Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Top 3 Factors that Keep the Philippines Poor

1. The elites - they have continued to monopolize economic power and therefore political leverage as well. Most of these people have had their primate-like grip on the apex of power since the Spanish period.

2. Low total output of small and medium scale enterprises (30%) as compared to SME output in Korea and Japan that accounts for half of the total economic activity.

3. Weak investment and risk-taking behavior of Filipinos - as we like to spend a lot (dakot) and save not; as many of us do 'isang kahit isang tuka' (hand to mouth existence); as deferred gratification is essentially a Confucian, Buddhist, and Protestant ethic. But we believe in the blessed are the poor mentality. We are afraid of calculating risk and have learned to keep only one plastic card in our wallet and maintaining only the minimum deposit amount therein. We get sick and die without insurance. Hence, the sandwich generation takes care of the needs of the family of origin and family of procreation, creating multiple strains that prohibit take-off--one generation after another.

We cannot do much about the elites.
But we can save up (#3) and learn to start our business (#2). If you're not someone with an entrepreneurial mind, then be sure to at least do yourself a favor: don't be sandwiched between your parents and family's economic needs. Break away through financial planning. The people in Payatas were able to do this.

Let us learn how to rethink money, and think it not as a root of evil or something of a purely materialistic representation of greed. If you help yourself, you help your country and everyone around you.