Friday, August 17, 2012

Population Control 12: RH Bill will Become a Law

Last Wednesday, August 15, I posted this in my facebook wall:
I think the RH bill will become a law. So many people always think that for most issues, more government is the solution. Education, govt. Healthcare, govt. Housing, govt. Irrigation, govt. Cash transfer, govt. Condoms, govt. It's a culture of govt dependency and a culture of coercion. To force everyone to finance a "bright" idea, whether they support it or not.

As expected, some friends picked it up, so another round of debate, but very civil, no name calling or insults. I like it. See below. The second thread though, is different. It's clearly personal attack or insult to people who for whatever reason/s, do not support the bright idea called RH bill. Photos below are just for fun, I never used or posted any of them in my facebook wall.

Josef Garcia The sytem provides that if you dont want your tax money being spent on policies and laws you dont support, you put up a party, run for elections, and push for your own policies. Failing that, you lobby. That simple Noy, you cannot prevent the operation of government just because you dont like how it spent for a nut or bolt in the govt machinery. PARTY LIST ka na Noy, but I bet you also disagree govt spending on the party list system of representation.

Nonoy Oplas Right Jo. That is why I focus on the culture of dependency on the state, and a culture of coercion. Most politicians and political parties behave the way they do because the public themselves want that kind of culture. The framing of debate to church vs. state angle is boring, at least for me. Could have been more interesting if it's individual liberty vs. state coercion angle. Even buying condoms is government responsibility? Lousy.

On party list, I wish that system to be abolished, instead of joining it. And here's why,

Josef  Garcia Haha, sabi na nga ba eh. But RH is not coercion if it precisely supports information dissemination in aid of the exercise of individual liberty to choose your own method of contraception. Parang tourism campaign lang sya Noy, like, saan mas magandang pumunta, Boracay or El Nido. Government supports the tourism because society earns from it. The same way with RH. Government points out to options to families, kung anu mas maganda for couples, because eventualy society will benefit from the reduction on the strain on resources society has to expend on a runaway population majority of which is impoverished, and who will simply continue to die like flies without government help. So Noy, I think RH will actualy support minimal government as soon as it takes effect and lesser resources are spent on an expanding poor population.

Nonoy Oplas Eh, why is Gawad Kalinga building houses for the poor with zero legislation, zero taxation, zero coercion? The same for private/charity medical missions, solidarity during flooding, zero politics, zero legislation, and welfare programs for the poor are done. If RH is so nice, it should have been done many years ago via volunteerism, like GK, Rotary/Mason/Lions/JCI etc. projects. All programs via legislation and coercion gives taxpayers zero choice.

Josef Garcia RH is so nice every middle class up family is already doing it by themselves, without government coercion, because they already have the information by which to exercise their freedom of choice. Actually, its the most popular form of voluntary, non coercive undertaking in private setting. I buy my own condoms, mind you, and not a single centavo of your tax money is spent on my condom, except the incidental social infrastructure necessary for me to buy it from the market, like roads and the legal tender i use to buy it from the gas station. It just has to be made popular to those below the middle class by extending the information already available to us. Its part of civilized activity Noy, sharing information and propagating science, so our impoverished majority do not get stuck in the stone age.

Julius Patrick If it's just spreading information, why not just let those passionate pro-RH groups do it with their own time, effort and money? No new law is needed.

Josef Garcia They already are, they just cant reach the other 50 million of the population with their resources. Eventually they wont need government resources, as the privilege gradually extends to the majority. Until then, your money can save lives, unless of course, that is one of the form of government expenditures you oppose, saving lives. Oh, we can leave the business of saving lives to volunteerism, why didnt I think of that.

Julius Patrick Don't we already have existing laws that do what the RH bill seeks to do?

Nonoy Oplas Actually I like some goals of the RH proposal, like reducing maternal deaths and teen pregnancy. But there are provisions that are non-tax related and are simply coercive, like forcing OB Gyne and related health professionals to do pro bono services at least 48 hours a year, requiring companies to do RH services after requiring them to provide their workers various privileges like vacation leave, sick leave and maternity leave with pay, high employer contribution to SSS, PhilHealth, Pag-IBIG, complying with min wage law and other labor laws.

It is good that people buy condoms and pills on their own for their own use, as well as for free distribution to other poor people. That is the spirit of volunteerism and charity, people help others with zero coercion and threats of penalties if they won't do it. But extending it far out as additional government responsibility, on top of education for the poor, healthcare for the poor, housing for the poor, tractors and AR for the poor, train fare subsidy for the poor, cash transfer for the poor, all the way to condoms and IUD for the poor. This is extending state dependency even further. And extending coercion even further.

A better compromise is if government must create new subsidies and bleeding heart program for the poor, it should also discontinue some existing program that obviously did not work because the PH government has been there to help the poor since more than a century ago. After repeated failures to improve the lot of the poor, now government and RH supporters will blame the poor why they expand too fast, so the solution is to control the population of the poor. But I am deeply skeptical if the government and the pro-RH camp will agree to such compromise. It's all more government, more government for them. Hope I am wrong?
Josef Garcia I also hope you are wrong Noy, and that the RH bill is not bound to be just another one of those government programs that take a life of their own and keep on going even when they had already outlived, or failed, their purpose, whichever comes first. I hope also the concerns you raised on the coercive portions, especially on private medical professionals and workers and the private sector are addressed properly during the amendments.

Nonoy Oplas Yep, because I am not aware of any government law and intervention that has a sunset or self-destruction provision. There could be some but am not aware which ones. Usually once a government intervention or subsidy program is enacted, it becomes a forever program. Some are not lucky enough to be funded forever, but still they remain as laws.

Emmanuel Tabones Noy, perhaps the government should have a built-in self-destruct

Julius Patrick If a businessman is coerced by government to provide RH-related "benefits" to female employees, he could just skirt around the law and save money by hiring only post-menopausal women.

Philip Baguisa Wala daw pambili ng condom ang masa, Noy...

Raul De Leon Very true, Migs. So much gov't money spent on these w/c could have been used on infra and other development projects!

Ernesto Romualdez Malakas din talaga kutob ko magiging batas yan.

Basta sa akin RH Law needs funding. Pero ang funding hindi bottomless. So in the end there will be a backfire. By then, it will be realized that such program will fail not that it failed on its intentions but it will fail because there will be a serous problem in funding, sustainability and burden of more debt and taxes.

This is from Oscar Picazo's facebook wall. Oscar is a health economist, I have read one of his papers on government medicines policy. Here's what he wrote today and my reaction to it....

Oscar Picazo
Joke Time! Anti-RH advocates need a brain transplant, but if they did, the brains would reject them.

Nonoy Oplas Oscar, uso na talaga personal attacks ngayon? I do not know how the church camp use personal attacks because I never read their position, neither do I have any affection with their argument. But I am against RH not on church vs state box type of analysis. I am against it on individual liberty vs. state coercion argument.

How emotional and lowly you can be? cheers.

Val  Mr. Oplas, I do not get it! Individual liberty vs. state coercion? Have you read the RH Bill? Do you think that the RH will coerce families to use contraceptives? As far as I know, it will only provide FP services to families who WANT to limit their number of children. What is wrong with that? Is it hard to comprehend? Obviously, there is a market failure Mr. Oplas! Significant number of families do want to limit their number of children but do not have access to FP services...that is why the government should intervene. Kung ayaw mo mgcondom, go ahead! Pipigilan kaba ng gobyerno. hindi naman a! Pano yung may gusto ko, pwede ba ako gumamit? Is it hard to comprehend? I guess not! You hate a thing na di mo alam kung ano laman. Go download the RH bill and read it for few seconds.

Jose  joke time... when both you and tito sotto die, his brains will be worth much more than yours --- kasi you used yours --- and well, fill in the blanks... ha ha ha

Nonoy Oplas ‎19 pages of debate here, see what I mean by "individual liberty vs state coercion" angle. I used zero church argument, I have zero affection with it anyway,

Nonoy Oplas Another 13 pages long debate,
I see many (not all of course) of the pro-RH camp as bright guys, bright in arguing, more government, more government, more government.

Val  I really understand your points...but seriously? I think they are flawed. I get the feeling na you do not care about social development that much. So why should we listen to you anyway? With regard to your individual liberty vs. state coercion, Wow! Perhaps, you might win a Nobel Prize in economics with this kind of rudimentary arguement. Name one successful country na ganito ang polisiya then we (70 percent of Filipinos) can consider your points valid.

Nonoy Oplas At least you read those long debates. Which proves that Oscar is wrong to say that "anti-RH need a brain transplant, the brains would reject them." Focus on issues, not persons. Shoot the message, not the messenger.
At this time, both the pros and antis have already made up their mind. Fine, respect that. No amount of debates would change their position, so both camps can say, "Why should we listen to you anyway?". Still, when you argue, focus on the message, the issue, not persons.

I do not know what kind of insults the Catholic priests and bishops have thrown against the pro-RH guys because seriously, I never read any of their (church) position papers as I do not want to dwell on the debate of when does human life start, before or after conception, etc. So perhaps the pro-RH guys have enough reason to be angry at the church.

But I do not like the idea that they generalize all anti-RH guys as taking a similar position with the church. So words like:

1. Anti-RH advocates need a brain transplant, but if they did, the brains would reject them. -- Oscar Picazo.
2. You hate a thing na di mo alam kung ano laman. -- Val.
3. when both you and tito sotto die, his brains will be worth much more than yours --- kasi you used yours --- and well, fill in the blanks. -- Jose.

These are lowly arguments. Attacking the messenger, not the message. How could this Val know that I did not read the bill and its contents?

My main critique of the position of the pro-RH guys is not because I think they have low intelligence or similar idiotic assumptions. Not a bit. I recognize that many of them are bright people, well-trained academically and professionally. My only critique is that they often, or always, argue that for any social or household problem, the solution is more government, more government. Like education - government. Healthcare - government. Train fare - government. Housing - government. Tractors and seeds - government. Cash transfer - government. Condoms and IUDs - government.

So I go back to my posting above. The RH bill will most likely become a law soon. Too many people in this country believe that even buying that piece of rubber is government responsibility. And since we are a democracy, the majority (at least 50 percent + 1 of all voters or lobbyists) will win. And the will of the majority will be imposed on the minority who do not support it That is why it is coercion.

About Sen. Tito Sotto's plagiarism case. I don't buy his arguments either. I think he is not championing the reduction of state coercion. He focuses on the adverse health effect of contraceptives and similar argument.

Finally, this is a good paper,


See also:
Population Control 8: People and Economic Growth, January 16, 2012
Population Control 9: On so-called "Expanding Choices" for Couples, August 01, 2012
Fat-Free Econ 19: Population Decontrol, Not RH Bill, August 08, 2012
Population Control 10: Anger and Coercion in Pushing RH Bill, August 10, 2012
Population Control 11: Church Coercion vs. State Coercion, August 12, 2012

1 comment:

GabbyD said...

"My main critique of the position of the pro-RH guys is not because I think they have low intelligence or similar idiotic assumptions. Not a bit. I recognize that many of them are bright people, well-trained academically and professionally. "

So you dont think population is an issue? or , you think its an issue but ... the private sector can solve it?