Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Eternal sunshine of the spotted mind II

I have written before about the optimism of this cute administration. Why not, when you hit rock bottom there is no way but up. But the way we see things cloud our resolve to make them better. When things go bad, this administration turns delusional and say they are just perceptions and not reality. Shades of  "she's the one talking but she's not the one speaking" - plain doublespeak.

Take the case of dwindling foreign direct investment. It is unfortunate that there is a global crisis in addition to the local crisis we are having since this cute administration took over. But the government downplays the lower FDI and celebrates its projected zero growth. We extol the resilience of the economy when the FDI has stooped to 1/4 of its level a year ago. How low can you go before it breaks?

The recorded FDI in Jan-Feb 2009 amounts to US$16 million. Manny Pacquiao earned more than that with his purse and PPV shares in the Hatton fight. Pacman's gross pay is more than the FDI that the entire Philippines attracted in February. And the government is happy?

Of course, the government can always tweak its statistics. The SWS unemployment survey says that adult unemployement is now at record high; which is consistent with the global trend. The government includes the 15-year olds in its own labor force survey. Moreover, the government survey used another definition starting 2005 resulting in the lowest unemployment rates in years. Clever, huh?

The graph below shows the unemployment curve dropping starting 2005. Is this a result of GMA's 1 million jobs a year program? No! This is caused by the adoption of the new definition. The blue line indicates what could have been the jobless rate had they not redefined terms. Clearly the job creation program failed. Not so clever, after all! The other graph is from the SWS website. It shows the increasing adult jobless rate.

Reconciling the SWS survey with the government's can lead to a disturbing conclusion - that there are relatively more entrants to the labor force from the 15-18 year olds than any other age group annually. These kids should be in school. Ang kabataan ang pag-asa ng bayan! What happens to their future and this nation's future?

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