Monday, June 19, 2017

Current Events

Why is the current account deficit for the first quarter of 2017 tells so much about where we are now? When our imports are greater than our exports, the flow of payments is outward. The main reasons for a deficit is under-investment and low productivity. We are not producing goods and services while we are importing those that we need. For the Philippine economy, current account deficit last occurred in 2002. We are not doing very well indeed and the government's priorities isn't helping. Even if they pass the tax reform bill in Congress, investors are holding back.

Jose Rizal is the foremost liberal among his generation. He studied in the best schools and universities in Europe. He traveled Europe and America. He wrote books and published them. He was a man of science. He was a man of medicine. He taught in schools. He believed that all men are equal and fought the abuses in the Philippines committed by Spanish authorities as well as by the Catholic Church. To be liberal is to defend the individual from harm and to a certain extent the government itself and those in positions of authority are the first to abuse their powers and do him harm. In Jose Rizal's time this is true and often the rule. To be liberal is to protect individual rights. Your right to due process and equal protection under the law, to be secure in your homes, your privacy, unlawful search, your freedom to speak and assemble, your right to practice religion and many more. Today in the Philippines, the constitution guarantees these rights under Article III. I can only speculate what Jose Rizal would think of our Bill Of Rights.

The US pullout of the Paris Climate Agreement did not deter States and Corporations to abide by the commitments agreed to by most of the world. After President Trump announce the pullout, states like California and private companies like Bank of America renew their commitment to follow the Paris Climate Agreement. This means that even as the federal government won't be following most of the world, individual states and private companies will do their share in lowering their carbon footprints and invest in renewable technologies. The United States is the second biggest carbon user in the planet. China outsizes the US, but it continues to commit itself by the Paris Climate Agreement and is the biggest investor in solar technologies. Years from now, the US pullout from the Paris Agreement will be remembered as the single biggest foreign policy mistake Trump made. And for what, to protect a dying coal industry?


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