Archive for the ‘Expats in Thailand’ Category
Cross-border mobility of capital and labor between economic equals poses few problems and offers many benefits but that kind of economic integration is not possible between grossly unequal economies. Although a controlled flow of labor from the poor country may have economic benefits for the rich country, it must strictly control labor flow from the poor country to prevent its high value labor market and social institutions from being overwhelmed by a large number of workers seeking higher wages. Similarly, even though the poor country needs capital investment from the rich country, it must control its flow and extent to keep its relatively tiny asset market from being overwhelmed by the relatively huge money supply of the rich country. Both of these concerns are motivated by economic stability issues and neither may be described as xenophobia. It is not reasonable to expect these countries to have either reciprocal labor flow agreements or reciprocal capital flow agreements.
Interview with Jeremy Browne MP, Minister of State, UK, by the Bangkok Post
Question: British citizens in Thailand are concerned about the high fees charged by the Embassy for routine services. Why is the fee for passport renewal 150 pounds in Bangkok and only 77 pounds in London?
Answer: Fees are set the same price globally. The Thai government helped to keep our staff safe during the red shirt protests for which we are very grateful. It was a difficult time for everyone and one of our primary concerns was for the safety of not just our staff but our customers too.
The coexistence of the criminal element among expats living in Thailand with the pain-in-the-neck immigration procedures that law-abiding expats must endure is often seen as a paradox (Why the double standared, Postbag, June 20, 2010) but in fact it is precisely the presence of the criminals among us that requires Thai immigration procedures to be as onerous as they are. Sadly, the good guys must endure the toil of a system designed to catch the bad guys.The silver lining for the good guys, particularly those who live here with their Thai families, is that it helps to keep the bad guys out. That there are still criminals immigrants among us is not reason to relax immigration procedures but to tighten them. Good guys who feel the pain of going through the same procedure may find solace in their purpose.
Cha-am Jamal, Thailand
Even as the political crisis in Thailand descends into civil war it is important to remind ourselves that the simplest and most obvious of solutions is and always has been at hand. That solution has to do with one man, his money, and his jail sentence.
The Gordian solution to what has been made unnecessarily complex as some kind of deep-rooted social disease, is to give this man what he wants.
Give him the money. Withdraw the charges of corruption. Cancel his jail sentence.
Voila, the civil war will be over in a heartbeat. Many lives will be spared. The red shirts will go home. This beautiful mai pen rai country with its ever so intoxicating “live and let live” style will then go back to being the kind of never-never-land that we have grown to love so much.