Page 1


EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Gregorio A. Mabbagu MANAGING EDITOR Rachel Belandres SECTION EDITORS John Vincent Lazo Danielle Badar Harold Heredia Rachel Belandres Jose Romano Mira Ma. Teresa Rivera Yroen Guaya Melgar Diana Rueda CREATIVE EDITORS Erica Yap Gelline Silang Creatives Team: Colleen Florendo Christine Joy Erazo Trina Jardin Joanna Jacinto Maximo Pablo Tin Honorico-Lopez FINANCE AND LOGISTICS HEAD: Harold Heredia FINANCE AND LOGISTICS TEAM: Polyne Gallevo Mark Lagunilla Kristine Martin Remi Aloyon Princess Samson Isabelle Geronimo PHOTO COORDINATORS: Theodore Barredo Joe San Soon Trina Jardin

University of Asia and the Pacific

Pearl Drive, Ortigas Center, Pasig City

CONTENTS

Industrial Economics Program BATCH 2012

Featured Article

I shall be Strong . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p. 31

Lifestyle

Adding Tears to Life and Life to Years . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p.1 How to Maximize time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p.3 Easing Stress, Maximizing Utility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p.4 How to know if he/she is the one? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p.5 “Opinions on LOVE” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p.6 Are You a Procrastinator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p.7 Plastic Consumption . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p.12 The Paycheck . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p.11 Pet Central: The Costs and Bennefits of Being a Dog Owner. . .p.9

Sports

One, Two, Three, GOAL!!! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p.13 Sporting Culture of Australia: Its contributions to the economy and the country’s social atmosphere . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p.15 Taekwondo & Economics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p.17

Fashion

Style Guide: Get the Look . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p.19 Corporate Dressing 101 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 21

Arts

Learning the Language: Parallelisms on poetry and economics. . . p.23 Jazzing Up Economics: How improvisation and innovation keep it relevant. . .p.25

Food

VinEconomics: Cheers to investment! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p.26 From Hobby to Money . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p.27 Food Preference of Ilonggos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p.29

Sojourn

Economy Class . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p.51 Wanderlust Economics 101: Economizing on travelling. . . . . . . .p.52 The Hidden treasures of Tubbataha. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p.49


Editor’s Note

Once again, the long awaited magazine for every IEP batch is here to give a breakthrough in economics. Making the myths,

legends, and realities unfold, the IEP batch of 2012 presents this one of a kind compilation of articles containing topics ranging from extreme reality to imagination, dividing facts from opinions, providing issues and information that will surely make your mind and heart go in tangent with the significance of economics in our everyday life.

Being the pinnacle magazine project of every IEP batch, this is then the maximized product of our overall wits and combined knowledge coming from the subjects of liberal arts and, most especially, economics. Having spent sleepless nights and days, striving for excellence has been incessantly ringing in our minds. All the adversities and triumphs have now come to the end of our University experience paving way to each individual excellent and humbled personality as moulded by genuine love in the IEP family. We extend our deepest gratitude to our thoughtful, disciplinary, great, cute, and honourable professors in IEP. Inspired by Amartya Sen’s theory that true development lies in expanding real freedoms, the theme of this Breakonomics magazine is non-other than “Expanding Freedoms.” One way of underpinning such kind of theory is by being self-optimistic; self optimism, in the sense of being determined and hopeful in striving and seeking for excellence. The pursuit of excellence is, then, one of the sound ways in harnessing real freedoms. The articles range from a vast array of topics, reflecting the vast expansion in freedoms. Each article is written in the best way possible, pertaining to our pursuit of excellence. As man, the very economic agent, must strive for his freedom’s expansion and, for that, he only loses when he lose hope or his self-optimism. Metaphysically, man only “dies” when he loses his Hope. Self-optimism is truly significant for it nurtures the very economic agent. As Schumpeter once said, “True Economic Development lies within.” This project is the initial manifestation of our journey for further excellence. As we ought to strive for excellence even to our very last breath (holding other things constant), we will strive, strive, and strive for the glory of God and extend charity to humanity via our noble profession. Our batch might be seemingly fragile, but oozing with promising potential to change and be changed for the benefit of all and most specially, as future economists, to contribute to the economic growth and development of our very own country, Philippines, and beyond. All this convictions we will faithfully pursue, we will be IEP students through and through…

Perspective

A Cause of Underdevelopment. . . . . p.33 2012: It’s All in the Mind! The 2012 End of the World and Economics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p.38 Life and Death in Poverty. . . . . . . . . p.37 When Juan Tamad Teaches Economics: Uncovering the secrets behind childhood tales. . .p.41 Educating Emotions Rather than Population Control. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p.35 LovEconomics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p.43 Education and Economics. . . . . . . . . p.39

Finance

Greg Mabbagu

The Rightful Heir to the International Monerary Fund Crown. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p.47 Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) as Drivers of Economics Development. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p.45

Technology

Algorithms and the Economic Rhythm. . . . . .p.53 The Ups and Downs of Cyber Hacking. . . . . . p.55

EcoMind Entertainment

Ecomics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p. 57 EcoGrid. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p.58


LIFESTYLE

Adding

&

YEARS TO LIFE

LIFE TO YEARS

The optimal formula for longevity

This basic assumption of non-satiation is critical in the

study of utility and consumer preferences in economics. This statement describes the common behavior of people wanting to have more of something; people are then said to be never satisfied. This same statement can also be used to describe the common attitude towards living-literally, the attitude towards the ideal number of years you want to live. Living a longer life is better According to Dan Buettner, only one in five thousand people in America live to be a hundred because the person is not programmed for longevity and instead for procreative success. This means that to live to a hundred, you need not only have had a very good lifestyle, you also have to have won the genetic lottery. But, don’t lose hope just yet. In economics, the Production Possibility Frontier is a curve depicting all maximum output possibilities for two or more goods given a set of inputs. A firm can only produce goods that fall inside or on the curve. Same is true for our genes and living a long life. One may be able to set the biological limits for the person, which may include the length of his or her life, given the set of genes a person has. But this should not mean that you are to be bounded forever your PPF curve, that are your genes. Shifts in the PPF occur when there are improvements in productivity and efficiency. A Danish Twin Study established that only about 10 percent of a person’s lifespan, within certain biological limits, is dictated by our genes. The other 90 percent is dictated by our lifestyle. So, your genes are not your fate. Blue Zones and the optimal lifestyle for longevity

1

Dan Buettner shares his study about living longer in his book entitled “Blue Zones”, and his major premise is this “if we can find the optimal lifestyle of longevity we can come up with a de facto formula for longevity.” The problem is this, there’s confusion on what really help us live longer better. The optimal formula of longevity is not so clear to many of us. Should you be running marathons or doing yoga? Should you eat organic meat or tofu? Buettner shared his optimal formula for longevity which he learns by looking at the cultures around the world that are actually experiencing them, areas where people are liv-

By Danielle Badar


ing to age 100 at rates up to 10 times greater than in most parts of the world, areas where the life expectancy is an extra dozen years. Some of these areas include Okinawa, Japan, the highlands of Sardinia, and the community of Adventists; Buettner called these areas “Blue Zones”.

The nine power habits

How do they do it? Forget fad diets, crazy workouts and syrupy self help clichés. The world’s longevity all-stars practice simple and economical habits as a natural part of their daily routine. Buettner outlines nine simple habits: 1) Move naturally The experiences of Blue Zones suggest that you don’t need exercise – as in a hardcore one. Inclusion of physical activity into their daily routines is the key to an active lifestyle.

2) Cut calories by 20 percent. Practice “Hara hachi bi,” the Okinawan reminder to stop eating once their stomachs are 80 percent full. Serve yourself, put the food away, then eat.

3) Plant-based diet. Do increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. There is no specific longevity diet, but the common observation among the centenarians showed what seems to be commonsensical but often taken for granted – eat wisely. 4) Drink red wine (in moderation)

5) Determine your life purpose Why do you get up in the morning? Have a reason to live. Write your own personal mission statement. Take up a new challenge and be excited about living your life. 6) Down shift Take time to relieve stress. You may have to literally schedule it into your day but relaxation is important.

7) Participate in a spiritual community. Deepen your existing spiritual commitment. One’s consciousness of a Creator and the sense of responsibility to protect their bodies as part of worship to their Creator allow the centenarians in the Blue zones to commit to a healthier lifestyle. 8) Make family a priority

9) Pick the right friends The people surrounding you influence your health more than almost any other factor.

These nine habits may sound too simple, but simple doesn’t necessarily mean easy. Also, it is important to remember that when it comes to longevity, there is no quick fix. Adhering to these simple habits requires commitment. But more importantly, consider investing on what matters most -family and friends; after all, what use is having a long life with no one to share it with. A long, lonely, sad life would probably be most painful. Build healthy relationships. Add more years to your lives and life to your years.

2


LIFESTYLE

HOW TO

MAXIMIZE

TIME

By Rachel Belandres

God has given us approximately three hundred sixty-five days a year, seven days a week, and twenty-four hours a day to live our lives. Given these times that God has given us, we should make the most use out of it. Just like the saying goes, we should live our lives to the fullest. One way of living our lives to the fullest is to be able to finish everything we want and need to do. However, given the limited time, it seems impossible for us to be able to achieve everything we want to do. Economics tackles proper allocation of scarce resources to satisfy our unlimited wants and needs. It also includes proper planning for and allocating of scarce resources such as our time and effort. It can, therefore, be beneficial in maximizing our limited amount of time so we can finish all the things we need and want to do. Allocating scarce time requires proper scheduling, priority ranking, and proper execution of the planned schedule. There are five simple steps in achieving proper time management. These five steps are listing, ranking, allocating, scheduling, and executing.

Listing Listing all the things we need and want to do is the first step in maximizing our time. We really need to think through the things we need and want to do for the year, for the month, for the week, and at least, for the day. Listing things to do for the year can be ideally done a month before New Year or January 1, while listing things to do for the month should be done a month before. On the other hand, listing things to do for the week should be done at least a day before the week starts, while listing things to do for the day should be done at least the night before. For example, a student needs to accomplish his or her tasks within the given twenty-four hours in one day. The first thing he or she needs to do is to list the tasks he or she has for the day, during the night before. These tasks might include his or her study time, research time, classes, travel, eating time, leisure, clubs, meetings, sleep, etc. In summary, listing should be done beforehand.

Ranking After listing, the next thing we need to do is to rank each of our listed tasks basing on their degree of importance and urgency. This next step can also be considered as the sorting out of priorities, which are relatively ranked based on the person who does it. For all of us, as human beings, our ultimate purpose is to love God. Therefore, all of us should give importance first to all of our spiritual activities, and other activities wherein we can spend time with our Creator. As students, we should prioritize studying more than other extra-curricular activities. Also, in meeting deadlines for submission, we need to determine which of the requirements are needed as soon as possible.

Allocating 3

After sorting our priorities, we need to allocate how much time we need for each activity on our lists. The process of allocating time for each task depends on its importance, urgency, and the ability to accomplish certain task. For

instance, a student is good in Economics and bad in Literature. Therefore, he or she needs to place more time in studying Literature than in studying Economics. Another case is if there is an exam on a certain subject for the next day, then he or she should concentrate more on that subject compared to the other subjects. Here, we can see a trade off of time allocation which is beneficial and good for the person.

Scheduling The next step after allocating the number of hours and minutes needed for each task that we have is to make a schedule. In making a schedule, we must determine the specific time of the execution of each activity. One example is a student who has most of his or her classes in the morning. In this situation, he or she can allocate his or her study time and other activities in the afternoon and in the evening.

Acting

The most important step in maximizing our time is following the scheduled plan, since a goal properly set is halfway reached. In order for a goal properly planned to be accomplished, we should execute and follow what we have scheduled. This implies that not following one’s planned schedule can lead to not maximizing time, and thus, can lead to not being able to accomplish all the things needed to do. Therefore, as much as possible, we must strictly follow the schedules that we make. However, we should also have a level of flexibility to our schedules. As such, maximizing our time makes it possible for us to achieve every task that we need to accomplish. In maximizing our time, concepts of economics are indispensable, since economics involves proper planning and execution of allocating limited resources to the unlimited wants and needs of people. Hence, it is preferable for all of us to have a schedule that we can consistently follow.


LIFESTYLE

STRESS

Easing

to Maximize UTILITY

“Maximum utility in work may not be achieved when experiencing excessive stress.” By Princess Samson According to Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, stress is “simply a fact of nature -- forces from the inside or outside world affecting the individual”. However, too much stress makes you think that stress is a negative experience. However, in a biological point of view, stress can either be a neutral or a positive experience, which can maximize one’s utility. Stress according to Elizabeth Scott affects everyone in a unique way, but people share some common responses towards stress. One common effect of stress is sickness. Stress and immunity have an inverse relationship. The more you submit yourself to deep stress, the greater chances you will acquire sickness. Also, because of too much stress, the body pumps hormones that make you fight or flee quickly. This could also make you think less quickly and respond indecisively. Lastly, too much stress could also result to the feeling of frustration because too many demands naturally increase your irritability. These are just some effects of stress in your body. With these, you can conclude that too much stress affects both your body and mind negatively. Because of stress, maximizing your utility is not likely to happen in your everyday life.

The following are facts about stress:

•Do you know that stress is considered as a proxy killer that causes more than 60% of human diseases like heart disease, high blood pressure and cancer in a person? •Do you know that most of the patients seek medical help because of stress? •Do you know that according to studies, stress can cause hair loss three months after a stressful event? •Do you know that scientists suggest that stress is actually part of an evolutionary drive because it can increase awareness and can improve physical performance that helps us to survive? •Do you know that laughing could actually lower stress hormones and could strengthen the immune system? •Do you know that research has shown that dark chocolates reduce stress hormones? •Do you know that the number one reason for stress in most countries is money?

How to handle stress?

Stress is naturally part of everyday life, and you cannot do something about it. However, the question lies on how one can handle stress without seeking medical help from a specialist, since handling stress can maximize one’s utility. Allison Blackman Dunham, life and career expert compiled several significant ways on how you may reduce stress in your everyday life. First, when under stress, all you have to do is to act and talk. A person under too much stress should not hold his feelings within. Confiding your feelings to someone helps you release tension within your body. After the tension has alleviated, the person must start taking a risk in changing his situation and actions. By doing this, you are actually putting your best foot forward so that you can regain control over the situation. Another way is to listen to your body and to be in charge. Knowing what you want under stress will help you get back to your senses. For example, engaging in an interest, a hobby or an activity wherein you feel that you are the one in charge or that you are good at it, will help you to reduce stress. In addition, if you know your capabilities and skills, you will know which activities you can handle and prioritize. It is also good to get away, take a deep breath, and clear things out in your mind. The last and most important thing is to learn how to be happy under stressful situations. One thing that winners share in common is their positive attitude towards their realistic goals. In everything that they do, they must not forget to enjoy the little things that they experience. Sometimes, people take for granted things that they think is natural to man like experiencing this so called “stress.” Because of this, they tend to forget that this little thing that they take for granted can cause a great damage in their life when not handled properly. Stress should not be taken for granted but should be taken seriously if everyone wants to get the utility or the satisfaction that they want.

With all these facts about stress, how can you handle situations under too much stress?

4


LIFESTYLE

Tell me if you’re one of them: >You’re NBSB or No boy/girlfriend Since Birth. >Your age is beyond the calendar days and signs of anyone coming in the next year or so is still obscure. >You’re single and expects another SMP (Samahang Malalamigang Pasko) and dreads another cold Valentine’s Day >You’re heartbroken because your boyfriend/girlfriend broke up with you with the most common line “I need more space” or “it’s not you, it’s me” >You’ve been in and out of many relationships but you still end up alone >You’re waiting for your knight in shining armor slash prince charming… In short, “the one.”

If so, you should probably flip to a different page because your hopes and dreams are about to be scrutinized by the most unlikely researchers of the topic: economists. Ever since economists began to apply their theories of rational choicemaking, love was among the first few ones that they have tackled. So if you are searching for ways to attract Mr. Right, economics just might point you in the right direction. Dating nowadays may turn out to be a disaster in the first few minutes. In this fashion, speed dating became very attractive and gave rise to a new trend. On a speed date service, people get paired up and chat with their partners for three to four minutes about themselves after

5

How to know if

one?

he/she is the

which they would change partners and repeat the process. This is done until everyone has met each other in the gathering. At the end of the evening, the event organizers will ask people about which persons they liked and on this basis they would connect mutu- By Krizia Aquino ally attracted people. Additionally, the data gathered from these events are intriguing title of “Can Anyone Be The analyzed by dating companies to bet- One?” with an equally intriguing answer ter understand people’s preferences. of “just about anyone, yes”. They studied 3,600 people and 84 speed dating events. To cite an example, using the basic prin- They were able to observed who liked ciple of game theory, one may be able to whom, who went on which event, etc. determine why a person would choose to pursue someone rather than another. The results turned out to be not very Recent studies from some online speed surprising as women seem to be choosdating sites show that “when some men ier and actually preferred intelligent think you’re ugly, other men are more men while men valued physical atlikely to message you and when some tractiveness. But what turned out to be think you’re cute, other men become surprising is the fact that speed daters less interested”. thoroughly change their standards depending on who shows up for the speed Christian Rudder explained it as some- date. Although women prefer mestizos thing like this, “if you’re a man who is than morenos, during evenings when really into someone and you suspect there are lesser mestizos who show up, that other men are less interested then morenos are ensured to have better luck. it means less competition thus raising your chances.” Furthermore, an eco- Economics and love may not seem to be nomics professor in Spain, Jose- Manuel a suitable combination but whether you Rey, developed a theory called the Carol like it or not they are very much interSyndrome to explain why some attrac- connected. Basically, economics is the tive women are ignored by men in bars. study of the allocation of scarce resourcHe explained that when the preferences es and relationships involve two people of most men are aligned to consider a allocating those scarce resources which very alluring woman, the game theory may probably comprise a variety of explains men’s mechanism of inhibition trade-offs. For example, you are hooked that would imply that the woman may up with a guy/girl by a friend and have not even be approached by anyone. In to weigh the cost and benefit of staying other words, there is an assumption the night doing your school project or go wherein the demand for such an allur- to that date. Another one would be exing woman would somehow discour- amining the trade-offs in buying a brand age a man to go after her because of new cellphone yet you chose to give your the thought that he does not have even girl a luxurious candle light dinner. If you the slightest chance. Consequently, it is actually focus on the trade-off you might then expected that women whose at- just get the right decision. tractiveness is perceived more diversely get more messages or dating proposals. In another case, Michèle Belot and Marco Francesconi managed to persuade speed dating companies to share their data. Belot and Francesconi recently published their findings with an


The students, faculty & staff of the School of Economics share their opinion...

Guaya Melgar

TJ Barredo

Dr. Peter U

James Caswang

6 Photo Courtesy of Google Images


LIFESTYLE

ARE YOU A

PROCRASTINATOR? Procrastination: The uneconomical use of time

By: Christine Honorico-Lopez

Distractions, stress and tiredness, laziness, general lack of time- these are probably the common reasons we hear for procrastination. But what is crucial is to snap out of it; ask an economics student and you’ll know. Should we allow the continuous squandering of a resource as scarce and valuable as time?

Procrastination. It runs in every average person’s blood. It’s like cancer, spreading all over the body of an unsuspicious. The source, hidden in a mountain of excuses, in a tower of suppressed emotions, in the words of surrender; it feeds on misery, on the laziness of one credulous prey. Until one day, frazzled by the fast paced world, one comes to a realization that life has passed by like a bolt of lightning he will never experience again. Procrastination entails the needless postponement of an activity. Procrastination has become a bothersome lifestyle; a trending anomaly. In all honesty, at this very moment, I am counting the minutes until deadline. I think I can vouch for the rest of the world that I am not alone. Reasons for doing so could range from the psychological manifestation of utility maximization, to the mere fact that people are just too lazy to work. Nonetheless, it is an alarming habit that must not plague people. I’ll be the first to admit that the consequences be severe, as I have experienced them. I’d like to share them with you.

7

If you find yourself asking these questions, then there is no doubt that you are a procrastinator:

1 Why HAVE I BEEN

USING FACEBOOK FOR THREE HOURS WHEN I HAVE A PAPER DUE NEXT WEEK? Do me a favour. Type the words “productivity and facebook” on any search engine. Now tell me, what do you see? Well, I just saw 12 articles that either talked about product advertisements, or the fact that social media prevents the full efficiency of a person in his or her work.

This fact is no surprise. Social media tools such as facebook, twitter, formspring, etc. are online avenues for people to interact; being in-lined with the saying: Man is a social being. It takes a lot of prudence to control one’s self from doing what man is naturally inclined to. The danger always lies in the lack of moderation. At 3 am, when all your other friends are asleep, and you’re just starting your homework, you’ll know what I mean of moderation. At 3 am, when all your other friends are asleep, and you’re just starting your homework, you’ll know what I mean.


2 Why do I lack time?

We are all given twenty four hours a day. That’s roughly 86,400 seconds: a lot of time. However, time, like a nonrenewable resource, is limited, and cannot be regained after usage. Therefore, it must be managed prudently, so that every valuable second counts. If you find yourself saying “I don’t have time,” then Mother Nature will probably slap you in the face and tell you “I already gave you what you need, and you squandered it!” The more time you spend lavishly on unproductive activities, the more time becomes expensive because it becomes scarcer.

3 Why AM I

ALWAYS STRESSED?

Stress creates an anxiety that can either push people to work harder, or break themselves into pieces of uselessness. You may have it due to overwhelming school works, problems with friends, irritating siblings, and the likes. There’s just one advice for that: when stress tries to break you, don’t let it. Caving in to the delight of idleness amidst all agitating circumstances is only as good as the five second rule. Take a deep breath, and then do what you have to do. When you cave in long enough, you might come back with more work on your hands. That only brings more stress in your life, and then the cycle continues.

4 Why AM I SO LAZY?

Laziness is procrastination’s grandmother; if not its ancestor. No matter how much passion is lost, how big of a stress is imposed, or how many social media websites arise, if one is not lazy, then there will always be a way to break free of procrastination.

When you start convincing yourself that you’re tired after typing your paper for thirty minutes, or when you start putting off work for the sake of rest which you think you need although you don’t, then that’s when laziness becomes complicated. You start rationalizing your laziness, that therefore enhances your belief that what you are is not “lazy;” but trust me, it is. When that time comes, you have to stop yourself.

Most people will find themselves entrapped in the cage of procrastination. I’m not really the best person to be your inspiring idol of perfect time management, but I can tell you one thing: procrastination is more like a mind game. If you find yourself asking all those questions above, all you have to do is to snap out of the trance and outwit yourself into working efficiently. Find activities that could make you busy preferring activities that are your priorities.

8


LIFESTYLE

PET

CENTRAL THE COSTS AND BENEFITS OF BEING A DOG OWNER By Christine Erazo

A

“ n adorable puppy can tug at our heartstrings but, in the end, will require a significant investment of time and money for a significant number of years. Are you ready for this responsibility?” Man’s best friend Why should one consider having a pet dog? One with breeding costs thousands of pesos; and apart from this cost at purchase, owning a dog entails some more costs of maintenance. But some find that having a loyal friend by your side is enough reason to spend some sums of money. Indeed, for these people, dogs are man’s best friend. Buying a dog: Choices, choices, choices There are a variety of breeds to choose from when planning to buy a pet dog. Various considerations such as size, color, hair shedding, skills and trainability concern the buyer. When it comes to size, small breeds such as the Yorkshire terrier or the Chihuahua are among the popular choice or larger breed such as a Great Dane, or a German shepherd. One may also choose to buy a pure white dog such as a Maltese and a Bichon Frise or a multicolored dog such as a Shih Tzu. It’s really up to the person’s standard what pet dog to buy. Given all the 164 breeds of dogs available, talking about just the pure breeds, one would surely need some time to make a decision. But of course it also depends on, the person’s budget. Buying a dog: Costs, costs, and some more costs Indeed, buying a pet dog is really expensive. It can cost at least P10,000.00 to buy a pet dog with papers from the Philippine Canine Club Incorporated (proof that your dog is a pure breed). Aside from this, maintaining the dog is also costly because of the shots, like anti-rabies and de-worming, that the dog must take in order to be healthy. Moreover, grooming your dog became more expensive due to pet shops which offer single grooming session that usually cost at least P300. The pet section in Tiendesitas is a very popular place for dog lovers to go to because the place already offers everything that you would need for your pet dog. Here, you would be able to see different varieties of dog breeds. Moreover, veterinary clinics as well as grooming stations are also available in the area. Here, you can also buy different necessities and accessories for your pet dog such as food, shampoo, powder, clothes, etc.

9

Buying a dog: credit, convenience, commendation Buying and owning a dog is expensive, nevertheless, investing in one can prove to be a good decision. Here are some reasons why: 1. A loyal friend There’s a saying that money can’t buy you true friends. But own a dog and you’ll be able to prove that dogs are man’s best friend. Dogs are credited to be the most loyal pets you can have. They would make you smile and even laugh every time they would perform tricks that you teach them. They would even be the first one to greet you at home and make you smile when you’re sad. 2. A good watch Dogs are also good investments. They are good at guarding their owners by constantly barking to alert them when intruders enter their home. Though some breeds are more specialized to be watch dogs such as Doberman all dog breeds naturally act as guardians to defend their owners. Some may even argue that having a dog is more convenient than trying to find a good help for security around the house. 3. A lesson about responsibility Aside from those already mentioned, probably, the most important benefit of owning a pet dog is being more responsible. There’s no better teacher than experience and owning a dog would definitely allow you to experience how it is to be responsible. Most parents these days buy pet dogs for their children to be able to teach them how to be responsible. By owning a dog, a person learns how to take care of something valuable, to be patient when it comes to tolerating the dog’s bad habits-chewing on your expensive shoes or dirtying up the rug in the living room or patience when comes to grooming them, potty training them or teaching them some tricks like, sitting, fetching, etc. The decision to become a dog owner is some¬thing not to be taken lightly. An adorable puppy can tug at our heartstrings but, in the end, will require a significant investment of time and money for a significant number of years. Are you ready for this type of responsibility? If you are, then get ready for an adventure. Clearly, being a dog owner is not for everyone. But if you are ready to take on this responsibility it is easy to find that owning a dog has its own rewards, rewards that may be hard to quantify. Getting a dog would be pricey but the experience of being a true dog owner, priceless.


10


FINANCE

The Paycheck To spend or not to spend it wisely?

By Gelline Silang

In Transition In a few months time, one school year will end, and another one will begin. For us, students, graduation will just be around the corner. Now that we are waiting for the graduation, we are greatly appreciating the friendships formed, the valuable lessons learned, and the happy memories treasured. One thing that truly occupies graduating students’ mind is job hunting that even before the school year officially ends, various students are busy with sending resumes to various companies or with the conceptualization of their own businesses.

Financial Source We, as students, are really financially dependent on our parents. However, as we step out of our student lives, we should be responsible with our finances. Though, at times, we can count on our parents’ help.

Earning vs. Spending We must always ask ourselves, if we are spending within our earning capacity. If we spend too much, we would be held captive by our debts. We will only be out of debt, if we learn how to control our spending habits. If we do not learn how to control our spending, then it will be difficult for us to get out of debt in the future. We have to be resourceful and work with what limits us.

Set a Money Goal At one point in our lives, we have dreamt of earning our first million. The money goal can actually help us put our minds towards how much we should be saving yearly, monthly, or even on a daily basis. Avoiding unnecessary expenses means more money for savings. Putting money aside for savings can be an advantage in the future especially when there are unpredictable events which require us to shell out money.

First Salary As we earn our first salary, some might not be able to control their urge to spend it.. However, surprisingly, there are other people who, despite spending frivolously the allowance that they receive from their parents during their student years, could actually be quite frugal when it comes to the salary that they receive from their work. It is good to splurge once in a while as a way of rewarding yourself for the hard work that you’ve done. However, we should be mindful of how we spend our money. People, especially fresh college graduates, have the tendency to spend money unwisely. Therefore, they should learn the art of self-control so as to maximize utility.

11

The Budget List Writing down expenses makes it a lot easier to stay in track of our account. Having a budget can actually help avoid frivolous spending. It can also help in determining certain goods and/or services that should be prioritized or disregarded.

Lesson Learned Hence, just as in utility maximization, given the budget constraints and our indifference curves, we must know at the point that would really give us the highest level of happiness. However, such happiness should be balance with responsibility.


PLASTIC

FINANCE

Consumption

By: Maximo Pablo It was trendy to update one’s wardrobe through swiping Daddy’s plastic. Such a fashionable trend has become ordinary ever since credit card companies began expanding their market base, making such a privilege more accessible to the public. Based on the results of the “Philippine Consumer Expectations Survey”, around 3-4 percent of the 5000 sample household respondents have a credit card and the number is still growing. Filipinos are beginning to convert to plastic money instead of carrying cash. According to Eugene Acevedo, president of the Philippine National Bank, most Filipinos see credit cards as a means to stretch their budgets for daily necessities, big-ticket items, and for the family’s critical expenses such as tuition fees, hospitalization and other medical needs. In fact, in 2010, around 6.7 million credit cards have been issued. No wonder why the credit card industry emerged to serve a pivotal role in sustaining the country’s economy. Relative to the country’s GDP, credit card transactions account for 30 to 35 percent of total spending and the percentage of consumption made through credit loans have grown significantly from 1.52 percent in 2005 to 2.9% in 2010. Credit Card Receivables (CCRs) increased from 116.1 billion in 2007 to 133.93 billion in 2010. CCRs represent the total outstanding balance of credit cardholders arising from purchases of goods and services, cash advances, annual membership/renewal fees, interest, penal-ties, insurance fees, processing/service fees and other charges. The success in expanding the market base of credit card companies definitely came about with a price.Although the initial expansion of the credit card industry deemed itself to be a great success, there are few setbacks that may turn its boom to bust.

The problem arises from the nature of Filipino credit card users who pay as revolvers or customers who just pay the required minimum of 5 percent of the outstanding balance over a time period. By doing so, most credit card issuers charge 3.5 percent on the outstanding credit as financing fee, amounting to 42 percent a year which is very expensive. In fact, the country is considered to have one of the highest-unregulated credit card interest rates in the world. This can be attributed to the adverse selection in credit rationing due to asymmetric information or the lack of credit data that would determine the quality or the creditworthiness of the borrower. The lemons principle arises from here. Lowquality borrowers are more likely to want credit than highquality borrowers. Since there exist the danger of lending to low-quality borrowers, lenders keep the credit card interest rate up to the detriment of the high-quality borrowers who shoulders a large amount of the premium of bad debts. Also, as the number of credit cards users in the country increases, the amount of non-performing credits or bad debts (or loans six months overdue) is also increasing. From 9 percent in 2006, the ratio of non-performing credit card receivables to total credit re¬ceivables worsened to 13.5 percent in 2010 which translated into a loss of 18 billion in reserves. This means that a many credit cardholders are having difficulties in making their payments on time. It is evident that the credit card industry has grown and this growth is accompanied by hitches that endanger its success. What’s obvious is the inability of the government to intervene and protect the interest of the stakeholders involved. So far, there is not a single regulation that determines the ceiling for credit card interest rates. The above problems can only be solved through the discretion of credit card users. The key to avoid excessive finance charges, fees and penalties is to become a responsible cardholder by paying bills on time to avoid late payment fees and penalties and as much as possible, try to pay-off all outstanding dues every billing cycle. Spending only within ones means is of course the surest way to avoid finance charges and continue to enjoy the use of your credit card.

12


SPORTS

One ne,, T Two wo,, T Three hree O

GOAL!!! GOAL!!!

and it’s it’s a a and By James Caswang

Soccer harnessed my physical toughness, while economics fostered my intellectual fondness. I never expected that

ONE day, these TWO things will teach me the greatest lesson in life - how to score a GOAL. Here are THREE of the most inspiring quotes from people of history about setting goals, which I have learned over the years and show the things I’ve learned both in soccer and in economics.

“Man is a goal seeking animal. His life only has meaning if he is reaching out and striving for his goals.” ~Aristotle: Soccer players are goal-minded. Goal-minded does not mean they always have to score but they set goals before every game and execute these goals in the field. There are three different kinds of soccer players based on positions which are defenders, midfielders, and attackers. Each player has a goal to achieve and a role to execute. The defenders make sure to support the goalkeeper, intercept any passes, or clear any passes to avoid conceding a goal. The midfielders are intermediaries between the defense line and the attack line. They make the plays and execute passes that help attackers to breakthrough the opponent’s defense to strike a goal. The attackers are at the forefront of the game, always ready to commit, to open up, and to avoid defense to score a goal. Players should always commit to their respective roles during the game in order to win.

Like soccer players, economists are also goal-minded. Economists aim to allocate scarce resources to meet the unlimited“wants” of people. Theory, history, and statistics are the foundations of economics. They help economists achieve the goal of economics. A successful economist knows the past, knows how to ask questions in the present, and knows how to solve the problems for the benefit of the future. Armed with the proper economic tools, an economist can achieve his goal.

13

“If you don't know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else." ~Lawrence J. Peter:

Goal-setting helps us to decide our destiny. A soccer player needs to know where the goal is for him to know the where to pass or to score. Likewise, an economist needs to know concepts to make the best decision, which maximizes utility. One must, for example, know the cocept of opportunity cost. Through this, it’ll be easier for one to weight the decisions to achieve the goal.

Soccer players must know at heart their team plays, their individual skills and even their opponent’s game tactics. These guide them in their decisions, provide them focus under pressure, and maximize their full potentials. In economics, opportunity cost is used to guide us in achieving our goals. It teaches us to choose one preferenceover another, and to decide how to maximize our day. Thus,soccer players can, thereby, use economics in their goal-setting process.


“You must have long term goals

to keep you from being frustrated by short term failures.” ~ Charles C. Noble

Economics provides us with theories, frameworks, and models in order to understand short-run and long-run economic conditions. The difference between the two is the flexibility economic decision makers have in achieving short-run or long-run economic goals. Short-run economic goals are made within a period when at least one input is fixed, and others can be varied. Economists understand and consider this in their decision-making. While for long-run goals, economists know that in the longrun, all quantities of inputs can be varied, which implies everything can be changed. The concept of short-run and long-run goals can also be applied in soccer. Players who aim to achieve short-run goals are short-sighted, and often end up

blinded by short-term achievements. The best players in soccer, though, consider longrun goals. These kinds of players end up leaving long-lasting memories and undying legacies in the history of the sport. I’ve learned to score goals when I played soccer, and

learned to set my goals when I studied economics. Scoring a goal is hard, but setting a goal is even harder. In soccer, you don’t always have to be the one scoring the goal. You can just provide a pass to set a goal. Sometimes, you fail to score, but that’s always part of the game. You just get back, set another goal and maybe that time you’ll win. In a bigger view, Life is like a soccer game, if you don’t get the goal, you don’t win. Economics, however, can be used as a game tactic to help us traverse the adversities that life presents. If we just aim right, we could really win.

14


SPORTS

Sporting culture of Australia: Its contributions

to the economy and the country’s social atmosphere

By Joe San Y. Soon,

Does Sports Really Contribute to the economy? Sports have been a major source of revenue for the economy of several countries. It is important to understand the impact of participating in inter-related sports activities ranging from those organized at the community level to those involving elite sports people at the national level. Sports, potentially, have a very important role to play, which is why people support them. The reason is that individuals benefit financially and other sports provisions like services and participation in sports. Hence, sports contribute to the welfare of the citizens in a way which the economy and society is better off. The Diagram below sets out ways in which we can characterize the economic contribution of sports to Australia, and the main channels through which this contribution takes place. Figure 1: The Economic Contribution of Sports to Australia

Before we can depict the various mechanisms through which sports policy can enhance utility, let us first examine social utility. Social Utility refers to the value people place on various goods. These include private goods, goods that are sold and bought in the market, and public goods, goods that are provided for everyone. An example of a public good is the Satisfaction Australians get from sports success, may it be in tennis, footy, or rugby. There are three major factors that sports deliver to society: (1) through community level sports, (2) the role of volunteers, (3) and elite sports. There is an abundance of credible evidence that substantiates these impacts. In particular, those who benefit the most are the ones who take part in sports and physical activities regularly. However, these benefits further spreads in other channels such as: reduction in health care cost. For example, data presented in a study done by Medibank Private, which looked at the impact of inactivity on a range of diseases, concluded that increased participation could generate gross savings of about $1.49 billion per year (as against $834.1 million worth of health cost from sports injuries) Another channel is via improvements in workforce productivity. Studies suggest a 4 percent or more sustainable increase in productivity could be achieved for those workers who commence in regular sport and re-creational physical activity. Assuming that the study by Medibank is accurate, we would expect average productivity to increase by a little over 2%. That would yield an increase in GDP of about 1% per year, or roughly $12 billion in 2008 to 2009.

Source: Frontier Economics 2010

15


The Role of Volunteers

Policy Implication

In Australia, sports dominate the field of volunteering accounting for some 33 percent of all volunteers and 26.5 percent of all volunteer hours. On the basis of ABS Data for 2006, an estimate value of volunteer input to the sector in 2006 is $3.9 billion. The prominence of volunteers has a number of implications. To begin with, volunteers act as an input of labor into the conduct of community sport and elite sport. Without volunteers, there would be less sport activities and they would be more expensive to produce.

There are a number of factors that affect participation in sports. These are: (1) cost, by which we mean not only monetary cost of accessing sports facilities, but also cost in terms of time forgone taking part in sports. For example, the time it takes to travel in order to reach a sport facility makes the people less inclined to participate in sports. (2)Other factors are the lack of familiarity with the sport, (3) self confidence and (4) income. From an economic point of view, the key question turns out to be how best to increase the productivity of volunteer inputs. A study states that in order to increase productivity of volunteer inputs, there is a need to provide more capital to match the input of labor. Meaning, there must be a need to invest in sports facilities for the volunteers to work with. Another could be to develop the expertise of volunteers to aid them in community building efforts. Equipping volunteers with the proper support can meet challenges to stimulate participation in sports. Another interesting facet of policy support is that it has a potential for efficiency and equity effects. Policy makers worry that both cannot go with the other, but in this case it seems possible to do well on both. The reason for this has to be one of the factors that affect participation – namely income. People with lower incomes tend to participate less in sports; and lower incomes are also associated with lower health outcomes. Policies that address participation problems amongst poorer income groups can improve health outcomes for these groups (a distributional or equity effect), but can also make society as a whole better off (which can be the efficiency angle) because of better health and reduced health cost.

Elite Sport

Community Level Sports Community level sports include participants who are amateurs or otherwise who engage in sports primarily as a leisure activity. This can also be formal or informal competitions and we can think of it as an extension that may lead to elite level activities. Data from the Australian Bureau of statistics suggest of the 10.5 million participants in sports and physical recreation activity in 2008, over 80 percent had taken part in a non-organized sport activity, while just over 40 percent had taken part in an organized sports activity. People engage in these sport activity because they receive financial benefits, satisfaction, and other benefits as well. Sports improve health and wellness, be it in the community level or otherwise. Volunteers are vital to sustain the structure of elite sport as a foundation garnered from community level sports. Take for instance; if there are no coaches to teach the proper way to conduct the sport, then it would be more difficult for people to develop their skills and it would take more time for any sport to be successful. In a nutshell, volunteers undertake coaching and organizational functions. They can also play an important role in community building efforts. Furthermore, volunteering leads to health and psychological benefits, where society derives value from these benefits in the same way as it does from the improved health outcomes that come from participation in sport.

Elite Sports level are those that involve the participation of athletes in international sports competition. Australia benefits primarily through the sense of satisfaction and national pride that Australians derive from the success of elite sports people at the international level. For example, in the line of tennis, the success of Maria Sharapova has brought several commercial advertisements that induced participants to get involved with tennis. Moreover, Australian unity computes a personal well being index periodically, based on various different components. As observed, there is a strong correlation between movements in this index and performance by elite sports people. The sense of national satisfaction and pride at the performance of elite athletes are what economists consider to be a pure public good.

In Conclusion Sports provide several benefits to Australians via the different channels. In some specific instances we can see, quantitatively, how the benefits to society from sports exceed the investments made by the public purse. This is the case in health of course, due to the increase in physical activity and sports, health care cost are reduced and productivity increased. Moreover, in relation to the satisfaction provided by the success of elite sports people, where the annual willingness to pay by Australian households for international success is likely to comfortably exceed the annual investment made by the government in elite sports. From a policy perspective, supporting sports is overall a beneficiary action done by Australians, in that it channels resources in the right areas for the right ends.


TAEKWONDO

AND

SPORTS

ECONOMICS The Injuries, The Coaches, By Yroen Guaya Melgar Taekwondo and Economics? It’s a very unlikely pair. Not many would think there’s anything similar between the two. It’s like pairing a gun with a pen. Who would ever think of relating them? I would, of course. It’s either because I’m crazy or I’m crazy. I started learning taekwondo when I was a kid. I was scared, at first, because I saw how difficult it was to learn the different techniques in the sport. I didn’t want to get my ass kicked, nor did I want to get hurt trying to do the jumping turning whatever kicks. I tried my luck though, and got hurt loads of times. I got bruises after every sparring session, which I used to have three times a week. That means I only get enough time to recover and get new bruises after. I also used to have the skin from the balls of my feet peeled off. Gross. I know. Plus, I’d get an occasional sprain or broken foot from tripping during training sessions.

17

The Training I just started my training in Taekwondo, my coach would take it easy on me, knowing I’m not yet used to the tough things we have to do. Gradually, though, he would train me harder and harder, forcing me to become better at the sport. I don’t think this is much different from what our teachers in Economics subjects do. At first, they take it easy on us. They do their best to introduce us to the course in our 1st and second years, then, BAM! In our 4th year, they push us to do better. We suddenly have loads of homework, even at the start of classes. We have tons of papers to read, and even more to pass. Our teachers are also stricter with us when it comes to requirements and class discussions. They expect us to know more, perform better, and produce higher quality output. They just don’t get tired of rallying us. I wonder, at times, why I got myself into two things that give me lots of injuries and pressure. Then, I remember I’m crazy, and, however hard it may be to believe, the benefits of learning both Taekwondo and Economics are greater than the costs, although I get injured, at times.

Unfortunately, Taekwondo is not the only difficult thing to learn. So is economics. Don’t even think studying economics doesn’t give you injuries. It does. A lot. You get sprained fingers from typing too many papers. You also get sore eyes from the reading. Not to mention the frequent headaches you get from staring too much at the whiteboard trying to understand Greek (with all those equations). Sometimes you even get minor heart attacks from being too nervous for presentations or even just recitations. Plus, there are the tumors and molds that just suddenly sprout on your brains while taking exams, and you get temporary paralysis too, especially in the head. Last, but not the least, you won’t be surprised hearing of minor depression and bouts of alcoholism among economics students after every exam.

Through Taekwondo, I became a little bit stronger and healthier than I was before. I learned to control myself and to endure pain and difficulty. I think I learned this more while studying economics, though. Also, I get a lot from my training in Economics. We learn to be more analytical and discerning, as well as more emotionally mature. Somehow, we also learn to be more physically enduring because going through all our requirements is not an easy thing to do. We sometimes have stay up very late just to finish our homework, but we pull through somehow. Of course, like in Taekwondo, overtraining or overwork will also cost us our health. We still have to balance our time, or else we’ll end up with permanent injuries. With this, though, we’ll surely get more benefits from studying.

Sometimes, I get the feeling studying Economics is so much harder than learning Taekwondo. Don’t you? Fortunately, we have our beloved coaches and teachers. I remember when

Not yet satisfied that studying Taekwondo and Economics are similar? Try them. You’ll probably get broken bones (and brains) at first, but they’re worth it. :)


18 Photo Courtesy of Google Images


Wearing a head-to-toe Salvatorre Ferragamo would not pass you as JFK’s son. It is a pain in the pocket wearing all designer items with today’s financial crisis. JFK’s style is from an Ivy League prepster to a big kahuna on a yacht club, which makes it a dichotomous contradiction.

FASHION

By: Bryle Penamante First impression lasts and the way we dress reflects our personality to a greater extent. Let us admit it: Who does not want to put their best foot forward in these modern times, especially when the world (or most of it) puts an incentive on perfectly exfoliated faces and impeccable fa-shion choices? Do not be alarmed, for Style Guide will gauge you on how to achieve these looks that will definitely match your charm and wit and particularly your budget. You do not need to derive a tedious economic equation like the Slutsky or Leontief equation or identify whether it is a pro-bability distribution function or a cumulative one to achieve a stylish façade. All you need to be familiar with is your Microeconomics. Under the light of the recession and global financial crisis, being fashionable is the least thing a practical person should be concerned about. He or she assents to what he or she has, settling for ill fitted clothes, looking 10 years older than what he or she is. If this is your problem, fret no more for Style Guide will (try to) answer your problems. This Get the Look will tell you what things you should SAVE or SPLURGE your money at. SPLURGE your money on pieces that you know that you can use for the rest of your life or how people of fashion call it: classic pieces. And SAVE only means cutting your costs by looking for alternatives of pieces that will suit your body type and financial resources. We will look at two style icons: John F. Kennedy and Audrey Hepburn. Men should look at JFK’s style for it is simple that oozes masculinity that definitely the opposite sex (and in some cases, same sex) would go gaga for. Isn’t it every man’s dream? (Definitely mine!) And for women, the tried-and-tested style of Audrey Hepburn that breathes sexiness with subtlety that every man would want for her lady. I dare say all men really find desirable in a woman if she emanates ‘nice’ with pinch of spice.

19

Another JFK Being the President of United States of America John F. Kennedy is one of the most admired presidents not just because of what he has done for his country but also for his display of sartorially sensational and most coveted ensembles.

The first branch of the JFK’s dichotomy’s style goes to his black and charcoal gray slim-cut suits that Brooks Brothers revived in 2007 and looking like a character from the famous book The Great Gatsby. And another branch goes to JFK’s Massachusetts’s laid-back beach style. Khakis from Zara or Penshoppe rolled up to ankles walking in a Ralph Lauren cotton navy-striped sweater or Memo’s gray pullover by the offshore breeze with his Ray-Ban wayfarer glasses. And do not forget to squirt some perfume for that masculine finish. Knowing what to wear, fine taste, knowing where to look for these items (especially if you are in a budget) and how to mix-and-match are the key things you need to know to achieve JFK’s seaside panache. He epitomizes the classic American style from corduroys to duffle coats and striped shirt to Ray-Bans. All these are quintessential to pull off the look. Oh my, Holly Golightly! Audrey Hepburn never failed to entertain us. Being the Funny Face, Sabrina or having Breakfast at Tiffany’s, her sense of style radiates making her one of the stanchions of Hollywood’s elegance Audrey Hepburn was one of the few women who stood out because of her bewitching looks, exceptional witty talent, and a style envied by women.


Hepburn style revokes pretentious clothing and trendy regalia. From her oh-so-famous LBD (little black dress) to piled up pearls in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, today’s women’s staple: capri pants in Funny Face and Sabrina and ballet flats that made her looks even more chic without the burden of wearing skyscraping heels. White dressy polo tucked in a balloon knee-length skirt to cover those thighs (if you are insecure of it), sporting YSL Tribtoos or Aldo black pumps,and Marc Jacobs or Swatch gold watch are the key elements to achieve Audrey’s undemanding style. Bring out your red fedora hat for protection under harmful UV rays. Accentuate your outfit with classic Chanel flap bag, which is a must-have for every woman. But if you do not have Chanel, any flap bag under any brand will do. Spritz some Elizabeth Arden or Bench’s green tea scent for that too-good-and-nice feel. Add spice in your outfit by wearing those red lips that speaks naughty and sexy. Audrey’s style only values simplicity and timelessness of pieces tailored perfectly for a queen. Hepburn emphasizes on tiny details that makes the whole look immaculate. With this kind of stylish state of mind is a legacy to a great style and good taste that will last forever. Conclusion Anna Wintour, Editor-in-Chief of American Vogue, had this philosophy that says: Less is more. I think most of you will all agree with me if I say the woman is right. Her philosophy does not only speak for the world of fashion but also can be translated in other fields. Like for example in economics, the ‘less is more’ philosophy can be applied to commodities. If good 1 becomes less and less costly in prices, the market of that commodity becomes more beneficial, in a sense that the market tend to consume more of that commodity. Photos Courtesy of Google Images

Style Guide:

Get the Look The philosophy is very much applicable to fashion. The simpler you dress yourself, the more it reveals of who you are. The least thing you want to end up with is looking all cheap and tacky. Your clothes might be cheap but your style is not. Being stylish and fashionable need not to be very expensive, all you have to have is creativity, an innovating mind, and practicality to look for alternatives to be stylish. Last tip, to make your style look better, do not forget to wear your confidence, your smile and most importantly your good heart on your sleeve. Have a stylish day!

20


FASHION

CO R PO R AT E DRESSING

101:

Dress Impress Success to

for

By: Nicole Alexine Florendo

During my younger years, in nursery, up to high school, I had no worries whatsoever regarding what I had to wear. Coming from an all girl private school, it was mandatory for the students to wear a uniform. We were provided with two types of attire, one with a tan blouse and green skirt which made us a look like an upside down tree and the other with a yellow shirt and jogging pants. College which screamed the word freedom presented a new challenge for people like me who are in no way experts in the fashion area.

My wardrobe during my first year in college comprised of shirt and jeans. Once in a blue moon, tops raided from my mother’s closet, jeans, basically that’s it. However, watching the “fashionistas” in our hallways as their runway, after much observation and experimentation with my garb, sooner or later I found my own sense of style. A person’s personality is manifested in the way they present themselves not only in their manner of speaking, body language but also through their attire. Up until our junior year, we were given the chance to dress the way we wanted to and follow various fashion trends. Nevertheless, senior year demands us to wear corporate attire. In most cases, the objective of wearing formal garment would be to dress to impress. A step towards employment would be paramount to making the best possible impression on the employer or the human resource officer. Of course, employment is not solely based on the physical get up of the person, skills and abilities are also taken into account but appearances do in fact affect the image that the person is portraying. If you put your place on the shoes of the employer, would you even have second thoughts on hiring someone in a tracksuit? I think not.

21

Shopping may in fact be taken as a hobby or “therapy” for some, however purchasing corporate attire should not be taken lightly. With today’s increasing prices, some, if not most people would tend to curb their spending. With a tightened budget constraint it is definitely a challenge to find an affordable yet of five star quality set of blazer and slacks.

Attempting to scout the mall for grabs is a definite suicide mission unless there is a huge sale-which of course requires some luck and extra set of eyes for good deals. Buying corporate attire in Zara would cost you around almost half the tuition of a course here in UA&P for merely a blazer if not more. Instead of submitting myself to starvation in order to afford these kinds of clothes for my senior year, I resort to Divisoria. Divisoria also known as “DIVI” has always been known as the haven for spend thrifts. The cruddy streets of Divisoria with numerous sidewalk vendors, costumers, lurking snatchers and jeepneys create a rather risky and unsafe environment. However, these factors did not dissuade me from going. As we have learned in our microeconomics class, consumers are often faced with budget constraints which are results of


their limited income. Being a student however, I am confronted with a budget constraint as what my allowance can afford. To be able to purchase what you want despite the limited funds available, you need to choose those that are within the budget. A person can attain the same amount of satisfaction from a non-branded product, as long as they are willing to look hard enough.

To prove my point, I once paid a visit to the outdoor markets in Divisoria. In the alleys of Tabora (an excellent place to buy fabrics), with only a thousand bucks I was able to buy: ○ two yards of red fabric for a long-sleeved blouse for only Php 156 ○ a yard and a half of blue fabric for a skirt for merely Php 180.

These materials have yet to be transformed into ready to wear outfits, hence the need for a tailor. The rate charged for made to wear outfits are the following: ○ for a long-sleeved blouse cost Php 250, ○ for a made to wear skirt (below the knee) would be only Php 200.

As a result, with only a thousand pesos to spend, I was able to create an outfit that is both affordable and fits my fashion sense. A long-sleeved blouse in the mall would probably cost me around Php 1,500 and a skirt for Php 2,000.

Despite the limited budget allotted, the satisfaction has been maximized because of 1) extra money for savings and 2) trendy set of corporate attire. The economics of shopping does not require a person to use derivatives or the Leontief equation; it’s all about having good source of information and knowing how to budget well.

22


Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth;

ARTS

Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same, And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back. I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. Robert Frost “The Road Not Taken�

By Jose Romano S. Mira

Learning the Language:

Parallelisms on Poetry and Economics

As the agent of economic activities, man, is without a

doubt a subject of many inquiries. In the passing of time, economics has shown attempts leading to the pursuit of depicting man as having a human face. This new wave of economics attempts to approach man as situated in reality to a fuller sense.

23

The recent emphasis on economics is now concerned more with how individual and social behavior impact economic performance far from the reputation of economics as tool for the mathematical calculation of utility. An interdisciplinary approach that includes philosophy, history, geography, psychology, sociology, biology and other disciplines has led to an expansion of economic understanding through time. Man has learned about his society better, through these improvements in the economic lens.

Rather than Burning Bridges, Build Further

The quest for learning is undertaken by all men in life. Through this process, man learns to outlearn his old self and therefore, develop. The process of learning then is central to the development of individuals and societies. The level of learning of individuals, and societies, also corresponds to their respective levels of development.

In learning, unlearning is inevitable. This might be a clever restatement of what Joseph Schumpeter has popularized: the concept of creative destruction. In shattering the known boundaries among the different disciplines, the once unknown sub-disciplines and connections between them are discovered. Exhausting all the interrelationships of among fields especially with economics may be a perpetual challenge.


Language presupposes human development… Humanity then becomes impossible without language. The infamous Adolf Hitler once said, words build bridges into unexplored regions. If this is so, in “conquering” these so-called unexplored regions to gain a better understanding of economics, heeding words is essential.

Essentially, this may be seen by an economist as the prevalence of the law of supply and demand. However, this seemingly linear view of the situation probably would not be the case for the poet.

Maybe we can start from here, from words: language. Language serves not only as a means to facilitate communication. It is the distinguishing characteristic of humanity from all creation that rests at the core of man’s social nature. Language is a sign of intelligence – a sign of the human capacity to learn.

As a master of language, a poet initially learns his craft by following rigid conventions formerly and formally set by previous poets. Strict adherence in following rhythmic and metric patterns might compel an economist to identify it as a set of frameworks and theories previously imposed. Paradigm shifts are often distant and rare.

The Language of Not-So-Obvious Words

Language presupposes human development. It paved the way for an accumulation of an immense stock of knowledge contributing to incremental learning through time. Without words, oral or written, civilizations would have never thrived, or at least been built. All learning would be individual. Innovations would consequently be extremely difficult, if not impossible. Humanity then becomes impossible without language. To push the frontier of economics, the study of language may contribute new ideas to the field. In the attempt to discover the inter-relationship of these two disciplines, poetry and economics, incorporating the study of language however still seems broad. Language does not have explicit goals unlike economics. Although establishing communication may probably be attributed as the primary goal of language, its connection with economics may be as close as the earth to the sky. The need to find higher ground then becomes apparent. The use of language in the best manner may be the viable candidate in this search: poetry. As Rita Dove puts it, poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful. The deliberate choice and arrangement of words in how they sound and in how they look like may be the poet’s method for maximization. Poetry then may also be argued as the optimized form of language. Economics being linked with poetry then emerges as a possibility.. My initial and personal contribution on the matter might be: to draw parallelisms between the two seemingly distant disciplines or worlds before discovering prospects on their inter-relationship. Parallelisms on Struggles and Challenges

Words are all we have, says Samuel Becket. An economist and a poet might agree that the beauty of words should never be put to waste. The dilemma of scarcity grips both the economist and the poet in a similar fashion: the first, being the struggle between resources and the quantity needed; and the second, being the struggle between words and the intended meaning.

Breaking Through Rules, Challenging Conventions

To be a true poet, an informal rule exists: to challenge the convention. Advancing the field of poetry is a poet’s unspoken mission. Traditional forms of poetry all over the world started from following scrupulously rhyme and meter such as sonnets, villanelles and haikus. Poets of today have learned that the essence of poetry is not in its rhyme and meter, but in its internal rhythm and insight. Breaking through the conventional rules of poetry did not obliterate the world of poetry but rather, stripped it off in its barest sense to transform it towards its modern form: hence, the emergence of vers libre or free verse poetry devoid of metric constraints. Breaking through rules without breaking the world becomes the norm. Breaking through the rules and then learning what happens next is not the same as breaking the rules. Breaking through the rules pertains to a deliberate examination of reality while breaking rules may be merely dismissed as visionless rebellion. Breaking through the rules is led by man’s capacity for creativity. Creativity may also be recognized as an optimized form of learning. Creativity requires the transformation of the stock of knowledge and other resources into new forms. Gerald Gordon even said that creativity will be the currency of the 21st century. Creativity spurs innovations. Innovations fuel progress, and also positive economic performance. This creative, and synonymously innovative, attitude is one that must be learned and imbibed by economists. Fear of the uncertain only leads to stagnancy in performance. In economics or any other discipline for that matter, stagnancy is the failure to develop – moreover, the failure to learn. To refuse to learn is to choose to abandon optimization and development – almost synonymous to relinquish one’s humanity.

24


Jazzing Up Economics:

ARTS

How Improvisation and Innovation Keep it Relevant

By: Mark Lagunilla “Economics and art are strangers.” - Nathaniel Hawthorne (American Novelist) At first glance, nobody would probably find a connection between the swinging rhythms of jazz, and the discipline of economics. They are after all, two sides of extremes. Jazz stands out from other musical genres for its spontaneity in melody and tempo. Chords leap and fly with whatever instrument, be it the blazing sound of the flugelhorns to the shy ting of the triangle. (To get a taste of the music, a perfect example to listen to would be Birdland by Weather Report or Third Wind by Pat Metheny.)

Neoclassical economics on the other hand requires careful analysis and mathematical rigor. Its methods of study are systematic and logical, taking key interest in stability of economic factors or variables such as price in equilibrium. And so it wouldn’t be surprising for people, even Hawthorne, to create a divide between the two. It might even seem that the only relationship they share is that some people think they are now irrelevant in both music tand academic scenes. Following the success of rock and hip hop in the 1970’s, jazz gradually faded from popularity in the music scene. The recent billboard top 100 only has Tony Bennet representing the genre, with the likes of Coldplay, LMFAO and Pitbull filling the charts. A better gauge would be to listen for any jazz tune in the local radios. And the answer would be pretty obvious. Likewise, the recent failure of financial markets in the West has eroded the credibility and applicability of traditional economic theories. Economists themselves are to blame for the crisis to a certain extent as they are expected to have foreseen crisis. Yet the inability of the field to do so has met with ample criticism from even its own ranks. As Australian economist Stan Keen puts it: “economic theory today is useless a guide to how the economy actually functions” and even wrote an article aptly entitled “Why neoclassical economics is dead.” Yet as a lover of jazz and a student of economics, I believe that the time for shelving both is still not now. Even with its critics, economics remains to be relevant because it constantly does what jazz players often do best – improvise or “sipra” in tagalog. Sipra literally means to “feel or grope the guitar”. But it has become common for Filipino musicians to substitute the term for improvisational technique in all instruments.

25

The geatest jazz artists have always been defined by their ability to improvise or innovate on the spot during performances. Jaco Pastorius, considered to be one of the greatest jazz bassists of all time, was widely remembered for his high pitched staccato solos on stage. What was truly remarkable was that he rarely plays the certain song in the same manner. It was always changing, adapting and improving, with a new rendition of a piece every gig, to the delight of his audience. In the same manner, economics continues to improve itself amidst its shortcomings. An article on the Wall Street Journal once wrote that most Americans hate economics “because too often economic theories defy common sense”. But such criticism of economics fail to recognize the continuing strides and developments in the field. Yes. Economics, in itself, is not a complete science. The need for assumptions in econometric models and theories highlight the limitations of the knowledge available and also the techniques which accompany its analysis. The greatest criticism of neoclassical thought would most probably be the assumption of rationality. Everyone will agree that people do not always act rationally when it comes to their choices. Not everyone is always after a profit or knows how to efficiently create one for that matter. Hence its limitations and shortcomings. Yet, neoclassical economics has provided a foundation from which future developments in the field can spring forth, much likened to a first step in the continuing attempt to to fully understand economic phenomena. Such development is seen in the branching of the economic field to other areas of study, such as the role of institutions, culture and behavior on choices affecting economic performance. In the same manner, jazz continues to innovate itself by branching out to other genres and forms. Most notable are the combinations of funk and jazz or jazz fusion heard from the upcoming bands such as Jamiroquai and Kala. While the coming ofartists such as the pianist Jamie Cullum and soulful Michael Buble has seen the return of one man jazz acts which Frank Sintra and Tony Benett were known for. Though not always on the top charts and lists, these emergence of such bands reflect the efforts of musicians to keep the genre alive and relevant. Through the creativity and passion of certain individuals, economics as well as jazz continues to adapt and improve. But this continuing process requires failure, for only in doing so can the subject be open to criticism and eventually improvement. As the saxophonist Coleman Hawkins simply put its, every musician knows that in jazz, if you don’t make mistakes you aren’t really trying. Joseph Schumpeter once coined the term “creative destruction” to describe the innovation of technology which leads to economic growth. It is fitting to say that the economics too is in constant process of creative destruction. In this manner, both economics and jazz continue to be relevant.


V

inEconomics

FOOD

“Cheers to investment!”

Photo Courtesy of http://riverstonechophouse.com/photos.html

Who ever said that the vino you are enjoying is not bound to provide returns comparable to the bond and equities market was not able to visit his local wine store recently. Just a few days ago, my very coveted 2000 Chateau Mouton Rothschild, a first growth red wine that comes from the vil-

The first step for any vino aficionado is to drink up. Yes, practicing your taste buds every night ideally is where usually all aficionados start. Wine is a little bit daunting to understand at first but I think it’s what keeps its charm among us who appreciate it. Choose which kind of wine your palate is more comfortable with. I started with white wines.

With global equity markets in turmoil, alternative investments have been a new asset class that might give investors are run for their money. One notable segment is artwork and wines. Yes, the vino you drink with your meal once in a while does give you a run for your money.

The 3rd and usually the most intricate step is studying geography. Wines are produced on various regions around the world. Understanding their location will make you see how the environment affects the quality of your vino. Why does Bordeaux region wines retail more that the Mendoza region new world vinos? Here, extensive reading is required.

By: Harold Heredia

lage of Paulliac in the Bordeaux region of France increased its market value by almost 15% year to date. My equities portfolio – returned a paltry 3.44% year to date.

With global wine production is expected to increase by 3.83% while consumption at 6.00% for 2012, the positive price pressure of such a strong demand for wines has become both a boon and a bane for the patrons of vino. For those who had already built up their collection, they could only just wait and watch for their collection’s value to increase rapidly. For those who are just entering the scene like me, the scarcity of sought after bottles coupled with the long list of eager buyers have priced these bottles especially Bordeaux 5th to 1st region labels exorbitantly. Apparently, those who are interested in participating in this endeavour are still in for a treat.

The second step is to refine your sense of smell. Specialty shops usually sell “aroma sets” that could be easily bought to practice identifying scent notes on your wine. Wine should not only be described as “wild fruits”. More detail on your scent notes will help you appreciate good vino.

Buying wines is providing to be more convenient nowadays. Drop by Terry’s Selection in Podium, Wine Story in Shangri-La Plaza or Serendra, or even Cav in Bonifacio High Street and you’ll be guaranteed to get quality wines.Ask around the very knowledgeable staff of these establishments are even taste the wines using the Enomatic Wine Dispenser Machine to help you choose your first vino investment. All these establishments mentioned above are provided with an Enomatic Wine Dispenser Machine.

26


FOOD

From Hobby to

Money

Turning

your hobby to a mini business can be difficult especially when you decide to juggle it with your studies. Like any other extracurricular activity it takes time and money and like any other academic subject it takes a lot of effort. So why get into it? Aside from making extra cash for that summer trip, you will slowly learn what it takes to make your business work. See this as your ticket to applying everything you have learned in your basic accounting classes, introduction to business management and even your marketing classes. Instead of forgetting what you have learned, why not apply it. why not test these by practical application? This is what exactly three students, including myself, have doneturning their love for food into a business they can call their own. Holy Sweet, Angeli’s and Belgian Lace Cookies, are just some of the businesses made by students of the University of Asia and Pacific. Although we are not entrepreneurial students, we all still managed to make the most of what we have and apply, in our own way, what we have learned in our lessons in business. I started Holy Sweet on June 2010 since I simply loved to bake. Baking was one of my hobbies that allowed me to relax and escape the numbers of economics and papers of school and I have to say that making a business out of it had both its pros and cons. On my junior year then, balancing the baking hours, homeworks and exams was no doubt difficult. Orders ranging from one dozen a day to twenty dozens did lead to sleepless nights. Candy felt exactly the same way, saying “although I get to do what I really love which is baking, the time consumed in preparing and baking sometimes is the reason why I don’t sleep. This is because I still have to do things for school.” However if you prefer sharing other people’s talents and hobbies, you can follow Bea Tanco’s footsteps in buy and sell. She imports Cebu’s famous Belgian Lace Cookies to Manila. Buying and Selling is another and simpler way to make extra cash. Bea sees the pros more than the cons in her little business experience. She said “I have money to spend on things I want to buy and sometimes even help my parents out for bills I have to pay since I’m away from my family and I’m living alone here in Manila. I meet a lot of people around school because of it and having to juggle both academics and this small-scale business has taught me to procrastinate less and manage my time better.” As the months passed, balancing the whole juggling act gradually seemed simpler than the first few months. By the time you know your routine, how much time to invest in your business and how to schedule your school, study, family, prayer and “business” hours, you basically have it in the bag. So when you decide to make your hobby to a business, whether it is crafting, baking or painting, here are some of my tips to remember to help you on your way to make that extra cash: Know your budget. How much money are you willing to invest

27

By Joanna Jacinto


“Your interests and hobbies can be your best capital given the right investment: hard work and passion.”

in your business? How will you get your capital, from your allowance? Family members? Friends? It will also be extremely helpful when you are accounting for your gains and losses. Know your market. If you decide to make your fellow peers your future customers know this: students are on a very, very, VERY tight budget. Ask yourself how much you are willing to be paid for your product or service and even ask your friends for their opinions. Take advantage of social networks. Facebook, Multiply, Twitter, and Tumblr are your best friends when it comes to letting people know what is new with your product or service. On average people spend more than an hour updating their status or checking on what other people are up to, take advantage of this. Plus the best part about social networks is they are free! Studies first. Remember that you are still a student. Never make your grades suffer because of your business. Know that your business should serve as a break from your academic life but it doesn’t mean that it should be the only thing you should prioritize. Time is Money. You would be surprised how much time any small-scale business would take. Before you know it, you only have 3 hours to sleep. Don’t let this happen to you. Think ahead and schedule your week. This is when you trusty planner comes in and remember to manage your time well.

28


FOOD

Food Preferences OF

Ilonggos

By Theodore Barredo

In travelling, one is always enticed to visit a particular place

because good food is served in that area.Ilonggos offer good food as a practice of their hospitability to travellers that visit Iloilo. From breakfast to dinner, tourists can choose an array of food options that can be consumed. In the perspective of the Ilonggo community as to food predilection, there are consistent delicacies that are highly preferred when a basket of foods are offered. During lunchtime, a favorite destination would be along the different seafood restaurants in front of Villa Beach in the District of Arevalo, Iloilo City. The two main restaurants along this area are Breakthrough and Tatoy’s Manukan. These restaurants serve the native chicken, which is called the “Binisaya nga Manuk”. Given a basket of food to consume, Ilonggo consumers exhibit consistency in their preferences as they order this delicacy. As the native chicken is eaten, an elastic texture is felt as one chews it. Listed below is a concrete example of a consistent menu where the “Binisaya nga Manuk” is strictly preferred with other dishes: Table 1: Basket of Foods Showing the Preferences of Ilonggos as to eating in Breakthrough and Tatoy’s Manukan Basket A

Basket B

Basket C

Basket D

Tapa, Binisaya nga Manuk, Baked Scallops, Boneless Bangus, Rice Diwal (Angel Wings Clam Shells), Smoked Bangus, Lechon baboy, Binisaya nga Manuk, Garlic Rice Lukon (Bigger form of Shrimp), Binisanga Manuk, Crabmeat, Aligue with Rice, Talaba (shellfish) Sibingan, Pantat (Catfish), Binisaya nga Manuk, Sinugbanga Baboy (Grilled Pork), Fried Rice

As seen in Table 1, consistency is realized among Ilonggo consumers as they ensure that their order contains “BinisayangaManuk”.

29

This does not only show that the delicacy would taste good but that the consumer is coherent as to their choices during their meal time along Villa Beach. Another favorite delicacy of the Ilonggos is the Chicken Inasal (Grilled Barbecue Chicken). This Ilonggo delicacy started along the streets nearby the respective district plaza wherein different vendors would sell Chicken on sticks along with pork barbecue, chicken liver and chicken gizzards. A fierce competition is displayed along the district plaza whenever consumers go out of church after mass to eat out for lunch, dinner or merienda. Moreover, this delicacy grew by having establishments within cities outside Iloilo as branches of Bacolod Chicken Inasal, MangInasal and the other chicken houses have started to open in a nearby mall or community. The Chicken Inasal is also a delicacy wherein consistency among Ilonggo consumers can be seen. Listed below is a concrete example of a consistent menu where the Chicken Inasal is strictly preferred with other dishes: Table 2: Basket of Foods Showing the Preferences of Ilonggos as to eating in Chicken Houses Basket A

Sizzling Gambas, Chicken Inasal, Rice

Basket B

Sizzling Sisig, Crispy Pata, Chicken Inasal, Garlic Rice

Basket C Basket D

Chicken Inasal, Baticulon (Chicken Gizzard), Java Rice Baby Back Ribs, Chicken Inasal, Atay (Chicken Liver)

As seen in Table 2, Chicken Inasal is a favorite delicacy strictly preferred by Ilonggo consumers. Aside from its sort of sour or sweetened taste, there is that quality of chicken where it is considereda healthier food option when compared withbeef and pork. Ilonggo consumers are alsoconcerned with their health and eating grilled food such as the Chicken Inasal somehow guarantees a nutritious meal. In buying pasalubong (souvenir items), a traveller in Iloilo would always drop by along BiscochoHausorPanaderia de Molo. The pancit molo is a favorite in these restaurants but as to souvenir items, the biscocho and the butterscotch are concrete examples where tourists would never leave behind as they depart the city.


Table 3: Basket of Foods Showing the Preferences of Tourists as to pasalubong item in Iloilo Basket A

Basket B

Butterscotch, “I love Iloilo� T-shirt Guimaras Mangoes, Butterscotch, Biscocho

Basket C

Butterscotch, Biscocho, Keychain, BayeBaye

Basket D

Meringue, Biscocho, Butterscotch

As seen in Table 3, consistency in the strictly preferred pasalubong items is given to biscocho and butterscotch. In Basket A, Biscocho was not offered but it was offered in Basket B, the consistency for biscocho started in Basket B. Then, all throughout the following baskets, both pasalubong items were strictly preferred. Consistency is seen in this basket among consumers as they bid farewell to Iloilo city. In their departure, they bring a piece of the sweetness of Ilonggo hospitability. Consistency as to consumer preferences can be seen on the behavior of Ilonggo consumers and visitors whom purchase Ilonggo related items. It is a beautiful event in the Philippines wherein the Ilonggo food industry is growing as it feeds the hardworking Filipino people. This industry does not only show consistency as to food choice preferences but it also shows that Ilonggos can be consistent in feeding themselves. More importantly, this shows that Ilonggos has the potential to contribute better to economic development through their delicacies. Consistency in the production of these delicacies can construct consistent employment and capital as these

30


FEATURE

I shall be Strong By Remelyn Aloyon

The Economic Value of Positive Thinking

U pon reading the title of the article, one may perhaps think of this as the author’s autobiography or a personal reflection on the importance of positive thinking for a student of

economics. It is quite tempting to write on that line but I choose to write on the economic value of positive thinking of group of individuals who, according to Schumpeter, are the prime movers in economic development. It is interesting to see the big influence of the entrepreneurs’ optimism on their economic decisions. Optimistic entrepreneurs Sternberg and Wennekers defined entrepreneurship as the owning and managing of a business, and the “entrepreneurial behavior seizing an economic opportunity”. Because entrepreneurship entails risks, entrepreneurs need to be armed with right attitude. Some characteristics of the most distinguished entrepreneurs include being determined, a high achievement drive, being action oriented, an internal locus of control, tolerance for ambiguity, moderate risk taking, commitment, opportunistic, initiative, independence, commitment/tenacity, and the most common characteristic successful entrepreneurship have, optimism. Based on conceptualisations of optimism in psychology, there are two main approaches on how to measure optimism− as dispositional and as an explanatory style. Generally, dispositional optimism pertains on thinking that more good things than bad things will happen in the future while optimism as an explanatory style concerns on explaining negative occurrences in one’s life that those are brought about by external circumstances. The benefits of positive thinking Applying optimism in financial economics, a person who is optimist expects higher probability of success than bad outcomes in the future. This kind of thinking leads to more risk- taking behaviours in economic decision making. Empirical research studies support this argument. A study by Landier and Thesmar, which focuses on the effects of optimism of entrepreneurs on financial contracting and corporate performance, found that optimism is good for firms as it increases the effort exerted by entrepreneurs. Optimistic entrepreneurs under weighs negative information in the decisions they make. When contingencies happen, the optimist entrepreneur utilized his optimism in two purposes – ‘bridging the gaps in beliefs’ on the expectation to the project on its success and “imposing adaptation decisions in bad states”. Optimists, according to Puri and Robinson (2007), work longer hours. They expect longer life- work more in preparation for their better retirement. More optimistic people responded that they will work forever. This is in contrast to a popular belief that optimists are complacent to their work and only hopes for the best.

31


Optimism and debt Landier and Thesmar also pointed out that when it comes to insurance matters, optimistic entrepreneurs also rarely demand for insurance from investors because of two reasons – entrepreneurs believe that the project would be a success and since they consider less probability of failure they are not reluctant to repay more debt since they think it will not happen anyway. In terms of debt payment, among the entrepreneurs who were observed in the said study, it was revealed that (1) optimists tend to borrow more short term than long-term debt and (2) those optimists that borrow more short term perform better. Optimistic entrepreneurs tend to prefer short-term debt because of the good expected outcomes. Landier and Thesmar states that first, “short-term debt leads to the optimal allocation of cash-flows since optimistic entrepreneurs overestimate the probability that the business-plan runs smoothly and therefore underestimate the probability of not meeting their payments and being forced to renegotiation” and “short-term debt transfers control to the investor in states where the entrepreneur would take inefficient decisions, which decreases the ex-ante cost of capital.” Optimism and risk-taking This perception of entrepreneurs on risk also supports the findings of Puri and Robinson that an entrepreneur shows higher tolerance for risk. It is evident in the study that there is correlation of risk and optimism. More optimistic people may be willing to take greater risks if they perceive the odds of success to be in their favour. This in turn, suggests that attitudes toward risk may be driving the distinction between entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs.” Puri and Robinson, as well as Dunnar and Liang also agree that optimism strongly correlates with willingness of entrepreneurs to accept risks. With different risks that welcome entrepreneurs, they brace themselves with optimism. It becomes second nature for them to be optimists. They hope that their entrepreneurial undertaking armed with other favourable factors will have good outcome. In times of economic crisis like these keeping a positive attitude may be difficult. But now more than ever we also see that importance of being optimistic. For without an optimistic attitude, we wouldn’t have risk-taking entrepreneurs and without entrepreneurs we wouldn’t have the motivators of economic development.

References: Ayton, Peter,

et

al.

Optimism

and

Portfolio

Choice.

London,

February

2010.

Carr, Alan. 2004. Positive psychology: the science of happiness and human strengths. New York: Routledge. http://books.google.com/books?id=gu3V9Kys_QEC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summ ary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false(accessed October 29, 2011). J.A. Schumpeter, The Theory of Economic Development. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1934 [1911]) Landier, Augustin, and David Thesmar. Financial Contracting with Optimistic Entrepreneurs: Theory and Evidence. October 31, 2003.

Liang, Chyi-lyi (Kathleen), and Paul Dunn. Entrepreneurial Optimism, Characteristics and Personal/ Family Experiences in New Venture Creation . 2003.Puri, Manju, and David Robinson. 2007. Optimism and Economic Choice. Journal of Financial Economics 86 (June 20): page 96. www.elsevier. com/locate/jfec. R. Sternberg and S. Wennekers, 2005, “The Determinants and Effects of Using New Business Creation Using Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Data,” Small Business Economics 24(3): 193-203.

32


PERSPECTIVE

A

Cause

By: John Vincent Pimentel The

postcolonial

independence

Moreover, in regions where the concentration of land

movement

has

ushered in a generation of newly formed states, whose performance in achieving state developmental goals is either dismaying or perplexing—or both. Some are gaining the praise of the world over with their

stellar

state-building

performance

of

(Newly

Industrialized Countries or “Developmental States”) while most others remain “weak states”, incapable of pursuing policies independent from elite manipulation and conducive for overall national development. This discrepancy in state performance is no

ownership is relatively high, the incidence of poverty is correspondingly high while rural unrest and insurgency tend to be pronounced

(ADB, 2005;

Balisacan 1993, 2003; Hayami, Quisumbing, & Adriano, 1990). Land reform is then seen to the extent that it succeeds in improving access to land, mediates both equity and efficiency goals. One explanation

boils

down

to

political

economy

considerations: concentration of assets on privileged few leads to policies that tend to protect sectarian interests and obstructs growth for

less evident in the policy area of agrarian reform. Agrarian reform seems to be the culprit of growth stagnation

particularly

in

developing

countries.

Contemporary development literature shows that, on the average, a developing country with an initially high land inequality is expected to have a lower longterm income growth rate and slower pace of poverty reduction than a country with a more favorable land distribution (Balisacan, 2007). Given this comparative context, Philippines’ performance in reducing land inequality has been slow. Broadly, land inequa-lity, as gauged from estimates of Gini coefficient for operational landholding in 1990s, appears to be much higher in the Philippines (57.0) than the median for East Asia (41.1), but significantly lower than the median

for

Latin

American

countries

(77.4).

may

fuel

social

discontent,

thereby

increasing socio-political instability, which, inturn,

also somewhat “stable” despite three decades of land

reduces investment, a primary engine of growth.

reform programs (Balisacan, 2007).

The other involves imperfections in credit and

Yet one controversial debated theoretical proposition

1

is the link between rural poverty and rural insurgency, and land and tenure relations. Philippines has relatively high poverty incidence among landless

33

inequality

Surprisingly, the estimates for the Philippines are

These associations do not, of course, imply that limited land access is, by

itself, the only factor that has contributed to existing rural poverty, nor do they suggest that it is the sole factor that has spawned rural insurgency. The limited growth of productive employment opportunities outside of agriculture and the country’s relatively high population growth may have

agricultural workers and farmers cultivating small

been equally important determinants of rural poverty. Nevertheless, it

plots of land (Balisacan, 2007).

remains true that institutional and policy changes concerning access to land resources have an important bearing on poverty reduction.


Underdevelopment the rest of the society (Balisacan, 2007). High

Though this essay seems to be brief to include a

insurance markets. To the extent that physical

substantial discussion of the merit of our country’s

assets are commonly accepted as collateral, the poor,

agrarian reform law, nonetheless, it raises relevant

who do not have these assets, may be unable to

urgency to reform the land system and previous

access credit and hence take advantage of income-

land reform. Our agrarian reform law is grounded on

enhancing technologies and production processes.

noble intentions of uplifting the plight of the poor.

These may hinder important access to basic needs—

However, important economic considerations seem

especially food and health and education services

to be foregone in lieu of a legal imperative that

and, hence, effectively preventing them from escap-

ambitiously attempts to gobble up more than it can

ing the poverty trap. Investment in human capital

chew. Yet, this criticism should alarm us for it is only by

formation and economically profitable opportunities

forming a sensible understanding of the phenomenon

may thus be confined to owners of land assets.

that we can do things right, especially in carrying out our moral duty to help our Filipino brothers and sister

In summary, high inequality in land distribution is

who continue to thrive in rural poverty.

bad for both equity and overall economic growth. Unfortunately, the policy orientation of CARP has tended to focus on the equity side of the benefits from a reduction in land inequality. Yet, it appears that the overall efficiency gains (economic growth) from an

Balisacan, A. (30 May 2007). Policy dialogue on agrarian reform issues in rural development and poverty alleviation. In Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture. Retrieved from http://philippineculture.ph/filer/balisacan_paper.pdf

informed land reform program seem to be far from being realized. As Balisacan (2007) puts it, a policy advocacy for land reform has to highlight

recent

find-

ings from growth empirics that high inequality in the distribution of land (or assets,

generally)

depresses the longterm the

potential economy

of to

grow at a faster pace to

and

hence

forego

oppor-

tunities

for

the

poor

get

out

of

to

poverty

traps.

34


PERSPECTIVE

Educating Emotions rather than

Population Control

By: Reynaldo Bonita Jr. Last four months, I was shocked to hear several stories about a number of my peers getting pregnant.Apparently, it is not unreasonable to assume that these are not isolated events that happened only in Rizal province; this might well be happening in many places in our country. The apparent increase in unwanted pregnancies is one of the driving forces of the pro-choice activists in pushing the population control policies forward in the Philippines. It is not difficult to assume that these pregnancies were unwanted and unexpected since, like me almost all of them are not prepared to raise a family yet. Having a baby is clearly impractical because they have not finished college and with that, a stable career and source of income might be far from being achieved.

35

I find it easy to point out their mistake, its gravity and the consequences of their actions because I am detached from their situation. However, I tried to understand why and what factors contributed to their actions on a personal level in order to help me understand the pro-choice activists. I tried to find out whether the problems rest on the persons directly involved in

the pregnancies and whether it calls for an intervention from the government authorities through a nationwide implementation of a law regulating our population increase. On the surface, two aspects make it easy for me to sympathize with my peers who had a child out of wedlock. First, they struggle against love. When asked about the reason why they engaged in an intimate relationship, they would say that their intimacy was born out love that they could not resist. In the same way as individuals have difficulties to face every day, they also have daily battles to conquer and for them, the greatest of these is “love.� As is natural for persons who are in-love, they are always in search of ways to express their love for their beloved. They seek to satisfy their partner’s emotional needs as they strive to provide what is good for them.

It easy to relate with them because they are just like other human beings, attracted to what is good and pleasurable. In this context, I can see that they have desires that any other person may have and they should not be faulted for that. They are merely being true to themselves by following what they feel.


Second, these lovers are merely thrown in a world they cannot comprehend and which does not sympathize with them. That is to say, they were not given a choice if they want to be born into culture which condemns the way they express their love - through the physical and sexual self-giving to another person prompted by their innermost feelings and passions.

Looking at them in this perspective makes it easy to understand why they are convinced that things could not have turned out in any other way. For them, they were helpless from love’s dominion. However, upon close examination of the abovementioned reasons, several flaws on the reasoning can be pointed out. One of which is their wrong concept of love. They equate loving to feeling. The mere outflow of human passion and desire because this generation focuses too much on what they feel. They prioritize spontaneity over logic as they create a reasoning animated by sentiments so much so that it annuls reason. Another is because of their deterministic view. They believe that the events that happened were due to fate and that they could not do anything to prevent it from happening. They just went with the flow of events and felt that going against the current of their feelings means being untrue to oneself. With their wrong concept of love and a strong determinism at work, they believethat things could not have happened in any other way, that since they were victims of love, they have no control over the outcome of events.

I can see that the problem lies on a personal level and a nationwide implementation of a law regulating our population increase would not solve the problem. Handing out condoms and legalizing abortion would not make Filipinos any more responsible than they are now. All that these do is mitigate the consequences of a wrong act while leaving the root of the problem unattended. What ought to be done is to address the lack of formation of character among Filipinos, more so among the youth.They need to realise that love is not the same as giving into one’s emotions and having sex, and that “safe sex” is not actually safe. It harms a person’s integrity and moral being. Protection is all about learning to love properly by educating a person’s emotions and putting order into his feelings.

This problem requires a solution that that transcends mere avoiding pregnancies and diseases. Such a solution rests on the hands of the parents, not on the government. It is the parents’ task to form and educate their children. It is within their responsibility to instil virtue and inculcate moral values to their children. The government could never properly teach children about morality and dealing with their emotions because this is a task proper to parents only. All they could do is to ensure an environment conducive to the exercise of moral virtues and the integral development of the human person. A person should be in a society wherein his capacity to love can be developed by allowing his parents to teach him how to harmonize his intelligence, will and feelings, so that his behaviour will turn out to be moral hence not far from being economical and practical.

All these revolve around the idea that one should give free reign to one’s emotions. I realized that a person has to educate and control his emotions. Since these are fleeting and are unstable, it cannot be the basis for one’s actions.

36


PERSPECTIVE

LIFE

AND

DEATH

IN POVERTY

By: Diana Rueda

Before I entered the university, too much idealism inspired me to dream that one day, I should do something to make poverty cease to exist. It was indeed a dream to see that the fly and garbage infested Payatas would just be like any decent subdivisions filled with bougainvillea for a quasi-cherry blossom feeling, that those kids who run around the streets would also run around the theme parks I have been dreaming to visit, and that those families who eat two lucky me noodles for the ten members would eat the same good food that welcome me every time I enter the dining area. Few years after living in Manila allowed me to realize a looming reality—that is, poverty will never perish. What can we do, man’s nature includes human perfection visible in his work that entails him to get more wealth than the others. Such is accompanied by natural talents and acquired virtues that vary in everyone. With freedom and will, some may use it in their advantage as the others would not, some may just be lucky to be born in families who own this and that, and some may just be doomed to be born in families who could not even afford rice and galunggong for their meals. And with the capitalist world of today, it looks like poverty is really here to stay with the rest of us—but for a reason. And as it accompanies, man’s journey on earth, poverty may either exult life filled with happiness or destroy it until emptied with nothing left but angst and twisted convictions, depending on one’s chosen path.

37

Poverty, amidst the lack of material necessities, may still give life to anyone—be it to those who are affected or not. Poverty is one of the crosses man has to carry in order to meet his End, and it is never a miserable state if one transcends it to a supernatural level. It teaches a lot to man. Those who are suffering from poverty lack some material things, some may lack things up to the most basic needs in life, whereas others may not be to that extent. However, this lack of certain things teaches us the beauty of suffering--that one may suffer without being miserable. In suffering, one is able to help our Lord carry his cross as one

is able to hold on to such pain for a greater good. This may sound too absurd when one’s stomach is filled with emptiness, when one’s house is being dwelt by 15 persons, but one has to hold on, anyway, God said, blessed is the poor in spirit, theirs is the kingdom of heaven. For those who are not experiencing poverty, it also teaches various virtues. However,two of the greatest lessons it teaches are simplicity and generosity. It is in simplicity that one has to be contented on what one has in life--that one has to think whether one needs such thing before getting it, and that one has not to be concerned about brands. It is in generosity that one learns to lend both hands for those who have less and nothing in life, be it through giving them goods, or through some concern which is possible with the various non-government organizations today or just by one’s initiatives. However, if one sees poverty without the supernatural panorama, such may lead to one’s culture of death through apathy of conscience. Without the supernatural panorama of suffering, those empty stomachs will learn various means in order to fill themselves—even up to the extent of stealing and other sorts of crime. Without the supernatural panorama, societies will try to control population in order to lessen the mouths to feed as societies will attempt to campaign for a twisted truth nothing but filled of materialism and selfishness. Moreover, people could also take advantage of the poor through exploitation. Traces of industrial revolution’s capitalists and laborers wage war has never vanished. Even today, the right amount of wages is still being debated. And with the minimum wage set in a very low standard with poor implementation, various workers could not even feed their families well. Indeed, poverty magnifies what is hidden beyond these earthly realities. These are realities that are, truly, the most important things in life which can bring the best and the worst in man. It is one of the constant companions of man that amidst the pain and miseries it can cause, still serves man various great lessons—so long as not to be swayed to the other direction.


PERSPECTIVE

2012: It’s all in the Mind! The 2012 End of the World and Economics

2012 can possibly be the year of the apocalypse, the end of the world, or it may well be the year that would cater to the revitalization of the world economy. Whether we wait for it with fear or with eager anticipation is up to us.

By John Vincent Lazo What’s with 2012? What do these four innocent numbers convey?

of America’s credit rating from AAA to AA+. Also, China, the world’s second largest economy, is experiencing economic problems. Other than the currency (Yuan) issue, Colin Barr from CNN Money writes that “China have more pressing problems -- including how to mop up stimulus spending and plot a course for more sustainable growth.” . Greece, Spain, and Italy are also plunged in a debt crisis and high unemployment rates. These situations impart pessimism, instead of optimism, regarding the global economy. Are these economic woes signs of the upcoming end of the world?

2012 is perhaps the most significant year in the new decade because many events will take place on this year. But, the event that truly enticed the world’s attention to this year is the purported “end of the world” on December 21, 2012 or the 2012 Apocalypse. Unlike other “end time” prophecies, this version caught the world’s attention because of its makebelieve stories. A blockbuster movie was even shown to illus- The plausibility of the prophecies trate the ominous events (e.g. tidal waves, earthquakes, etc.) Peter Nathan from Vision.org mentions that “not all endthat will occur on this year. time scenarios are completely far-fetched. With regard to the economy, calamity could occur at any time, before or after Peter Nathan, in his article 2012: The End of the World (Yet December 2012, if a rash action by the government of some Again)?, relates how the prophecy originates from a Meso- major power triggers a collapse of the global financial sysamerican calendar. According to the long-count calendar tem. But we can only speculate about the timing or even the of the Mayans, their 5,125-year long cycle will end on De- results.” Thus, there is no direct relationship between the cember 21, 2012. The sun’s solar maximum (where sunspots prophecies and economics. Economies naturally experience will appear) is forecasted to transpire anytime within 2012 periods of decline, based from history. Correlating the recent wherein solar flares could reach the Earth and obliterate crisis with prophecies bolster the argument that the predicelectric power and communications operation. tion is true. We cannot do this because we cannot fully control the operations of the economy. As Nathan mentioned, For the ordinary citizen, the immediate response is fear. For we cannot predict when a catastrophic event will hit the this reason, many people are compelled to believe in the economy. Yes, economists make forecasts about the econo2012 Apocalypse. Planetary alignment, polar shifts, economic my, but these forecasts are not certain to happen (that’s why downturn, etc. are associated with this doomsday prediction. they are called as such). Also, religious perspectives (e.g. Christian, Jewish, etc.) of the End entice the imaginative human mind to discover the se- The same line of thought applies to prophecies, which are crets behind this theory. For this reason, people worldwide predictions and not 100% certain to happen. No one knows become interested on this subject. The topic has already be- when the end will be. Thus, 2012 event may not be a doomscome multifaceted, because the human mind links different day after all. Peter Nathan states that “those who have studthings in this world. Thus, one particular topic deserves at- ied the calendar and the culture…dismiss the entire end-oftention: the relationship of prophecies and economics. the-world prediction as a misinterpretation of the data: they say that it doesn’t speak of an END per se but of a new BE-

How do prophecies like the 2012 Apocalypse affect GINNING.” economics? One would be economic optimism. The world economy experienced a multitude of problems recently. A major event that shook the whole world was the 2008 Great Recession. It started in the United States and has spread like virus to other parts of the world. High unemployment, negative growth rates, dwindling stock markets, etc. were rampant. Although the global economy underwent a slight recovery, worries about its future remains. Outlook on the US economy itself is not looking good. One proof is Standard & Poor’s downgrade

People have the tendency to seek what lies in the future through prophecies. 2012 can possibly be the year of the apocalypse. But instead of delving too much with the negative, let’s turn to the promise of a renaissance that 2012 will bring to the world, specifically the economy. 2012 could be a year when economic confidence will be regained. No one can really tell 100% what 2012 will bring. Whether we wait for it with fear or with eager anticipation is up to us.

38


PERSPECTIVE

E

&

ducation conomics

By Tet Rivera

Education is a very important requirement for growth. Based on the human capital theory, undertaking education is an investment as the acquisition of skills and knowledge will increase returns. Improvement in technical knowledge, for example, is attributed to the improved level of education of a society. The building of schools and academic institutions and development of communication lines among peoples have been central to the increase in technology worldwide. In fact, many economists comment on the fact that we have produced more inventions in the past generation compared to the previous three generations altogether. Believed to increase one’s competitiveness and productivity, education allows learning ways to do things more efficiently and effectively. Thus, education, taking the form of ‘intellectual capital’ allows people to learn and invent new technologies and find new methods to solve the same problems. Furthermore, education helps the person understand the community and society and the standards with which it operates. Examples of these are language and law. Man learns about cultural, social, scientific and artistic interests that allow him to pursue his interests and be successful in a field where he might be most productive. More importantly, through liberal arts, for example, he does not become a ‘slave to necessity’ because he finds what activities are enjoyable for him and why, and helps him find meaning in his work. This is important because understanding needs more than the spiritual serves as motivation and incentive for the person to improve, work better and be recognized by his peers. Education therefore, as collectively pursued by individuals, who in turn may become more productive through it, is an engine of growth and a contributor to individual and societal development. In this regard, the economist’s education must encompass a variety of disciplines and concerns. The economist is mainly concerned in understanding the ways with which man has responded to economic problems and at the same time, through this knowledge, respond to the present challenges.

39

Mathematical or scientific knowledge is inevitably part of the economist’s education. The world is uncertain and so we need models that may help us understand what is around us. A study of history, as well, is important because it widens the economist’s perspective and allows a range of experiences and ideas to serve as guide in his study. A major help to the economist’s education is an introduction to the liberal arts that a university provides. University education,

aims, by definition an ‘enlargement of the mind’ that allows a person to reason well in matters. More importantly, true enlargement of the mind entails “the power of viewing many things at once as one whole, of referring them severally to their true place in the universal system, of understanding their respective values, and determining their mutual dependence” . Thus the economist learns to fit his ideas with those of others, and even use his economic knowledge to answer non-economic problems. At the same time, being in the university means an immersion in an environment with an “intellectual culture”, where he gets a chance to compare his ideas with those of others. A university student is also expected to reason and analyze what he hears and read, and think before he accepts these. University education is important to the economist’s development due to the obvious development of a learning ethos. However continuous learning requires passion, a heart, and a dedication that the economist must learn by practice. The economist does and must continue to play a role in education because we still need to find ways to our common problem. Man’s needs and wants are still limited while his resources are limited. And whether it is familiarity with terms such as scarcity and comparative advantage or practical skills in the market, a deeper understanding of economics helps us. Perhaps flawless prediction is impossible but it still allows us to approximate individual decisions and see how they affect others. We are still with the same concern - how to deal with scarce resources and maximize utility, among many. Education is important, and education in economics must be part of it because we need to learn how things flourish and fail in the same attempts to survival and development common to all persons


40


PERSPECTIVE

When Juan Tamad teaches Economics: Uncovering the secrets behind the childhood tales

By: Kristine Martin

CHILDHOOD is the most memorable part in a person’s life. At this stage, he explores and discovers a lot of things about his life and the world around him. But, for a Filipino child, this period becomes even more memorable. His childhood days would never be complete without hearing the stories of Juan Tamad. Juan Tamad is a lazy, happy-go-lucky young man, whose indolent character fuels the stories’ humor. Although often deemed as a comic story that imparts values such as industriousness, honesty and obedience, the tales of Juan Tamad also have hidden economic messages that can be uncovered and included in the story that will make it more delightful. By unveiling these messages, Filipino children will have an opportunity to understand and appreciate the wonders of economics at an earlier stage in their lives.

Juan Tamad Tales The story of Juan Tamad and the Guava fruit is one of the most famous narratives ever told to Filipinos. In this tale, Juan Tamad finds a tree full of ripe guava fruits but refuses to climb it perhaps because of the sweltering heat. Instead, he lies down under the tree to save energy and lets gravity take its course. Juan just opens his mouth and waits for the fruits to ripen enough to drop (Arguilla, 2001). Such tale eventually sheds light to the reason behind the failure of some economic policies; policies (represented by Juan’s actions) when induced by an immediate emotional reaction to a situation (the hot weather) are more likely to be inefficient. Rather, policies should be made objectively and examined thoroughly. The 1997 Asian Financial Crisis vivifies this idea. The downturn, which commenced in Thailand, enabled the Philippine Central Bank to immediately intervene to defend the peso, raising the overnight rate from 15% to 32% at the onset of the crisis on mid-July 1997. Some authors view such an action as a manifestation of a financial panic experienced not

41

only by the Philippines but by other Asian countries as well, wherein negative sentiment becomes self-fulfilling (Asian Development Outlook, 1999). Eventually, the Philippine peso dropped from 26 pesos per dollar at the start of the crisis to 38 pesos in mid-1999 to 54 pesos as in early August, 2001 (Ries, 2000). Another Juan Tamad tale highlights the case of emotionally induced economic policies – The invention of a flea-killer. The story started when Juan Tamad’s mother asked him to buy a pot in the town market. The market is an efficient location for trading because it is where the buyers and sellers meet, in this case, trading a pot for some number of coins. It happened that the town-people were afflicted by fleas that they would all go mad from itching. Unaware of this, Juan still bought his rice pot and set off for home. There are some imperfections in markets such as information asymmetry; it cannot be expected that everyone is aware about everything. On the way, a flea bit him inside his clothes, which caused him to yell and throw out his arms and scratch. Such action


Juan Tamad is more than just a childhood story. It also has economic implications. resulted to the pot breaking. Afraid that his mother would scold him, Juan squatted before the broken pot and collected all the pot pieces and ground them into very fine pieces between two stones. Then, he wrapped the powder in a banana leaf and went back to the town. This is apparently another example of an instant reaction induced by emotional stress. He wanted to eliminate the sunk cost he incurred. Hence, weighing the opportunity cost of either being scolded - and probably beaten by his mother or being able to fool the townsfolk, he chose the latter and gambled for a risk. This is due to the fact that sometimes risks yields high returns. In order to attract the people, Juan shouted that he has flea killers. So, the townsfolk approached him and brought him powder to soothe the itch. As a result, Juan successfully brought home a bag of coins and his mother was

well pleased. Nevertheless, his mother still wanted a rice pot, so she sent him back to the market on the next day. Juan Tamad was very distraught when he arrived in the market, he met angry men and women shaking their fists in his face and uttering all sorts of curses on his head. Clearly, not all risks yield return. The people demanded an explanation for Juan’s actions. Afterwards, the townsfolk revealed Juan’s actions to his mother; eventually, the boy was still reprimanded by his mother. Aside from teaching human values, economic lessons are also imparted by the tales of Juan Tamad. The inclusion of economic concepts to children stories does not only bring enjoyment to kids, but also instill knowledge to their juvenile minds.

42


PERSPECTIVE

LovEconomics By Gregorio Mabbagu

May the Ruach HaKodesh guide me in delivering the mes-

sage of this article. I really find it hard to think of a topic which I see as meaningful and worthy of sharing. I won’t discuss love comprehensively, because I surmise, by probabilistic intuition and to my utmost capability to think, love can never be explained so completely by mere words. Hence, my words here about love will just give a glimpse of it, but coupled with economics concepts. Love is said to conquer all which makes me able to connect it easily with other things. Sounds easy now, but I guess it is somehow hard to link a huge concept, love, that seems more abstract to another concept, economics, that seems more physical. It is as if I am describing the creation of another being, like how a man is made with spirit and matter. As they say love is all that matters or, sometimes, love is the greatest gift of all, I think it’s good to talk about it. I would like, first, to tell something about economics and love. Then I’ll relate economics to love. Eventually, we’ll try to unravel what loveconomics really means. If you’re an IEP student or someone who studied economics, I guess you don’t need to read a definition of economics. So skip this paragraph to lessen the time deduction of your life; be economical—time is gold. Economics has many definitions in books and internet sites so maybe you can just check it from economics books or “google it” as Dr. U will fondly say if some terms are interesting but seems archaic. Then, as you see the definition/s “stare hard/harder” so you may be able to understand it well, which I hope will result in falling in love with economics. I think I should give some spoiler info to make you a little bit excited and “Not Be Late” in seeing it. Economics is a social science that deals with benefits and costs. Now let’s talk about love. For stating the word “love,” I feel like being a love guru or a great lover but don’t be mistaken because I’m not. That means you might have discovered more information about love than me. Another disclaimer: you might not get any additional info about love here. But one thing is I am sure of, we are both made out of Love and to Love we’ll both end. To lessen the scope of defining and explaining love, I would like to share it to you in a manner of seeing it in two ancient views: Greek and Hebrew.

43

In the Greek lens, love is a feeling. There are different kinds of these emotions or feelings. There is the filial love, erotic love or eros, committed love, unconditional love, and charity or agape. The famous agape kind of love is the one that is taught in Church today. This love is demonstrated as an act of expressing true commitment particularly to God. However, the sad thing about love defined and based on emotion is that when certain bad circumstances stir a

bad emotion, then love can change to something negative. On the other hand, in Hebrew thought, ahav or love is based on the idea of preference and choice. It is not like the Greek definition which is love being based on emotion. And so, they see the use of love and even hate words in the scriptures, particularly the first five scriptures which are written by Hebrew writers, as without feelings or emotions. When Jesus said “If you love me, you will keep my commandments,” he was then saying that if you have chosen me or prefer me, then follow what I say. One thing that I want to clarify about the Hebrew view when they say “choose” and “prefer” as equal to love means they choose certain “being” as good for them and seeing themselves as good for choosing that “being.” In other words, it is good for you, and you are good for it. In Greek, it begins with the emotion before a commitment may emerge. In Hebrew, emotion is a result of

“..since we are human, with feelings and reasons, true love must then be with “feelings” and reason or the median of feeling and reason, but giving more weight on reason since it is a higher faculty of man.” commitment by which someone chooses or prefers someone. To my mind, these two views that influenced our general and detailed ideas about love, even before the Christian era until now, made many people believe to certain ideas about love being a certain way or another. But, as one can notice, it seems that the two are in both extremes. One is very emotional while the other is without emotion like stoicism; using reason alone. But I think, since we are human, with feelings and reasons, true love must then be with “feelings” and reason or the median of feeling and reason, but giving more weight on reason since it is a higher faculty of man. Hence, we may use these ideologies to compare with economics as a social science. Like love with feelings and reason, economics is subject to the social (with feeling) and scientific (with reason) dimensions. One can actually relate love in many other economics subconcepts such as surplus when love is excessive or shortage when it is lacking. Lovers can create rules among them, like commandments, related to institutions. Taste and preference: may also pertain on how one chooses his or her partner or maybe love’s courtship, but I haven’t experience courting though, but I guess you need comparative advantage in doing so. So what’s LovEconomics all about? It’s up to your mind to conclude whether you pick some info here or put it simply as being in-loved with economics.


“..love can never be explained so completely by mere words. .� 44


FINANCE

MULTILATERAL DEVELOPMENT BANKS AS DRIVERS OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Do MDBs really contribute to the Economic Development or not?

By Clarisse G. Erana As “international organizations whose mission is to alleviate poverty by supporting and spurring economic development” (Kiss, Castro & Newcombe, 2002), multilateral development banks play a pivotal role in assisting the economic development in developing countries. However, due to their evolution and being subject to the ambiguity of international law, these institutions have received many criticisms over their existence since after World War II which prompts many to contemplate whether or not their involvement in developing countries actually makes a positive contribution. By examining the history of multilateral development banks and their influence in the development of the countries which they seek to assist, the role of multilateral development banks can be better defined which can address and improve the criticisms they face.

Post World War II: The Emergence of Multilateral Development Banks

and the IMF as their broad geographical scope could limit its effectiveness in an individual country.

After the devastation of two world wars which virtually occurred back-to-back, several nations gathered in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire to discuss the rehabilitation of the international economic system. Alongside of strengthening international cooperation and peace, the result of the conference was the first multilateral development bank, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (now known as the World Bank). The purpose of the first MDB was to “help the reconstruction of Europe and to promote economic growth in the rest of the world” (Pereira, 1995). Therefore, in their beginnings, MDB[s] was/were “institution[s] backed by the capital commitments of the United States and other capital-rich nations that could borrow at the lowest market rates and lend economically to those with urgent needs, first nations ravaged by war and later those in early stages of economic development” (Gurria and Volcker, 2001).

The Washington Consensus and Policy-Based Lending

As countries began to recover from the world wars, the international community was faced with a new challenge that came about as a consequence of the wars: what should be done about the development of the new states that had been former colonies? Inspired by the Soviet Union’s state-planning strategy, economists and policymakers deemed that state intervention was the best way for these newly formed states to develop, motivated by “the desire to cut pre-independence colonial ties which were identified with the market mechanism; and second, there was a felt need to create an economy out of what was often still viewed as an agglomeration of agents and resources requiring, first of all, the creation of the so-called ‘preconditions of development’” (Ranis, 2004). Although the World Bank supported these measures, there was an emergence of regional MDBs due to nations recognizing the benefits that an MDB could bring and the need for alternatives to the World Bank

45

The reputation of multilateral development banks has been marred by the negative outcomes of policy-based lending primarily in the 1980s. Dominated by a neoliberal agenda, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund put forth a list of specific macroeconomic policy reforms that borrowing nations had to implement in order to obtain loans. These reforms, known as the Washington Consensus, were meant to help the economies of developing countries enter into the global market; however, “from 1974 to 1984, only 14 out of 30 IMF programs were completed and of those completed, less than half were implemented in their original form” (Haggard, 1985). Although there are a multitude of factors which can account for the reason why developing countries which implemented the Washington Consensus reforms are still developing, there is the view that the “existing economic predicaments ensue directly from the structure of the debt burden and the proportion of repayment that is credited to interest” (Logan & Mengisteab, 1994), implying that the IMF-World Bank loans actually contributed to the problems plaguing the growth of developing countries.

Country Ownership and the Importance of Good Governance An essential feature of the Washington Consensus which serves as one of its main criticisms is the fact that it was a ‘one size fits all’ reform package which did not incorporate the unique and specific situations of the countries which implemented them. Recognizing that development programs must reflect the distinct needs of the implementing country, the international community began to emphasize the role of the developing country in craft-


MDBs were established to promote economic development to developing countries. Because of this, they provided specific policies and reforms to the mentioned countries, but these policies were found ineffective. Thus, they realized that support for governments of each country is a better solution for economic development than imposing policies and reforms.

Photos Courtesy from Google Images

“Europeans and Americans are known to lead the two international institutions, IMF and World Bank, respectively. However, given the present economic crisis in Europe and in the United States of America, countries with fast-growing economies should also have the right on the IMF crown to promote economic development.” ing their own development objectives and strategies. Instead of imposing a set of policy objectives that was crafted without the consultation of the recipient country, multilateral development banks and other donors implemented a new development strategy called the program-based approach which represents “a major departure from previous development strategies whereby the World Bank and the IMF dictated the directions of economic policies in poor countries” (Cheru, 2006) by encouraging country ownership of programs where they can “negotiate and agree policies and plans for development in the sector, including resource allocation” (Garner, Flores & Tang, 2000) with the development agency. This approach recognizes that the borrowing country can make substantial contributions to the programs because they are knowledgeable about the situation of their countries, expelling the condescending notion which insinuates that the governments of developing countries completely lack the knowledge to manage their countries. Additionally, this approach “has transformed donor-recipient country relations” (Cheru, 2006) and can eventually decrease aid dependency because it strengthens the ability of governments to implement good practices. It allows MDBs to use and support public policy rather than undermine it, which creates a mutual and beneficial partnership without having to override country sovereignty. Conclusion Past failures caused many to question the effectiveness of multilateral development banks in contributing to economic development of developing countries. However, a mutually beneficial partnership in between a multilateral development bank and the developing country it seeks to benefit can greatly maximize the potential of the developing country due to the recognition that the combined strength of multilateral development banks and developing countries can achieve economic development and improve the lives of many.

Works Cited Cheru, F. (2006). Building and Supporting PRSPs in Africa: What Has Worked Well so Far? What Needs Changing? Third World Quarterly, 355-376. Garner, P., Flores, W. & Tang, S. (1998). Better health in developing countries: are sector-wide approaches the way of the future? British Medical Journal, 129-131. Guirra, J. A. & Volcker, P. (2001). “The Role of the Multilateral Development Banks in Emerging Economies”. (Report, CEIP). Washington, DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Retrieved September 2, 2011 from http://www.carnegieendowment.org/pdf/files/mdbreport.pdf Kiss, A., Castro, G., Newcombe, K. (2002). The Role of Multilateral Institutions. The Royal Society, 1641 – 1652. Logan, I. & Mengisteab, K. (1993). IMF-World Bank Adjustment and Structural Transformation in Sub-Saharan Africa. Economic Geography: 1-24. Pereira, L. (1995). Development and Economics and the World Bank’s Identity Crisis. Review of International Political Economy, 211-247. Ranis, D. (2004). The Evolution of Development Thinking: Theory and Policy. Yale Economic Growth Center, Discussion Paper no. 886.

46


FINANCE

The Rightful Heir of the

International Monetary Fund

Crown

By Abraham Guiyab The IMF certainly finds itself in a bit of a dilemma. Crisis at the top level of leadership, a consequence of Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s infamous (in France, at least) philandering ways has finally come to a boil, with the IMF leader now having charges filed against him for allegedly attempting to rape a maid (from a third world country, no less) in an expensive New York hotel suite. While the sensationalist story finds itself fast becoming tabloid fodder in many papers around the world, it also opens a good window of opportunity for the world’s major developing nations to discuss matters which have been, in retrospect, long overdue for several decades already. In fact, this incident could not have come at a worse time. With the European economies struggling from their untenable debt burdens, and the major international institutions scrambling to stabilize its economies before it becomes more widespread, a shake-up at the helm of one of world’s largest international financial institutions is perhaps the last thing we need. With the so called ‘PIIGS’ economies (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain) in economic disarray, and a stagnating economic outlook in the United States, which is hovering at about 10% unemployment and seeing its much vaunted economic stimulus packages failing to kick-start economic growth, many nations are now beginning to openly question the wisdom of European leadership at the IMF. Traditionally, the major International Financial Institutions, the IMF and the World Bank, have had their leadership decided by means of a gentleman’s agreement between Europe and the United States. Thus, the head of the IMF would normally come from Europe (representative of the

47

ancient regime of the old world), and the head of the World Bank would come from the United States, representing the world’s largest economy. It is indeed very telling how the headquarters of both these multilateral international organizations are themselves headquartered in Washington. To give a quick these organizations their proper historical context, we must look into how they formed. The IMF and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (later the World Bank), were formed at the luxurious Mount Washington ski resort at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire at the close of World War II, in order to establish order in a global financial system wracked by turmoil and conflict. Naturally, this was formed by the victorious powers of that war, with the developing nations largely relegated to the sidelines. It was here that these organizations decided to restructure the world’s finances, with the aim of guiding nations with the conduct of their finances. In a nutshell, these organizations were a creation of countries that were at the apex of their political and economic might. This tradition of naming directors from Europe and the US has stayed since the creation of the organizations themselves. However, this pattern has failed to keep pace with the shifting economic and geopolitical realities which underlie the present international system. Now, more than ever, non-western actors are playing a greater role in the global economic arena than what might have been thought possible only a few decades ago, something which is not lost on the citizens of the United States. In fact, a recent survey by the German Marshall Fund for the United States shows that an overwhelming portion of American youth from 18-25 perceive Asia to be the region of most significant national interest to the US, while those from older demographics believe it to be Europe. Of course, now no one can deny the influence of the nonEuropean economies. The PIIGS of Europe stand in stark contrast to the Newly Industrialized Countries (NICS) of


Asia, as well as the BRICs economies (Brazil, Russia, India, China) of the developing world. Already, wealthy and frugal Germany is showing its reluctance to use its considerable wealth to bail out its more profligate neighbours. Although the case against Strauss Kahn has recently been dismissed, and for all intents and purposes he is a free man, the smudge on his reputation, and consequently on the IMF, can serve as a catalyst for the other economies to demand a more assertive role in IMF leadership. Indeed, many other regions of the world put up their respective candidates for the top position at the IMF. Yet curiously, the influential economies of Asia have been slow to even put forward their own representative, something which, given their considerable economic clout, would have been worthy of serious consideration. As a result, the IMF leadership went instead to French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde, thereby continuing the tradition of European IMF helmsmanship. This is not to say that this is not a milestone either, as Lagarde is the first woman to hold the top spot at the IMF. Coupled with rumours that suggest US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is eyeing the director position at the World Bank, this only shows

that gender barriers do not, in fact, serve as a significant obstacle. So why then does nationality? The UN has been very much well known for the colourful array of nationalities that have been able to reach the position of Secretary-General. Inflexibility on the part of the IMF and the World Bank does not do it a service. This recent scandal, coupled with economic turmoil in the US stemming from the financial crisis, and the sword of Damocles hanging over the European Union in the form of the debt crisis threatening to undo the Euro as a currency and derail future prospects of European integration now casts a shadow of doubt over these region’s capabilities to provide global economic leadership. This is then the perfect opportunity for Asia as whole to be assertive, and to take charge of these economic institutions of utmost importance. As the stellar performance of Asia shows (all things considered), perhaps if the region can pull together and decide of backing a particular candidate for top spots such as these, perhaps an Asian will someday be able to teach the ancient regime a few things.

Nationality of a person does not dictate who deserves the leadership of IMF. American, French, Chinese, Filipino, etc. have the potential to be leaders of economic development.

Photo Courtesy of Google Images

48


SOJOURN

The Hidden Treasures of Tubbataha

Capturing economic value while protecting the environment.

By Katrina Jaridn It is not a secret that Philippine waters are a host to rich and unique marine biodiversity- from the Butanding in Negros, Cetaceans in Bohol and Pawikan in Palawan. Undoubtedly, the Philippine’s archipelagic nature and abundant marine population has a promising contribution to the tourism sector and generally, to the Philippine economy. However, depite the economic security- increased employment and income opportunities for Filipinos living in coastal and rural areas, brought about by tourism, one cannot underestimate the dangers it brings to the fragile natural environment.

The Philippines’ Tubbataha Reefs

A recent study of World Wide Fund (WWF) for nature closely looks at the case of the Philippines’ largest marine sanctuary, the Tubbataha Reefs. Tubbataha is derived from two Samal words meaning “a long reef exposed at low tide”. It is the only national marine park in the Philippines, specifically located in Cagayancillo which is about 150 km southeast of Puerto Princesa City. At the very heart of Sulu Sea, the Tubbataha reefs are a pair of the largest true coral atoll formations in the Philippines. It is a home to a multitude of sea creatures of all shapes, sizes and colors. In 1993, the area was proclaimed as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. Marine biologists believe that the marine life of Tubbataha surpasses reefs of the same size in any other part of the world. WWF researchers noted that there are over 396 species of corals located within the area- which comprises almost 85% of the total coral species in the Philippines and about half of all coral species in the world. Within these corals, there are over 479 species of fish, 79 species of algae and 10 species of sea grass. The beauty and richness of the area allows divers to commonly sight large and rare marine species- there are over 7 species of breeding seabirds, 9 species of cetaceans, 9 species of marine mammals and 2 of 7 species of marine turtles.

Ecotourism: A balancing act between the conservation of the environment and the capture of economic benefits Because the reef harbors a diversity of marine life, local government and UNESCO proclaimed that the reefs as a no-take area meaning activities outside tourism and research are not allowed in the marine park. Tourism activities such as snorkeling and diving, however, had been open to local and foreign tourists as early as 1980s. Personally, I believe that Tubbataha is very appealing to local and foreign diving enthusiasts because they can appreciate the remoteness and natural beauty which is quite unique for Tubbataha. Today, each cost of vessel entry ranges from 3,000 to 6,000 pesos and each visitor entry costs around 3,000 pesos per person. Like any other tourism site, dive tourism in Tubbataha aims to promote awareness, protection and at the same time, sustainability through economic benefits. Given the

49

incredible dive opportunities and beautiful environment, it is crucial therefore to ask, does the tourism activities in Tubbataha stay true to the essence of ecotourism? In spite of the promising future of the Tubbataha Reefs hold, one cannot deny the threats it had been facing through the years. First of all, boat operators during the initial years of dive tourism had caused coral damages by anchoring on the reefs and improper waste disposal. From mid 1990s, seven boats had been operating with as much as 100 to 300 gross tonnage. It is no wonder that WWF observed the increase in coral damage in the anchor sites with no time for any kind of recovery as the new season arrived. Today, solid wastes drifting into the park are dumped from passing boats or areas as far as Malaysia harm the rich marine in the area. Secondly, Tubbataha still cannot escape the threats of poaching despite established laws and policies against it. As the wealth of its fisheries are advertised, there stronger is the attraction for local and foreign fishers, most especially from China and Taiwan, to exploit the marine park order to supply ornamental marine products and live fish trade. What is more intriguing is the fact that foreign fishing companies are able to enter the vicinity and operate. WWF cited an example of a Taiwanese fishing company. Taiwanese fishermen, however, did not receive proper sanctions and penalties that it should have for poaching. Because they are protected by local registry, these Taiwanese were only sued for regular illegal fishing, meaning lesser sanctions and meager penalties. Consequently, these fishermen can easily escape the small-time penalties. In addition, unverified reports involved foreign fishermen and illegal fishing activities using nationally registered fishing companies jump-off points to enter the marine park.

Evolving challenges call for evolving responses

Due to the evolving threats and challenges had been evident, it is therefore important for the local government and tourists in general to take necessary precaution and care. It is almost a wonder how the Tubbataha Park manages to stay afloat. At the end of the day, people must take care at all means of the natural environment and the living species as well. One day, we wake up and realize the treasures of Tubbataha are no more.


Photos Courtesy of Google Images

50


SOJOURN

Economy class By Polyne Gallevo

During any holiday, vacation or free time, people mostly tend to book a flight to somewhere far, drive to the nearest resort or simply, people do travel. Travelling, as defined in dictionaries, is an act to go from one place to another. In this article, however, I would like to discuss travelling as an investment. Travelling as an Investment for One’s Education Travelling is an important way to gain knowledge. It gives the person firsthand knowledge compared to books and other learning materials. It sketches a concrete picture of the world around rather than visualizing it in our minds. Thus, it engages the person’s curiosity more compared to just reading or hearing about it. In addition, travelling makes education more fun and exciting. It gives people a sense of adventure to explore new places. This is why people of all ages get excited about field trips. For students, a field trip is an avenue to experience travelling. They go to museums or ancient places in mountains for them to have an idea of the era (e.g. its environment) that they are studying in school. For adults, on the other hand, travelling is more complex. They usually travel abroad for vacation, not necessarily for education. However, they get to learn the country’s culture and interact with the locals; thus, they also educate themselves. Indeed, travelling helps a person educate himself by experiencing things directly. By educating yourself, you also grow as a person.

51

“When a person looks back in his life, he wants to see that he lived it.”

Travelling as an Investment for One’s Growth Travelling also facilitates personal growth. It teaches the person to be open - minded and build his character. It enables the person to rediscover himself. When one travels, he does not only change his surroundings but his whole environment. Hence, travelling enables the person to know different types of people and culture. It helps the person to that another world exists apart from his own environment. It helps him to see much more of the world and not be limited with what he sees every day. As mentioned previously, this helps him build his character. He will know what he prefers, how he thinks of other people, how he handles different situation, and how he communicates in a different environment. Travelling also helps the person to gain courage. Having an adventure alone takes courage; it requires the person to go out of his comfort zone. In a foreign place, He would then be surrounded with the locals who are not as the same as the people back home. Adjusting to other cultures is the best choice to cope up with this challenge – interaction. In sum, travelling helps the person mature. By broadening his horizons and learning from other people, he discovers new things about himself. When a person leaves his home, he will have a baggage or two with him. On his return, he carries more baggage – a baggage full of memories.

Travelling as an investment in Memories Taking pictures of the interesting places is a common practice for tourists. Pictures serve as a record of every important moment in one’s life, which he can reminisce every time he desired. As a person reflects on his life, the primary question he asks himself is “Am I fulfilled”? Travelling is an indicator of fulfilled life. Why? It is because travelling enabled a person to see the world outside his own – the real world. He was able to appreciate the beauty of creation. On the other hand, when a person sees that his life has cancelled trips and no adventure, he will realize the missed opportunities and his refusal to explore the world and himself. After all, everyone wants to his life to be remembered as a life well-lived. Investment is intended to utilize money for future profit. You invest because you want to gain something in the future. Through travelling, you also invest. But instead of obtaining financial returns, your expected gains are directed towards yourself. You acquire new knowledge and cherish memories from your journeys. A parallelism can be drawn. If material investment contributes to economic growth, similarly, travelling as investment contributes to personal growth. Obviously, that’s beyond economics.


SOJOURN

WANDERLUST ECONOMICS 101:

ECONOMIZING ON TRAVELLING

By Isabelle Geronimo People have different reasons for packing their luggage and setting off to far-away lands.For some, they do it to escape from their chaotic lives and for pleasure - so that they can experience a luxurious life even once in a while. For others, they do it for work, some see it as a means to survive and to live, others do it for love and some travel for the thrill of the chase– in search for colorful and cool experiences and connections that would often lead them to knowing themselves more. Regardless of his reasons, one can only realize the real worth of travelling once his so- called journey has been completed. Tourism and Travelling There is a very fine line between travel and tourism. Tourism is the quest for leisure and entertainment. On the other hand, to travel is something much deeper - the pursuit of knowledge and experience, which is parallel with entertainment and leisure. Travel, which is derived from the travail, connotes the involvement of some challenges and difficulties. It is like reading a book, in which each page offers a fresh and exciting plot. Travelling is a way of learning about one’s world by stepping out into it and viewing it in a different perspective. For some people, a secure and stable life vying for longevity seems enough; but for others, they yearn for something much different – a craving for adventure and knowledge. They need to see beauty, to hear, to learn, to search, to taste good food, to accomplish, to experience and appreciate les joies de vivre, to meet new people and learn their cultures, to embrace the world and create “monuments” to their own lives. Others think of traveling as a waste of time. These people are certainly missing out an important part in their lives, as traveling feeds the human soul. Usually, they perceive traveling unnecessary due to the need to spend money that would only last for a short time. They would rather invest their money on something tangible (such as cars, houses and jewelries), things that would give them pleasure, comfort, stability and security and bring them to higher status.

But apart from one’s wealth, anyone can travel and experience the real value of traveling without sacrificing one’s wallet and satisfy one’s “wanderlust”. Why miss the opportunity to travel when you can economize your very own journey?

To broaden one’s horizons, travelling is a key. That can be done without piercing one’s wallet.

Economizing one’s wanderlust How you can economize your travel expenses and satisfy your “wanderlust”? • Choose the destinations you want to visit • Read books and articles about your desired destinations (e.g. history, culture, and the current situation). • Study a foreign language, so you would not have a hard time communicating with the locals. • Create an itinerary of your trip. Plan your activities with a corresponding budget allocation, so that you can monitor your expenses. • List down all possible expenses before and during the trip and prioritize your expenses. Basic needs must always be on top of the list, but make sure that you leave enough space for leisure. • Evaluate each of your budget plans. Choose the one that maximizes your budget and your preferences. • Allot at least 5 months for preparation to give you ample time to save money for your trip. • Book your flight early. Plane tickets usually have higher prices when you book weeks or a month or two before your date of departure. •If you plan to stay in a foreign country for more than a month, rent a studio apartment instead of staying at a hotel. It is relatively cheaper than a hotel accommodation, especially in European countries. • Before you leave, make sure that all your essentials are packed– your pocket money, your passport and other travel documents, medicines, a camera, clothing, toiletries, snacks, among others. • Check out the public transportation system in the area; this might be cheaper than riding in taxicabs or renting cars. Walking is the best option if the place that you will visit is less than 30 minutes away from place. • Try avoiding eating out at restaurants simply catered for tourists. Explore the place, especially where the locals frequently eat. Some of the best and affordable restaurants are just around the corner. • Buy items that are unique in the place (or at least if the item is relatively cheaper). Why buy a piece of clothing, when you can find a similar piece elsewhere? • Stay away from buying souvenirs or at least do not purchase your souvenirs from tourist shops since most of these items are expensive. Souvenir is derived from the French word souvenir or memory. Think of something very creative, affordable, and most importantly, an item that best represents the place. • Enjoy, relax and simply make the most out of your trip.

If you were given 10 days to live, what would you do? To travel or to miss seeing the beautiful sights this world has to offer?

52


TECHNOLOGY

Algorithms and the Economic Rhythm

By Erica Myra P. Yap

53


Algorithms are useful tools in determining economic performance. Nevertheless, math is just one aspect in how an economy works. It requires the merger of minds wherein a synergy of expertise can help fine tune algorithms to make the economic rhythm sounder. Mathematics is a universal language. It is shared by everyone. We use it every day for simple calculations like balancing one’s budget. At times though, we tend to forget the way it makes life easier. In its modern application of technology, mathematics in action is through the use of algorithms. An algorithm is defined as “a set of rules that precisely defines a sequence of operations.” Hence, it sets a path of arithmetic calculations towards a final conclusion. Technology and algorithms have revolutionized the way we do things. One of the main stages it has drastically changed is the way we do business. The days of doing things manually are disappearing. Things have been digitized for convenience and speed with the today’s increasing requirements. With all the advantages that math has given us through technology, we ought to rethink its role in our lives. More specifically algorithms which are used in computers as it transits from something derived and calculated into something that shapes the world. Among the experts in math, the rigor for precision that physicists undergo is uncertain whether it could garner one a Nobel Prize or a lifetime of ridicule. The question, then, is how does a physics graduate typically oriented towards the academe end up in Wall Street? According to Dennis Overbye in his 2009 New York Times article “They tried to Outsmart Wall Street”, this trend can be traced back to the 1970s when there were numerous jobless physics graduates. This coincided with Wall Street’s financial revolution that demanded sophisticated mathematical analysis related to inflation and bond offers. The physics graduates were brilliant and hungry for success and money, thus, they took the deal offered to them by Wall Street. They boarded the corporate wagon and contributed in the mathematics involved in packaging bonds. The complexity of their number crunching provided the impression of a “winning formula.” Unfortunately, their mythical formulas, or better known as derivatives that supposedly reduced risk, actually bring on instabilities. This is due to the assumptions factored in the formula wherein they accounted market inefficiency with the idea that the right level of pricing is “with a little bit of inflation.” Sadly, the complex mathematics they are using to improve business has been used for illegal trading. This poses a threat to the stock market as the movement of shares can hardly be gleaned upon. This, in turn, also poses a danger to an economy as stock markets have been a leading economic indicator. Another scary use of complex mathematics by physicists who tend to oversimplify economic variables in their so-called models is Algorithm Trading or Black box Trading. In his TEDtalks piece entitled “How Algorithms are Shaping Our World”,

Kevin Slavin argues the danger of living in a digital world translates to a greater control by algorithms. He elaborates on how computer programs can be used to determine or conduct and hide corporate espionage, stock pricing and the like as encoded in the algorithms employed and written by physicists. The cautionary talk he gave boils down to the fact that the algorithmic codes being written and used have become so complicated that we cannot comprehend much of it anymore. The speed by which these algorithms operate in computers racks up the degree of the implication that these algorithms can no longer be controlled. He exemplifies this by citing the 2010 Flash Crash of 2:45 in Wall Street where 9% of the stock market suddenly disappeared. Nobody could fully explain what had happened. Was it a computer glitch? A hacking incident? No one knows for sure, but the scary part of this is that the only form of control people have over Algo Trading is a red button that stops everything. The bottom line of this is can be summed up in Warren Buffett’s words of “Beware of geeks bearing formulas.” The quasi-scientific language of math that physicists employ in a field they are not experts in that deals with the livelihoods of many is scarily determining the rhythms of economies. So what is the takeaway from all of this? Should physicists or math jocks without an economic educational background simply be banned from working in financial institutions or the stock market? Should they be pinned as the culprits for stock market anomalies because of faulty algorithms or created ones that cater to illegal transactions? Like other disciplines of study, algorithms are neither good nor bad. It depends on how they are applied that make it progressive or detrimental to society. As much as people may use it to develop a greater understanding of abstract concepts, it may also be used to create deliberate anomalies in systems for personal gain. The factor of human greed is a variable that is non-quantifiable yet highly affective. Herein lays the challenge of balancing non-quantifiable factors in a highly mathematical setting. Algorithms are useful tools in determining economic performance. Nevertheless, math is just one aspect in how an economy works. It requires the merger of minds wherein a synergy of expertise can help fine tune algorithms to make the economic rhythm sounder. Mathematical experts such as these physicists have a scientific perspective that cannot see the entirety of the vicissitudes of an economy. Thus, it would be prudent to complement it with other knowledgeable minds with other perspectives to see the bigger picture.

54


TECHNOLOGY

Hack-Economics By Precious Dayao Various corporations had lost so much in hacking. In 2000, the total cost of hacking incidents in the world economy was estimated at $1.5 trillion

What if an unknown person sent you an e-mail commanding, “Click this if you want to be a billionaire”, and because of curiosity or excitement, you suddenly click it, then it asked you, “Who would you like to hack today?”, then a staggering lists of multi-billion dollar corporations, banks, and government agencies infiltrate your monitor. Imagine the following: you continuously play with your keyboard; creating crispy sounds just as the sound you hear when you count bills and it resounded as you continue to type. Then, without realizing it, you just “entered” a shadowy kingdom of monster of illicit codes where fangs of deception pilfered oozing liquid of digits. These are not just rhythm of algorithms as these reflect values, of billions, rampantly flowing from your screen. What if you give in? And as you go deeper, you realize it’s not just a simple game of fishing credit card numbers and bank account PINS —that is more than any other games. In this digital age, hacking is not only limited for someone to display fame or his skills in cyber space. It’s a powerful tool that can build walls or bridges in the corporate world. With the advent of different advancements in software and social engineering, hackers do not only playfully display their hacking abilities in the internet, they anomaly use this strategy as a marketing tool to increase the demand of their services to different institutions. The story of hacking doesn’t end in entertainment business, just like its codes- you don’t know where it ends or on what extent the damage it can cause. In reality, we cannot escape the fact that hacking is an easy way to gain profit, because in this challenging world, money becomes the fuel of any gears which propel both work and market. It’s not just a demonstration of one’s abilities and one’s skills but it becomes a brotherhood of tech savvies which either work in a company to keep their systems and information secure or individuals who stole digital and valuable information to serve businesses underground damaging businesses and companies.

55

Just like what happened in 2003, a computer virus created by a hacker cost business $55 billion (SecurityStats.com 2004). And in 2000, the total cost of hacking incidents in the world economy was estimated at $1.5 trillion (PricewaterhouseCoopers 2000). Since most of the institutions which are dependent in computers and network communication increases, the threat of cyber crime or the vulnerability to information

security compromises. This information is not only within the responsibility of the owner but it is also protected by law. Some governments require companies to have privacy policies and to utilize different technical services to avoid malicious threats from penetrating. Hacking is not only costly because it weakens security systems, but also since it requires a lot of legal ramifications. According to Cisco Systems, Computer Economics has substantiated that malicious attacks result in actual financial costs, decrease in revenue, and incredible impact on productivity. It delays business operations; it requires hiring of new technical workers or even invests in new and expensive capitals. Hacking maybe often associated with anything bad or illegal, however, it may also be associated with something good. There are hackers who build satisfactory codes to determine system vulnerabilities and to create system of actions which prevent bad hackers, commonly known as black hats, from penetrating into crucial internet systems. One of the best examples is the pool of ethical hackers who work in a $1.8 billion industry in the United States by operating computer security firms. They utilize their skills by detecting security glitches in computer systems and programs to private businesses and government institutions that want to strengthen their security (Wingfield 2002). The culture of hacking is like a smoke in a globe made of glass. As the smoke spreads within the sphere, the glass becomes thinner, making it brittle and eventually break into pieces. If hacking becomes a common way of transaction, undesirable information asymmetry can occur. Moral Laws would then be violated as hackers will take laws on their own hands by acting beyond what must be done right. There’s a call to established laws for many internet transactions and by way of using it as well to lessen such kind of corruption due to hacking. For if not addressed, it can massively lessen the overall welfare effect gained from using internet.


For more information about RobinsonsBank please call our Customer Care Center : 637-CARE (2273) or Domestic Toll Free: 1-800-10-637 CARE (2273) c3@robinsonsbank.com.ph www.robinsonsbank.com.ph

56


ECOmics

57


E C O

G R I D AUTARKY BONDS BUDGET CAPITAL COMMODITY COMPARATIVE ADVANTAGE COMPETITION CONSUMPTION DEBT DEFICIT DEMAND DEVELOPMENT EQUILIBRIUM

EQUITY EXPORT FIRM FORECAST GOODS INCOME INDUSTRY INVESTMENT IMPORT LABOR MARKET OPPORTUNITY COST OUTPUT

PRICE PRODUCTION PROFIT REVENUE SERVICES SUBSIDY SUPPLY TARIFF THEORY TRADE UTILITY WAGE

58


I N D U ST R I A L E C O N O M I C S PROGRAM

“Striving for excellence is an act of faith.


BATCH 2012 We would like to EXPRESS our deepest gratitude to our beloved professor,

Dr. Cid L. Terosa God is not honored or glorified by mediocrity�


breakoedit  

breakonomics magazine

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you