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Higher minimum wages bring economic well-being

November 17, 2014

“Here’s the bottom line: Regardless of the size of a country’s economy, its current economic situation, or the time frame chosen, people lead better lives as the minimum wage increases.”

“Although correlation does not prove causation, the evidence we have assembled strongly suggests that higher minimum wages do indeed work to the financial betterment of society as a whole. Even if some low wage jobs disappear as minimum wages rise, the end result is greater economic security and prosperity overall for people who live and work in countries with the higher minimums.”

Scholars Strategy Network, November 2014: “Evidence that higher minimum wages improve economic well-being: Research brief,” by Michael Krassa and Benjamin Radcliff (2 pages, PDF)

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Lesson from 6 years of global economic crisis? Keynes was right

November 4, 2014

Now that the Federal Reserve has brought its program of quantitative easing to a successful conclusion, while the French and German governments have ended their shadow-boxing over European budget “rules,” macroeconomic policy all over the world is entering a period of unusual stability and predictability. Rightly or wrongly, the main advanced economies have reached a settled view on their economic policy choices and are very unlikely to change these in the year or two ahead, whether they succeed or fail. It therefore seems appropriate to consider what we can learn from all the policy experiments conducted around the world since the 2008 crisis. Read the rest of this entry »

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DOLE thumbs down proposal to cut SME’s minimum wage

September 14, 2014

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has rejected a proposal to allow small and medium enterprises nationwide to pay workers less than the prescribed minimum wage rates. Read the rest of this entry »

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UN trade body criticises free trade

September 10, 2014

The UN’s trade body has joined a chorus of criticism of globalisation, warning that developing countries reap little value from taking part in global supply chains and that the costs of joining free-trade agreements may outweigh the gains. Read the rest of this entry »

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Costly mistakes in our nation-building

August 27, 2014

Big mistakes in nation-building arise out of unwise decisions. Small mistakes that serially get repeated are big mistakes.

I have often dealt with such mistakes in my discussions of policy reforms. Today I will be blunt and talk of them as bad decisions. They cost our nation a great deal of distress and pain. They deter and alter for the worse our march toward economic and social progress. Read the rest of this entry »

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Indonesia’s new president

August 27, 2014

Indonesia’s constitutional court has cleared the way for the country’s newly elected president to take office. Foreign and local media accounts of who Joko Widodo is will make many of us president-envy. I am writing about him today because I think we ought to know how the new leader of a regional competitor works. Read the rest of this entry »

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Who’s responsible?

July 13, 2014

THANK GMA: Talking of DAP as a stimulus for development, there are many analyses saying that the country’s remarkable growth is not so much the fruits of Aquino’s governance as a result of the adroit economic management by the previous Arroyo administration. Read the rest of this entry »

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Close the loop

June 29, 2014

Famous American comedienne Lily Tomlin says: “Ninety-eight percent of the adults in this country are decent, hard-working, honest Americans. It’s the other lousy two percent that get all the publicity. But then, we elected them.” Read the rest of this entry »

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June 21, 2014

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The grim reality behind the Philippines’ economic growth

May 20, 2014

The country is being heralded as the new Asian success story, but only an elite few reap the rewards.

In a neighborhood of so-called “Asian tigers,” the Philippines has quietly emerged as the region’s newest economic darling. At 6.6 percent, the Filipino economy’s current GDP growth rate is the second highest in Asia, behind only China’s. That growth is projected to continue over the next few years, in part because Filipinos are in a “sweet spot” demographically: the Philippines has the youngest population in East Asia, which translates into lower costs to support a younger workforce and less economic drag from retirees. Last month, Fitch Ratings (one of the world’s three major credit rating firms) upgraded the Philippines to a “BBB-” with a stable outlook — the first time the Philippines has ever received investment-grade status and a huge vote of confidence in the Filipino economy. And last year, the World Economic Forum moved the Philippines up ten points to the top half of its global competitiveness ranking for the first time in its history. These economic improvements are in part due to President Benigno Aquino, whose steps to increase transparency and address corruption sparked renewed international confidence in the Filipino economy even during the global slowdown. Read the rest of this entry »