Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Bentulan Labor-Minutes: A New Comparison Index

In the book Hyperwage Theory serialized in the Manila newspaper BusinessWorld in 2005, Thads Bentulan, introduced the concept of labor-minutes.

This was in Chapter 8 (titled The Mispricing of Labor) published on June 23 2005.

Here is the definition of the Bentulan Labor-Minutes: The duration of work needed by a minimum wage worker to buy goods and services in his area.

For example, how many minutes of work is needed by a minimum wage worker in New York to buy a kilo of pork in New York?

Note that the reference wage is the minimum wage.

What is the use of the Bentulan Labor-Minutes (BLM)?

The BLM will be a very logical index for comparing the economic wealth of countries.

For instance, one of the most tricky conditions to define is how do you define "middle class" in London vs. Jakarta?

Should it be by dollars? Try to compare them in terms of the BLM. And you can see a better picture of the wealth of the Jakarta society vs. the London society.

A basket of goods and services can be better explained in terms of the Bentulan Labor-Minutes instead of the "constant dollar" consumer price index because the inflation rate and the exchange rates are eliminated from the problem.

We can then compare the wealth of the 1911 minimum wage worker vs. the 2011 minimum wage worker by computing the Bentulan Labor Minutes for a basket of goods and services for 1911 and 2011.

We can now easily compute today's basket in Bangkok vs Vienna.

For more examples and discussions read the book Hyperwage Theory (2005).

Thads Bentulan: President of the Global Filipino Nation?

from Sonny Filipino Feliciano
to Thads Bentulan
date Fri, Oct 29, 2010 at 6:22 AM
subject President of the Global Filipino Nation


I just finished reading your "Hyperwage Theory" treatise a few minutes ago (all 329 pages). I've never spent so much productive time ever with another book before. (Of course, I confess - being an amateur economist - that my understanding/grasp of your material is far from 100%, and will have to re-read your magnificent book several times, before I see the finer points.)

Your work is just too "magnetic","educational" and "thought-provoking" to set it aside even though it's ultra "hot" to handle, but it's also really a waste of time doing other stuff (like going to the bathroom) while trying to absorb your critical and important message targeted mainly for PhD wanna-bes, but a typical reader like yours truly's mind was opened wide anyhow. Although I'm a pretty difficult person to be convinced about theories and practices, in particular and someone else's beliefs, in general, I'm wholeheartedly sold! The past 4 hours, dealing with your literary masterpiece, must have been the most intellectually-draining time I have been challenged in my 55 years of life.

The world's historic existence is truly threatened by the truth that billions of people choose to ignore - intentional strategy of poverty employed/enforced by the powers that be! It's not a secret that the superior races of this universe have controlled the lives of the poorest of the poor so they can continue enjoying whatever automatically reaches their laps of luxury because of their class A economic status, mainly made possible by the masses of toiling laborers every which way one turns.

It's very timely that we crossed paths through your masterpiece. I'm not a real book reader, although reading is my number one hobby. I mainly rely on the internet to quench my thirst for knowledge. I'm pleasantly surprised that all is for naught and I do have a newly-found hope that things will improve in our universe, thanks to your foresight - provided that more followers can open their minds to your valid, albeit out-of-this world, but down-to-earth suggestions.

Although this missive is getting unnecessarily longer, I thought that it would help you understand where I'm coming from. (People say that I'm in an enviable position of being a U.S. pensioner enjoying the fruits of my long and hard labor in a 3rd world setting.) I retired about 2 years ago at age 54 from the United States Postal Service, having lived in Seattle since 1977. I'm in the process of implementing my reverse diaspora plan as we speak. I travelled to China (my wife is a Chinese citizen) and the Philippines from September 12, 2010 to October 11, 2010 and managed to open negotiations about buying my sister's Valenzuela property which paperwork is scheduled to close in December. I was in Metro Manila, Bataan, Isabela, Ilocos Sur and Baguio. (I escaped the wrath of super typhoon "Juan" just in time!) I've spent 5 days in Guangzhou last month - mainly concerning my wife's stuff, but I also had a chance to mingle with potential business partners

I couldn't pinpoint whether you're based in the Philippines or somewhere else. I really wish to connect with you during this, our temporary lifetimes on earth. I'll return to the motherland for good in January 2011. I would be honored and humbled when the right serendipitous time comes that we potentially finally meet!!

Regards and May You Have More Successes To Come!

Filipino "Sonny" Feliciano
410 Broadway Ave. E., Seattle, WA 98102