Monday, May 2, 2011

Development economist William Easterly: 'Holy Grail of prosperity is seven inches of latex: a condom'

A report gave tentative thumbs up to Noynoy Aquino's management of the economy since his ascent to power in May of 2010. The report by Bloomberg News columnist William Pesek sees the Philippines' junk credit rating as potentially unfair considering progress so far made. He cited "7 percent growth, political stability, healthy banks and a narrower budget deficit" as pluses. Pesek also lauded the re-appointment of Amando Tetangco as Central Bank governor.

Overpopulation, not surprisingly, was highlighted as a key issue; and...
[...] an issue politicians can’t touch thanks to the powerful Catholic Church. Arroyo had legitimacy issues, having taken over when Joseph Estrada, a former movie actor, was ousted amid corruption allegations in 2001. Leadership challenges from Estrada and his supporters had Arroyo turning to the church for support. That meant no discussion of birth control was possible.

But then, the issue of population, if played well, could be the ticket to a lasting and significant historical legacy for the administration of President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III...
Aquino now is risking the Vatican’s wrath with a “responsible parenthood” bill, and good for him. Development economist William Easterly has a point when he says the Holy Grail of prosperity is seven inches of latex: a condom.

It’s entirely possible Aquino will cave in, yet his economy would be better off if he stood firm on the issue. The same goes for stopping bureaucrats from shaking down entrepreneurs who want to create fresh jobs and wealth.

Noynoy Aquino is facing an opportunity that offers a potential bonanza of admiration from the global community and, more importantly, his own countrymen who have been reeling from the crushing economic impact of runaway population growth. It's an opportunity that only a fool would ignore.

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