Friday, January 20, 2012

Expats View 2: On Personal Responsibility

Among the few foreign expats working and living here in the Philippines that I admire is John Mangun, an American stock market investor and trader, also a columnist in BusinessMirror. Like Peter Wallace, an Australian expat, John has lived in this country for several decades now and has a Filipina wife too.

Below, John is talking about more personal responsibility, among the key advocacies of Minimal Government Thinkers.

On taking personal responsibility

Posted by John Mangun on December 22, 2011   |  No Comments

In the aftermath of the Sendong flooding, literally millions of people have opened their hearts and wallets to those affected by this massacre of life and property.
However, the finger-pointing to non-existent climate change, Pagasa’s inability to adequately perform its mandate, and the government’s lack of “disaster preparedness” points to a truth no one is willing to admit. The government cannot protect the people.
In 2008 I wrote a column, titled “Who is responsible for our lives?” about the maritime tragedy when bad weather sank a ship, killing hundreds.
Then also, the blame game dominated the discussion. The ship was allowed to leave port by the Coast Guard, Pagasa underestimated the severity of the weather, and the captain perhaps put schedule before safety. But the blame was put on the “government” rather than the passengers taking responsibility for getting on a ship in very bad weather.
Certainly, Sendong is a completely different set of circumstances, with people dying in their beds from the rains. But still, we tend to look to an outside authority for our protection, even when experience tells us time and time again, that protection is weak at best and non-existent at the worst.
Albert Einstein said, “Man must cease attributing his problems to his environment, and learn again to exercise his will, his power, his personal responsibility.”
The New Year is right around the corner. What is your financial plan? Or are you relying on the government to protect and prosper you?
Let me tell you a secret. The government, even when staffed and led by the most wonderful, loving, honest public servants, does not care about you. The government, like every other institution, lives only for its own survival.
You, even the good person that you are, would not sacrifice your family for mine any more than I would forfeit my family to save yours.
We must take responsibility for our own lives because no one, no institution is going to protect or prosper us.
Are you making financial plans based on what the government says that it is going to do for the economy in 2012? Are you really that foolish?
The common socialist thinking is that no one can prosper himself/herself unless the government helps. The other side of that is one person cannot become wealthier because the already wealthy keeps the lower economic groups down. When that kind of thinking takes hold, personal responsibility is gone and we become dependent as Einstein says on our “environment,” whether that environment is the government or others.
If you want to be wealthier, you must do it yourself.... 

See also:
Expats View 1: Some Drastic Government Moves, August 06, 2010
Abolish Income Tax 7: Rene Azurin, Peter Wallace, John Mangun, August 19, 2011

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