Stefan Thiesen

Werner Str. 203
D-59379 Selm
thiesen@uni-muenster.de

Long Term Sustainability for the
Republika Ng Pilipinas
On the Way to a Compara=ve Meta
Assessment
With Ample Metaphors
Lost in the Woods?
Zooming Out
On Handling Complexi=es
“... We have inherited from our forefathers the keen longing for unified, all-
embracing knowledge. The very name given to the highest ins=tu=ons of
learning reminds us that from an=quity throughout many centuries the
universal aspect has been the only one to be given full credit. But the spread,
both in width and depth, of the mul=farious branches of knowledge during
the last hundred odd years has confronted us with a queer dilemma. We feel
clearly that we are only now beginning to acquire reliable material for
welding together the sum-total of what is known into a whole; but, on the
other hand, it has come next to impossible for a single mind fully to command
more than a small specialized por=on of it. I can see no other escape from
this dilemma (lest our true aim to be lost forever) than that some of us should
venture to embark on a synthesis of facts and theories, albeit with second-
hand and incomplete knowledge of some of them, and at the risk of making
fools of themselves. So much for my apology.”

Erwin Schrödinger, Dublin, 1943 (intro to lecture „What is life?“)

Sustainable Unsustainable

Capital concentra=
on and
poli=cal cronyism

Culture of coopera
=on Popula=on growth
and
consumer culture

Rel. well educated
an
mo=vated popula d Overuse of resourc
es
=on lack of resilience (C and
limate
change etc.)

Resource rich coun
try Reliance on oversea
s
workers
Context Meddling
Geographical Historical
context context

Na=onal
poli=cal Legal context
context

Cultural Economic Interna=onal
context context
reality
Looking Back
„The country is poor, the financial crisis through
which it is passing is acute, and everyone points
out (...) the persons who are causing the trouble,
yet no one dares lay hands upon them.“

José Rizal, the Philippines a Century Hence,
published in 1912, 16 years ager his execu=on
Today
„The history of the last 18 years has been a dreary
one for most Filipinos. The promise of poli=cal
libera=on and economic and social progress that
accompanied the overthrow of the Marcos
dictatorship in February 1986 has remained just
that: A promise“

Walden Bello, The An= Development State: The
Poli=cal Economy of Permanent Crisis in the
Philippines, 2004
Neo-Liberalism meets Cronyism
•  WTO, GATT/GATS, TPP demand liberaliza=on,
further priva=za=on, deregula=on of capital
flows
•  Incen=ves created lead to rent-seeking
behavior of capital owners
•  Liberaliza=on met situa=on with exis=ng
extreme dispari=es and concentra=ons of
wealth and power (cold start problem of
liberaliza=on)
Policy of Delusion
•  Seeming „progress“ is a Potemkin Village
•  Aim: 100% RE by 2030 and turning the
Philippines into a „developed country“ by
2020
–  Flat tax on capital/corporate profit is 30%
–  Income tax for > US$12,000 p.a. is 32% (plus other
taxa=on, i.e. VAT etc.)
–  Dozens of new Coal and Diesel power projects
Polariza=on & Cold Start
•  The collec=ve wealth of the 50 richest people
in the Philippines reached $74 billion in 2014,
up 12% from $65.8 billion in 2013
•  26% of households have < US$ 200 income
(arbitrary na=onal poverty level)
•  Disasters alone cost approx. 3 to 5% of
na=onal GDP

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