Tag Archive | money

Therefore, Since Bali Is Nice, Then Jakarta Must Also Be Nice

So, in order to promote tourism to Jakarta, the Jakarta Tourism and Culture Agency held the Enjoy Jakarta Indonesian Open golf tournament… in Bali. And sure enough, criticism abounded, and the agency defended their decision by saying “promoting our golf facilities is not an instant move” and that “there was no extra burden on Jakarta – only Rp 6.5 billion was spend on prizes, and other costs covered by sponsors”.Sure. I can hear the golfers saying “Oh, the golf course in Bali is nice, it must mean the ones in Jakarta must also be nice”.

Bang Foke: Stay Away From My Taxes

The governer, in an applausable move, has rejected the lowering of automotive taxes proposed by the Finance Industry and Jakarta Revenue Agency. Why yes, it will remain a very big burden to motor vehicle owners, but see what happens when the tax is lowered:

  • lower taxes means more people will buy cars or motorcycles.
  • more cars and motorcycles equals worse traffic jams!
  • more traffic jams actually hurt the economy more than it will impact the supposed revenue that comes from the increase of peope buying cars or motorcycles.

Note that the taxes have not been raised either. So Bang Foke has basically stated that “this is my call, not yours” to those agencies, and further pointing out that if we want to have a stimulus package for the industry, it shouldn’t be by cutting revenue here and there – it should be one that actually creates jobs.Let me take that point a bit further – reviving the economy doesn’t mean selling more cars *winking at Gaikindo*, but it means making sure the people have enough money to spend. And for that to happen, it shouldn’t be just considering one industry out of the thousands available in Jakarta.Maybe Gaikindo can take a hint from the telco operators, where they are actually decreasing their prices, but making money elsewhere from the same subscribers.

Free Rant Here

Jakartans (or more precisely, Indonesians in general) are famous for wanting the best, but if possible, not wanting to pay for it – at the least, not at full price. The recent wave of smuggled Blackberries is one sign – it’s much cheaper to buy it from an overseas operator compared to the local offerings. And leave it to a Jakartan to try to make money off illegal goods; bring 1 or 2 units, the customs guys can just let it go. 4 units might be pushing it a bit. But 100??? That’s plain greedy. Other proof?

  • piracy – CDs, DVDs, VCDs, software, you name it. I once met a guy who was protesting to the pirate DVD stall “what’s taking so long for the new Battlestar Galactica season to come up?”… maybe it’s because it hasn’t even been aired, you dumbass.
  • knock-offs – YSL and LV bags abound, from the cheap knock-offs to the KW1 version; all enough to give the impression that the bags are real, at least from a small distance. Don’t get me started on the fake Levi’s.
  • refurbished phones – yep, to get a cheap but cool-looking phone, some stores just bring in refurbished ones and sell “with store guarantee” which actually means “we’ll swap it with another one if it breaks down within a week, otherwise, good luck pal”.
  • contests – a surefire way to get your product sold or raise awareness, at least, is to hold a contest for the customers and offer really, really big prizes – cars, houses, washing machines, phones, laptops, and so on. “Buy [place product here] and win [place prize here]” – how often have you seen that message?
  • secondhand stuff – whole markets and mailing lists are dedicated to the trade of secondhand stuff, from clothes to gadgets, from furniture to cars – get an almost new something for the price of, well, less than something. Buy this secondhand phone – still got guarantee, lor, maybe bonus porn in it – but still look new lor, envy of your friends lor! Or a Beemer (BMW, for the uninitiated) of any make is still the envy of the street – even if you paid something less than a secondhand Toyota and pay higher taxes than a secondhand Toyota.
  • Concert tickets – some people go around and try to scam free concert tickets, even though they’re prefectly capable of affording said tickets. Same goes for free anything I guess – Jakartans, if possible, would like everything free and not spend a cent from their own pocket on anything. Needless to say, this might not only be a symptom in Jakarta alone, ha ha…
  • WiFi – even though a lot of people can start to afford laptops, they can’t afford/don’t want to pay for internet connections, so they go off to a free WiFi spot. But of course, this is not the single reason – hanging out at a trendy cafe with your laptop, updating your Facebook profile and chatting with your friends seems to be the coolest thing around. WiFi has to be free! But I’ll pay for this Rp 40.000 cup of coffee.
  • Gasoline – there were many demonstrations, some violent, when the price of gasoline went up 34% earlier this year. After which somehow, the roads got even more congested. Then when the price of gasoline went down 16%, there were still demonstrations, saying the price lowering was not enough. Sounds more like a knee-jerk reaction rather than fully understanding what is going on, like the fact Indonesia still has one of the cheapest gasoline prices at the pump, in the world, though admittedly not the cheapest. The countries who offer cheaper prices are still subsidized by the government.
  • Free SMS, talktime – nothing gets a new customer signed up for a prepaid plan faster than the offer of “free” SMS and talktime, with hidden components like tariffs apply only at a certain time, or the free SMS can only be used if you maintain a certain balance, etc, which subscribers only find out after buying the starterpack. Nobody wants to pay for airtime yet they complain if the telco gives bad service.

Let’s face it, Jakarta is the true face of capitalism, surpassing New York City, London and those other seemingly commerce-driven cities. Here, we want to spend as little as we can to get as much as we can – the smallest capital for the highest gain – isn’t that the whole point of capitalism?

So Who Lives Where?

It’s funny how Jakarta and the Greater Jakarta area keeps on building and expanding various residential areas, whether they are proper houses or apartement buildings, yet somehow a large portion of Jakarta’s residents (or those who work in Jakarta) either have no proper housing of their own, live in really bad living conditions, or are forced to live very, very far away. In a Jakarta housing expo, you can spot people offering real estate for as far as Bogor.Reversely, a lot of the houses nearer to the centre of Jakarta always seem empty.

Get More Power And Money NOW!

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Got this [spam] advertisment from the mailing lists (I took the liberty of editing out the company name). I wonder how many dupes fall for this ad? Can become rich, famous and powerful with no money investment, and the liberal use of ‘free media’ catchphrase. You just need to have the skillz and willingness. Note that they use ‘potential income’ in the ad. More likely it’s potential that at one point you may make money…. or may not. Another phrase for ‘free’ is ‘doesn’t make a dime’. Hence it’s not definite income, it’s potential income. It’s a really good deal!