Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Economy: Bangkok - Another Example For Government Despotism

(Drivebycuriosity) - It seems we live in the time of ridiculous dictators. Turkey`s Erdogan is expanding his power and North Korea´s Kim is threatening the world. Unfortunately they are not alone. This week came another example for government despotism - from Bangkok.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), an arm of Bangkok`s city government, decided that street food vendors will disappear from Bangkok`s street by the end of the year in the interests of cleanliness, safety and order (businessinsider). The ban is meant to "return the pavement to the pedestrians" and restore "order and hygiene".

The decision was made a month after the city was named the finest street food destination in the world by CNN for the second year (cnn). "In the capital, which is internationally recognized for its street food, famous locations such as Chinatown/Yaowarat and Khao San Road would be cleared of vendors in a bid to beautify Bangkok" comments the Thai news service The Nation (nationmultimedia). "The World's Street-Food Capital Is Banning Street Food", writes time Magazine (

Holy Cow! I had visited Bangkok some years ago and was fascinated by the metropolis because of her "hustle and bustle" and the exotic environment which is partly caused by the ubiquitous street markets. And Thai street food is outstanding because of its variety. If tourists want to see a clean swiped city they could visit Hamburg, Germany.

Bangkok´s city government is another example for an administration which is out of touch. The bureaucrats are showing their power and they are enforcing their idea of "order and hygiene". They don´t care about the economic & social consequences. They don´t care that they will destroy thousands of existences. Where will these vendors continue their business? How will these people earn their living?

The bureaucrats don´t care about the thousands of customers who will lose cheap sources for breakfast, lunch, snacks & dinners. They don`t care about low income groups who depend on affordable street food. And they don´t care that they will destroy an important tourist attraction and so endanger an essential income stream for whole Thailand.

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