I am always surprised when a Filipino accuses me of being an “idealist” or an “intellectual”, as if my writings were somehow detached from practicality. And I am equally surprised when I opine about things that I consider to be foundational about the Filipino social structure, and the economy it generates, and it shoots right past people as irrelevant.
Take the hiring of cousins and classmates, a part of the “trade of favors” that is a major currency, in addition to money, in the Philippines. Look at the US economy. What energizes it is the daily pounding away of people trying, and incented by the boss, to do more in a better way. People compete for raises and for skills and for recognition. It is high octane gasoline.
In the Philippines, people largely just subsist. “Productivity” is absent from the economic lingo, just as “appointment” is a dirty word. The Philippines use wood chips from the dirty kitchen to power the economy.
Why is this dynamic – the collective AMBITION of a people driving for self-improvement – simply shrugged off by Filipinos.
Many, I suppose, because they got their own job by a favor.
“It's our way,” they say. But then they look for scapegoats as to why the economy is doing so poorly, why there are so few jobs and so many mouths to feed, and why corruption is so rampant. Last May, it was Arroyo's fault. Now it is Aquino's.
“Duh,” I scream. It is because you have not OILED THE OLD ECONOMIC MACHINE WITH AMBITION, WITH ASPIRATION, WITH DEVELOPMENT OF SELF, WHICH DEVELOPS ALL, EVERYONE, THE COLLECTIVE MASSES.
That is idealistic? I think not.
That is the way it is. Down and dirty, applied, functional, pragmatic. As real as it gets.
I even scream “PASS A FAIR EMPLOYMENT LAW” that makes capability the only lawful basis for hiring and promoting people, and that is considered just one of JoeAm's intellectual ramblings. Not practical. No one will take that up. Detached from reality, that old Joe.
Christ almighty. How do I get more “applied” than that?
What part of “IMPROVEMENT” do you not see connected with “AMBITION” that channels “SKILL” into the management of “PRODUCTIVITY”?
What part of SOCIAL DYNAMICS and ECONOMIC PRODUCTIVITY are you BLIND to?
Idealistic intellectual fictions, eh? Your MIND is a fiction*.
[*Standard caveat; this insult does not apply to all Filipinos; only those who got their job by favor and/or feel that favor is a better way to power an economy than ambition that leverages skill.**]
[** Please excuse my temporary relapse; it is like the need for alcohol or bananas; comes and goes.]