Economic Stimulation


The Quisling Government has put through its plans for an economic stimulus package to try to ward off the worst of the economic/PAD-caused crisis. It claims it will help, the Opposition claims it will not help. The truth of course is that no one yet knows how much such a package will help in the medium (i.e. more than one year) term, whether it will be enough and in what timescale the borrowed money can be repaid. However, it is true that nearly every government in the world has been obliged to put forward some kind of package to try to protect their own economies. By what principles, therefore, should the Quisling Government’s package be judged?

First, it is apparent that most of the measures put forward are simply the same policies initiated by the previous democratically-elected governments, which the Quislings so endlessly criticized as ‘populist’ and ‘vote-buying’ – well, we know how much integrity these people have so there is no surprise in seeing them change their approach completely and then deny they have done so. These policies – relief for the poor, community level initiatives and infrastructure improvement – are generally sound in that they help at least some of the most vulnerable in difficult times and promote local level production to boost income (and morale) across the country and reduce the importance of labour migration and its negative social results.

What other policies have been announced? Fifteen years of free education is promised – difficult to argue with that as a principle although it does not appear to have been costed properly, suggesting it is not a serious promise.

Free milk is promised to some additional school children. Again, not in itself a bad thing, although it is hard to justify in terms of stimulating the economy and the kind of policy which is most susceptible to corruption, based on the historical record. Let us hope that expenditure in areas such as this will be transparent and accountable.

Some tax cuts appear to have been promised – this would be a mistake (don’t ask me, ask Nobel Prize for Economics winner Paul Krugman), government spending is better.

The PM himself, of course, does not help his cause much because he only ever speaks in vacuous sound bites without the ability or awareness of the need to be specific. As more specific policies emerge, if they ever do, then there can be some proper consideration of whether they are appropriate or not.

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JW

JW has been one of the first contributors to this blog before he gave up on it all in April 2010, during a time when Thai society got more and more polarized about political matters because of red-shirt protesters.

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