The Philippine Congress is getting itself way over its head with its latest plan to hike wages by 125 pesos. In terms of the minimum wage that's nearly a 40% increase in Metro Manila. NEDA is against it, and for good reason. I think their projections are believable. I mean for heaven's sake, take a look at this chart: the high end of the minimum wage (presumably in the capital) is a whopping US$6.30 in the Philippines, two-and-a-half times that of China (whose per capita income is above ours). It's also far in excess of Thailand (double our per capita income), Indonesia, and Vietnam (a fast-rising Asian tiger economy.) Earlier I have written about what it really takes to help the working man and woman. I have little to add to that, except to wonder in disbelief how brainlessly we approach economic policy. Can the law of the downward-sloping demand for labor be repealed? Do causes have effects? Can something be had for nothing? Is there such a thing a free lunch?
Speaking of free lunches, read this if you're interested in interpreting the latest economic figures. I also have little to add to it, except to say, more important that expertise is common sense. Precisely what is the scarcest resource in the body politic.