The concept that Thailand’s political crisis is simply a struggle between the “elites” and the long-suffering masses — still implied by many of your correspondents — is naive and disingenuous. The people demonstrating in Bangkok in their hundreds of thousands are, in fact, taxpayers. The “elites” of the world don’t pay taxes — they employ clever accountants instead!
Then what is peculiar to Thailand (and other developing countries) that makes it so difficult to employ the principles of democracy enjoyed by more socially advanced countries?
Current statistics show that from a working population of some 38 million only 10 million complete tax returns. In other words, three out of four voters can vote for outrageously reckless populist policies without any concern for who’s going to pick up the bill! This situation does not arise in more sophisticated domains because the majority pay tax, and are more concerned with viability and overall effects on the economy.
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