Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Economics of Money Politics


Money is the root of all evil. But money also make the world goes round. So I guess the trick is not to let evil bloom but keep it to stirs the world.

That is the same tricky balancing act to be done in campaign financing. The political party needs money but country as a whole loose when the party need more money than the money need the party.

A regulation is especially needed in Indonesia where income inequality is very wide. f allowed, some rich people could capture government policy and use it to their advantage with little regard for the rest of population.

My to cents worth (not sure can buy how many politician) in this article at Jakarta Post (click here).



4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear readers,
I wonder why couldn’t Indonesia sell one of the bunch of islands ( at least 13500 !). Mr Arifin Panigoro had the idea many years ago (1998?). But the “nationalist” politicians got angry and rejected the idea. According to environmental watchdog , between 2000 and 2008 , five islands have diminished (=under water). What a pity.

It is sorry for the poor and the struggling lower middle class …

Selling an island. Wow, Indonesia would have afforded to subsidy family planning and good basic education for the poor. It means better human resources. Lower criminality. And better quality of life for all.

I read about a struggling middle class (with monthly income: $ 50-80) whom got big trouble to pay the estate tax . Their home is very simple and old, but the lot has become expensive ‘cos the rapid increase of urbanisation.

Of course Indonesia need the people paying more tax. But is that reasonable to force (by imposed high estate tax on the lot ) people selling their home just because the authorities need money? It is not human. A home is not just about economy.

colson said...

I love the article - as I usually do when visiting kafedepok.

I of course do agree that it's necessary ( but not sufficient) to put a cap on donations to politicians for the reasons you gave. One of the remaining problems is how to maintain the regulations and how to react to evasions. I guess an independent authority - with legal means to investigate and prosecute- is needed to do this job.

Probably the best way to prevent the perversion of democracy by money, is the organization of critical counter action by a political active society; independent and professional media press, an independent academic society, an independent and professional judiciary and especially ( subsidized) grass roots civil action groups.

Berly said...

@anonymous:
Very interesting point. To sell might be politically difficult. but to rent is a very attractive premise.
A HK style of long term lease would bring income stream but still maintain ownership of the islamd.

@Colson:
You visit and comments are always waited upon.
Yup, half of story is on implementing the rule. The penalty for failing to disclose donor or accepting above the limit is still vague. That's why a public outrage is needed.
Political party in Malaysia and Singapore also depend on small donor. No reason why similar things could not happen here.

fajar said...

salam kenal