Sunday, January 28, 2007


The latest vote by both houses of congress to increase the minimum wage is a fine example of political expediency. It was easier to just get over the issue and look good in front of the voting masses and focus on the coming elections. What is lost is the potential drop in productivity that will result in a give-away that is not supported by the economy.

We are so far behind because the investment climate in the Philippines is not friendly. I am not suggesting that we all work for next to nothing, only that we try to emulate the millions of Filipinos working overseas in difficult conditions. In order to compete, we need to sacrifice and high labor costs will certainly not help lure more investors to our shores.

What we need to do is lower energy prices: gasoline, diesel, electricity which will directly lower the price of food and transportation. We need to lower healthcare costs by raising taxes on tobacco. We need to plant more fruit-bearing plants and vegetables by giving outright subsidies towards communities who organize themselves into planting cooperatives.

By reducing cost of living, we will allow citizens to extend buying power. Lower labor costs will also invite more opportunities for increased production.

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