- Posted December 2, 2013 by
It is not the Rich vs. the Poor. It is knowledge and responsibility!
Clean conscience on education and tax
I know folks who are shrimp farmers. They are not formally educated but they do pay taxes and have great ideas about democracy. Their ideas are even better than a few Thai political professors with Phd from aboard. Education in my definition is not just “formal” education in school and people can self-teach themselves as long as they are willing to. For Thailand, we need to educate citizens how important voting is and it is everyone’s efforts not just teachers or politicians. I am a firm believer that you do not gain intelligence through school (but schooling increases that potential).
I always like to say I would rather donate my money directly to the poor than pay taxes to the corrupt government! We can address corruption on another forum how Taksin regime has been “too” corrupt as it is a long story. I once spent half an hour explaining to a Bangkok taxi driver how Taksin cleverly avoided paying taxes and the driver was so grateful that I explained. Taksin is smart and you need to know a bit to catch up with him. Admittedly, I used to like a lot of his policies and even after he won asset concealment case in 2001 with doubts, I was still optimistic that Thailand was moving forward toward Malaysia or Singapore. But again, Taksin proves to be too much of a bad example for the next generation. If he simply says he would stay away from Thai politics forever or if redshirts disown Taksin, we will be in a lot better situation in my humble opinion.
BUT tax paying means you are giving back to the country. It is responsibility of every citizen. You can pay one baht and you are a responsible citizen. For those who cannot pay temporarily either because you are out of the job or there are special circumstances, there should be a measure to enable you to vote. What I meant is for those who evaded taxes, you should not have a say. For those who cannot pay because you have been poor, we will design an economy that helps employ you so you will get more access to information and enable you to be an educated voter.
Now if you are poor and believe you know democracy, take a basic democracy questionnaire just like a driving test paper (i.e. What does a member of the parliament do? What are the roles of constitutional court?) then you can vote. Voting is similar to casting a net over fish. You have to take bad fish or inedible particles out.
The end of the day, it is not about money or rich vs. poor as many politcal pundits casualy pointed out. You look at the pictures of the mob and you see that there are so many working classes in the mob. People in the South are all united against the current government as well. It is not social divide as well.
It is rights vs. responsibility. It is right vs. wrong. It is against one man and his "Marcos-like" corrupt regime. It is about our kids and how they will be able to live better. Today, with the largest mob in Thailand's history, many people with clean conscience are standing up against Taksin's dirty money.
JFK once said “Ask not what your country can do for you but ask what you can do for your country” I could not agree more. Stop demanding and start contributing. Stop the excuses vs. cursing and start correcting. Thailand should not be a welfare state and we need to prove we are better than what we are seen on CNN today.