Friday, February 3, 2006

Taken off or taken for a ride?

GNP accelerates. The exchange rate is up. Better credit ratings ahead. The economy, again, is poised for a take-off. So what's wrong with all the good news?

We have taken off several times already. GMA said so several times in the past. If her past pronouncements were true, we should be cruising right now. Pero flight delayed yata. Are we in the runway yet? Most are not excited about the flight anymore, having lost confidence in the pilot and crew. The collective mood now, after last year's indignation and exasperation, is mild acceptance - 'if we take off, fine; if we don't, still fine; we're better off with a new pilot anyway.'

The trouble with GMA's chest-thumping news is again their credibility. The government believes in the dictum that lies repeated often enough starts to sound true. They may sound true but still they are lies. And they certainly sound true only to them. The economy is doing well, the government boasts. The people shout, 'show me the money!'.

Maybe the Philippines is really doing well. They surely mean the economic situation of GMA and crew. Government statisticians should measure the growth of this administration's personal economies, then GMA would boast of triple digit growth rates. The trouble with government statistics is they try to spread the rate to the entire nation, thus diluting the growth which in reality accrues only to a select few. This gives the impression that the rest of the nation also enjoys growth. How do we account for the growing hunger despite the purported growth?

How can we believe the economics of GMA and her students? She berates one of her former students in broadcast TV; another student cleverly evades taxes; another looks like an X-Men morphed with Ben David. But kidding aside, the X-Men/Ben David-look alike say the economy is getting better and in the same breath say that 30% is lost to corruption. But they are in control, they should control corruption. They should control themselves from further corrupting this nation. Does this mean they improve their economy so they can skim off more?

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