Wednesday, September 26, 2007



Published Mindanao Post 7 January 1997

Because we are a democracy, we have a free market economy. Although the government imposes some controls, these are not as rigid as in authoritarian political systems, and individual households and producers are free to make their decisions on savings, investments, and consumption. Still, some government intervention creeps into market when political imperatives dictate. Following are revised, tongue-in-cheek versions of some such freedoms.
Law of Supply and Demand: or, if there’s a buyer, there’s a seller. Commodities heading the list are firecrackers, marijuana, methamphetamines, sex, and cigarettes.
Law of Diminishing Returns: Incompatible businesses – barbecue and firecrackers, when sidewalk vending side by side, both go bang-krupt.
Wage and Price Spiral: the unending chase. Mindanao agri-wages (P100-124) is compatible to National Cost of Living (P300) – a banana versus mango comparison.
Division of Labor: separation of sheep from goats, the bleaters.
Principle of Built-In Obsolescence: Local textbooks made of cheap pulp paper and inferior and unbelievable text.
Monopoly and Cartel: virtual systems in rice and corn trading.
Oppressive Taxation: when taxpayer patience is taxed.
Informal Economy: tax-exempt commerce by leisurely-attired traders.
Market Economy: where competition and free enterprise clash with ethics for the consumers’ money, the latter being the predictable loser.
Inflation: among the things money can’t buy are the things it used to. What this country needs is a good 100-centavo peso.
Cost of Living: the difference between your income and your gross habits.
Exports: aflatoxin, Ebola (Reston) virus, domestic helpers
Imports: nicotine, wheat, milk, sugar, rice, corn, pedophiles
Tariff: a tax on imports to shield the profits of tycoons and punish the meek.
Stock Exchange: where insiders make a killing.
Sinking fund: a place where they hide profits from stockholders.
Land Reform: shuffling ownership of agricultural real estate.
Money: those metal discs used to pay salaries and wages. When you have money, nothing’s expensive. When you have nothing, everything is.
Jobs: a lot of people love those hard-to-find jobs; it’s the work they hate.
Work: the reason many people fail to recognize opportunity is because it comes disguised as hard work.
With the imminent acceptance of Burma, Cambodia, and Laos to ASEAN, the regional association will have the distinction of being the world’s largest producers of opium, the narcotic from which heroin is derived.
CIC: hibernating giant
Golf course: where business deals are arranged and scores given discounts.
Retail Store: where you can buy on sales promotion one item for the price of two and you are given one free. It’s called “buy one, take one, pay for two only…”
And finally, success, defined as good fortune that comes from aspiration, desperation, perspiration, and inspiration. Confucius say: Success gives man big head, also big belly.

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