Thank you and goodbye, 2016. Lots of problems of course, but lots of improvement too in human development and welfare. The list below I got from the fb wall of Johan Norberg.
#1 is the most important achievement, of course. We are entering or we have entered a period of rising prosperity and declining poverty despite rising inequality. The poor before used to ride carabaos, horses and bicycles, now they ride motorcycles, e-bikes, 2nd- or 3rd-hand cars, or at least commute in air-con vans and buses from time to time. There are still people who ride horses and bicycles but they are non-poor because their horses cost 6- or perhaps 7-digits and their bicycles cost 5- to 6-digits pesos. Horse and bicycle riding is leisure and racing for them, not primary means for personal or household transportation.
On a personal note, I travelled abroad only once this year, in Kuala Lumpur, unlike last year where I went abroad 5x (KL 2x, Thailand, Nepal, Bhutan). But I attended other international conferences that were held here, like the EFN Asia Conference 2016 (November 22-23), BusinessWorld ASEAN Regional Forum, others.
I like writing a weekly column in BusinessWorld, “My Cup of Liberty.” I like my editor there, Boojie, he’s very friendly and accommodating to me. I try to be quantitative and facts-based as much as possible in my articles so that there are solid grounds for my arguments and advocacies.
I remain hopeful and optimistic for each passing year, so I will remain optimistic about 2017 and beyond. Humans are rational, they do things that can improve the lot of humanity overall, the “invisible hand” of the market is indeed working. It’s the “grabbing hands” of the state, of governments and multilaterals, that complicate and make things messy and ugly. But through time, the invisible hand will prevail over the grabbing hands.
So come on 2017, bring us the best that you can give.