TaN: Both proposed and implemented programs to help the poor (but not necessarily equivalent to alleviating poverty and, take not, it is “alleviate” and no longer “eradicate”) are wrong solutions and, should they be (even just partially) “successful”, it will be coincidental. The key reasons are that poverty are cause by: (1) the ignorance or the inability to use money responsibly and appropriately; (2) the continued belief that prostrating or prostituting oneself to greed (of the capitalist, the opportunist, the unscrupulous, and to one’s own) is the only way to get out of poverty, and (3) the misplaced notion on how to manage money.
Ignorance or inability to use money means that, given any amount of money – even more than ample sums – the “real or deserving-to-be” poor would not know how to spend it wisely. Usually, money will be spent on non-essential things and “cheap” things – like cigarettes, mobile telephone loads, junk foods and nutritionally-deficient snack foods and sugary/sugar-free drinks, short-within-walking-distance transportation fares, chemical-laden and toxic personal and oral hygiene products, or even gamble. This is primarily because they do not or cannot differentiate between essential and non-essential items – having been “conditioned” to confuse the two (refer to my very first post for – sometime May 6, 2010, entitled “Hello World” – for the explanation and discussion on our needs and our wants).
In case of the so-called “tried and tested” formula of managing money – i.e., income less expenses = savings – is deceptively flawed and works only through sheer accident. The flaw in the formula is that people tend to regard many heavily-advertised items are essential or needs instead of what they truly are – absolutely worthless and frequently healthfully detrimental over-priced items. They have been conditioned to think and believe that they either cannot live without such items (such as commercal toothpaste and oral care products – which can cause heart disease and lower IQ) or will be outcast or ridiculed for not being “modern” or “updated” (such as mobile phones and hi-tech electronic devices – which can raise blood pressure and cause tumors) or will feel deprived or inadequate (such as eating junk and/or fast food and as drinking the latest toxically-sweetened fad drinks – which can cause cancer, obesity, osteoporosis, and diabetes) or even swallow doctor-prescribed or celebrity-endorsed deadly and side effect-riddled pharmaceuticals and “beauty” or harmful “healthcare” products (such as acetaminophen – which can cause kidney failure – and as commercial milk – which studies have repeated shown but not reported by business-controlled media to cause osteoporosis, diabetes, and cancer).
The correct formula is INCOME less (forced) SAVINGS = BUDGET. By putting aside the intended savings first, one is forced to make the remaining budget fit. This causes one to re-evaluate priorities and really identify which are essentials and which are just advertising-indoctrinated “needs”.
TaN: Religious organizations and entities should not be exempt from paying the proper taxes. Just as the response of the Good Lord Jesus Christ (in Matthew 22:21, in Mark 12:17, in Luke 20:25, KJV), “Render therefore unto Cæsar the things which are Cæsar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” It is but right that the state exact tribute (or a payment) for the use of state property or creations (such as money).
It is wrong that religious organizations enjoy the use of state services and the equal protection of the law without paying taxes, while the rest of us lesser mortals are overburdened with mountains of taxes (income, VAT, excise, tariffs and duties, fees, etc). If religious organzations do not pay the way the rest of the citizenry pays, they should not enjoy the use of roads, of currency, of police and of firefighter protection, and all other benefits of paying taxes.
It is bad enough that religious organizations have money handed to them without having to toil for it, not paying taxes is just adding insult to injury. And, do not even argue that what they are doing – preaching, delivering sermons, pontificating, etc – can be considered as working. Puh-leeeease! Spare me the…[censored]. Spreading the gospel – the Good News of the Lord – cannot, is not, and can never be considered work. [Do not make me barf!] How dare they argue and claim that spreading the word of the Lord is “working”. It is not even a privilege; IT IS AN HONOR!
Finally, it is sacrilegious, blasphemous, impertinent to receive money in exchange for sharing the teachings of the Lord. Even the Lord did not earn from it AND HE IS THE AUTHOR; He just shared it with everyone. It is said, in 2 Thessalonians 3:10 [KJV], “…this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” It is likewise written that, Matthew 10:8 [KJV], “…freely ye have received, freely give.” We received the teachings, the Scriptures, freely; we must freely give to others.
TaN: Traffic vehicular accidents during operation in the Philippine road system can be greatly diminished by: (1) a modification in the transmission, (2) installing a modified version of road disruptors at regular intervals (perhaps, increase the size so as to ensure that drivers will slow down or their vehicles will be subjected to massive jarring and shocks), and (3) ensuring that all drivers observe and practice preliminary vehicular pre-operation checklist. Setting speed limits are useless, considering the mentality of most PUV drivers – which look at traffic rules and regulations are mere “suggestions” or even less.
The government can mandate that all (non-provincial) public utility vehicles must undergo a modification of the transmission that restricts the maximum speed by which the vehicle can travel – no renewal of licenses will be given without compliance. Since higher gears are known to be more fuel efficient, the speed ceiling shall be set to just a little – say ten percent in excess – above the efficiency curve. [The last time I checked, the optimal speed is 55 mph or 88 kph.] Physically limiting the maximum speed a PUV can run will minimize the possibility of serious accidents. Of course, there is no guarantee that there will be no accidents, not even minor ones, but it is the temptation to step on the accelerator that is the primary cause of many avoidable accidents. If the driver is aware that the vehicle will not be able to go as fast as s/he would like, even s/he floors it, it would be less likely that they will “put the pedal to the metal” – so to speak.
The only sure – but arduously and frustratingly Herculean – task or guarantee is to educate and train the drivers to become responsible, disciplined, and defensive drivers. As the saying goes, For a responsible and mature person, no law is required to ensure wise decisions and good behavior; for an irresponsible and immature person, no amount of law is adequate.