FAIR COMMENT | Alito L. Malinao
This question has probably been asked a thousand times before but I find it still relevant in the midst of the pandemic that has upended our lives for the past two years and has no sign of disappearing.
What I am trying to point out here are the responses of China, a socialist state, and the U.S., capitalist state, to the pandemic.
The capitalist economic model, which is used in the United States, relies on free market conditions for the creation of wealth. Here, the production of goods and services is based on supply and demand in the general market. This economic structure is also referred to as a market economy.
In a socialist economic model, which is used by China, the production of goods and services is either partially or fully regulated by the government.
It was the late Deng Xiaoping who introduced market economy features to the Chinese economy and which is largely credited for the amazing economic growth in China.
But the tradeoffs to China’s staggering economic liftoff are also staggering.
All media in China are government-owned. Human rights and the right to protest are unknown in the vast country. Everybody has to obey the dictates of the Communist Party in China with Xi Jinping as its paramount leader and president for life.
On the other side, the United States, is the bastion of capitalism and democracy and looked up by the rest of the world as a model of the free enterprise system. The American media is free-wheeling and almost licentious.
China is authoritarian and ruled by the Communist Party of China and whose legislature, the National Peoples’ Congress, meets only once a year.
In the U.S., there are two houses of Congress that meet year-round with the members of the dominant parties, the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, are almost always bickering.
The response to the pandemic of both countries stresses the weakness and strength of both systems. When the coronavirus was first detected in China, Beijing placed the entire city of Wuhan with a population of 11 million in a total lockdown for several days. As we have seen on television, the city’s streets were deserted and people were ordered to stay at home.
You cannot see this kind of scenario in the U.S. because the Americans are very protective of their rights. When Joe Biden, a Democrat, mandated that Americans should get vaccinated and should wear masks, the Republicans objected, saying these are violative of their freedom and constitutional rights.
Last week during the convention of the Cusi wing of the ruling PDP-Laban, Mr. Duterte formally accepted his nomination as the party’s candidate for vice president with his close aide, now Senator Bong Go, as the presidential candidate.
The perception of many is that if both win in next year’s election, Go would resign and hand over the presidency to his mentor. This is obnoxious but we since are in a democracy it’s up to the people if they want to support this hocus-pocus.