(PART 1 of 2)
A HAPPY, healthy, peaceful and prosperous 2017 to all!
I am one of millions of people who want to predict things (especially this time of the year), subliminally praying for the same things to happen. Just to give a seedbed for these dreams to germinate, I would like to share them with my dear readers in coming up with my own prognostications, predictions and prayers for 2017. Here’s the top ten, randomly created from my medulla oblongata:
For the United States:
1. I pray that the American people will have more upbeat news in the socio-economic, foreign, diplomatic, political, and trade areas to fulfill Pres. Donald Trump’s promise to “Make America Great Again” beginning this January 20, as he begins his term as POTUS. Despite his unorthodox campaign style, often laced with contradictory messages and flip-flopping on many issues, his generic promises resonated to the millions of marginalized voters, especially in red states all across the country. His millions of supporters were pinning their hopes that they too can rise to experience the American dream that has eluded them for decades.
His campaign rhetoric won him the White House, but turning his promises to reality will be a different ball game. Trump may have been successful in running his business but running the government will not be the same. This is one area where potential problems will come: the millions of unemployable Americans will still remain the same, and will soon be frustrated and disappointed. As the White House and Congress is controlled by the Republicans, there will be faster “overhaul” for many socialistic programs, including the ObamaCare that the Democrats have implemented the last eight years. However, the members of Congress will also try hard not to swing the pendulum too much to the right, as they will also look very closely what their political constituency desires in order to be reelected again in the next election.
Although I had doubts that Trump will be good for the country, I also pray that he can be like Saul, who used to be persecutor of Christians but was converted and eventually became St. Paul, one of the most ardent followers of Christ. I am praying that Trump, despite his many “unpresidential” antics and tweets, can be made to be a great president and can do a lot of actions that will benefit the country.
His anticipated appointments of more conservative members to the Supreme Court during his term will have lasting effect to the country’s direction for decades to come. During the next four years, if he can at least convert the huge government bureaucracy, modeling after an effective private-business enterprise to become more effective and efficient, then he has a good chance that he can be re-elected for another term, should he choose to run again in 2020.
2. The wisdom, practicality and fairness of the Electoral College in electing the POTUS should be revisited and debated, so that in a generation or so, if necessary the Constitution can be amended to solve the seemingly “unjust” or “unfair” value of each American voter. It has been documented that the one vote in California, for instance, is worth much less than one vote in a rural red state like Wisconsin simply because there are fewer voters represented by one electoral delegate.
3. There should be an overhaul of immigration laws and regulations, and stricter implementation of them so that the abuse of many nationalities, especially those with money to suck the privileges and rights that are granted in the books centuries ago, which are now quite obsolete in the 21st century. The government or Congress should revisit and amend those “benevolent but unjust” provisions of the Constitution to discontinue the automatic American citizenship of children born in the United States of alien mothers. It is a known fact that thousands if not millions of pregnant mothers come to the U.S., with the primary purpose of giving birth often in county or government hospitals “free of charge.”
To add insult to injury, it has been documented these pregnant mothers are brought here by “smart” business operators in collusion with some doctors and apartment owners. They house them and when the time comes, are brought to the hospital to give birth. These mothers’ families pay hefty fees to these crooked businessmen to take advantage of America’s privileges. And often, these babies and their mothers can be “legally” be given food stamps as our benevolent government will not want mother and child die of hunger or get sick! (While disabled Veterans and those suffering for Post Traumatic Syndrome are left alone crying in quiet desperation!
4. I also predict and pray that President Rody Duterte will exercise a delicate balance in his self-imposed war against drugs vs. the rights of the citizens (especially those who are innocent but being killed or imprisoned as “collateral” damages). For him to succeed and become a great president, he should also show some degree of humility to listen to the voice of the millions of people, including those who did not vote for him. He should not continue to antagonize many segments of allies or friends the Filipino people, like the United States. Decent and diplomatic leaders can still show great displeasure without going to the gutter. Using foul language often connotes inability to express oneself due to language deficiency or simply bad manners.
For Duterte to become a great president, he has also to work hard and improve other areas of concern throughout the Philippines. These include the quality of education, fairer taxes, enhancing exports, the delicate control of imports that kill local businesses and building much-needed infrastructures. Other concerns like climate change and the horrendous damages caused by annual typhoons and flooding, to perennial traffic problems, to health care delivery to peace and order, are equally important that must not also be neglected.
On the global financial view, the exchange rate of the peso has shown some decline and hopefully will not further erode, say to P60 pesos to the dollar. Despite that the American dollar is not as valuable as it used to be, with the Trump presidency, it is expected that the dollar value will increase that may result to further decline of the Philippine peso. If that happens, it will be worse for the Philippines’ economy.
5. The welfare of OFWs who are often lauded as the “unsung heroes” of the Philippines who have contributed much to keep the economically afloat, due to their billions of remittances to the homeland every year. These silent heroes should not be made as the milking cows of many government agencies and employees, taxing them heavily of fees just to leave (the country) to be able to live and feed their families. One way to help them become more productive, nationalistic and patriotic is for the Executive Department to appoint true servant leaders from among them who understand their plight who will work 24/7 to protect them from exploitation abroad and maximize their families’ welfare as well.