In the West everything seems to happen a decade later than in Asia. Why don’t we learn from Asia’s mistakes?
Is it me, or does Trump’s ascension to the throne show scary similarities with Thaksin’s rise to power, way back when? I spot three C’s:
– Cronyism: Thaksin gave his relatives posts at ministries and in the police force. Trump gives his son in law an important advisory role.
– Conflict of interest: Thaksin gave his company to his driver. Trump gives his to his sons.
– Corruption: Thaksin allegedly came to power through massive vote buying, and… Well, let me not make a full list of Thaksin’s corruption charges; it would be too long. Trump has quite a list too. Think about the problems at Trump University, and about the fact that the Trump Foundation broke federal tax law.
The similarities don’t end there, and I fear that more similarities will show as time goes by… So a decade after Thailand learnt the hard way that a corrupt megalomaniac businessman isn’t the ideal leader of the country, the USA votes one in power. Interesting how that happens.
Which reminds me of two decades ago. In 1997, Asia suffered a massive credit crisis. The Japanese economy was rock bottom, and all of Asia followed. Also Thailand had a huge credit crisis, and some unfinished buildings from that time still stand. A decade later, in 2008, the West suffered the same fate. There are not that many unfinished megastructures here, but we had a credit crisis nonetheless.
The West seems to follow Asia by a decade. Isn’t that an unfamiliar idea? We no longer lead the world. Asia does (China does). Thailand now has a fairly benevolent military dictatorship (criticism possible). China has a planned economy – still. Japan I know little about, but seems to be doing well. South Korea has an impeached president (or prime minister?)… Which of these will America have adopted in a decade?