There have been reports that the Thai government is tracking up to 150 billion baht used to fund the recent red shirt rallies in Bangkok.
If true, this surely must be Thaksin’s greatest social reform ever. Rapid redistribution of income on that scale is unprecedented and if the trend catches on new Central World shopping malls will soon be popping up all over the place.
Let’s get the extent of this reform in perspective. 150 billion baht is 150 thousand million baht. That is 150,000,000,000 baht. Lots of zeroes!
Let’s say, very roughly, that the average rural household earns about 10,000 baht per month. (I’ll dig out some figures if necessary.) That’s roughly 20,000 for the two months of the protest period.
150,000,000,000 divided by 20,000 is 7,500,000.
So Thaksin’s greatest reform ever could have doubled the income of 7.5 million housholds (about 30 million people – almost half of Thailand) for the duration of the rallies.
I can feel a Nobel Prize coming on!