The direct impacts of corruption are well known. These are increase in cost and more time spending in doing business and the cost will be passed on to consumers. On top of that the outcome of business is less predictable, because it does not depend only on economy and market but it also depends on the whims of politicians which are totally unpredictable.
The indirect impacts are much more devious. They are being in the competitions with the government which is hard for the private sector because the funds of the government are much bigger and are not subjecting to the rule of commerce that is for profit. Government also has the upper hand because they have much more authority and power than the private sector does. Competition with this government is even harder because this government is not transparent and accountable. Rice pledging scheme is a good example, nobody outside the government circle knows anything about the scheme and nobody in the government takes any responsibility either. That program affects private sectors so much in so many ways such as:
1. Thailand lose the respect of the trading world
2. The free market of rice in Thailand just about being completely ruined
3. Somebody has to pay for the loss that has been incurred. In the past it was always business pay for it through taxes
4. It ruins the morale of free entrepreneurs which is very valuable for competitiveness of our businessmen
5. The money that has been spent by the government on this program has not found the way back to the market so the baht has been in shortage and the price of the baht has been skyrocketing. Who is suffering the most? Businessmen, because they would have to sell their merchandise to other countries at the higher prices and in the world of cut-throat business, the shoppers will be shopping somewhere else.
The problem is actually deeper than that. For example: if the bubbles burst which there is a good possibility that it may. The history will repeat itself that the government has to devalue the baht as Chavalit Yongchaiyudh did in 1997 the business that borrowed the money from other countries will have to pay back double immediately. The loans of the government that the tax payers had to pay rose up to double. But the politicians who had foreign bank accounts would worth double in baht immediately and in this scenario who would gain the most? Thaksin, the boss, of course!!
The last time that we have the devaluation Chavalit Yongchaiyudh’s government tried to blame it on Soros, the investor who pulled the money out of the Pacific funds but Soros acted on the information that was available to public in US 6 months before the Thai government actually devalued its currency. It was on the Wall-Street Journal. I read it too and I tried to pull money I had with Bank of Bangkok at Los Angeles USA but I was convinced instead by the manager of the bank that it was unfounded. Well, it was well founded, 6 month later my bank account dropped the value of 2 million baht to 1 million baht.
Therefore, if that was the case, businessmen would be crying, other people would be crying too except the politicians, they would be laughing because all their money was safe in the foreign banks and the value in baht thence forward doubled, while the business' assets will be cut in half of the value in dollars if the government devalued the baht 50% as Chavalit had done. The government had the advanced knowledge for they knew exactly when they would be dropping of the value of the baht and they knew where the safe havens were.
Gratefulness is the essence of being a human therefore from the bottom of my heart I bow to ACN and its leaders especially the chairman, Mr. Pramon Sutivong with deep appreciation for what you have done for the country.
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