These are just plain opinions; they can be rejected, refuted, argued against or accepted. These words are not meant to impose my ideals upon anybody , and they are not going against the law of the diversity of thoughts~~

Sunday, 7 October 2012

The Budget and thy money, monsieurs~

           There's nothing to be regarded as chronic materialistic disorder when the society talks about the budget. The budget is about money, and money is used to live, to sustain ourselves and buy things we like, nothing like having fun for every second of your life. Economists tend to be offended if you accuse them of being materialistic and profit-motivated, because even mosques, schools and homes are made with money.  If you can find a way in which you can fight wars and bomb imperialists with  free dirt and free home-made cabbages, then go on and be a skeptic all over again.

                         There are a lot of incentives given by the government in the budget. A lot. I have to borrow one academician's phrase; there's the good , the bad and the ugly. The introduction of insurance schemes and protection plans for small traders and uniformed officers is indeed a genius, as these people are those exposed to various risks and danger of losing their income. It provides support should these group of people fall sick and unable to run their daily errands. However, I found it rather disappointing that the budget does not include initiatives or protection for workers in the private sector who lose their jobs in event of recession and whatsoever. The private sector comprises of a bigger group of income, at 3.2 million strongmen,  compared to small traders, fishermen and the armed forces, at 600000, 129622, and 124000 respectively.

                We need to agree that the budget is rather fair to the people, what with the various schemes for training and skills, support for SMEs and innovation, and the decrease of taxation in various industries that will allow them to grow stronger with a lower cost of production. The expansion of such industries will open up more jobs for graduates, primarily in the gargantuan oil and gas firms . People need to know that economic advisors and accountants formed  the basis of the budget, not the screwed up politicians and Najib himself. He ain't know nothing about economics, seriously. This is the good part of the budget, although we need to consider the fact that there are too many discrepancies and distortions when it comes to the distribution of the said budget-corruption at its finest.

         Some say that the budget is indeed an election-oriented budget. There is no point denying, is there? The fact that the election is looming close, and the people hate Najib to his guts reiterates the idea that the budget is nothing more than an indirect mass bribe. All the one-off payment are short-termed and short-lived life support-wait, it isn't supportive at all. I have the urge to vomit every time BR1M ads appear on tv - it is as if the 500 ringgit revolutionize lifestyle, cures cancer and give apartments to the homeless. So freaking pathetic. I agree that giving one-off payments to the citizens gives a  stronger domestic demand, like the ones the Taiwanese government did during the previous recession, but  we need a higher fixed income, not just sweets that last less than a day. The income of the middle income group had been stagnant for the past two decades, while the price of goods increased significantly.

            Then there's the smart phone rebate. What the fish is that for? The targeted group of 21 to 30 year olds are obviously voters- the bigger portion of them- , comprising of numerous  young men and women who aren't inclined to any political ideology-or don't even care  about the maelstrom of political stormshit that is happening. This is the legalized form of election bribery. The profit goes straight to smart phone vendors, and network providers ,or should we name here-cronies?  They can give rebates for smart phones, but not for education, seriously?

                 These one-off payments, including those given to early army retirees aren't gonna benefit the people in the long run. It benefits the government in the short run-the election.

         The budget also reintroduces various subsidies, one of them for the paddy and rice industry. Them  farmers are never getting higher income from the subsidies, as BERNAS ,who acts as a monopolist gets the biggest portion of it. The problem with the budget is that it is superficially good, but in reality the wealth goes to a designated group of elites. Reduction of subsidies for sugar is not going to reduce consumption. Ever. They are like cigarettes, non-elastic  demand from us Malaysians. So why reduce it?  

            We were also expecting the long-anticipated cut in the outrageous tax for imported cars, but nay, never . Less can be said about PTPTN, which the government only proposed incentives for the repayment of loans, nothing about cheaper education or tuition fees. They proposed a travesty of themselves-20 percent discount for one-off repayment of loans. Now, who the hell pays student loans once and for all? Seriously?

               Some people said that we are getting more and more materialistic , by the way the budget offers such small trinkets, and also the PR budget, which is much of the same thing, but I don't agree. Is it materialistic that the people demands for higher disposable income, to provide for their families? I don't think so. Is it materialistic that people support subsidies to gas and cheaper food prices, so they can spend more upon education and family entertainment?

           The reason of the return of Europeans to religious concerns after the industrial revolution is that they don't have to worry about their income anymore. This concerns the pre economic breakdown period, obviously. We can't expect to reduce crime rates , if the people doesn't have enough money to eat. We cannot expect people to start coming to mosques and enlighten themselves when they have to work from dawn to dusk to sustain their families. There is a period of religious revival in the welfare states of Europe, because they seriously do not have to worry about various debts , student loans and lousy leaders. They can concentrate more upon how they pray ,and how to be good people, perhaps?

                   I have to stress out that the budget is somewhat fair , if we exclude those ridiculously obvious bribes. The problem is the execution part of the plan. The original blueprint is outstanding, really, but the way the wealth goes to cronies, family members of the cow groups, monopolists and  fellow politicians , explain the reality that the budget is nothing more than empty words.


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