FACT CHECK: The Marcos "regime" did NOT cause Philippine poverty

Back in 2016, Rapplerettes JC Punongbayan and Manuel Leonard Albis did a quick-and-dirty "analysis" of the fiscal history of the Philippines and arrived at this dumb conclusion: "Ferdinand E. Marcos effectively 'stole' the Filipino people’s futures as well by ushering in a full-blown debt crisis and dragging the country to a much lower income trajectory."

They added, "Were it not for Marcos’ bad governance, the Philippines would’ve been more prosperous today. Put another way, Filipinos today continue to reel from the impact of Marcos’ regime in terms of the potential incomes we have lost."

This they "concluded" on the basis of this graph...

Nice try. A 1983 Washington Post report on the financial crisis besetting the Philippines at the time provides a more balanced account...
According to one top U.S. banker, three factors contributed to the economic woes of the Philippines: 
* A chronic balance-of-trade deficit--imports exceeding exports--that has its roots in the oil crunches of 1974 and 1979. 
* A propensity to take on too much short-term debt, which must be continually refinanced. 
* Political instability and growing disaffection with the military regime of Marcos, coupled with the perception during most of 1983 that the leader's wife, Imelda, was growing too strong and would succeed her husband. "Capital flight started in late 1982," the banker said. "The Aquino assassination was merely the last straw."

Did the "regime" of former President Marcos cause the economic downturn of the early- to mid-1980s? That's debatable at best. The facts actually don't necessarily paint the so-called "conclusion" that the Rapplerettes recklessly arrive at.

Economics is a tricky subject to play "expert" around. Millions of variables are at play in determining the behaviour of economic indicators. It is one thing to pretend to be a "journalist". Then there are the pretend "journalists" pretending to be "economists" - like these two bozos JC Punongbayan and Manuel Leonard Albis.


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