By Pooky, this blog economics journalist
Propaganda or Panick?
What happens when the Thailand’s government proudly quotes the country’s long-term planning unit that next year Thailand’s GDP growth will be about 3% but the IMF says the global recovery is still “Vary Fragile?”
Is it just positive out-look trying to use psychology on Thai consumers? Or does it indicative to blind propaganda? And yet is it an un-intentional revelation of how bad things have become in Thailand, that the government is grasping, as a life saver, any bit of news?
Clearly, with that type of hype and confidence, against the IMF reality, something is seriously wrong in Thailand. What is wrong, is that politics have crept into everything about Thailand. Believe it or not, right now, in Thailand, some websites that presents critical analysis on Thailand’s economic condition, with no political objective at all, have been banned for national security reasons.
Lack of Critical Observation:
When critical and objective observation of something as critical to Thailand’s proper planning is propagated for political objective, one can pretty much conclude that inefficiency of the Thai economic system is going through the roof. And in fact, that is exactly what is occurring. International ranking places Thailand’s economic competitiveness, particularly the government, as falling massively behind the globe.
That falling competitiveness, was compounded by another international ranking that saw corruption in Thailand as hitting one of the worse globally, and now ranks as the second worse in Asia.
The inefficiency, lack of effectiveness and corruption, have all now contributed to the environmental crisis in Thailand, where environmentalist are blocking massive amounts of investments.
Thai Future Bright?
And yet the Thai government refuses to budge, but propagates to the public that the Thai economic system is in good hands and Thailand will doing great in the future. Those pronouncements, broadly throughout Thailand’s press that are very much under the control of the government, failed greatly to identify that Thailand’s competitors, much of that in the ASEAN region, are now registering growth twice Thailand’s growth rate. In fact, Thailand now stands as the slowest growing ASEAN economy.
Then as the Thai economy sputters ahead, Forbs, the entrepreneurial oriented magazine, ran a story that do not take any prisoners, and said it is time for investors to bail out of Thailand as politics is heating up again.
No Way Out:
What is difficult to comprehend, is that very few Thais are in the position to solve anything. The political super-structure of Thailand is polarized as ever. The far right, is only interested in Extreme Royalism and Extreme Nationalism. The opponent, are interested in Democracy, freedom of expression and social-justice.
What ever side becomes the government or take control of Thailand, in the medium and long-term, it does not matter much, because the underlying political superstructure has failed.
What remains driving the Thai economy forward, is what the Thai says, “Eating Past Merit” or in English, it is based on performances of redundant system, churning out the usual bottom-line based productivity. Additionally, that production, is a direct result of massive stimulus, that many economist have warned, is putting Thailand at future risk as accounts deteriorates.
Taksin said in Cambodia, that Thailand, both politically and economically, borders on being a failed system. He did not give much information on why. However, he gave a cutting edge vision on Cambodia’s future in the global economy.
The key word and the single most important fact most Thai do not recognized, is that the every country is now tied to the Globe. Thailand is a small country far away with only one great gift to mankind, and that is its beaches. There is really no other global competitive advantage Thailand has.
But as the Thai Cambodia conflict has indicated, Thailand is having a great deal of difficulty “meshing” with the globe. Thailand is isolated globally diplomatic now, as a result of its position on Cambodia, and every human rights and freedom of expression organizations are strongly criticizing Thailand.
Nationalism vs Globalism:
The bottom line is that Thailand is in the process of shutting off itself philosophically from modern globalize thinking, but its economy depends on the globe.
Rumors in Bangkok now is for another military coup to prop up the government, and this time, as it had occurred before, globally the reaction could be severe. In protest of the Suchinda coup, in Thailand, New York dock workers refused to unload Thai shipments, and US consumer group began a boycott of Thai goods.
Then on top of it all, the current human symbol of Thailand is getting quite older and frail at times, and how his successor fit into the picture if a “Changing Occurs” no Thai have a clue what to expect-as the environment today in Thailand is far right, and causing a sever counter reaction in the opposite.
A Culture of Mirage:
How unfortunate is the situation? Many Thais now divide the polling units in Thailand, as being pro-government or pro-opposition. Several cutting edge blogs such as Bangkok pundit, have taken Thai posters to pieces, indicating prejudices. And this again takes this article to the beginning, that no one really knows what is really occurring in Thailand.
As the Thai industry confidence poll now shows, industrial confidence in Thailand is now at some 40 months high, and adds that the government’s invocation of the emergency decree in a northern Thai city against protest, will build confidence in Thailand.
Is Taksin right or wrong that Thailand is close to being a fail state, you make the call.