TaN: As promised, from last week…(Overpopulation puts pressure on aquatic resources – expert”.
I remember some years ago, in a TV program, the host made mention that there was a UN report that stated the Earth has enough resources to support and feed 16 BILLION people! Naturally, this begs the question, With only 10 billion people, why are there over 2 billion who are starving or in constant hunger? In fact, even without the report, by deduction or logical inference and observation (i.e., doing a little research on the pandemic proportions of obesity and of morbid obesity, especially among the First World or industrialized nations, and relating it to global hunger), it can be culled that there is no problem with hunger, with under-nutrition, nor with diminishing resources. Rather, it is a problem of distribution, of misplaced or mis-implemented values and priorities, and of unbridled and relentless consumerism brought about by – what else – GREED!
The two major (basal and material) causes of global human suffering is the wrong application of the concept of property and the “hijacking” of the original and noble purpose of business.
Property: More precisely, ownership of land is at the root of social injustice (Nito Doria). By ownership, I mean that actual or direct possession of a thing and not just having and exercising a right to avail, access and use a thing. It is a violation of the argument or principle that nature cannot be owned – hence, the concept of patents, where man cannot claim proprietorship over nature or natural things. Only man-made things can be own by man (in general). So, how can man claim ownership over land – which is not man-made.
To make things worse, the wealthy own (or have absolute control and disposition over) so much land or terrestrial real estate that they prevent others access or utility to it – even if it will be for purposes of ensuring one’s (including one’s family) survival and meetings daily life-supporting needs. This is violates our rights to equal access and to equal opportunity, depriving others of a means of survival where the real estate owners are just leaving vast tracts of land untended, undeveloped and unproductive. It is cruel and causes unnecessary misery and denies others of the opportunity and the ability to provide for their needs.
If we divide the amount of available terrestrial area by the global population – even including the seemingly inhospitable and uninhabitable areas of the world’s land area – it will be shown that there is more than enough to support everyone’s needs. [Take note: “Needs”, not wants.]
Business: It all started as a service for others. We did for others what we are best in. In turn, they do for us what they do best. This way – division of labor – we were able to optimize and maximize the use of resources and the application of our skills and talents for the benefit of everyone. Our “income” comes from the benefits we receive in exchange for what we have contributed to the community and the “profit” is the “unconsumed” benefits we received when we “consumed” responsibly and sensibly.
Somehow, everything got turned around and on its head when greed came into the picture. So now, we ravage and rape the environment and the natural resources – sparing none, including our fellowmen who we have now reduced from PERSONnel, to MANpower to human RESOURCES – in the most extreme and wasteful manner in our unending quest to amass obscenely money and material possessions in order to satisfy our unquenchable thirst and hunger for ever greater profits and wealth. We go to the point of redefining terms and concepts just so that we can circumvent our conscience and our responsibilities and to somehow obliterate our guilt.
Today, we exploit and take advantage of the innocence, of the helplessness, and of the poverty of the less fortunate 99% without so much an iota of guilt to accumulate greater wealth – as if we can take it with us.
In conclusion: Many of man’s economic activities are inherently unsustainable and are some of the major causes for all the sufferings and inequalities. To name one is Export. Exporting commodities should only be done when there is excess and, by “excess”, I mean that the local population has had first refusal or has had their consumption needs satisfied. Then and only then is export ethical and moral, because there is no deprivation of the local residents; their needs have been met; what is exported is excess. But, to export for the principal reason of gaining economic or financial gains is just plain not right.
If we only take what we need (and when I say “need” I mean only those that we can use directly and within the immediate future and not sell to others in exchange for material tokens of wealth like money and private property) and give back what we can – the principle of “From each according to his abilities; to each according to his needs” – this world will truly be a better place for all and we would not feel ashamed to pass it on to the next generation. There will be no cause for dwindling resources and experiencing deprivation of fundamental needs and no pressure on the environment.
TaN: Dateline MANILA – News came to me that real estate taxes will be raised and a vendor in the public market complained that the “permit to sell” has gone from P100 to P300 – and it could be somehow linked to the recent alleged statement of the new mayor that the previous administration drained the coffers dry. Regardless of whether it is true or not, it is not only illegal but outright wrong and opens the floodgates for the others to follow suit – assuming that that is the reason behind the act.
To give the reason that since the predecessor has emptied the coffers therefore one is entitled to leech it from the residents is the epitome of insanity and of insanity. This creates a precedence for all successors to emulate and it will be a never-ending cycle. It is not the fault of the citizens that the treasury has been emptied, so what gives the new mayor the right nor the power or authority to impose such a policy.
The proper and ethical way is to go into deficit spending for the first year and pay for the debts incurred from the earnings of the second year. At the same time, there will be austerity measures for the second year because a large part of the income will go to servicing the debts from the first year. If all goes well, there will be enough for the last year for normalize operations and run for a second term to really get all plans underway. The people should not be used to bear the brunt or the burden of covering for the stupidity of the leaders – though they have a large portion of the blame because they elected the numskulls in the first place.
TaN: Funerals – more specifically, the funeral procession on the way to the cemetery – in the Philippines is not only frustrating but downright detestable. It is very inconsiderate of the living relatives and friends of the deceased to make the whole solemn event irritating and hateful. It is loud and obstructs traffic. I cannot understand why people have to make so much fuss over the dead – their dead – so much that they inconvenience and bother others.
I repeat – YOUR DEAD IS DEAD, DEAL WITH IT! DON’T BOTHER OTHERS; DON’T BE A PEST! No matter how wealthy, how famous, how influential, how powerful, how intelligent, how beautiful, how kind, how whatever-else-you-can-describe-your-admiration-or-love-for-him/her, the fact remains that s/he is dead and that’s that. Go away quietly and without all the fanfare. Nothing you can do can change the unchangeable. Once someone is dead, that is it – for that person. Just wait for Judgment Day and accept your fate.