An Open Letter to the Prime Minister of Thailand
To the Prime Minister of Thailand:
The economic meltdown that is strangling Thailand as well as Asia must be solved as soon as possible while inflicting as little pains as possible on the Thai population. Therefore, the problem must be solved directly at the source, being the uneven distribution of resources in the economy, meaning land, labor, and capital.
I have found that a possible solution would be a cut on the budget set aside for the Asian and SEA Games. In saying this I understand that the Games are a major source of income for the country, but nonetheless there is seemingly no point in spending millions of baht on new telephone booths and the construction of new stadiums specifically for the event.
Thailand has already spent huge amounts of money preparing for the Games as well as the promotion of the "Amazing Thailand" campaign. Surprisingly, the campaign has not even reached Malaysia. Is there truly any profit gained from the Amazing Thailand campaign? I understand that the campaign was planned several years in advance and that it is too late to cancel, but the budget should at least be cut down to a reasonable amount so that more funds would become available.
In shifting from a developing to a developed country, it is crucial that the majority of Thailand's work force be retrained. Industrial workers, trained to perform one specific task, once unemployed have to learn to do other things. Other agricultural workers end up overproducing items that are not in very high demand, and as a result of the economic meltdown are unemployed.
Therefore I recommend that the budgets of major spending projects such as the Games, the Amazing Thailand campaign and some construction projects be slashed. The results of these budget slashes should be used in retraining programs and social security programs to reform and restore the labor force.
As a result, the labor force should be ready to accommodate new industries that would boost the country's production. Knowing what and how to produce is the key, and it should be able to pick the country up and out of the economic meltdown.
Also in doing this, the distribution of income is also adjusted. Instead of having nearly half of the country's wealth controlled by the top 5% aristocrats, retrained workers will be able to earn more wages and narrow the gap between the very rich and the very poor.
Gemma M. Truman
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Copyright (c) 1998 by Gemma Truman
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For my Economics class I was instructed to first see what the Thai government could do to improve the fallen economic situation, and then where they could get the money from. I saw that so much money was put into the Asian Games and the Amazing Thailand campaign, and that that money could be used for the unemployed. So I put that into my hypothetical open letter to the Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai. Maybe I might send it.