It’s the economy, stupid

PEDDLER OF HOPE - George Royeca - The Philippine Star

It’s the economy, [email protected] you’re at the market with only enough money to buy either a kilo of rice or a dozen eggs. This decision might seem small, but it’s economics in action.

Economics is all about choices and how we use what we have to get what we need or want. For our tricycle or motorcycle taxi driver, jeepney operator, farmer or fisherman, this is daily life: deciding how to best use their hard-earned money to support their family.

Let’s break it down: If you choose the rice, you’re thinking about having enough for several meals. But if you pick the eggs, maybe you’re considering the protein for your family’s health. This decision-making process is called “cost-benefit analysis.” You weigh the benefits (the meals or the nutrition) against the cost (the money spent) to make the best choice for you.
Understanding this principle can go a long way. For example, investing in better maintenance for your motorcycle or pump boat might cost more now but can save you money on repairs in the long run. It’s all about making choices today that will benefit you tomorrow.

When we talk about the government’s role in the economy, it’s like discussing how to steer a boat in rough seas. Too much steering, and you might capsize. Too little, and you could drift off course. For our everyday heroes – the PUV drivers, farmers, fishermen – government policies can directly affect how much they take home at the end of the day.

Taxes are a good example. Think of them like the fuel for the government to provide services we all rely on, like roads, schools and hospitals. But if taxes are too high, it’s like having a hole in your pocket: hard-earned money just keeps leaking out, making it tough to afford the basics.

On the flip side, the government can also put money back into your pocket. Programs like fuel subsidies can help lower the cost of running your tricycle or boat, making each day’s earnings go a bit further.
The key is finding the right balance. Just like finding the smoothest path to navigate a tricycle through crowded streets or a boat through choppy waters, the government needs to balance collecting enough taxes to provide essential services without overburdening its citizens.
When the government gets this balance right, it’s like the wind at your back.

In the intricate weave of our nation’s economy, every individual plays a pivotal role, whether they’re navigating the bustling streets of the city, the vast fields of the countryside or the boundless seas. The grand constructs of GDP (gross domestic product) growth, inflation and interest rates might seem like distant concepts, reserved for the echelons of economic theorists and policymakers. Yet, these are not mere abstractions; they are the very fabric that shapes our daily existence and determines the prosperity of our communal livelihoods.

Consider the economy as a vast ocean that we all navigate. GDP growth acts as the tide that lifts all boats. When the economy expands, it signals a flourishing environment where businesses thrive, creating more jobs and opportunities for everyone. This growth translates into tangible benefits for the common man – the tricycle driver finds more passengers lining the streets, the fisherman sells his catch at better prices and the farmer’s produce finds eager buyers in bustling markets. It’s a ripple effect where an increase in demand for goods and services enhances income and improves living standards across the board.

However, navigating this ocean requires an understanding of its currents and waves, such as inflation. Inflation, or the gradual increase in prices over time, is akin to the changing tides.

A slight rise in prices indicates a healthy, growing economy, much like gentle waves that signal a strong and steady wind. This means better income and hence, better wages or more job. But, when inflation spirals uncontrollably, it resembles a tempest, eroding the purchasing power of our hard-earned money, making daily necessities increasingly unaffordable. For those living from hand to mouth, this understanding is crucial. It equips them with the foresight to strategize – perhaps stocking up on essentials before prices climb or finding alternative income sources to buffer against the economic storm.

Interest rates, too, play a significant role in our economic voyage. They influence the cost of borrowing money, affecting everything from business investments to personal loans. While many among the working class may not directly engage with formal banking or loans, the indirect effects of interest rate fluctuations permeate through the economy. A cut in interest rates can stimulate spending and investment, breathing life into the economy and potentially opening up new avenues for employment and entrepreneurship, even for those on the fringes of the formal economy. Conversely, a hike in interest rates, intended to temper runaway inflation, can dampen economic activity, affecting demand for services and goods across the board.

Understanding these economic principles does more than just offer insights into the forces shaping our lives; it empowers us to become active participants in our nation’s economic narrative. By staying informed, we can make better decisions for our families and communities, whether it’s budgeting for the future, investing in our skills or diversifying our income sources to withstand economic fluctuations.

As we gaze towards the horizon, envisioning a future where prosperity is not a luxury but a standard shared by all, it’s clear that achieving this dream requires the collective effort of every member of society. From the policymakers crafting economic strategies to the street vendors fueling our daily grind, each has a role to play in steering our economy towards inclusive growth.

In essence, the economy is not a distant entity, governed by abstract principles; it’s a living, breathing ecosystem that we’re all a part of. By understanding it, we can navigate its waters more effectively, charting a course towards a brighter future for ourselves and generations to come.

vuukle comment


  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with