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We’re not nearly ready for the ageing society: Thai editorial


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We’re not nearly ready for the ageing society

By The Nation

 

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As the dwindling workforce compounds looming challenges, there are examples of sound measures to follow

 

Thais are not ageing faster than other nationalities, but the challenges we face with the ballooning population of senior citizens are compounded by a tendency to retire early from the workforce and move into “slow life” mode. A recent report said Thailand could face a serious manpower crisis sooner than other countries with ageing societies. It’s become clear that the present and future governments will have to attach greater importance to this issue.

 

In less than two decades, the number of Thais at age 65 and up – the senior citizens – will constitute more than 20 per cent of the population. Societies are said to begin ageing when that proportion is just 7 per cent. By the time the figure reaches 20 per cent, the society’s ability to cope with senior needs is severely tested. In Japan, the figure is already above 25 per cent, and not even that country’s robust economy can protect it from dire consequences.

 

Singapore, like Thailand afflicted by a worryingly low birth rate, is also economically sound but also struggling. A recent study there on long-term-care services indicated that Singapore – which already has more adaptive measures in place than Thailand – needs considerable improvement in both services and facilities for the elderly. It called for a national review of the issues involved, such as affordability, funding, manpower, capacity and regulations.

 

Thailand would do well to at least follow Singapore’s example in encouraging firms to rehire retirees to cover shortfalls in the fully stretched workforce. People over 60 currently make up more than 10 per cent of the Thai workforce – double the number of a decade ago. And Singapore is also offering incentives to young people to marry and to parents to have more children.

 

The report issued in Thailand warned that up to 15 per cent of the workforce could evaporate in the next decade. And Thailand’s predicament is worsening faster than those found in many developed nations with firmer economic foundations and better education systems.

 

The report does not mention a crucial factor – the way political conflict has overshadowed the issue in Thailand. The steady political turbulence has seen policies revamped on a regular basis and has pushed aside urgent matters like education, human resources and the looming challenges of the ageing populace. It is unlikely that any of the rivals in the coming election will have proposals for this last issue as a campaign platform.

 

The business sector has made concrete moves, to be sure. Real-estate billboards advertise “happy retirement” facilities. Adult diapers and other products designed to bring convenience to seniors’ lives are now sold in regular rather than speciality stores.

 

But from the political sphere, there is little good news. Last year the Democrat Party celebrated another anniversary as Thailand’s oldest political party with pledges about the economy, income disparity and the ageing society. Otherwise the issue gets no mention among political foes focused almost entirely on sidelining either Thaksin Shinawatra or Prayut Chan-ocha. For the most part, the only age group the politicians are interested in is the younger generation.

 

The ageing issue is threatening us and it will not go away. The time has come to give it a higher place on the national agenda, and to find the stability to address it properly.

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/opinion/30352503

 
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-- © Copyright The Nation 2018-08-20
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This is a serious issue that Thailand (and others) will face, and the sooner action is taken, the better.

 

There are three areas where Thailand could take immediate, consequential action;

 

  • Fire roughly half of the current Bureaucracy and reduce the outlandish, cradle-to-grave benefits system that Bureaucrats enjoy. Is there anyone who has visited a Thai bureaucrat office and NOT seen at least half the workforce playing on Facebook? These people are wasted, wealth-sucking hangers-on.
  • Implement an immediate wealth tax. Thailand has one of the highest concentrations of wealth in the world; how do you expect 70 million or so Thais to pay for their retirement when 0.0001% of the people have all the money?
  • As a society, take serious action against corruption. Corruption sucks the life out of any/all economic activity by rewarding those who do Sweet FA. How can a society and/or individuals pay for its retirement when soooooooo much money goes to non-productive leeches?

I am not holding my breath that the above (or any) policy changes will occur, but the answer to a serious problem is clear and simple; if you want Thais to fund their own retirement, then they must have the ability to earn enough to do so. And, that is not the case at the moment.

 

 

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3 hours ago, webfact said:

Singapore, like Thailand afflicted by a worryingly low birth rate

It means that people cannot afford to have children.  It is part of an economic model.  If you want people to have more children they need prosperity.   Singapore and Thailand have vastly different problems.   Singapore has too much money and too little space.  Thailand has inept civil service heavily influenced by greedy, selfish, inbred elites who hobble education and take all the wealth of the country for themselves.  People will not have children while surviving on crumbs. 

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"Thais are not ageing faster than other nationalities..."

 

Enforcing traffic laws. and reducing the amount of pesticide use and sugar consumption should increase the overall aging in Thailand. 

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3 hours ago, webfact said:

“slow life”

From what Ive seen of the Thai workforce  if they went any slower   than  "normal" theyd stop

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5 minutes ago, jaltsc said:

"Thais are not ageing faster than other nationalities..."

 

Enforcing traffic laws. and reducing the amount of pesticide use and sugar consumption should increase the overall aging in Thailand. 

Nah.

They are doing just fine, leave them alone . :giggle:

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3 hours ago, Samui Bodoh said:

This is a serious issue that Thailand (and others) will face, and the sooner action is taken, the better.

 

There are three areas where Thailand could take immediate, consequential action;

 

  • Fire roughly half of the current Bureaucracy and reduce the outlandish, cradle-to-grave benefits system that Bureaucrats enjoy. Is there anyone who has visited a Thai bureaucrat office and NOT seen at least half the workforce playing on Facebook? These people are wasted, wealth-sucking hangers-on.
  • Implement an immediate wealth tax. Thailand has one of the highest concentrations of wealth in the world; how do you expect 70 million or so Thais to pay for their retirement when 0.0001% of the people have all the money?
  • As a society, take serious action against corruption. Corruption sucks the life out of any/all economic activity by rewarding those who do Sweet FA. How can a society and/or individuals pay for its retirement when soooooooo much money goes to non-productive leeches?

I am not holding my breath that the above (or any) policy changes will occur, but the answer to a serious problem is clear and simple; if you want Thais to fund their own retirement, then they must have the ability to earn enough to do so. And, that is not the case at the moment.

 

 

Here, here sir !

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3 hours ago, Samui Bodoh said:

I am not holding my breath that the above (or any) policy changes will occur, but the answer to a serious problem is clear and simple; if you want Thais to fund their own retirement, then they must have the ability to earn enough to do so. And, that is not the case at the moment.

 

You also need a will to save money and just spunk it

on New cars, Bikes, and other things they don't need.  money seems to burn a hole in this lots pocket even before the have earned it.

Keeping up with the Noi's ( joneses )is full on in Thailand.

Big face = Empty bank balance. 

 

Ps, But i do like the way they take care in the family, of the old ones in there family,  in the family homes. we just throw ours into care homes.

Got to give the Thai's that one, Good job :jap:

 

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And it will become worse, much worse unless the 'government' hears the banjos and decides again for fast back-paddling: 

New rules ban students from ‘indecency’ and ‘inappropriate’ displays of affection.

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