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It seems that Thailand is stagnating and stuck in the middle income trap. Why? One must understand why some societies become rich and some don’t. Adam Smith suggested that growth comes from the free-market. But the reality is different. At the surface-level institutions—democracy, education, the fre-market, etc.—seem to be the deciding factor. But at the core it is the culture that is the foundations of economic development. “The wealth and poverty of nations,” by David Landes is the book to read. Without changing culture changing institutions do not make any difference. Culture is the prime driver. The way is to change values of a society. Russians are a relatively adapting society. Most cultures do not accept any foreign influence and are unchanging. Turkey and Russia changed through change in culture. Thai culture is frozen, unchanging. People are resistant to change, except in accepting values related with entertainment, all imported from the West. Kids do not learn, but spend all their time at the university in socializing. All education is about creating serfs. World in Thailand begins and ends with Facebook. They adopt the worst of the West: consumerism. Thai major paradigm is about social status: car, house, etc. The result are huge public and private debts. Why despite the age of information has Thailand failed to import the real values of the West? There is no culture of capital accumulation, critical thinking, and foresight. Most new money goes into luxury items. Thai are not interested in learning or changing or in learning about western values. They are merely interested in lipstick, things that enable them to show-off. Knowledge has no value in the society. “You think too much,” is an oft-repeated comment. The situation is similar in the Middle East, Africa and most of South America.

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