Naewna on May 4, 2019

The U.S. Election 2020 will be full of people of 70 years old or above except one person.

      I set up Human Resources Institute nearly 40 years ago. Every Labor Day, I had opportunities to share ideas and join the Labor Day at Sanam Luang.

          This role is the new generation of Thai society. They represent both employers and employees. This is the role of professor working in Human Resources Institute of Thammasat University. Now, this role must be pursued to properly support Human Resources Institute mission.

          Nobody knows that, if there was no coup d’état in Gen. Soonthorn Khongsompol’s era, I would have been the first permanent-secretary of Ministry of Labor in Gen. Chatchai’s government. Ministry of Labor’s roles greatly change. I always say that Department of Labor must not be the second branch of Ministry of Interior. It should be moved to be Ministry of Labor. Instead of cultivation or development, they are civil servants who stick to the rules.

          People in Thai society think that Ministry of Labor works on welfare only. They also think that human resource development is under Ministry of Social Development and Human Security. None of human resource economists understand labor skill development. It seems less important. There is not much budget. No laws require that employers, employees and Ministry of Labor must work together to improve soft skills as follows.

          -Happiness

          -Passion

          -Respect

          -Dignity

          Nowadays, we have to face AI, Robotics and several challenges.

          I would like to suggest this to review the budget for Thai labor development.

In the future, Thailand will not have unskilled labors. Thailand needs millions of labor. There should be new laws addressing the necessity of human capital development of 25-50 years old. Their skill and knowledge must be developed to work with AI like creativity, happiness, teamwork and mutual respect.

          25-50 year old labors need a lot of skill and knowledge development.

          There should be hundred million budgets at Department of Labor Skill Development. Instead of skill, competency must be used. I would like the new director of Human Resources Institute at Thammasat University who is an economist to initiate these things on Labor Day of this year. Moreover, I would like Thai society to look at employee leaders and employer leaders as change and innovation leaders. Thailand still has opportunities. The number of labor in some industrial sectors greatly decreases. The labor demand will expand in the new sectors like logistics, tourism, digital etc. As a co-founder, I think that Thammasat University should be the leader in this field.

          The U.S. Election will certainly happen in November 2020. Trump is now 73 years old but continues applying for this election.

          More than 10 candidates from Democrat Party are old. 76-year-old Bernard Sanders almost won when he competed with Hilary Clinton. Joe Biden who used to be a Vice President during President Obama’s era announced to be a candidate at age 76.

          My father told me that the strongly swayed pendulum would swing back.

          The Mayor of South Bend, Indiana State, Pete Buttigieg who is only 37 years old is a candidate Thais should be interested in and follow in several aspects as follow.

          1.His young age

          2.His gay status and legal marriage

          3.His good education as a Harvard University graduate. He got Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford. Then, he went for military service. He has perfect qualifications.

          Now, he is not well-known. However, I follow his news. Pete can be an interesting variable. Most candidates are old. That is not a problem. I think that a young man who loves politics should make this U.S. Election more interesting.

          Pete was born in the U.S. His family migrated from Malta, a small country bordering the South of Italy. He is a very interesting person among nearly 20 candidates.           

           In this U.S. Election 2020, there are not only people who are 70 years old or above. This 37-year-old candidate may be a dark horse. If he gets elected, he will be the youngest president in the history.

Prof. Dr. Chira Hongladarom

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Source: Learning from Reality Column. Naewna. Saturday 4 May 2019, p.5

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