The Danger of Sending the Wrong Message: The Solution to Monopoly is NOT Dictatorship!

A friend, free market economist Nonoy Oplas asked: what’s wrong with this meme?

In my honest opinion, Pres. Noynoy Aquino is not yet as corrupt or evil as Ferdinand Marcos. Because if the President were as opportunistic or shrewd (“tuso”) as the late dictator, he would have made initial moves to CONTROL our economy– 1) by NATIONALIZING our industries, or 2) by appointing central planners to run/operate SEIZED firms/industries.

He would have done exactly just that and then said: ‘Isn’t that what you’ve always been praying for?’

Taking control of key industries is always the first step towards dictatorship. Hitler did it. Marcos did it. Hugo Chavez masterfully implemented it in Venezuela.

This is why it’s always important NOT to send the wrong message (to other people or to opportunistic political charlatans).

How should WE solve MONOPOLY, DUOPOLY or CARTELIZATION in the Philippines?

A lot of people (with unclear messages) want more government control. But is that what they really want?

Like I said, if the incumbent president were as shrewd or evil as Hugo Chavez or Marcos, he could have used their premise or slogans to nationalize (or take control of) not only the telecom and power sectors but all industries as well. And I don’t think that’s what we want.

Is that what we want? To allow the government to CONTROL/NATIONALIZE our industries? Can you at least name one service-providing government agency or body (e.g., GSIS, NBI, DSWD, etc.) or government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCC) that delivers/performs excellent service?

Or: It’s either you’re a delusional leftist who naively thinks you and your comrades have the intellectual and technical capability to centrally plan or run our industries or the entire country better than anyone else.

Tough luck, comrades. Many Filipinos may want more freebies and government intervention, but I’m sure they’re not that stupid to root for complete socialism or communism. They simply want certain aspects/elements of socialism and NOT the whole system.

Others suggest the enactment of ANTI-CARTEL law.

Anti-Cartel law is so stupid when the very source/cause of monopoly or cartelization is the Constitution or political system itself.

That’s why I strongly oppose the Antitrust bill some of our LOL-makers proposed in Congress.

If you limit our economy to Filipinos, chances are the system could be easily gamed, exploited, abused by the following:

  1. corrupt politicos
  2. their cronies
  3. the established oligarchs or old-rich (they already have the capital)
  4. new cronies or the families, relatives and friends of politicos (any dictator can replace the OLD OLIGARCHY with a NEW ONE.
  5. corrupt foreign investors (like China and many foreign nationals) who are willing to pay BRIBES.

Indeed, our current predicament tells/shows us, based on our economic failure/experience, that PROTECTIONISM always leads to monopoly or cartelization. This is because our cronies and industries are protected from foreign competition.

  • Protectionism means less or LIMITED investors.
  • Less investors = less companies operating or doing business in our economy/countries.
  • Less economic players = less jobs and higher unemployment and higher prices of commodities.

Ergo, PROTECTIONISM leads to unemployment, jacked up prices of goods/services, less innovation on the part of protected companies, BAD/INCOMPETENT services because of lack of competition and lack of incentive to innovate, and corruption.

The problem is, a lot of people believe that the only solution to monopoly is more government intervention– by adopting more socialistic policies or government control– to CONTROL the cartels/monopolists/oligarchs created by the system.

In the end, it’s either we end up like Venezuela (where Hugo Chavez nationalized industries) or like Zimbabwe (where Mugabe seized control of industries and then gave the same to his NEW CRONIES).

How will P-Noy control or regulate PH CARTEL? The possible statist solutions are as follows:

  1. Nationalize not only power and communication sectors but all industries as well. Which means that our economy would be centrally planned by his political appointees like NEDA chief Arsenio Balisacan, Abad and others.
  2. Take control of certain industries and let government appointed DIPLOMA-TOTING “economists” run/operate them. Who would you rather run a company? A guy like Steve Jobs who didn’t finish college but has technical/corporate skills to run a private company or a guy like Arsenio Balisacan, a UP alumnus and economist, who published a lot of papers about how the government should run our agri-sector?
  3. Take control of certain industries and then give them to his NEW CRONIES. This is what Ferdinand Marcos did.
  4. Issue new regulations and create new bureaucrats to monitor how industries operate/function.

Yet there’s one practical solution, which is the exact opposite of all the statist solutions cited above: ECONOMIC LIBERALIZATION. Let’s fully open our economy to foreign investors like the Four Asian Tigers (Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan).

Don’t be fooled by the leftists’ or statists’ political slogans. We are not as free or open as these Asian Tigers. The truth is, the Philippines is one of the most PROTECTIONIST economy in Asia, behind North Korea and other semi-socialist countries.

RELATED POSTS:

Philippine Constitution Versus Economic Freedom

Best Weapon Vs. China: Not Boycott but Economic Freedom

Filipinos’ Fallacy of Politico-Economic Equivalence

The High Cost of Ignoring FREEDOM!

Mr. President, It’s Time to Tear Down RP’s Protectionist Walls!

We are a Fascist/Corporatist State!

Ingrate, Mediocre Filipinos

Former UP Econ Dean Fabella’s Gibberish About RP’s Low Foreign Investment

How to End RP’s Imperial Manila: Adopt Federalism!

A Tale of Two Leaders: Singapore’s Lee Hsien Loong Vs. P-Noy

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