Standing Up to the Global Market11.07.11
Aired on July 11, 2011
Narration by Raffy Santos
Standing Up to the Global Market
Every day now, OFWs from the Middle-East and other places hard-hit by the global economic crisis come home with their hopes of a better life shattered. Not that it was not a hard-scrabble life, out in the desert of Saudi Arabia or the copper mines of Africa. It is simply that nothing awaits them but the prospect of prolonged waiting on the off-chance that a job comes up.
The collapse of economies that are heavily tied up with the global market once again opens up the discourse on the viability of globalism as an ideology.
We cannot sure that it is any more economic and efficient to buy goods that come from long distances, require packaging that may be carcinogenic, use up oil in transporting it, undercut local producers in consuming it, and in the long run get hooked into a lifestyle that erodes time-honored ways of growing and sustaining things.
Part of Isaiah’s vision of the age to come is that people “shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat…” ( Is. 65:21-22 ). In contrast, export-led growth, while not without benefit, has a tendency to alienate people’s labor from its fruit, to rob enjoyment of the work of our hands.
You get a situation, for instance, where Filipinos assist other people in managing their business ( Indonesia ), in building infrastructure ( Saudi Arabia ), or in modernizing agriculture ( Thailand ), and yet, in their home country, governance dysfunctions, bridges collapse and the poor suffer famine for lack of food security.
More deeply, there is something very wrong with a situation where fairly educated women tend other people’s babies while sundering themselves from their own families, allowing professional women of Hongkong or Singapore to take off in their careers while they slave away and get de-skilled.
We need not surrender to economic determinism, to the iron laws of the market. This is a place where the global church, with its extensive networks, can open a window out of this closed system.
There must be a way of sustaining economies such that every man or woman gets to sit under one’s vine or fig tree, and not scattered about in all corners of the world, longing for home and a place of their own.
This editorial was written by Dr. Melba Padilla Maggay. Melba is the President of ISACC.