Saturday, July 25, 2009

Tone down your expectations

The election is over. SBY-Boediono's camp (including the coalition members) will rule in the next five years. They got overwhelming 60.8% of legitimate votes or 41% of total registered voters. But that's not going to bring significant change to the direction of this country.
People would start to talk about 5% or 7% economic growth target. They don't really care actually who will grow, as long as the aggregate growth is there to talk. They will repeat over and over the 5% inflation rate. But they don't really care how much people's purchasing power at the middle to low income group will be raised. 
Don't talk about inequality, which enlarged significantly in the past 10 years or so, coz you might be classified as terrorist. Don't talk about inequity, you'll be considered communist. 
Raising tax for the rich and provide affordable education and healthcare for middle-low income groups? You'll be considered socialist. "We're capitalists," they said.
Get more from natural resources concessionaires? "No way, they are our major contributors in this political process," they argued.
They will repeat over and over the low BI benchmark rate of 6.75%. But they don't care about how much actually people pay for their motorcycle or housing. FYI, the average motorcycle financing is 35%-42% in the first quarter 2009. So, talking about 6.75% BI rate would be meaningless for ordinary people. They even don't know why banks cut significantly interest rate for time deposits or saving accounts.
"Because you're poor. We give better rates for the rich, those with time deposits over US$100,000," they said.
Oh, and they will talk about free education or 20% State budget for education only to finance the bureaucracy in the education department/offices, not to build new schools or better libraries, scholarships, etc. "Well, conditions apply," they said.
Healthcare? What are you talking about? Public infrastructure? Hey, don't expect too much, be realistic. "We're busy to give out some cabinet seats here," they said.




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