No, You Killed Her, Comrades!
- NOTE: A Facebooker asked me to comment on the tragic suicide at UP-Manila. My somewhat lengthy comment is as follows.
I didn’t fully cover this issue. But according to the press, the tragic suicide of Kristel Tejada, the UP-Mla student who took her life allegedly because she was forced to file a leave of absence for failure to pay her bills, has sparked soul-searching at UP.
She killed herself because of UP’s cruel policy? Well, we don’t know. We can only speculate. But what we all know is that the evil advocates of ‘education rights’ have been aggressively exploiting this tragedy to push for their statist agenda. These people are dancing on the poor coed’s grave.
Let me make my stand on public education issue a lot clearer. I am against the idea that the taxpayers must shoulder or pay for the school fees of school children and tertiary students. I am opposed to public education just as I’m against any kind of welfare program. However, here’s my view on this coed suicide issue– I thought UP was a compassionate, caring, pro-poor educational institution. I thought it was created to serve the so-called welfare of every self-proclaimed isko and iska in this collectivist country. It seems that this state university miserably failed to live up to its pro-poor, pro-education for all claim.
This country was established as a welfare state since its inception, and UP was created more than a hundred years ago to cater to the educational needs of country’s poor but so-called bright students. Perhaps UP’s public education principle was anchored on Rizal’s immortal aphorism: “the youth is the hope of the fatherland.”
No, this doesn’t mean I’m now defending UP’s statist public education principles. What I’m saying is welfare state is the founding principle of this third world nation since its founding. That such welfare programs as public education, public health, public housing, among others are inherent, innate part, so to speak, of our culture, social psyche and system of politics. They’re part of our past and current constitutions (1935, 1972, and 1976).
As I previously stated here:
“The creation or establishment of UP more than 100 years ago is one of the many realizations of our past leaders’ and intellectuals’ welfarist and socialistic mindset and aspirations. Our past and present intellectuals and leaders inherited, and still sustain, that mindset. This is evidenced by the creation of more than 100 state colleges and universities across the country.
“But we can’t cheat reality. Ideas have consequences. Welfare state or socialism is an idea. Every statist idea requires money or funding, regulations, and the limitation or even destruction of some of our freedoms. Did you ever read UP president Alfredo Pascual’s vision statement? He proposed to increase corporate income tax and other taxes in order to finance his academic agenda.”
Yet student leaders and writers at UP, the future destroyers of this poor, third world nation, arrogantly claimed that the “system” killed Kristel. What system? A UP student regent reportedly said: “She was killed by the system–a system that refuses to recognize that education is a right, that life is measured in your capacity to pay.”
Really? I think we need to properly understand the system of politics in this failing nation.
Despite its many flaws, this country– or our government– fully recognizes everyone’s right to obtain education or to get education. But UP’s future leftist leaders have a very, very immoral understanding or interpretation of so-called people’s right to education. I say ‘immoral’, because their idea of right to education is FUNDAMENTALLY WRONG.
What do they mean by “right to education?” According to these leftist leaders and future destroyers of this country, the taxpayers must pay for the education of a fraction of welfare beneficiaries. Why? Perhaps because millions of Filipinos are poor or living below poverty line. And because a lot of Filipinos are poor, the government must extort more taxes from others in order to guarantee what they call “education rights” or “education for all”.
Do we also have a right to food? Should we also call on the government to feed us or to provide us the food we need to survive? Do we also have a right to housing? Should the government provide the homeless the shelter they need at the expense of some group of people in these parts?
I said our government fully guarantees everyone’s right to education. That is, it guarantees our right to PURSUE education, vocation, or any form of schooling or even indoctrination. However, the government absolutely bars foreigners (educators and investors) to be part of our education system.
What does right to speech or freedom of speech mean? Does this concept mean the government must also give you money to guarantee such a right? No. It means the government guarantees your right to speak your mind freely without prior restraint. A right means freedom of action in a social context.
America’s founding fathers said governments must respect people’s right to PURSUIT of happiness, not ‘right to happiness’. The keyword there is “pursuit”. You have a right to pursue things so long as you refrain from violating the rights of others or forcing them to shoulder undeserved obligations. You have a right to pursue anything you want– e.g., a rewarding profession or calling, a vacation, a profitable business venture, a petition against government abuses, etc. But you do not– or should not– have any right at all to pass any kind or form of burden to others.
Just because you think you badly need college education does not mean you have a right to tell the government to pay for your school fees by simply employing its so-called inherent power of taxation. If you think your right to “something” requires coercive government action, then, it follows that you’re giving your own government extensive, expansive political power to limit your rights and to destroy the rights of others. This is because the government is NOT a productive agency; it is a PARASITIC entity that cannot survive without productive people who create/produce real wealth. It survives through its alleged power of taxation, and it serves the welfare of the poor or the social beneficiaries through its coercive re-distributive power.
However, I fully agree that the UP coed was killed by the system. To be more precise, she was killed by our WELFARE SYSTEM. She was killed by those who advocate more welfare, because more welfare simply means more government power to rule you. She was killed by naive, clueless public educators and education advocates who claim that college education is everything. That all you need is a college diploma to survive. But the absolute truth that these people won’t tell you is, college education is not for everyone!
Our welfare society pushed her to her death. She was too young and too naive to understand the world around her. She was scared by the notion that being without college education is life without direction, sense or meaning. She probably feared the constructed notion that college education is the only only key to success. Perhaps she deeply believed in the so distorted an idea that the public is obligated to educate her– to clothe her– to provide her a job– to make her happy.
But we can only speculate. This is not what those who have been exploiting her death are now doing.
Press reports reveal that Kristel, 16, was the eldest of five children of a taxi driver and a housewife. Because of UP’s strict tuition policy, she was forced to file a leave of absence in the middle of the second semester for failure to pay tuition of less than P10,000.
This tragedy reveals a number of things.
First, the hypocrisy of the statist, collectivist UP administrators. Why did they implement such a strict “no late payment” policy in the first place? Now UP president Alfredo Pascual said that “no student shall be denied access to UP education due to financial constraints”. Such a belated statement came from the same UP official who proposed to tax a number of sectors in order to achieve what he called UP as a great university in the 21st century. He wished to achieve his academic goal by taxing people and businesses. He clearly stated in his vision statement titled “Remaking a Great University: UP in the 21st Century”: “in funding the plan implementation, one possible source that can be explored is the corporate income tax, among others.”
UP needs to walk its talk. Like this cash-strapped, bankrupt government, parasitic UP cannot survive without going after the taxpayers.
I’m a product of private schooling. But since I was a student journalist, my university– or my fellow students– paid for my school fees. I earned my scholarship even though my parents could afford to pay for my tuition. I
worked for it and I was happy for what I did. My university didn’t have a strict policy on late tuition payment. Like any businesses in the country, my university had to compete with both private and public schools. Yes, private universities are competing with state-funded colleges and universities, and they had to think of all kinds of effective gimmicks or strategies to attract enrollees. They survive on student tuition; they don’t rely on the taxpayers. Unlike UP, they are NOT PUBLIC PARASITES!
A lot of people now know that the country’s taxpayers’ subsidize more than P100,000 of every UP student’s tuition. In reality, UP is the most expensive university in the country. They say that without taxpayers’ subsidy (of P32 per commuter), MRT commuters should have been paying approximately P50. Taxpayers also subsidize much of the tuition of UP students to study at the state university. This means that the taxpayers are currently paying for the travel expenses and education of the country’s minority.
Second, this issue exposes the fact that UP cannot cheat reality. Reality tells or shows every person who understands basic economics that public money has to come from somewhere. It shows that education is, in reality, a commodity. They say it’s a public service. Well, they should now begin to understand that every public service requires money and people (both ordinary workers and professionals), and people are not public slaves. Unless you expect people in the education sector to work for free.
Third, this tragedy, which was successfully turned by public education advocates into ala Newton school shooting national issue, exposes the alarming economic reality in the Philippines. The coed’s parents are poor. This country is poor. And because a lot of Filipinos survive on one or two dollar a day the government is obliged– or urged by welfare statists– to increase its welfare spending. Former UP school of economics dean and now P-Noy’s economic czar Arsenio Balisacan recently said the government must redistribute wealth and control population to reduce poverty and dependency rates. The country’s economy was- and is being- destroyed by UP products! This is an indisputable fact!
For decades the Filipinos have been patiently, blissfully paying, supporting, subsidizing their own destroyers!
We are poor because of our unsustainable welfare state, protectionism and failed politico-economic policies. We are poor because we are not as economically free as our neighboring countries like Singapore, South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong. We have very high unemployment rates for years because our system of politics discourages both local and foreign investors. Filipinos have to pay expensive electricity (the most expensive in Asia) because our Constitution established a power cartel that sucks the blood of the public while preventing foreign competition. We have very slow and very expensive Internet connection because we prevent foreign telecoms from competing with the Filipino corporatists or oligarchs.
South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore do not implement the same failed, protectionist, regulative politico-economic policies. Yet many still wonder why we’re poor! A lot of leftists and statists still ask why millions can’t send their kids to primary schools! One possible answer is, it’s because most Filipinos are unemployed, while those employed are underpaid.
Yet these economically clueless statists demand higher wages. They look at the well-paid workers in these Asian tigers and then demand that every Filipino worker be also paid the same amount of monthly wages and benefits. Isn’t that both pathetic and painfully hilarious?
Companies in Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore can afford to provide competitive compensation package and benefits to their workers because of competition, productiveness, innovation, and globalized markets. It’s because these Asian tigers have established a dynamic network of markets, industries and firms freely, aggressively competing with each other for talents, discoveries, ideas and markets. Try to visit Hong Kong and you see thousands or even millions of businesses– all kinds of businesses– ruthlessly competing with each other.
However, these public education and public welfare advocates loathe, reject the idea of market competition. They reject free markets. They reject every proposal to make this country economically freer. They oppose the idea of allowing foreigners to be part of our system, economy and team. Yet they still wonder why we’re poor! These sanctimonious bastards! These welfare hypocrites have blood on their hands. They are the very reason why this country is poor, why millions are unemployed, and why a lot of troubled parents and children– those who were too weak to fight and understand the system– decided to take their own lives.
The fallen ones– those who were too fainthearted and too feeble to grasp the politico-economic reality of the country they lived in– were the victims of our failed welfare system. Kristel is just one of them.
What is more tragic is that the very people who support our evil welfare system, which undeniably bankrupted our economy and our society’s moral fabric, have been exploiting this tragedy to bring the Filipino nation closer to economic and political dead-end.
More welfare won’t solve our national crisis caused by our flawed morality or moral premises. What we currently face today as a nation is the logical result of our moral bankruptcy.
A lot of Filipinos believe it is moral to take away the rights or others– or to use state force against disarmed individuals– in order to serve the alleged welfare of the poor and the least advantaged. They morally believe we have to criminalize full foreign participation in our economy. They thought it was moral to ban professionals and to excessively regulate a lot of economic activities to serve some unseen goods and welfare.
The Filipinos supported a Filipino First system designed– in theory– to make Filipinos the masters of their own land. Yet in practice this same evil, primitive policy ended up benefiting the country’s oligarchs, cronies and politically connected corporatists who now control the country’s media, power sector, telecommunication industry, etc. By definition, we are a Corporatist or Fascist State.
Today, a lot Filipinos still wonder why we’re poor. Millions of Filipinos now complain this is not the ideal society they want to live in. But didn’t these people create their society in their own image? Why, then, do they now cower in fear at the sight of corrupt bureaucrats whom they empowered to give them almost everything they need? Why, then, do they abhor prevalent joblessness, homelessness and poor economic activities when they supported the idea of limiting foreign participation in their own land? In fact, some of them want to totally close our economy to the outside world!
I think these people– these moral cowards and criminals– should now be celebrating the logical, ultimate product of their moral premises and socio-politico policies and programs.