BLIND SPOT: Inflation Incantation

I’ve always been slow with economic issues. I would get lost in reading the business section. I know they use terms about bulls and bears there, so maybe there are a lot more jargon hidden from layman readers. Then i would mix up GDP and GNP with LDP and PNP. I never really understood how stocks work. All I know is stock are supplies. Then they’ll add a pinch of percentages. Alright here comes nausea. It’s not just on paper. My head goes whirling when a newscaster starts talking about Dow Jones and NASDAQ; and why are all these guys in coats and ties in hysteria in buying and selling whatever it is they are buying and selling? And how do you get bankrupt with one wrong purchase? Oh man, some things are not just for you. So, when they say Bicol has the highest inflation rate at 9%; I would go, “can you run that by me again?” (hehehe)Okay, there’s probably someone like me out there; so, let’s start with inflation. We’re not talking about balloons here. According to Google, inflation is “a general increase in prices and fall in the purchasing value of money.”. So, there has been an increase in prices here? Really? Don’t they have it worse in the nation’s capital? But since they say so, that would mean in Bicol, prices of products have increased and proportionately, our Philippine pesos around here could buy relatively less. So, we’re having it worse than a war torn, typhoon ravaged area? Oh well, like I said, I’m slow with these kind of stuff. According to investopedia, “A predictable response to declining purchasing power is to buy now, rather than later. Cash will only lose value, so it is better to get your shopping out of the way and stock up on things that probably won’t lose value. For consumers, that means filling up gas tanks, stuffing the freezer, buying shoes in the next size up for the kids, and so on. “ Does that happen around here? Furthermore, the site says that inflation “Raises the cost of borrowing“, “Lowers the cost of borrowing”, “reduces unemployment”, “increases growth”, “reduces employment and growth”, and “ weakens or strengthens the currency”. () yes, those are in one list of 9 Common Effects of Inflation. As if my head is not reeling enough, I’m getting all the more clueless. Are not those opposites in one list? Lowers and raises, strengthens and weakens, are in one occurrence. Okay, I’m guessing this means, inflation could work either positively or negatively. I guess that depends on how we use the opportunity to our advantage. This one’s just a thought. If we’re the hardest hit, then why are the Manileños (meaning those in NCR) crying out “ouch” the loudest. Aren’t we in festive mood around here? I don’t hear calls for austerity measures, like choosing secondhand boy scout or girl scout uniforms, cutting length of majorette skirts, cutting less on rice, hanging smaller banderitas, withdrawal from participation on events to conserve fare or anything of that sort. I think we’re even running short on space for flea markets that we have to use sidewalks – more businesses than physical space could handle. If you take a look, they’re not closing shop and going home. I’ve gotten used to slightly more expensive soda, in oddly sized bottles; thanks to TRANe, and things feel normal. If news is any indicator, unlike the national news which talk about the worsening economy, more expensive chicken, and the exchange rate, down here, we talk about normal stuff like indignation against false accusations on drugs, government corruption, and school administrators burning students’ bags. (Okay, that last one is not so normal.) Some guys are even excited with mall openings. Those would simply run in contrast with Bicolanos hitting it hard. But then again, I’m no economics expert and maybe I’m talking in ignorance. And what is this hype about the price of sili? News says “When prices peaked to as much as P1,000 per kilo in some Metro Manila wet markets such as in Malabon and Balintawak in Quezon City, bird’s eye chilies were nearly 7 times more expensive than chicken and 4 times more expensive than beef. Prices have begun to go down.” ( This one’s a fallacy. I’ll go check my notes on Philosophy 1. Is this strawman or red herring? Either that or some kind of media sensationalism. Forgive me if I would be insensitive, but so what if they hit 1k per kilo? Who’s going to need a whole sack of sili for survival. Any anghang aficionado would agree that no matter how hot you want it, one would always crush only a little amount of sili for a meal. Consequently, you won’t be buying a bulk of it. They really had to choose an iconic Bicol spice to portray economic depression. What is this? Propaganda? “While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them” 1 Thessalonians 5:3