INCLUSIVE GROWTH: THE ZOMBIE IDEA THAT LIVES ON
AFTER Mr. Aquino made 24/7 pitches for inclusive growth and failed miserably to dent the rich-poor divide, many had the expectation that Mr. Duterte would not use that broken record. But Mr. Duterte did, in Danang of all places, in the context of an address to CEOs of the to markets will make emerging economies improve, which will then spread the gains all over, he said. That, he added, will economies.
It sounds good, in theory. But what about the practical application.
Let us assume that the Asia-Pa applied Mr. Duterte’s exhortation in their business models. Emerging economies like the Philippines, for a steady run of about from better access to global markets. And the trade barriers, from tariffs to phyto-sanitary requirements on agricultural products from the emerging markets, have all but vanished.
Will the Philippine poor get a boost in their incomes and quality of life from this fair and just operations of the regional market? No. The expanded PH economy will be of no consequence to those at will go to the usual suspects, the top 1 percent that normally scoop up 60 percent of all income gains year in and year out. After the top 1 percent, the next 9 percent will economy’s income gains. The rest? Nada. The GDP surge may be a spectacular one. Just the same it will have no meaning on the incomes – and the lives – of the Everyman.
Only the crumbs will trickledown to the likes of me and my neighbors, who are at the bottom 90 percent. That is true universally. “Trickle- down“economics is a hoax like its “inclusive growth” twin. And the best take on “trickle- down“economics had been written by Pope Francis. This is the Pope’s view on the debunked theory.
“Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by the free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, by facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system.“
There is another Francis version, the better and the layman’s version.
“The promise was that when the glass was full, it would over happens instead is that when the glass is full, it gets magically bigger, but nothing ever comes out for the poor.”
Simply put, trickle-down is bunk. It has not worked and it will never work. The six years of Mr. Aquino provide the empirical evidence.
The average 6.2 growth rate under Mr. Aquino was ideal by regional standards. But it had a limited impact. It was the perfect lift and gift to the top 1 percent. Under Mr. Aquino’s growth-oriented regime, a new category of the super- rich was created—those elevated into the exalted category of “those-whocan- buy- a- small country- rich.” The peons remained peons and nothing changed in the remote communities with 84 percent or 74 percent poverty rates.
Mr. Duterte’s pitch for inclusive growth comes at a time when there is basis for comparison and analysis – the news media’s simultaneous accounting on the fourth year of the Yolanda savagery and the corporate earnings of the country’s business giants.
The news stories on the resettlement side were very bleak: reloca were barely occupied and the government has been engaged in a slow-motion transfer of the supertyphoon victims into these shabby housing sites.
The misery in the typhoon-