It's crazy how some Yellowtards think that martial law will be bad for the economy. It will be bad for the economy if it were misused and abused. A kitchen knife would be harmful if used carelessly but beneficial if used properly. It's because of the current phenomenon that martial law crybabies are on the rise again that I decide to write this article. It's a problem in the Philippines that many Filipinos have the habit of not following simple guidelines. Some even have the mentality that they would rather commit suicide if they have to follow all the reasonable rules for discipline.
One good example is how Singapore is an effective democracy. It's because they put reasonable fines for certain offenses. I don't see anything unreasonable about making people pay up a certain fine to discourage bad behavior. If you read the history of Singapore it was such a crime-infested, poverty-driven city. I would say one of the biggest problems in the Philippines is a lack of law enforcement. Crime rate is pretty low in Singapore not only due to economic liberalization but also due to strict law enforcement.
How would implementing penalties for not following simple guidelines keep a place in order? Every little policy counts towards something big. If people are afraid to break civil offenses like littering, not flushing, urinating and defecating in the most inappropriate places, etc. then they would be ready for bigger things. Nobody can say that you can ignore tiny offenses and just focus on the big offenses. If people can't even obey the law on the tiniest matters and if law enforcers can't do their jobs in making people follow simple guidelines then how can they handle bigger problems? Besides, a little prank can also cause a lot of trouble such as how people love to raise false alarms like the boy who cried wolf.
How would following simple guidelines encourage investors? Would you want to employ people who will follow even the simplest of guidelines or would you want to employ someone who doesn't want to follow simple guidelines? I would want employees who can follow simple guidelines and not those who can't. Given the current situation who would want to do business in any country where people are known not to follow simple guidelines? Would you want your cars vandalized and the offender gets away with it or would you want the offender to get punished? If people can follow simple guidelines then expect to have lesser problems than in a place where breaking rules is the norm.
I remembered the incident that involved Mr. Banh in Singapore. I still can't forget how somebody dared to be such an idiot and lied to Mr. Banh that if he went to the Philippines he would not be cheated. But how true is that claim? People can go ahead and say I'm just a foul racist but that's how some Filipinos tend to react when they're corrected. Mr. Banh had immediate action against such an evil tourist trap. One reason why Singapore is good for investment is because of strict law enforcement. I would like to be in a place where I can be guaranteed that if something bad should happen to me that the law would give me action as soon as possible.
It's a problem in the Philippines that not only is the country with the evils of the protectionist policy but also because of a lack of peace and order. Peace and order is so horrible no thanks to agencies like the Commission on Human Rights. Who would want to invest in a place where the rights of criminals are put in front of the rights of the law-abiding citizens? Lee Kwan Yew said that criminal law must first priority to law abiding citizens before the crooks not the other way around. If CHR chooses to do it the other way around then how can investors have a guarantee for their safety? One crime happens after the other and yet selective justice continues to take place.
Military intervention is necessary in Marawi right now. The Matae terrorists are not something you can easily handle. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's declaration of martial law during the Ampatuan massacre was necessary. If foreign investors see that a government is serious about criminal acts aside from having free trade then that would be good for them. Any criminal outbreak can spread if it's not dealt with immediately. Investors will be happy to invest somewhere else in the Philippines if they know that problems are dealt with immediately.
Don't blame free trade but a lack of discipline for any open economy's downfall
Should we blame free trade economics for the woes of the United States of America? The problem of the United States is not free trade but the misuse of funds. George W. Bush Jr. overspent the money that free trade brought causing the U.S. to collapse. A lot of financial scams happened during the Bush administration like government banks getting scammed out of lots of money. The solution isn't to give the U.S. protectionism but to find ways to control the spending as well as national peace and order. If anybody thinks that protectionism works better then I encourage such people to move to North Korea or Venezuela.
Why do you think some Asian countries now are doing better than the United States? It's not only because of free trade but also because they have strict discipline. The U.S. is a country where discipline seems non-existent and impunity is the norm. Worse, the U.S. government where misuse and abuse of funds is common. What's worse is that the Philippines is full of people who adore the stupidity prevalent in today's America while rejecting free trade. If I were to choose investing between free trade countries I'd go to one where strict discipline is present. I would want to invest in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore because these countries don't only give me a flexible ownership in joint ventures but also because they're known for strict discipline.
Good discipline means making sure everyone follows simple guidelines. There will be no special treatment to anyone whether they are foreign investors or local investors. This form of free trade will allow investors to own 50% and above (for joint ventures) and 100% ownership but they mus follow rules. There should be strict but reasonable implementations of policies. Foreign investors will still have to pay taxes and abide by simple guidelines like everyone else. You do business in the Philippines then you still follow the rules. This also means discouraging the entry of incompetent foreign investors who have a bad record in their home countries. This also includes making sure incidents like the DAP and PDAF scams by Butcher Abad will be dealt with immediately.