Jhis piece will cover three diFdifferent topics, so we will discuss them directly.
HIGH INFLATION AND ANEMIC GROWTH
Stagflation – a combination of economic stagnation andFlation — becomes more real than Iffunctional for many countries. There should be a strong recovery aftin view of the global lockdowns and mobility restrictions of 2020-2021, but the war in Ukraine and the economic sanctions against Russia have had a global negative impact on raw materials, in particular on the supply and prices of raw materials. ‘energy.
The United States inflthe ration rate was only 1.4% when TrumpFin the White House in January 2021. It jumped to 7.5% in January 2022 even before the war in Ukraine. Then it rose again to reach 7.9% in February, 8.5% in March and 8.3% in April, the highest rates since 1982 or 40 years ago. The 9% of the United Kingdom inflation rate in April was the highest in 40 years too. And Germany’s 7.4% in April was the highest since the 1970s.
Among the industrialized countries of the G7, only Japan had aflrationing rate below 2% for January-April 2022 (JA22). East Asian economies now have more price stability than industrialized Europe and North America (Table 1).
High inflation further discourages household spending, which reduces business and manufacturing incomes, leading to weak or even stagnant growth. When trade is politicized through economic sanctions, the world has more politics and less trade. And less growth with strongflation. Evil.
MORE SURFACE MINING
A good recent development was that the South Cotabato Provincial Council lifted the strip mining ban for the Tampakan Gold-Copper Project which was imposed in 2010. See these recent reports in Business world:
1. “Philippines clears final hurdle for stalled Tampakan copper-gold project” (May 17)
2. “End of ban on strip mines sparks confrontation on Tampakan” (May 17)
3. “The DENR will be watching Tampakan closelyftProvince lifts ban on surface mines” (May 18)
4. “South Cotabato strip mining ban lifted still threatened by Governor’s veto” (May 22).
The Tampakan project is expected to be the Philippines’ largest foreign direct investment (FDI) at $5.9 billion. It is unfortunate that the country has not maximized income and job creation with the recent high world prices for gold, copper, nickel and other mining products, as the project has reserves estimated at 15 million tons of copper and 17.6 million ounces of gold.
Peak gold prices this year are 33% higher than 2019 and 51% higher than 2018. Peak copper prices this year are 65% and 49% higher than their peak prices in 2019 and 2018. And the nickel – Wow! — peak prices this year are 166% and 208% higher than prices in 2019 and 2018, respectively.
At such prices, the Philippines could have earned several billion dollars more in exports, national and provincial governments could have earned several billion pesos more in taxes, and mining communities could have received hundreds of millions of pesos in more for mandatory community expenditures such as the Social Development and Management Program (SDMP).
ENDLESS CRISIS, THE UN AND WHO TREATY ON THE PANDEMIC
Population crisis, food/hunger crisis, oil/energy crisis, HIV/AIDS crisis, NCD/tobacco crisis, HIV/AIDS crisis, refugee crisis, gender/race crisis, education/housing crisis, plastic/garbage crisis, climate crisis, COVID crisis, now an emerging monkeypox crisis.
We have heard or read these and many other alarming stories from the 1960s until today. And always the “solution” to these endless stories of crisis is more government, more UN and more multilaterals. Anti-mining groups also have their fear campaign that surface mining “will expose residents to pollution…exacerbate climate vulnerabilities…”
This week, May 22-28, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) World Health Assembly plans to amend the International Health Regulations, an agreement adopted in 2005 by 194 member states that recognizes the sovereignty of nations and the need for action in the event of epidemics and other epidemics.
The planned changes give more power to WHO regional directors to declare a public health emergency of regional concern (PHERC) and more power to the WHO director-general to issue an “immediate public health alert” (IPHA ). The goal is more comprehensive, generally one-size-fits-all, central health planning.Ifts-all WHO actions, such as global lockdowns in 2020, and in doing so trump decentralized, country-specific health actions.
Central planning is ugly and inefficient. This is why the former USSR, the communist states of Eastern Europe, collapsed in 1989-1991.
Going back to the endless crisis stories of the past six decades, even if just one of them were true, people should have shorter lives, human population should be plateauing and declining, and it’s not. . Virtually everywhere in the world, humans are living healthier and longer lives (Table 3).
My three recommendations for these three issues are as follows.
First, free trade in raw materials and energy products from Russia and elsewhere must continue and not be politicized. Overall price stability relies on stable supply of important commodities. Then growth can resume and not stagnate.
Two, bigger mining projects please. In particular, the proposed Tampakan open pit gold and copper mine should be subject to existing environmental regulations, taxes and mandatory community expenditures.
Third, “no” to more central health planning by the WHO. He has already wielded enormous powers during the recent COVID-19 and mass vaccination lockdowns, he should not be institutionalized. The response to the pandemic should be decentralized between countries.
Bienvenido S. Oplas, Jr. is the president of Minimal Government Thinkers.