- 13 Sep 2017 at 04:15
- WRITER: POSTBAG
The refusal by the government and industrial sector to raise the minimum wage to 700 baht per day is telling.
If the economy and "Thailand 4.0" can only be sustained by paying a poverty wage instead of a living wage, than there is really no hope. It smacks of elitism when those at the top believe the ones at the bottom must suffer so they remain in their levels of economic comfort.
To say that labourers being paid 700 baht would make "as high as 20,000 baht per month" and positioning this as a negative because it would be higher than the monthly 15,000 baht for college graduates exposes two major problems instead of justifying the action. First is the assumption that labourers must work seven days a week since that is what they are forced to do at 350 baht per day for survival. That is how the figure is arrived at. It is really 14,000 baht a month. I wonder if the industry leaders and government officials responsible for this "refusal" work seven days a week with no vacations or leisure.
Second, if college graduates are only being paid poverty wages, then what is the incentive to go to school and incur debt/cost? Something is wrong with this scenario. If the skilled are not valued in the economic model, what real hope is there?
How about having the PM and all future elected government officials be not only paid, but forced to actually "live" on the prevailing minimum wage? This is the only action that would force a true change in the economy that would allow everyone to thrive instead of the lower classes just surviving. This might reduce the prevalence of coups and actually promote stability.
You want an example of a nearby country with a living wage and decent healthcare and a thriving economy? Look no further than Australia for the naysayers.
Darkness of wealth
The headline of a news report, "Want to be an entrepreneur? Leave politeness at the door", last week grabbed my attention (Business, Sept 6).
Seriously? I know very well how nice it would be to be rich but I wonder. If I have to trade my own personal values, ethical standards and goodness to achieve wealth, it might not be a good idea.
Mixed up about Irma
On Sept 10, Radio Thailand (FM 93.5) reported several times that the director-general of the Meteorological Department reassured the public that Hurricane Irma would have no impact on Thailand. Well that was good news. But on second thought I found the news rather weird.
Am I so stupid not to know that a storm of such magnitude, originating in the Caribbean, which is in the Atlantic and rotating clockwise, can cross the huge span of the US land mass into the Pacific Ocean? Even more weird, upon reaching the Pacific water, the storm suddenly becomes motionless and slowly starts to turn anti-clockwise and moves westward towards the Philippines or Japan wreaking havoc along the way? If this is possible, as the report suggests, then Irma would have to assume another name like all other Pacific winds.
Will the director-general please explain why such a reassurance was necessary?
No intelligence here
I found it difficult to understand the Excise Department statement: "It could hurt low-income smokers if the rate is too high" (Business, Sept 11). The Frank & Ernest cartoon said it best: "We gave up looking for intelligent life. Now we just search for entertaining stupidity."
Re: "Mahidol suspends puppy death student", (BP, Sept 12).
I remember the posters of Richard Nixon with captions under them reading, "Would you buy a used car from this man?", referring to Nixon's ability to lie. I'd now suggest posters of the medical student who poisoned his dog with the caption posted in every medical facility, "Would you want to be treated by this doctor?" I certainly wouldn't, regard of what he might achieve in medical competence.
I'd never feel easy or comfortable with a poisoner.
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26 Sep 2017 at 04:15
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