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Are Filipinos satisfied with the government?

The family, the basic collective unit of human society, has as its purpose to provide protection and provision to its members. That is why we stay together. There is strength in numbers and the group can better create the necessities of life.

From the family we move up through the social hierarchy of the clan, tribe, and finally the nation state. But the joining together always serves the same purpose for the individual: protection and provision.

We can always talk about what the individual must give back to the collective. I taught my sons this. If you want the benefits and advantages of being an adult, then you must also accept the obligations and responsibilities of being an adult. But in fact, we expect our children to first act like adults before we treat them as such.

While it is an inaccurate translation from the original Latin, we use the term “quid pro quo” in English to describe “I give, so that you may give” or “You do this and I will do that.”

But in a nation, we actually expect the government or state to “give” first and there is not necessarily anything wrong with that. The lazy and irresponsible are entitled to use the roads and bridges that were built without any contribution from them. A nation’s military protects the physically weak and the cowardly in time of war. The Christian Bible says, “For your Heavenly Father makes the sun rise upon evil men as well as good, and he sends his rain upon honest and dishonest men alike.”

Maybe because as children in a family structure, we grew up feeling entitled and being treated that way. We were protected and provided for without having to do anything for it, at least until we grew older. Maybe also that is why so many highly successful people faced some struggles early in life that assisted them to get to the top rather than being “spoiled brats.”

There are two things that people expect from the state and also the family. They expect to have a voice. “Most elected officials care what people like me think.” They expect for all members to gain benefits, not just “Mom and Dad.” “The state is run for the benefit of all the people.”

At the end of February 2020, Pew Research Center released its global survey of 34 countries on attitudes toward basic democratic principles. Many ordinary citizens believe politicians do not listen to them. Across the 34 countries surveyed, a median of 64 percent does not believe that “most elected officials care what people like me think.” In “first world” countries the average was about 60 percent with 71 percent in the United States saying government does not care.

Yet Filipinos scored the highest of all with 69 percent saying that government cared about their opinions.

In regard to the statement that “the state is run for the benefit of all the people,” the global average was 50 percent. Yet again, the Philippines scored second highest with 83 percent believing that the state was being run for the benefit of all. Filipinos, Indonesians, and Indians are particularly likely to agree that the state is run for the benefit of everyone.

There is absolutely no scientific basis for this. But many countries (USA, Germany, UK and Mexico) that have experienced large protests about Covid lockdown restrictions all have majorities that do not think government listens or benefits all the people.

E-mail me at mangun@gmail.com. Visit my web site at www.mangunonmarkets.com. Follow me on Twitter @mangunonmarkets. PSE stock-market information and technical analysis tools provided by the COL Financial Group Inc.

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