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Addictive and weakening: the truth about populist policies

Re: "For sustainable farming, get populist politics out of the way", ThaiTalk, June 26.

Suthichai Yoon is right to say that the best way for the government to help rice farmers is to stay put. And if support is to be provided, it should be according to guidelines set by a rice board - an agency still at the conceptual stage.

Populist schemes have been proved to make farmers weaker, lazier and "addicted" to handouts. Thailand's next governments must learn from bitter experience and avoid committing the same mistakes again.

If support is to be provided to farmers, it must be to help them stand on their own feet and become stronger and wealthier.

Thaksin Shinawatra's populist schemes have proved to be extremely bad and injurious for our low-income compatriots.

Such schemes must be abandoned.

Vint Chavala

Bangkok


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