Monday, August 13, 2007

Get Paid For a Stronger Republic

The Italian town of Varallo recently announced that they will pay its residents for losing weight, as its healthy Mediterranean diet--characterized by the consumption of fish, produce, olive oil and red wine--has given way to processed fat-loaded food. The news article can be found here. Unfortunately, this move is not only a temporary solution to the obesity problem, but can also place a literal price tag on one's sense of well-being.

In the book Daddy Bank, author Gregory Brough discourages parents from giving kids money to do house chores. If parents treat house chores like part of the day job, kids would eventually find reasons to retire. The value of a clean home is replaced by and equated to a money sum, with the the emotional and spiritual rewards of cleaning up diminished.

One can come up with other schemes. There was a time when I wondered if people would actually sign up for a population control program, wherein newlywed couples get paid for exercising responsible family planning. Something like, "Okay, you get this amount if you keep your kid count at two over the span of ten years." Plus, they could get additional tax cuts for adopting. Of course, these can run counter to some of our deeply-rooted traditions. Just thinking out loud here.

Then there are avenues that can be explored in the name of global popularity. How about this: present the Philippines in a positive way. If you land spots on the global news channels, you get paid. If there are a lot of qualified entries, winners can be determined by vote. Or, if you have a website that's in the top 100 most popular sites in the world, with over 50% of visitors being non-Filipinos, you get paid.

For our beauty contest entries, if all candidates of a given calendar year win, they won't go hungry for the rest of their lives. Ditto for our athletes and the elusive Olympic gold.

What else? Got suggestions?

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