"The chief business of America is business" - President Calvin Coolidge, 1925
"What else do bankers do -- walk-in and turn-off the lights in the country." - William Slee, 1978
For without economic independence, political independence becomes ineffective and meaningless. Just like an individual with nothing except debt who therefore effectively becomes a person with no voice and is ignored. So we as a people, in our homeland and the world, are not in the radar of our native rulers and of many nations/peoples of the world.
Their works can only be summed up as the modus operandi of creditors (multinational banks) and debtors (our homeland represented by our native technocrats and ruling regime) and how all of their business led only to our continuing, decades-old and present national predicaments; characterized by deepening and expanding mass poverty, with all its adverse socioeconomic and political consequences.
All these lead to our national perdition.
- Ellen Augustine
In the Philippines, strongman Ferdinand Marcos holds power, but there's a growing insurgency in the countryside. In the eyes of the United States and the World Bank (WB), Marcos is the only thing standing between one more country falling to the Reds in the Cold War.
Direct aid is one way to keep him in power. The other and more potent means: World Bank loans, with their oversight and conditionalities. With an American always the president of the World Bank, the United States got what it wanted --with disastrous results for the Philippines.
But this time, thanks to whistle-blowers inside the World Bank, we can get an insider's view of how the development game is played and why the results are usually far from the official rhetoric.
Years later the first draft of the Poverty Mission Report, leaked by whistle blowers, identified this Bank-imposed devaluation as the key factor precipitating decline in Filipino living standards --tough this admission was excised from the final version of the report.(2)
For rich countries like Japan, Western Europe, the United States, Canada, open trade is fine. But poorer countries that are trying to develop cannot afford a regime of free trade. There's no way they can develop their own industries facing competition from the developed countries. It's not going to make the poor less poor."(5)
- Permission for 100% foreign ownership
- Permission to pay a wage lower than Manila's minimum wage
- Low rents for land and low charges for water
- Government financing of infrastructure and factory buildings, which could be rented or purchased at a low price
- Accelerated depreciation of fixed assets
Companies that made hefty profits in these EPZs included Texas Instruments, Fairchild, Motorola and Mattel. (8) While the cost of export-oriented development was high for the Philippines, the commitment was low for the multinationals. Such an arrangement made it relatively easy for them to pick up and leave when workers demanded a more realistic wage --and that is exactly what happened
Play by the Rules --and Lose
Export-oriented development is a key component in the World Bank's standard prescription for developing countries. Yet targeting the bulk of a country's borrowed money to support export-oriented development means that little is left to address pressing domestic needs. Doug Henwood explains how this plays out in a country such as the Philippines:
"Export-oriented development is still the absolute centerpiece of orthodox development theory. Countries like the Philippines have dire domestic needs that should take precedence over export-oriented development. here's just no way that they can meet the needs of their population under this model. It's economically unwise, but it's also a crime against humanity to put exports ahead of the needs of a very hungry and hungry, ill-educated population.
Clearly, the Philippines is not one of the winners.
next....The Dark Side of Globalization, Part 2 of 4
The postings are oftentimes long and a few readers have claimed being "burnt out." My apologies. As the selected topics are not for entertainment but to stimulate deep thought (see MISSION Statement) and hopefully to rock the boat of complacency (re MISSION).
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and yet deprecate agitation
are men who want crops without
plowing up the ground;
they want rain without thunder and
They want the ocean without the
awful roar of its waters.
This struggle may be a moral one
or it may be a physical one
or it may be both moral and physical
but it must be a struggle.
Power concedes nothing without a
It never did, and never will." – Frederick Douglass, American Abolitionist, Lecturer, Author and Slave, 1817-1895)