TaN: Quiapo – just recently (this week) – has been “tagged” as one of the places (in the world) notorious for pirated materials and other violations of intellectual property rights. Well, good for Quiapo. I do not condone it but neither do I (joined the world of mammon worshippers and zombies and) condemn it.
As I learned from a wise man, who was asked for moral guidance regarding the efforts of a Samaritan couple – they were helping the remote and unserved public schools gain access to modern technology by bringing them cheap electronics from China, a known producer of pirated materials and goods – that: (1) intellectual property rights (IPRs) was defined by the rich and the powerful and (2) when such efforts are for the benefit of the less fortunate and not for personal gain or profit, IT IS NOT PIRACY! [This may somewhat be likened to the Fair Use Notice – section 107 of the US Copyright Law.]
IPRs and other such measures and devices are restrictive on man’s fundamental and inviolable rights to self-realization, to equal access to opportunities for self-improvement and advancement, and to survival – especially because they are designed by the rich and the powerful. They are, obviously, intended to maximize financial gain, to maintain control over the status quo, and to keep the wealth to themselves.
Furthermore, contrary to the argument posited by advocates, IPR deprives the less fortunate from enjoyment. Intellectual property rights, as it is defined and implemented today, has no place in this world. It promotes greed, selfishness, and exclusion. It is admitted that one deserves to some benefit from one’s creation, but the benefit should not deprive or prevent others from the same enjoyment or access. In this world, there are only two things that you will not be diminished when you share them, one of which is knowledge. [Most things, when we share them, diminishes us – like sharing food, we will have less, like sharing money, we will have less – but the more we share knowledge, the more it becomes. I subscribe to creative commons, to general public licensing, to fair use, etc. There should be no hindrances to the sharing of intellectual and creative works to the betterment and the enrichment of all. Sharing of such will only serve to inspire and encourage others to share more with others, thus increasing the pool of knowledge or noosphere for the benefit of everyone.]
As for me, personally, because the disparity between original and branded goods and pirated ones is vast, unless and until the indecently huge price difference can be justified, I tend support the pirates. It is difficult for me to comprehend how pirates can produce and sell products at such low prices while the branded cannot. Now, if the price difference is small, I will support the branded – e.g., if the pirated product is Php50 and the branded is Php70, I will buy the branded, but if the branded costs Php300, only a fool would patronize the branded. And, it will not matter whether I have a small fixed income or earn millions; if the branded price is reasonably relative to the pirated price (i.e., not a significant difference), I will opt for the branded. [Aside from the fact that I am not a fan of high technology, of cutting-edge technology, of “shallow” technology (i.e., those that have no redeeming educational, worthwhile, beneficial, and enriching value), I am not totally adverse or prejudiced against technology. I am for technology that is useful and beneficial to all, without restrictions – especially financial – except recognition duly credited and with minimal requirement or involvement of capital; in other words, as freely available as possible to as many as possible with the minimum of restrictions or limitations.]
TaN: Enough about regarding or labeling OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) as modern-day heroes. THEY ARE NOT HEROES! A hero is someone whom you would like others (like your children) to emulate. I doubt it very much if any parent would desire that his/her child will grow up to be an OFW. OFWs may be remotely be regarded as martyrs – to sacrifice selflessly and be far away from their family for the latter’s sake – but never a hero.
At best, OFWs is a telltale manifestation of the inability or the unwillingness of a country’s leaders (both financial and political) to create meaningful jobs so nationals will not have to leave their loved ones behind and slave away in another country, often receiving slave wages and enduring deplorable living conditions and treatments, just so they can send some money back home. And, the lack of capital is never the excuse. We have manpower and skills; that is more than enough. The argument that we live in an interdependent world is hogwash intended to keep countries (like ours) with plenty of natural resources at a disadvantage, so rich countries can continue to exploit our riches while keeping us wanting.
Moreover, it is wrong to regard our environmental resources as our best assets. It is our people that are our best assets. So what if we do not have the latest in technology. At the rate things are going, food and water are becoming more and more important and critical. And – in the favorite phrase of the president – at the end of the day, man has to eat. As food prices keep rising and food becoming more and more inaccessible, if we have food security, they can keep technology and we keep our food. Let us see how long they will last eating their technology.
GO BACK TO THE LAND! STOP LOOKING TO OTHER COUNTRIES FOR OUR FUTURE! OUR FUTURE IS RIGHT HERE, AT HOME! There are many alternative low-technology solutions to our problems. Let us share what we know with each other and capitalize on them; PATENTS, COPYRIGHTS, INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS ARE EVIL! They divide people, instead of encouraging people to share and cooperate. They promote greed and selfishness, instead of philanthropy and altruism. Western philosophy and practices of doing business is divisive, destructive, and unsustainable.
And, the situation will not improve if we continue to pander to the demands of foreign investors. Foreign investors should not be wooed, rather they should be falling over each other in coming here. For as long as we continue to look at foreign investments are a major means of improving our economy, we will always be at their mercy. It must be understood that foreign investors have only one thing in their minds, to invest where the maximum returns can be had for their money. In this sense, they would not hesitate to pull out of a country if their “demands” are not granted. If and when they decide to move their investments elsewhere, despite that fact that we have given in to all their “demands”, there is nothing we can do. And, we will be back to square one – no jobs again. It is high time we stand on our own. If foreigners want to bring in their investments to help us, they are welcome; otherwise, we do not need them.
TaN: Our returning OFWs from crisis stricken foreign countries (e.g., conflict in the Middle East and radiation threats from Japan) are exacerbating the state of unemployment.
One reason why job creation cannot keep up with the annual wave of fresh graduates adding to the existing ranks of the unemployed is our virtually non-existent manufacturing industry. If there are enough jobs created – that pay decent wages and proper benefits – I doubt if anyone would choose to gamble his comfort abroad. Of course, there is still the infuriating and inane character flaw of regarding anything or anyone foreign to be preferable – if not “superior” – to our locals. The age-old questions remains unanswered, Why do we have to wait until a local returns from abroad or is lauded by foreigners (especially the USA) before we will recognize his/her talents or abilities?
However, many job-seekers are not totally blameless. According to industry, there are an abundance of job openings. It seems that the following are the prevailing reasons for our huge unemployment and unfilled vacancies:  there is a glut of applicants for jobs currently in vogue (i.e., too many graduates for jobs that are presently in demand and not enough for the so-called hard-to-fill jobs) and  the habit of many job seekers to be picky and choosy (e.g., high-paying jobs and non-entry level positions).