’s population management madness is not sound economics; it’s pure economic quackery masquerading as sound, practical political policy.
President Aquino’s choice for NEDA chief clearly shows his stand on the RH bill and other economic issues. The President is in in favor of government-enforced population control and redistribution of wealth. In an earlier post, I exposed Balisacan as a strong believer of the idea of spreading the wealth around and population control.
For instance, in his 1991 paper titled Why Does Poverty Persist in the Philippines? Facts, Fancies, and Policies, Dynamics of Rural Development: Linkages, Poverty, and Income Distribution, Balisacan argues that focusing on economic growth cannot solve poverty, which he defines as “nothing but a concrete manifestation of gross economic and social inequities.” Instead of focusing on economic growth, he argued that the government should concentrate on “redistributive reforms.”
In regard to the issue of population growth, Balisacan argues that the government must “mainstream” population management in the government’s development agenda because rapid population growth in the country proves to be a potent obstruction to economic development. In another working paper titled Population Management should be mainstreamed in the Philippine Development Agenda, Balisacan also makes the following arguments favoring the urgent passage of the Reproductive Health Bill:
Policy makers must address the country’s rapid population growth head-on though proactive government policies, such as the Reproductive Health (RH) bill. The failure to pass the RH bill in the 14th Congress is very unfortunate for the damage that a rapid population growth will bring to this generation and the next are irreversible. We simply cannot afford to have millions of Filipinos go through the vicious cycle of high fertility and poverty: high fertility rate prolongs poverty in households and poor households contribute to high fertility rates.”
He further argues that the government has the duty to intervene to address rising population growth and other related problems by making policies “that will increase the capacity of women to participate in the labor market, invest in health to decrease child mortality and enhance education, particularly of women.”
According to Balisacan, the source of poverty ”has to do largely with its inability to achieve – and sustain – income growth substantially higher than its population growth.” Is this exactly how economic professors at the University of the Philippines teach economics to their students? How should the government sustain economic growth in the first place? By making new laws and economic policies? So, the government could just fix economic and poverty problems by simply issuing new redistributive programs? But what is the primary source of wealth?
The government cannot possibly sustain economic growth and reduce poverty with statist actions and solutions. The way out of poverty is not through adoption of more laws and regulatory economic policies. The only way to solve these pressing, worsening economic issues is to free the economy. Since the issues of poverty reduction and economic growth are both economic and political/constitutional issues, Balisacan’s solutions cannot do anything to secure long-term economic growth. In fact they would only worsen the country’s economic problems. Because even if you seize all the property and incomes of the top 30% or 40% of this country, the collected revenue would not be enough to finance all government services, programs and welfare for at least two to three months.
Overpopulation is actually the best scapegoat that our corrupt, power-hungry politicians and their incompetent, anti-intellectual economic appointees could use to conceal, bury the simple fact that it’s the government’s protectionism, unsound/failed welfare and economic policies, and corruption that keep this country poor and impoverished. Instead of adopting free market reforms (but first our constitution needs to be revised or amended) to encourage both local and foreign investments, the President’s Marxist-Malthusian economic czar believes that the solution to our poverty problem is population control. This Marxist idea simply suggests the following corollaries:
- the government is the source of wealth (Marxist theory)
- the Malthusian idea that food production is subject to the law of diminishing returns.
- our society has a limited capacity to accommodate more social members (or the life boat theory)
- the government has to redistribute wealth and provide services (welfare state doctrine)
- and since the government provides services that social members need, it has the authority to set the allowable population percentage.
I repeat what I said before:
What this country urgently needs is not redistributive politics or statist economic planning. Since economic and political realities now show us the ill effects of Big Government, protectionism, and regulations, we need to revise or reform the Constitution to pave the way for important political and economic changes we urgently need to survive as a nation. We need to scrap protectionism, economic regulations, welfare programs, and other destructive taxes. Free market system, not statism, is the only solution to our national predicament. However, it appears that the current administration is averse to proper constitutional reform. Based on the composition of its economic team and advisers, this Yellow regime is not in favor of free market reforms, but of more government intervention and statism.