Last weekend’s Economist poised the question that is on some people’s minds, how long does the military want to stay in charge for?
The junta’s moral underpinning is a brand of puritanical paternalism. A clean-up is in full swing intended to purge the informal economy of unregistered labour, smuggling, prostitution, gambling and drug-dealing. There is also a sense that the generals feel the need to play Mr Thaksin’s populist game. The last government’s scheme to subsidise rice was financially disastrous. Yet the junta has insisted that the farmers should be paid off, so boosting incomes in the poor countryside. A planned rise in the consumption tax has been frozen, and fuel prices have been sharply cut. Entry to cinemas showing patriotic films (or the World Cup) has been made free of charge. And to much surprise the generals, guarantors of the monied establishment, are considering a tax on land and inherited wealth.
Source: The Economist