Simple, Complex, and Complicated…

25_feb-2011-Simple-ComplexFor those that have suddenly switched from “historian” to “economist,” let me just quote briefly from IMF figures what the economy was like from 1972 to 1982: GDP Growth % stood at 4.8% in ’72 and jumped to 9.2% the following year (the highest up to now) and stayed above 5% until 1980 (it was 8% in ’76). It stayed above 3% in ’81 and ’82, was just below 2% in ’83 and dropped to negative the following two years for obvious reasons: the murder of the late Sen. Benigno Aquino and the political turmoil that accompanied it. Were it not for that tragic death in ’83, the Philippines managed quite well despite international pressures beyond its control, the oil crises of the ’70’s being among the most harsh. But beyond these figures, a simple chat with the “man in the street” will confirm whether we have moved forward since ’86 — a quarter of a century ago — or not. But again, let history be the judge of that but in the meantime, let’s get unstuck in the blame game, put aside hypocritical “holier than thou” stances, roll up our sleeves, and work to move this country forward for ALL to benefit, with urgency in helping the very poor among us. For those that will insist it is not simple, I will agree that there are complex problems that need fixing but we have enough talent and expertise to manage and overcome them. What we should avoid is needlessly complicating them with non-productive activities and arguments that do not contribute to progress and growth and worse, become hindrances to our development.

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