Thursday, June 04, 2009

Migration and Freedom 4: Filipino entrepreneur in Germany

There was this interesting news story shared by a fellow listed in one of my various discussion googlegroups, about an entrepreneurial Filipino in Germany.


ABS-CBN News, June 03, 2009

A Filipino cook who lost his job due to the global economic crisis used the opportunity to open up his very own restaurant in Gummersbach, Germany.

Alex Latag started "Pinoy Chawking", the very first Filipino restaurant in Gummersbach, with the money he saved from working as a cook in a Chinese restaurant.

"Nabigla din ako. Ang tao biglang dumadating. Maganda pero alis-dating, alis-dating," Latag said.

Pinoy Chawking attracted not only the attention of Filipinos but foreigners as well as the restaurant offers its clients an "eat-all-you-can" promo for 5.95 Euro.

"Pagka-almusal namin nag-decide kaming pumunta dahil that is very new and it's really exciting to learn and to hear na mayroong Pilipino na mago-open ng Chawking," said a Pinay from Bonn, Lourdes Wobel....

I went to Gummersbach, Germany, last October 2008. I attended the FNF-IAF "Civil society and local government" seminar at Theodor Heuss Akademie. It's a small but nice city, not far from Cologne and Bonn.

This story above is another proof that nothing beats entrepreneurship. When people are not happy with their jobs, whether in private corporations or in government, the opportunity for them to leave and become start-up entrepreneurs should be there, easily. No subsidies, but no unnecessary bureaucracies and fees either.

And we go back to classical liberal philosophy.

Lean state, limited government, free market, individual responsibility. The rigid labor protection laws that many labor unions seek will ultimately hit them back should some of the laborers decide to quit being an employee and become an employer himself/herself someday.

The threat of good employees leaving them anytime to join other companies or put up their own company (as becoming an entrepreneur is no longer very bureaucratic) will also force many employers to treat their good employees well, pay them well. Only the lazy and irresponsible will be threatened with not being hired or being laid off anytime.

That makes the liberal ideology beautiful. It's just a question of whether liberal parties and liberal political organizations stick with that liberal tradition or not and embrace the populist-socialist philosophy of big and intrusive government that often rewards individual irresponsibility with subsidies and welfare.

On October 17, 2006, I wrote this.

Globalization = Mobility

I like travel, domestic and foreign alike. Transporting myself from one place to another is very liberating because it allows me to observe other people's culture, economic systems, and natural environment. But very often, I do not have to transport myself to those beautiful or enchanting places. Technology brings those sights in front of me through the internet, magazines, newspapers, and other media. Or friends who have seen those places narrate to me what they have observed, showing photos from their digital cameras or posted in their own blogs and the web.

People want mobility; they aspire for it. The more mobile you are, the more freedom you have. You can escape or avoid unsightly or undesirable neighborhood, residential communities, schools or workplaces, and go to other places. Such mobility is not contained within the country, but across countries.

Some people tend to associate "globalization" only with capital movement across countries, and the perceived exploitation by foreign capitalists of local workers and the environment. Hence, the opposition to "corporate globalization". The implication is hard lobbies and political pressures to their governments to control and minimize the inflow of foreign capital and foreign technology into the country.

But globalization is mobility not only of capital, but also of labor, music, dances, sports, education, technology; activists, capitalists, professionals, entertainers, athletes, and so on. When cable tv and the web brings us exciting races in Formula 1 or Tour de France, or the triumphs of Michael Jordan and Roger Federer, or the live concerts of Eminem and Shakira, or the latest bombings in Iraq and Israel, that is globalization. When many of your countrymen move abroad to work or study, or the famous white sand beachs and mountain resorts in your country attracts lots of tourists and vacationers from abroad, that's globalization.

Many people on their own want free mobility as much as possible. But governments, backed up by certain protectionist interests, dislike free mobility of people, goods and services. Visitor visa system, high import tariffs rates and other import restrictions, not only restrict freer mobility of said people and things, but also bring in cash to the state for the official and/or personal expenditures of politicians and bureaucrats of such countries.

Mobility means freedom. Freedom or liberty means the absence of external coercion on men and women by others. Various forms of restrictions to mobility of people, goods and services constitutes varying forms of government coercion. People should assert their inherent right to mobility. Only the threat of a potentially harsh environment (economic and natural) in destination place should prevent people from moving away, not government.

(See also, Migration and Freedom 3: Remittances and Guest workers, March 25, 2008)


Elevic Pernis said...

This is great. This guy is wise, and he sought the more practical solution than demanding others to give him a job. It just shows that the spirit of capitalism is better than the spirit of Socialism.

Bienvenido Oplas Jr said...

Yes, capitalism rewards the hard-working and ambitious, and it penalizes the lazy and irresponsible. In socialism, the lazy are on near equal condition as the industrious, making more people to become complacent.

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Wow. Galing naman. This is story is very motivating to other Filipinos! :)

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