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perspective

Year of the Red Rooster: You get what you deserve


I took a close look at the 2017 crystal ball the other day – and the only clear sign staring at me was for uncertainty, chaos and confusion. It’s the Year of the Rooster – and a fiery rooster at that.

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One astrologer has already issued this warning: The Year of the Rooster will be a powerful one, with no middle of the road when it comes to moving forward. This year, impressions will count. You’ll want to look your best and be clear about your intentions concerning love, money and business. You are advised to stick to “practical and well-proven paths to ensure success, rather than risky ventures”.
No “risky ventures?” Economists are already telling us that the new year will be full of unfathomable risks, and top of the list is a question nobody has the answer for: What will “Trumponomics” look like once it’s put into force.
The Thai central bank has warned that risk No 1 is the obvious slowdown in foreign direct investment (FDI) while all parties await President Donald Trump’s actions on the economic, social, political and security fronts.
Like the negative impact triggered by Brexit before it, the stunning US presidential election result has generated a high degree of uncertainty. Will American companies pull back from Asia? Will capital flow head back to the US? Will the new president impose a 45 per cent import tariff on Chinese exports as he threatened during the election campaign?
Another crucial question with far-reaching impact: What does “America First” mean in practice when it comes to trade deals, now that the incoming US leader has made it official that he will scrap the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) initiated by President Barack Obama?
For Thailand, the RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) has been cited as a fallback position in case TPP is derailed. Despite the fact that we weren’t one of the 12 founding members, TPP’s demise would dampen overall multilateral trade arrangements in the region.
But nobody is certain how and when RCEP will produce tangible results – and whether China’s dominant role in the new trade deal is a stabilising factor – or a new “rebalancing” act that requires closer scrutiny.
The other concern is whether the US Fed will raise interest rates in the near future, as suggested by Fed chairman Janet Yellen recently. One way or another, interest rate movements in the US will impact the Thai economy thanks to its links to the international market.
The rise in “non-performing loans” is also a warning sign for Thailand, due basically to the economic slowdown. Even if the country’s economy has registered growth, the positive effects have been concentrated on urban areas while rural issues remain entangled in deep-rooted and drawn-out problems that are yet to be resolved.
In other words, the question of income disparity and social inequality between the cities and the provinces remains an insurmountable challenge despite a series of political directives and strongly worded pledges.
And, of course, there is the big question of the political road map laid down by the powers-that-be for 2017. Will there be a general election before the end of the year, as stipulated in the new constitution, which is due to be promulgated early next year?
Also on the minds of most observers: What factors could force a postponement of the election – and if  that should come to pass, what would be the new scenarios?
Perhaps, if we read astrologers’ predictions carefully, we might find the answers to some of the questions hidden between the lines.
One of the predictions based on the traditional horoscope has this to say: It is curious, but in the eastern tradition, the Rooster is an incredibly multifaceted image. Apart from the obvious irascibility, impulsiveness, emotional instability and fury, he also possesses the following qualities: pedantry, accuracy, generosity and courage.
The astrologer then concludes: In sum, people born in the year of the Rooster often combine in themselves all these elements, albeit in different stages.
It is worth remembering, the guru added, that in our particular year of 2017, we’re talking about the Red Rooster, to whom the element of Fire corresponds. In China, Fire is one of the fundamental elements that brought about the creation of the world. Flames are useful for both bestowing life (in the form of ash, which is left in the process of burning, making an excellent fertiliser) and in taking life away (for example, in forest fires). To a certain degree, Fire here is a symbol of fairness, and also of rules.
That’s why it’s often said that in China the year of the Fire Rooster is a time when everyone gets what he deserves.
You get what you deserve. How can you argue with that?

Published : December 21, 2016

By : Suthichai Yoon The Nation