Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Scorpions, Frogs and the Economics of Racism

As the greatest economist of the 21st Century, I observe Malaysia's downgrade in ratings (S&P Moody's Fitch) with a grim and yet bored glare. I am also reminded of the fable about the scorpion and the frog.

What if all the grandstanding racism, hatred and stupidity demonstrated by Malaysians daily result in an implosion of the Malaysian economy?

Most of the businesses and money in Malaysia are owned by the Chinese community. Their customers are mostly Malays. Except for things such as high-end property, luxury cars and expensive things, most of the consumers who actually spend money in this country are Malays.

I'm half-Chinese and one of the things I do that believe follow my Chinese genes is in the way I shop. I go for bargains and I never, ever, buy anything expensive unless necessary. Even if I have the money, I hate spending it. Most of my Chinese friends do this as well. This is good for us, but bad for the economy. 

Consumer spending is the economy's blood pressure. A low rate will hurt businesses which then probably have to close down or downsize, creating unemployment, resulting in less taxes, lower standard of living, increased prices (in some sectors) and higher crime rates.

I am sad to say this, but the Malays' overspending of their income and taking debts with no chance of savings is what makes this country go round. The Malays' financial suicide is good for the country's economy.

If the Malaysian economy is hit hard, the first to feel it would be the Chinese community, with all their money and investments and businesses. Eventually, this will be felt by everyone else, including the Malay community who will then start killing people in the streets. I hope not, but if we can't get our chicken... the Arab Spring's greatest symptom before it happened - to me - was that beef became a luxury item for a few years.

I don't know about consumer spending, but I see retail being hit hard. A relative went to a shop recently at 9.45pm and she was the first - and perhaps only - customer they had that day.

With ever-increasing prices of property, I don't see most of the Malays buying a lot of houses and apartments. And with the Chinese quest for bargains, anything not on the cheap would also not be that attractive. Then again, I am assuming things. What do I know? I'm just a throwaway genius no one listens to but whose predictions all come true. Every single fucking one of them.

The solution is simple. Set aside our differences and start working together. Fuck racism. Let's make money, bitches!

The business community (read: Chinese) should make efforts to keep their customers (read: Malays) happy. And we should all support Malaysian businesses, regardless of race. If we do this, we can disregard our ratings given by politically-motivated giant international corporations or even a real-estate invasion by Singaporeans because we have a strong core. We could be on the right track again.

If we set aside our emotions and look at things from a purely objective standpoint.

Shoulda. Woulda. Coulda.

Sigh. My instincts tell me this will not happen, because we Malaysians are too emotional and dumb.

This reminds me of the tale about the scorpion and the frog.

A scorpion wants to cross the river. He can't swim, so he asked a frog to take him across. The frog gave the scorpion a once-over, particularly at his claws and his poisonous tail.

"Okay, dude, but don't sting me or try to kill me. We would both die," said the frog.

"No worries," said the scorpion, cause he's Australian. "I won't."

So the scorpion got on the frog's back and the frog swam across the river. In the middle of the journey, the scorpion stings the frog.

As the frog dies, he said, "Why did you do that? Now we will both die!"

"It is my nature," said the scorpion.

Now, I know most of you will think of yourself as the frog. You're the one doing the favour, and you're the one being screwed over.


ALL of you are the scorpion AND the frog. There is no differentiation. We are killing ourselves for no reason other than it is in our nature to kill ourselves.