Monday, February 18, 2013

Short Term benefits vs Long Term improvements

Source: CNA

It was an election promise in Thailand and it's a roaring success for the party. Basically it's a USD 3,000 subsidy for first time car owners in Thailand.

Imagine what would majority % Singaporeans think immed. Our Gov sucks. Why can't we increase the tax on foreigners buying cars and give the discount to us. This leaders are bad, they doesn't want us to get basic needs etc etc..

But this is what makes our leaders different to the rest. This is exactly what made Singapore to have such a vibrant and great economy and place to stay. This is why people look at us with such envious looks. This is why majority of world intend to learn from us.

Look at what Thailand did. The subsidy costs are approx USD 3 billions. Ofcourse leaders are claiming indirect benefits such as taxes collected, new job creation, spur the automobile industry. But what about the traffic situation in Bangkok? How many productive hours lost due to congestion? How much money in Tourism receipts gone?

How many accidents? Health care costs?. I'm sure this would easily outweigh any monetary gains due to the scheme. We can easily afford 3 billion. It's probably 1-1.5% of our reserves (2013 Jan - 258 Billions). But if it's our leaders, they would have upgrade the BTS or build new public transport services.

The Bangkok MRT costed USD 2.75 Billion in 2004. Given the current inflation BKK could expand with double the amount. The benefits are certainly higher compared to 1 million new cards on already congested roads.

Ofcourse, giving subsidies is a simple and easy task compared to building public transportation. And the latter doesn't really give 'votes'. Sadly this seems to be the direction Singapore people are going. i.e. Vie for short term benefits without understanding the world and dynamics.

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