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Old 12-01-2014, 07:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Conservative forces threaten more than Thailand’s democratic tradition

An excellent article- it puts the considerable economic risks facing Thailand with this ongoing political turmoil in highly readable terms. A penny for the thoughts of Bangkok's banking & business community. Like it or not, Thailand remains highly dependent on 'overseas'- for export markets, tourist suppliers (7% of GDP alone), and Foreign investment- both direct, and indirect. Thailand's economy is most certainly at risk if the situation deteriorates.


Conservative forces threaten more than Thailand’s democratic tradition

All of this puts Thailand in a precarious position, but one that threatens more than just its democratic system. At stake is the international reputation upon which the country has built half a century of economic growth and a future in which it is relevant to the world within which it now exists.

... This is all the more the true when it is recognised that Thailand is already at a disadvantage when compared to her ‘less developed’ competitors. Since 2000, GDP per capita has almost doubled, and in 2012, 46% of the population went through tertiary education. Life expectancy is going up, currently standing at 74.5 years and by 2033 the country is predicted to have a population where 1 in 4 is over 60. Unlike neighbouring countries like Cambodia, Burma or Vietnam, Thailand is thus lacking the cheap young workforce it would need to compete in an economy based purely on access to labour. Moreover, with such large numbers now going through higher education, it is easy to understand why new entrants to the job market are increasingly unwilling to accept the low wages their parents might have been happy to work for.

At the same time, Thailand’s hub status is also threatened by its international transport links that were built to serve the old American centred order, but which fail to account for the rise of Chinese economic interests in the region. It is no coincidence that the proposed high speed rail links, which would potentially connect Bangkok with Shanghai and Singapore, have been planned in cooperation with the Chinese, and would be largely funded with Chinese secured loans. The railway is a key part of China’s strategic expansion into the region and putting a halt to the project now would undoubtedly have serious repercussions for Sino-Thai relations. Whilst there is every reason this should be discussed openly, it should be done with a clear focus on the reasons why this is an issue now and the stark economic choices the rail link represents.

The thing that most endangers Thailand’s economic future, however, are the political choices of those power brokers currently threatening democratic government in the country. During the 1960s, authoritarian government was legitimised through the promotion of modernisation for those who aspired to a better standard of life. But it was also guaranteed through close relations with the United States which saw the exploitation of cheap labour as a catapult to secure Thai development and which saw the conservatisation of Thai culture as a key way to defend the Thai population psychologically from communism.


full article- Conservative forces threaten more than Thailand
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Old 12-01-2014, 07:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by sabang
The thing that most endangers Thailand’s economic future, however, are the political choices of those power brokers currently threatening democratic government in the country.
A factor in the integration and standing of Thailand into ASEAN as well. No question Thailand's economy will be adversely impacted by this but for the moment no one seems to care. Hopefully the sane will prevail in the near future and put an end to the nonsense.
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Old 12-01-2014, 07:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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"Unlike neighboring countries like Cambodia, Burma or Vietnam, Thailand is thus lacking the cheap young workforce"- Thailand has managed to attract from the first two a fair number of servants and borderland maquiladora workers employed in virtually slave conditions, as well as the outright enslavement of large numbers of people in the fishery and sex businesses, but there are limits to this approach to immigration. Thailand is approaching something of the demographic issues of developed countries, such as a Japan and Germany, without creating a higher-value workforce through improvements to educational infrastructure.

Otherwise, the current imbroglio in the capital will probably serve, along with environmental and congestion issues, as another stimulus toward the creation of a planned capital along the lines of Canberra, Ottawa and Brasilia. Supposedly the planning of such is already underway, and not getting on with actually moving the government (Bangkok could easily remain the center of banking, etc.) could be a cause for regret. Yes, I realize there is a royally large impediment to such a scheme.
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Old 12-01-2014, 07:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Norton View Post
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Originally Posted by sabang
The thing that most endangers Thailand’s economic future, however, are the political choices of those power brokers currently threatening democratic government in the country.
A factor in the integration and standing of Thailand into ASEAN as well. No question Thailand's economy will be adversely impacted by this but for the moment no one seems to care. Hopefully the sane will prevail in the near future and put an end to the nonsense.
Other ASEAN countries, particularly Indo, are probably scratching their heads in wonder as Thailand continues, as it has done since 2006, to squander what easily could have been the role of ASEAN primus inter pares. Resident farangs are probably less surprised if no less aghast.
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Old 12-01-2014, 07:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yes, I realize there is a royally large impediment to such a scheme.
Ayutthaya or Sukhothai should suit the conservatives nicely. It's just a short march.
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Old 12-01-2014, 07:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Anti- foreign media rants, bullying & assaulting of media, anti-western rants, absurd CIA/ Thaksin/ Globalist conspiracy theories- this protest movement has a worryingly xenophobic streak, presumably at it's margins. Foreign investors can not fail to notice this sort of thing, either-

Thailand: Protesters Want Oil Back for Thai People

November 28, 2013 (Tony Cartalucci) - Protesters in Thailand demanding the resignation of current prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra are planning to re-nationalize Thailand's vast wealth in natural gas, privatized and sold off under Yingluck's brother, Thaksin Shinawatra in late 2001.
Alt Thai News Network ATNN : Thailand: Protesters Want Oil Back for Thai People


I think the much fabled, but strangely silent, Bangkok middle class, aka 'the good protesters', should be making more of the noise on behalf of this protest movement, and the hotheads less so.
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Old 12-01-2014, 08:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by sabang View Post
Anti- foreign media rants, bullying & assaulting of media, anti-western rants, absurd CIA/ Thaksin/ Globalist conspiracy theories- this protest movement has a worryingly xenophobic streak, presumably at it's margins. Foreign investors can not fail to notice this sort of thing, either-

Thailand: Protesters Want Oil Back for Thai People

November 28, 2013 (Tony Cartalucci) - Protesters in Thailand demanding the resignation of current prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra are planning to re-nationalize Thailand's vast wealth in natural gas, privatized and sold off under Yingluck's brother, Thaksin Shinawatra in late 2001.
Alt Thai News Network ATNN : Thailand: Protesters Want Oil Back for Thai People

I think the much fabled, but strangely silent, Bangkok middle class, aka 'the good protesters', should be making more of the noise on behalf of this protest movement, and the hotheads less so.
These are the people who attempted to start a war with Cambodia as a distraction and actually got a number of (poor, unimportant) people killed in the process, not to mention that they are actually forthright about their belief that large swaths of Cambodia and Laos rightfully belong to Thailand. They are fascists, pure and simple.

The political dynamic could be summed up as gangsters vs. fascists. Motivated purely by greed and power rather than by greed and power+mysticism, racism and class hatred, gangsters are nearly always the more rational of the two. The problem as I see it is that the deep underlying cause of the current (long-awaited) crisis is unresolved and terminally intractable.
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Old 12-01-2014, 08:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thailand has a tradition of democracy?

Pull my other leg, it's got bells on it.
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Old 12-01-2014, 08:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sabang
it puts the considerable economic risks facing Thailand with this ongoing political turmoil in highly readable terms. A penny for the thoughts of Bangkok's banking & business community. Like it or not, Thailand remains highly dependent on 'overseas'- for export markets, tourist suppliers (7% of GDP alone), and Foreign investment- both direct, and indirect. Thailand's economy is most certainly at risk if the situation deteriorates.
Worship that money mate - I see where you are coming from.
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Old 12-01-2014, 09:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ENT View Post
Thailand has a tradition of democracy?

Pull my other leg, it's got bells on it.
Very well put.

After that statement the rest of the article is worth no more than a quick scan at most. Just in the unlikely case it contains more hilarity.
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Old 12-01-2014, 10:00 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Thailand has a tradition of democracy?

Pull my other leg, it's got bells on it.
World's oldest young democracy, or something like that.
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Old 12-01-2014, 10:35 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Albert Shagnastier
Worship that money mate - I see where you are coming from.
Yeh, makes the world go round they say- & this is in the biz, finance & economics section.

From the Globe & Mail (Toronto)-

... Yet Thailand also appeared – until recently – an unstoppable powerhouse.

For decades, Western investors have been lured here by a cheap and talented work force – in 2012 alone, nearly $12.5-billion in foreign capital flowed into Thailand’s bond and stock markets – and it is among the world’s most-visited countries. Toyota in Thailand brags that the skill of its workers, the quality of their product and the efficiency of its operations are comparable to Japan. Thailand makes more pickup trucks than any other country, leads the world in output of canned tuna production and is a major producer of global staples such as rice and sugar, as well as premium plastics and rubber products – including condoms. Thai workers make vast amounts of cameras and hard drives, ecocars and automotive parts, jewellery and ceramic tile.

All of which prompts an obvious question: Why can’t Thailand get its bearings?

The question matters both inside Thailand, where the instability is exacting a growing economic toll, and outside, among the array of foreign interests with an increasingly deep stake in a country among the first generation of south-east Asian “tigers.”

In recent months, the demonstrators once again marshalling in the streets have sent money scurrying away. Tourist visits are down some 15 per cent. In November alone, foreign investors withdrew $3.7-billion from Thailand; in December, the country’s stock market marked a record 11 consecutive days of declines, a reminder that trouble in Thailand has much broader ramifications. At the same time, voices inside the country are warning that without some sort of change, Thailand is at risk of losing out to its economically ascendant neighbours.

But looking for fixes means diving into a mess decades in the making.

Protests threaten to derail economic powerhouse Thailand - The Globe and Mail
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Old 12-01-2014, 10:45 PM   #13 (permalink)
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^If the US Fed really starts tapering that will put even more of a damper on the hot money that has fueled the absurd level of construction, etc. Unsustainable "investment" in idiotic condo and shopping mall construction and lack of investment in infrastructure mean that after it crumbles rising from the rubble will be harder than it need be.
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Old 17-01-2014, 07:47 AM   #14 (permalink)
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GDP growth now cut by 40%-

Economic growth forecast cut again

The Finance Ministry has lowered its 2014 economic growth forecast for the second time in less than a month, while Moody's Investors Service warned that the prolonged political protest will weigh heavily on economic expansion.

Gross domestic product (GDP) may grow by only 3.1% in 2014, Somchai Sujjapongse, director-general of the Fiscal Policy Office, said after a meeting of economic ministers chaired by caretaker Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong on Thursday. The ministry had lowered its growth forecast to 4% from 5.1% on Dec 26.

Mr Somchai said the forecast was based on the assumption the general election takes place on Feb2 as scheduled and the new government is in place soon after that.
Economic forecast slashed | Bangkok Post: business
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Old 17-01-2014, 12:40 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sabang View Post
Anti- foreign media rants, bullying & assaulting of media, anti-western rants, absurd CIA/ Thaksin/ Globalist conspiracy theories- this protest movement has a worryingly xenophobic streak, presumably at it's margins. Foreign investors can not fail to notice this sort of thing, either-

Thailand: Protesters Want Oil Back for Thai People

November 28, 2013 (Tony Cartalucci) - Protesters in Thailand demanding the resignation of current prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra are planning to re-nationalize Thailand's vast wealth in natural gas, privatized and sold off under Yingluck's brother, Thaksin Shinawatra in late 2001.
Alt Thai News Network ATNN : Thailand: Protesters Want Oil Back for Thai People

I think the much fabled, but strangely silent, Bangkok middle class, aka 'the good protesters', should be making more of the noise on behalf of this protest movement, and the hotheads less so.

Tony Cartalucci/Landdestroyer is a fucking headcase so I wouldn't pay too much attention to him. I'm not sure what his connection to Thailand is but he's been bleating on in full Alex Jones mode for years with this stuff - he used to spam Prachatai relentlessly with his psychotic NWO bollocks but he now seems to be concentrating on his own blogs, thank fuck. He actually had some influence on Sondhi, who quoted him approvingly and, for obvious reasons, he's now become a favourite of the Suthep acolytes; it's hard to say who comes out looking worse from that marriage made in hell.
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Old 17-01-2014, 12:43 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Thailand has a tradition of democracy?
Yes, it does, particularly given its geopolitical context.
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Old 17-01-2014, 02:11 PM   #17 (permalink)
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November 28, 2013 (Tony Cartalucci) - Protesters in Thailand demanding the resignation of current prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra are planning to re-nationalize Thailand's vast wealth in natural gas, privatized and sold off under Yingluck's brother, Thaksin Shinawatra in late 2001.

Looky looky, the carlyle group used the shadow of 9/11 to get their "man in Bangkok" to rush through a lot of stuff.

The Wall Street Journal reported gleefully in 2001 that Thailand had begun privatizing its nationalized infrastructure. It must be remembered this followed the engineered destruction of Southeast Asia during the IMF bubble of the late 1990's, with IMF demands of privatization as part of restructuring that came after nations economically collapsed. In its article, "Thailand's Privatization Efforts Get Boost From PTT's Offering," the Wall Street Journal reported:





Quote:
Originally Posted by Zooheekock
Tony Cartalucci/Landdestroyer is a fucking headcase so I wouldn't pay too much attention to him. I'm not sure what his connection to Thailand is but he's been bleating on in full Alex Jones mode for years with this stuff - he used to spam Prachatai relentlessly with his psychotic NWO bollocks but he now seems to be concentrating on his own blogs, thank fuck.
You sound just like daffy duck.
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Old 17-01-2014, 03:33 PM   #18 (permalink)
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The connection between white tin-foilers and Thai fascists is an interesting (if pretty insignificant) aspect of all this. What subterranean attraction pulls you together? I guess the Thaksin-as-evil-master-puppeteer-of-an-entire-nation story fits the template for those who obsess over Skull and Crossbones and all that nonsense and if you're already committed to the existence of the international Bolshevik Zionist conspiracy (or whatever name it has on this week's show), I suppose it must be gratifying to unearth another strand of the conspiracy in a far-away country.
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Old 17-01-2014, 05:10 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by sabang View Post
GDP growth now cut by 40%-

Economic growth forecast cut again

The Finance Ministry has lowered its 2014 economic growth forecast for the second time in less than a month, while Moody's Investors Service warned that the prolonged political protest will weigh heavily on economic expansion.
“Anyone questioning the brilliance and importance of this plan is not seeing the big picture,” said Suthep. “If we ruin the economy, the whole nation will suffer eventually and since we have more money, we can last longer on our savings.”

“Trust us, we are the educated people,” he added.
Not the Nation » Bangkok Businesses Thrilled To Be Targeted By Bangkok Protesters
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Old 17-01-2014, 05:13 PM   #20 (permalink)
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The World Bank estimates that in 2012, Bangkok accounted for 26 percent of Thailand’s gross domestic product, but it received more than 70 percent of government spending.

In Thailand, No Shortage of Support for Reform
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Old 17-01-2014, 05:16 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Wage inequality has been encouraged to support export-driven economic growth based on cheap labour, Mr Pornthep said.

In 2010, the poorest 10% of the population received about 2% of Thailand's wage
income, he said.

Thailand 'stuck in middle-income trap' | Bangkok Post: business
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Old 17-01-2014, 05:49 PM   #22 (permalink)
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The World Bank estimates that in 2012, Bangkok accounted for 26 percent of Thailand’s gross domestic product, but it received more than 70 percent of government spending.

In Thailand, No Shortage of Support for Reform
The paper this is from can be downloaded at http://www-wds.worldbank.org/externa...20RB0EDITS.pdf

This is the relevant section

Quote:
although Bangkok accounts for about 17 percent of population and 25.8 percent of GDP, it benefits from about 72.2 percent of total expenditures. This is in sharp contrast to the Northeast which accounts for about 34 percent of population and 11.5 percent of GDP, but received only 5.8 percent of expenditures. Even correcting for the fact that Bangkok is the administrative capital for the country, such concentration of expenditures is extreme.

Service delivery disparities mirror expenditure disparities. In the health sector there are three times more doctors per capita in Bangkok than in other regions. While in the education sector the teacher per student ratio is much lower in the North and the Northeast than Bangkok and the central region. These disparities are correlated to human development outcomes. Analysis points to two main reasons for the observed concentration of expenditures:

(i) momentum of expenditures – concentration of economic activity requiring concentration of investments in infrastructure and education and health facilities in the Bangkok and the central region. Now these need to be maintained, leading for little fiscal space for other expenditures; and (ii) the equalization component of the intergovernmental fiscal transfer system is very small – out of total grants from central government to the local government of TBH 174 billion, a mere 3.7 billion were set aside for equalization purposes in 2011.

As Thailand continues to develop, production will probably continue to be concentrated in Bangkok and the central region. The key policy challenge however will be on making access to public services more uniform across the country – both in terms of quantity and quality. In order to accomplish this task the Government could consider:

Refocusing expenditure policy towards regions that are deficient in terms of service delivery, with the aim of bringing them up to the Bangkok standard; and

Increasing the equalization element of the intergovernmental fiscal transfer formula from 2 percent to at least 15-20 percent of total transfers
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Old 17-01-2014, 05:52 PM   #23 (permalink)
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^these are the kind of facts that need to be clear laid out. Thanks, guys.
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Old 17-01-2014, 05:58 PM   #24 (permalink)
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In order to accomplish this task the Government could consider:
.... limiting tea money, kickbacks, bribes and inducements to no more than 0.5% of the sums involved, with imprisonment for those that transgress.
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Old 17-01-2014, 07:58 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Zooheekock
The connection between white tin-foilers and Thai fascists is an interesting (if pretty insignificant) aspect of all this. What subterranean attraction pulls you together? I guess the Thaksin-as-evil-master-puppeteer-of-an-entire-nation story fits the template for those who obsess over Skull and Crossbones and all that nonsense and if you're already committed to the existence of the international Bolshevik Zionist conspiracy (or whatever name it has on this week's show), I suppose it must be gratifying to unearth another strand of the conspiracy in a far-away country.
You don't half spout a load of rubbish - but I guess that's to be expected.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Zooheekock
This is the relevant section

Quote:
although Bangkok accounts for about 17 percent of population and 25.8 percent of GDP, it benefits from about 72.2 percent of total expenditures. This is in sharp contrast to the Northeast which accounts for about 34 percent of population and 11.5 percent of GDP, but received only 5.8 percent of expenditures. Even correcting for the fact that Bangkok is the administrative capital for the country, such concentration of expenditures is extreme.

Service delivery disparities mirror expenditure disparities. In the health sector there are three times more doctors per capita in Bangkok than in other regions. While in the education sector the teacher per student ratio is much lower in the North and the Northeast than Bangkok and the central region. These disparities are correlated to human development outcomes. Analysis points to two main reasons for the observed concentration of expenditures:

(i) momentum of expenditures – concentration of economic activity requiring concentration of investments in infrastructure and education and health facilities in the Bangkok and the central region. Now these need to be maintained, leading for little fiscal space for other expenditures; and (ii) the equalization component of the intergovernmental fiscal transfer system is very small – out of total grants from central government to the local government of TBH 174 billion, a mere 3.7 billion were set aside for equalization purposes in 2011.

As Thailand continues to develop, production will probably continue to be concentrated in Bangkok and the central region. The key policy challenge however will be on making access to public services more uniform across the country – both in terms of quantity and quality. In order to accomplish this task the Government could consider:

Refocusing expenditure policy towards regions that are deficient in terms of service delivery, with the aim of bringing them up to the Bangkok standard; and

Increasing the equalization element of the intergovernmental fiscal transfer formula from 2 percent to at least 15-20 percent of total transfers
Again, utter rubbish from "The Voice of America"

Biased crap.
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