Sunday, October 29, 2006

walastik, wala akong masabi kundi, sakto. hay, kailan pa kaya magbasa ng inquirer si gloria?

Still the greatest nation
INQ7.netLast updated 03:24am (Mla time) 10/24/2006
I WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree with Mel Lualhati's comments about America ("The place to be," Viewpoints - Letters, Oct. 3, 2006). Despite the negative news people get, the innuendos created, and the hatred of other nations and races toward it, America is still the greatest nation on Earth to live in.
One has only to live and experience life in America to fully understand and grasp why it is the richest, most giving and most powerful nation in the world. I think one of the main reasons is that its citizens can thrive and prosper with just enough work and effort. Everyone is given a level playing field with abundant resources and assistance to ensure its citizens that strive to achieve can reach their goals. Luahati's niece is one good example.

Now, let's contrast that with the situation back there in the Philippines. You want to get higher education? You need X amount of pesos from your own pocket to attain that. Very few options are available, short of being rich or really being brainy, you could as well forgo those aspirations. If you're one of the lucky few that get to finish college, the tight labor market does not give you a lot of opportunities to look forward to.
One major cause is that foreign investors are shying away from the country because of the rampant corruption and massive red tape in our government, and choose to go to other countries that offer similarly low labor costs with fewer headaches, like Thailand and Malaysia.
There is also a huge chasm of disparity between justice being dispensed in America and that in the Philippines. A recent rash of corporate scandals has sent a few high-powered executives to jail in America. Enron's Ken Lay, who even had close ties to President Bush, MCI's Bernie Ebbers, and a slew of others from Fortune 500 companies have been given harsh sentences for bilking their investors and defrauding the public at large.
Compare that again with the Philippines. There, we have Lucio Tan and Danding Cojuangco, two of Ferdinand Marcos' well-known cronies who have greatly profited from their association with the former strongman by being handed lucrative deals and perks at the expense of coconut farmers and ordinary hard-working people. Up to this day, they continue to reap the benefits of their past association with Marcos, running some of the most profitable companies, with no consequences being meted out for playing an active part in the looting of the Philippine treasury.
The bleak picture people are painting of America is severely disproportionate to reality. America does have faults, but due to its strong adherence to the rule of law and steadfast morals, it will continue to thrive as the greatest nation on Earth, much to the chagrin of other nations and peoples.
BERT LAZO, San Diego, California (via e-mail)

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