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Taxes, Elections and Game Shows

A friend posted this status on Facebook: “The harder you work, the more you pay taxes.”

With the pork barrel scandal still making headlines and with its perpetrators still roaming free, I can’t blame him for taking note of this. Ikaw ba, hindi magagalit kung malalaman mo na isang dekada na palang
napupunta sa bulsa ng mga pulitiko ang tax na dapat nilalaan sa matitinong government projects?

However, that is among the basic ideas behind taxes: that the more you earn, the more you should give back to help government via your income taxes. It’s unfair to demand bigger taxes from those who earn less. It’s also unfair to give tax cuts to those who earn more. Besides, I think fair naman ang tax bracketing ng BIR. And there are legal (I repeat, legal) ways to lessen the tax deducted from your pay.

Kung walang tax, walang magagawang infrastructure, walang pang-maintain ng schools at hospitals, walang pang-sweldo sa government employees, etc. Kumbaga, our income tax becomes the government’s “income.”

Siguro malaki-laki ang tax na nababawas sa sweldo ng mga manggagawang Pinoy (isama mo pa ang 12% VAT sa pang-araw-araw na transaksyon) pero wala namang “return of investment” na nakikita o nararamdaman, kaya nakakadismaya.

P.S. Kung semantics ang pag-uusapan, iba nga naman ang “income” sa “work” — that is, the income you receive is an incentive for your hardwork.

———-

May suggestion sa Internet, saying that only taxpayers should vote during elections. I assume this sprung from the idea that those who do not pay taxes (and expect help from government) are making poor electoral
choices.

Some comments:
(1) Are taxpayers really the better voters? Matalino ka na bang botante dahil nagbabayad ka ng tax? Anong basehan noon? This can only be proven if one would go through past election data, remove non-taxpayers, then see if the results are different or more favorable than what we have now.
(2) Democracy is a two-way street: the government and its people should work together. Unfair nga naman na nag-e-expect ka ng tulong (at pagbabago) sa gobyerno pero nakatambay ka lang sa bahay at panood-
nood lang ng TV. But is it also unfair to deprive people of their right to suffrage just because they don’t have jobs, and therefore cannot pay taxes?

In the end, it all boils down to improving voter’s education. I agree with some people who are saying that the politicians we loathe right now are the ones we elected to office. The political dynasties and “epal-iticians” we regularly “hate” are those we continue to elect, partly due to lack of other alternatives.

(Eh kung lack of alternatives lang pala ang problema, edi let’s step up in contributing to our respective communities. Magpakilala at tumulong, pero huwag maging epal.)

Kung may isyu tayo sa non-taxpayers dahil “hindi sila magaling bumoto”, mas iparamdam pa natin sa kanila na mali ang pagboto nang basta-basta. Kung hindi pa sapat ang halos walang-kamatayang isyu ng corruption dito sa Pilipinas, naku, ewan ko na lang.

May Internet na ngayon. At onti-onti nang nagiging available sa publiko ang data tungkol paggastos ng national at local government units sa kaban ng bayan. (Kahit wala pa ring Freedom of Information Bill, may pagkakataon pa rin tayong makita ang datos ng gobyerno, dahil na rin sa transparency na dine-demand ng publiko matapos mabunyag ang pork barrel scam.)

Malayo pa ang 2016 presidential elections, pero pumoporma na ang mga kandidato. Dahil diyan, mas masasala natin sila nang husto. Ngayon nga, mukhang hindi na sila karapat-dapat eh. Haha.

Ang hamon sa atin ngayon ay maging mapagmatyag… at huwag maging makakalimutin.

———-

Speaking of being better-informed…

Natuwa ako sa isang palabas tungkol sa wildlife sa Nat Geo Wild, kasi isinalin sa Filipino ang narration.

Ang laki ng pinagkaiba sa ilang local TV shows na hinihiram ang footage ng mga ganitong palabas, pero nilalagyan ng pa-cute (not to mention pa-epal) na eksena. (Here’s looking at you, Kap!)

Those shows could stand for itself. Informative na naman siya on its own. Pero dahil (1) kailangang pumatok at (2) masyadong “formulaic” ang local TV scene kaya kailangang may pa-cute na eksena, IMO nade-deviate ang attention mula sa laman at aral ng palabas.

Ang hirap tanggapin, pero ganun talaga ang kalakaran sa TV: ratings would always be the basis.

But should it always be? Could they aim for greater viewership and make them a smarter audience at the same time? I think quiz-type and skills-type game shows fit the bill.

Fine, disclosure muna: I’m a big fan of game shows. I love the feeling na nakikisagot ka sa player sa TV, tapos matutuwa ka mali man o tama ang sagot mo:

Game K N B?, Jeopardy, The Price is Right, Family Feud, Wheel of Fortune, the Christopher de Leon-hosted Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?… If only we could go back to the 90s, I would watch those shows all day!

Isama mo na ang Minute to Win It (US version, sorry) at ang National Quiz Bee… pati Wipeout na rin, kahit medyo “physical”. Haha.

Besides the informative trivia questions and the creative games, it teaches the audience to strategize. The players rely on their own ability and intellect without bringing other people down. That’s a kind of competition I dig: one-on-one, pero walang hilahan pababa. You could feel that they deserve to win.

OK pa ako sa talent searches eh, pero kung “popularity” lang pala ang magiging basehan, wala rin.

———-

One more thing before I sign off: Bakit kailangan munang sumayaw o kumanta para mag-audition sa Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? ng TV5? Kailangan munang magpapansin bago mo maipamalas ang talino? Kaya nga may Fastest Finger First na round eh, para malaman kung sino ang deserving maglaro sa hot seat. Haha.

———-

Last na comment na, promise: Kailangang hantayin ang score na i-flash sa board bago i-announce? The host is not keeping tabs himself? May episode nga na mas alam pa ng batang player ang updated scores kaysa sa host. Feeling scripted tuloy ang spiels.

#frustratedProducer xD

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