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Towards a Fair Society or not?

3 Comments

I spotted this article, Thailand’s shocking inequity statistics on the BKK Post and thought I share with you the figures. Then leave you to ponder what it all means for us. Are we any different from any other first world country? Do you think this is any different than historical Thailand pre-wars? What can we learn from it really?

Prof Pasuk Phongpaichit speech “Towards a Fair Society” at the King Prachadhipok Institute conference, quoted the following as facts:

– The top 20% own 69% of the country’s assets while the bottom 20% own only 1%.

42% of bank savings money comes from only 70,000 bank accounts holding more than 10 million baht. They make up only 0.09% of all bank accounts in the country. In other words, less than 1% of the people own nearly half of the country’s savings.

– Among the farming families, nearly 20% of them are landless, or about 811,871 families, while 1-1.5 million farming families are tenants or struggling with insufficient land.

– 10% of land owners own more than 100 rai each, while the rest 90% own one rai or less.

– On income distribution, the top 20% enjoy more than 50% of the gross domestic product while the bottom 20% only 4%.

– The average income of the bottom 20% is the same as the poverty line at 1,443 baht per month.

– The gap between the richest and poorest family is 13 times, higher than all our neighboring countries.

Nidhi Eeo-seewong, was quoted to say,

“Thailand will never be the same again,” he wrote. “There is no use in being nostalgic. Instead, we must put our heads together to find out how to minimise the damage.”

Do you agree?

Here is the global view,

Well this is certainly true for Thailand and that particular someone who widened the earning gap considerably when he sold his technology asset!

This is the View of BKK Post

The lack of political will among the power cliques and corruption are apparently Thailand’s biggest obstacles. But the decline of public trust in parliamentary/money politics is no reason to debunk it, she insists. It is still the best system to allow democracy to grow more strongly, to effect fair taxation and state spending for the public good, to fight corruption and facilitate peaceful conflict resolution. “We just need to be patient.”

What do you think? Can we allow things to be as is and wait for the state to change? Do we believe that we, the people have the power to change? Or do we still lack the will, the vision and the foresight to summon up change?

Answer not on  a postcard but right here below this line, please.

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3 thoughts on “Towards a Fair Society or not?

  1. Yes. It is possible to change by expressing views and opinions. When you speak out and show that your vote will go to whoever will do your will, politicians measuring the amount of concerned voices will quickly realize that performing these changes will result in them being elected.

    This will occur if everyone is able to speak freely to display their like and dislike. Making opinions quantifiable. Politicians react only to real numbers, proven ways toward their own benefits.

    Did you receive postcards in lieu of comments before?

  2. This country is facing a long and repetitive path to democracy and from someone who has tasted that freedom, it must be frustrating to see the slow progress we’re making in that direction! But one day we’ll get there!

    And I did receive your earlier comments.

    Plus I’m planning to write something on cultural history of this country. It’ll be an opportunity to reflect the changes that have taken place and also learn.

    Alas, time is not on my side at the moment so will do when I have the time, the inclination is definitely there already.

    Thanks for your encouragements 🙂

  3. Great post as always. I don’t believe technology has anything to do with widening inequality in Thailand. After all, Thailand is definitely “low-tech” compared to it’s neighbors. Japan is one the world’s leading high-tech economies and has quite possibly the lowest earnings gap – two to three times between a teacher and a CEO for example.

    The issue in Thailand is endemic corruption throughout society and a culture which encourages greed and position over hard work and contribution; why else would students at Thammasat and Chula say it is acceptable for their politicians to be corrupt?

    As for democracy, Thailand is sliding backwards, although put in the context of the last century it’s probably no big deal. The shift change in the political system several years ago was a signal that this top 20% are not prepared to give up some of their wealth by allowing the majority to vote. Better to stop talking about democracy and install a military government. This would bring some form of stability and encourage foreign investors to return to Thailand.

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