Wednesday, February 01, 2006

A pedestrian’s Analysis US President George Bush’s State of the Union Address

PRESIDENT BUSH: “We remain on the offensive against terror networks. We have killed or captured many of their leaders - and for the others, their day will come.”

ANALYSIS: It means there would be more joint US-RP military exercises and similar activities. Good or bad? It depends on how you view RP-US relations.

“Our offensive against terror involves more than military action. Ultimately, the only way to defeat the terrorists is to defeat their dark vision of hatred and fear by offering the hopeful alternative of political freedom and peaceful change.”

That would probably mean greater efforts at public diplomacy to enhance US’s “soft power.”

“We will build the prosperity of our country by strengthening our economic leadership in the world.”

We could expect greater US efforts in multilateral (e.g. World Trade Organization, Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) and bilateral (e.g., free trade agreements, among others) deals.

“Keeping America competitive begins with keeping our economy growing. And our economy grows when Americans have more of their own money to spend, save, and invest.”

That's nice. A growing US economy means greater purchases of Philippine products which should translate to more jobs.

“Keeping America competitive requires us to open more markets for all that Americans make and grow. One out of every five factory jobs in America is related to global trade, and we want people everywhere to buy American.”

We should expect American to exert greater pressures for the removal of local barriers to trade in agriculture, manufactures, and services through multilateral and bilateral negotiations.

“Keeping America competitive requires an immigration system that upholds our laws, reflects our values, and serves the interests of our economy… And we must have a rational, humane guest worker program that rejects amnesty, allows temporary jobs for people who seek them legally and reduces smuggling and crime at the border.”

This is bad news for illegal migrants, the TNTs (tago ng tago or “always hiding) in America. But it could also mean job opening for migrants, especially those types of jobs that Americans do not want to do.

“Keeping America competitive requires affordable health care. Our government has a responsibility to help provide health care for the poor and the elderly, and we are meeting that responsibility. For all Americans, we must confront the rising cost of care…”

That could also mean more nurses from the Philippines as fewer Americans are willing to take the job. Besides, nurses from the Philippines have good reputations in the US.

“We must continue to lead the world in human talent and creativity. Our greatest advantage in the world has always been our educated, hard-working, ambitious people - and we are going to keep that edge. Tonight I announce the American Competitiveness Initiative, to encourage innovation throughout our economy, and to give our Nation's children a firm grounding in math and science.”

Bush said America will train more science and math teachers. What he didn’t say is that Americans are going to recruit more science and math teachers from the Philippines. They are actually doing that now. (For a more personal take on the world, please visit Photographs and Memories).

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