Existing Economic Systems
Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. – May 13, 2022
Existing economic systems are expressed in the following ideologies that are competing for world dominance and power today.
1. Liberal capitalism - USA and its allies
2. Christian democracy - Italy, Belgium, Philippines
3. Democratic socialism - Philippines
4. Socialist democracy - Amsterdam, Netherlands, Iceland. More socialist than private capitalism
5. Marxist socialism - USSR
6. Socialism - China, Vietnam
There can be more. Every country, nation, or continent has one or more of the above.
They also exhibit the evils of corruption, greed, and all violate human rights, justice, peace, and the integrity of creation in varying forms and degrees.
Their concept of common good is based on the views of Economists Adam Smith and John Maynard Keynes who contend that the sum-total of the capitalists’ individual interests ultimately redounds to the interest of the entire consumers and citizenry.
This is not too far from the “trickle-down” approach of the theory taught to us in Macroeconomics, making us like dogs worthy to “eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table” (Matthew 15:27). Or like Lazarus who “lay there longing for scraps from the rich man’s table…” (Luke 16:21).
But do we have an alternative economic paradigm?
Yes, we have and we can learn a lot from our subhuman kindred.
Dismantling Today’s Economic Paradigm
Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. - November 28, 2022
We can only dismantle today's monetary paradigm by offering an alternative. Our idea of money is flawed. It divides the haves and the have-nots. It's not a concern for those who have it, yet, it's everything for those who have none. We need money to produce money. We spend money to make more of it. Our life has become a money-making machine. But what alternative can we offer?
Scarcity or Abundance? Your Choice
Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. – November 7, 2021
1. From the beginning of time and space, wealth abounds in the Universe. To this day and to the distant future, wealth will remain abundant. As Economist Julian Simon says: “Our supplies of natural resources are not finite in any economic sense. Nor does past experience give reason to expect natural resources to become more scarce.“
But why is there still so much poverty, hunger, and deprivation today?
2. Today, we are witnesses to this sense of material abundance. Karim Benammar describes this as follows: "... we have ever-increasing material possessions, ever more choices and amounts of food, ever more travel, instant world-wide communications, indeed we have ever-expanding horizons on all sides”.
Our resources are not finite indeed. Wealth abounds in the Cosmos. It is there for our taking. We only have to access it.
But why are we not accessing this cosmic abundance? Why do we always remain dependent on the wealth of others, like obedient dogs waiting for the crumbs to fall down from their master's tables?
3. But resources are meant to be shared or circulated, so that all life-forms in the entire Cosmos are continually nourished and their lives sustained. And this is what the Cosmos intends, even designs, from the very beginning of life and existence.
Let's learn from the life of the honeybees...
4. What the honey bees take from the flower, they multiply a 1000 times in their colony and share it with other living creatures, including MAN. They are responsible for about 1/3 of all the foods we eat today. The Upanishads already expressed this abundance in the Cosmos: "Out of abundance, He took abundance and still abundance remained."
5. The honeybees collect without impoverishing the flower. In the process of gathering nectar, they also collect pollen that pollinates flowers and crops that transform them into fruits and vegetables. They take something away from the flowers and immediately give them something in return.
6. Modern physics express this in a down-to-earth way: "There is no such thing as a free lunch. One cannot get something for nothing”, say Physicist Fred Adams and Physicist Allan H. Guth.
7. Those who take and take, suck the lifeblood of others until the latter become so impoverished that they wither away and die. They are bloodsuckers and vampires who thrive on the energy and blood of others. They then leave you and find other innocent victims. Beware of them.
8. Back to our questions: Why is there still so much poverty, hunger, and deprivation today? Why are we not accessing this cosmic abundance? Why do we always remain so dependent on the wealth of others, like obedient dogs waiting for the crumbs to fall down from their master's tables?
9. To me, the answer is simple. We have not learned the formula for accessing cosmic abundance. We are not taught this formula in school. We're simply taught how to manage the wealth and abundance of others, in return for a salary which they themselves dictate. The overall focus of our school programs and curricula are to teach us how to be employed, not how to be self-employed. We are Africa's new version of a modern slave.
10. We're left on our own to learn this formula and relentlessly apply it in our day-to-day lives. This is the path that can lead us not only to our total liberation, but also spiritual fulfilment.
Strange as it may seem, but it is true in my experience. Yet, the journey leading to our total liberation can be endless, just as our quest for spiritual fulfilment can take us a lifetime or even more.
The Art and Science of Making Money
Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D.
November 29, 2022
Money impacts on our economy, politics, religion, society, culture, and ecology. It is the engine of economic growth. We need money in order to grow. We spend money in order to make more money.
Money corrupts our leaders and the citizenry who are easily lured by huge donations from unscrupulous businessmen. Because of money, unfit politicians easily get elected into public office. They can even stay in power for life.
In society, money is not a problem for those who have it. Yet, it is everything for those who have none of it. Social conflicts like human- rights violation, forced marriages, injustice, ecological degradation can easily be placated by money, as in blood money.
Money, in other words, can make or unmake relationships--family, friends, office mates. It can also drown us to debt. Many today have more credit that debit cards. Others have no savings at all and very few are able to survive without money after retirement.
But what is money anyway?
Money is simply an agreed-upon unit of exchange for goods and services. It can't buy happiness. On the contrary, it is the source of suffering, whether one is rich or poor.
The rich borrow money in order to pay their huge debts. If one is a producer, the owner needs to keep on producing in order to outdo all competitors.
Without knowing it, huge debts pile over time. To stay in business, the owner must borrow more money, otherwise the enterprise will be eaten up by the competitors who are just too willing to buy out the company at even exorbitant prices. In business, this is what is called high financing. Buy-outs, sell-outs are the rules of the game.
Meanwhile, the rest of the 7.7 billion population remain starving, competing with each other on the crumbs that fall from their master's table.
Yes, the problem is structural; it is in the system. At the same time, it's also moral and ethical. It's about work ethics. The net effect is that economics is not only a financial issue but also political and religious as well.
In the family, raising children becomes a business proposition. Parents live together simply as partners whose business is raising their children. Family ethics demands on all family members hard work, sacrifice, and frugality. This is the bond that unites the family together, non-compliance of which means family breakdown.
Parents stay together no longer as couples who are supposed to teach their children how to live life not only materially but also spiritually. This is pure and simple family ethics which is treasured by our indigenous peoples to this day. Parents are not supposed to raise children simply to survive and exist in this God-forsaken world.
Money is not able to give us peace of mind or happiness. It is rightly called the root of all evil.
Our economic system has always been market-based, governed by the law of supply and demand. If allowed to operate freely, without any restraint and control, it can lead to countless benefits from the national level down to the regional, county, provincial, city, town, village, and even family level.
But the problem is that the global economy is run and controlled by a few invisible hands that are able to manipulate the market for their own interests. That's why the law of supply and demand is a great failure. Why? Because it is being manipulated by Adam Smith’s “invisible hands” in the market that continue to operate through their subservient and docile governments.
The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are another invisible institutions. They are not banks where one can deposit and withdraw money. But their stamp and seal is enough assurance for a country to transact business with any accredited banks.
They are supported by giant credit-rating institutions like S&P, Moody's, and Fitch Group that regularly evaluate the credit risk of a prospective debtor country by predicting its ability to pay back the debt and an implicit forecast of the likelihood of the debtor defaulting.
But countries and nations are not to be outdone. They use the entire scheme as a deodorant to perpetuate their power and control over the vast majority of the populace, especially the children, women, disabled, senior citizens who are already mired in misery, impoverished and languishing in abject poverty, illiteracy, and ill-health.
The powers-that-be and their minions even justify themselves by saying that "For every rule, there's an exception". But the reality is that, it's the exception that is the rule.
Meanwhile, people are herded into this or that ideology and beliefs, each claiming to be their shepherd and savior. Indoctrination and brainwashing is a great insult to our intelligence that is innately endowed to us as a gift. It is more deadly if we just freely surrender it to anybody.
And look around us! We have yet to see and experience a country run by today's global players, benefiting the common good. On the contrary, this elitist kind of economic system only strengthens the politicians' power over their respective states, regions, counties, and cities.
Changing of guards after elections is no assurance that the people’s need for income, jobs, shelter, education are attained. In most cases the worse can even happen…a plundered economy and a corrupt government.
Still, the question remains: What can we offer as an Alternative Platform of Government? (More to come)....
Our Country is Rich in Natural Resources
February 3, 2016
Besides Deuterium, the Philippines is the biggest palladium reserve discovered in Negros, Panay, Mindoro, and Romblon islands. Indeed we are the richest country in the world in terms of mineral deposits, but like deuterium, we don't have the technology to exploit them. We have to invite other countries and foreign investors to do it for us. And these countries are fighting each other either to colonize us or terrorize us.
Corruption and Foreign Financial Institutions
June 22, 2017
It could be that foreign financial institutions have fueled and aggravated corruption in the Philippines over the decades. This is corruption in the guise of development.
Giving Cash Aid to Families
June 20, 2017
If you're given one trillion pesos and are told to spend only one million daily for the poor, how many years would it take to consume the one trillion. What would be its impact on the poor? And to think that the Philippine national budget is more than three trillion per year. Poverty alleviation is simply pure and cold mathematics with a heart for the poor.