The Rajapakse model of governance.
My dad writes columns for LBO. I don’t usually comment on them what for conflict of interest, but he had a very funny metaphor in the last one. “According to the fable, the regular supply of golden eggs was not enough for the foolish owners; blinded by greed, they cut open the goose to get all the eggs at once. They found to their grief that there was no trove of golden eggs in the gooseâ€™s stomach; that their greed had deprived them of any more golden eggs. I do not accuse the government of being that foolish. They are not killing the goose; their behavior is more like that of trying to milk the goose for more eggs. The end result, however, will be a stressed goose yielding less eggs than it otherwise would have.” I think milking the goose about sums up the Rajapakse economic policy. He inherited a healthy economy, spent or stole almost everything, and now he’s furiously trying to milk the goose.
By milking I mean printing money and borrowing money on the (HSBC) credit card. In fact, sensible policies are to not 1) bribe ministers with cars 2) fund loss-making quasi-private vanity airlines 3) buy MiGs to shoot down (what are basically) Cessna and 4) enrich your entire clan and buy your son’s Bond cars. Sri Lanka is a golden goose, we can kick ass economically – but not with Rajapakse trying to milk us. Omigod they suck. Oh, and if you didn’t know, now that the JHU and everyone has had their fill of Benzes (which we pay the duty for), they’re going to raise taxes on importing cars. Now that the mobile industry has invested the most in this country and provided the most tangible benefits for people, they’re going to slap a 50Rs tax on the consumer. Note, not the company. When the average cellular customer is spending about Rs 350 a month on calls, the government is asking that guy for Rs 50. It’ll slow the whole sector down and suck up peoples lives so the Rajapakses can buy more cars and planes. Sweet.
Anyways, the article is here, on LBO