Posted by: Barrak Al-Babtain | January 18, 2011

A 1000KD Gift is a Terrible Idea

As if to prove my point, this 1000KD ‘gift’ is a perfect example of short sighted gimmickry. People don’t want to think about how it will cause accelerated inflation, how most of the money will be spent outside Kuwait and what it means when Kuwaitis think of this as a patriotic act.

Patriotism is sacrifice. It is about working hard to make your country better than how you found it. It is about planning and preparing for a future that is not by any means certain. Kuwait and other petro-nations are driving towards a brick wall. Instead of wearing seat belts, slowing down and ultimately trying to avoid the wall, we’re shutting our eyes, listening to some great music and trying not to care. Some people feel that they can just jump out before it’s too late, and maybe they can, but the car is still going to crash into the wall.

Kuwaitis will be fine, for now. But Kuwait won’t for long. Patriotism is about knowing which is more important.


Responses

  1. Ah so I take it you will be giving the money back to the government?

    • That’s not really the point (and no, i’m keeping it of course). Like i’ve said before, I don’t drive less because petrol is so cheap. I don’t save electricity because electricity is so cheap. I don’t conserve water because water is so damn cheap. I’m being subsidized to be a bad human being. The incentives are there for me to waste my country’s resources. I’m just angry that the incentives and the structural framework of this country rewards bad behavior and at times punishes good behavior.

      Like everyone else, i’m selfish. But we can be selfish while also knowing that it can’t last forever. I wouldn’t mind indulgences if the basic needs of a sustainable society were met. I would gladly pay higher fuel/water/electricity costs if it meant cleaner air, less traffic and more alternatives to driving (let alone securing our future while teaching a generation about the value of conservation). It’s a lot more complex than just saying ‘if you don’t like it, give it back’.

      • Wow Barrak.. you really are ignorant i should seriously smack you with my boxers or something

        have you ever heard of the word conserve ? obviously you haven’t and not everyone is like you some people actually care about the eco system..

      • Hehe. Well, if you can conserve because you feel that’s the right thing to do, that’s great. But there are so few people like you that it is almost insignificant. I’m trying to suggest structural incentives that can make a major impact, and not just feel good marketing campaigns that have no long term impact.

  2. You’re right, in fact you’ve been always right as far as I knew this blog. But how do you think can we reduce the impact? By making sure you spend it all in Kuwait for example?

    I’d love to see solutions to the problems that you present in the blog, whether from your own opinion or quoted from others, I’m not used to seeing problems alone here.

    • Thanks! Well, for one thing, don’t give it away in one big chunk. That’s just asking for trouble. A better way is to spread it out for a whole year, that way people can’t make big, needless purchases (or trips) but rather might use them to help with debt or other recurring payments.

      The free rationing is just mind-bogglingly stupid. There’s just no arguing for that. That’s just asking for it to be abused. It would have been much better if it was made cheaper, but being free is a totally different mentality. People waste free. Look at how people changed their behavior in supermarkets where people were asked ‘paper or plastic’ (paper being the more ecological choice). Before, they were both free, and most people still chose plastic. When they made plastic 2 cents, people overwhelmingly chose free paper. Now that food staples are free, people will really start to abuse it and not appreciate the value of it. People in arab nations are starving, and Kuwait and other Gulf countries are buying land in Sudan, Egypt and other arab nations to build farms to grow and import this food. It comes from somewhere. If we see it as being free, we really won’t understand the value of where it came from.

  3. you could give it away to charity like im doing instead of being selfish :>

    ironically, the cost of solving the issue of loans a short while ago is less than the cost of giving 1k dinar to everybody

    look back to all the cost based rejection of legislations by the parliament and you’ll see there are all less costly than this

    also, the 200kd given last time was actually from the Amir’s own private money. this one isnt.

    talk about taking money from one pocket and putting it in the other. lol

  4. Yes giving out a doleful of cash, as it it were a lottery seems non-logical. Had it been a true democracy, there would surely be many opposers.
    Rightly said that anything free is prone to abuse, for people will not realise its value. Rather than give away freebies, it is better to make the living conditions better; better infrastructure, better facilities.
    It will be the expats who will bear the brunt of the resultant inflation. For them it will be as it being penalised for the charity of the govt towards the Kuwaitis.
    No doubt Kuwaitis are the most pampered lot amongst the world citizens and are truly blessed.

  5. i strongly beleive and support barrak opinion which is a fact

  6. Hi Barrak:

    I have just stumbled across your blog and I would like to share my thoughts on this topic. I think there are many arguments to present in favor for and against giving out the 1000 KD and I will state the arguments for. Firstly, I think it will help off any citizens who do have a chunk of debts on their credit cards (unless they choose to use the money for leisure/materialistic purposes). I’m also a Kuwaiti student living in Canada and at the moment I could definitely use some “free” cash🙂 Money is a beautiful thing, but give it to the wrong people and it creates the most evil characteristic a human could possess, and that is Greed. I agree with you on the fact that if we had higher fuel costs and utility costs it would make Kuwaiti parents more observant on buying a brand new Porsche for their recently high-school graduate son/daughter. This is what disappoints me most in my culture, it’s that parents spoil their children way TOO much. My dad always taught me that if I wanted something, I have to EARN it. What the 1000 KD does is that it shows our youth that it’s okay to be carrying around that sort of money and spend it on a new PS3 or Iphone. What happens after the 1000 KD is all used up? People will be wanting more and more, and kids will get used to this trend.

    So instead of giving every Kuwaiti citizen 1000 KD, it should only go to adults (18+) or (21+). I’m not saying that Adults in Kuwait are all responsible, but I’m sure it is rational to believe that they are more responsible than our corrupted youth/children🙂

  7. I agree and I think many people do …

    On a personal level, I think everyone is excited about having an extra 1000 kd in their account! …

    However, this should not be looked at in a personal way … I think we are becoming a culture that only looks at short term solutions, for qucik fixes, for money and we are becoming more lazy ‘ we want more payment but we don’t want to do the job (thats a different topic though) … our understanding of patriotism is just songs with no meanings and no actions! we want to take but never give!

    I read an article few days back titled ‘ the Kuwaitis deserve the best’ … and the author used this title in a sarcastic way …he was saying ” doesn’t Kuwaitis deserve the highest education, don’t they deserve better hospitals, greener landscapes and a fair system… don’t they deserve to know what good citizenship is by punishing those who break the laws …etc” well I gues you got his point…

    we deserve a secure future for the generations to come and citizens that understand the definition of being patriotic … and yes although I belive that this 1000kd are going to be extremely usefull for ‘some’ struggling families … I think that most of the struggles in the first place are related to the ‘money’ quickfixes mentality..

    God Bless Kuwait!


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