Rising Price Of Life
There are a lot of arguments going on about the recently-raised price of gas.
One is, the global price of crude oil itself has risen, and as a processed-oil exporter (not importer), the price just went up for us as well. So if we want to remove a lot of pain from the country’s budget, the subsidies for gas must be partly lifted. So now we feel the pain.
The other is, raising the price of gas is not the problem in itself, but it is the perceived psychological impact on everything else – rising prices of everything, the less-to-dos doing worse because of it, and so on. The working wisdom is that if gas prices go up, everything else goes up, in a time where everyone wants everything cheap or free. An article indicated that the price of gas in Indonesia went up 37 times in the past 42 years. Yeah well… a lot happens in 42 years… not to mention that gas prices at other countries go up or down regularly, like any other commodity.
I agree that raising gas prices is a drastic measure for a country like ours, but it does not mean that we have to go off and burn tyres and make a general mess of things. Civil disobedience can only get you so far, and crosses lines to anarchy very easily. Why do the thousands of people protesting do not offer an alternative solution? If asked this they expect that the government should be the smarter one to figure things out. Well, aren’t they?
The new gas price hurts me and hurts us all but I do not find fault with it – the biggest mistake of the government is lack of foresight. Public transport is still a mess, there are no local developments whatsoever on alternative energy sources (despite all the noise about ‘blue energy’ in the press) and electric or hybrid cars – although very logical for Jakarta and other cities – aren’t even sold anywhere. Well you do hear ads here and there yet people still love their gas-guzzling cars and motorcycles and wouldn’t make a bold first step to an alternative.
We are all spoilt and corrupt, and it is time to change it; we can’t expect the government to change things for us. Stop protesting and start changing.