Friday, December 07, 2007

On Being Jakarta's Number One

For any Jakarta's Governor, perhaps, the most relevant and politically sensitive issue is the traffic jam. If he/she can get rid of it, he/she will be remembered, and if allowed by law, reelected for the next term.

Now, if the higher authority decides to increase the gasoline price without his/her consent, should he/she curse the the policy or, silently, praise it?  

If I were he/she, I would do the latter. Higher gasoline price reduces the use of private cars, hence less traffic jam. And when my people get mad because of the price hike, I would shrug my shoulder, and point out that it wasn't I but those guys who did it.

And I don't get why the current Governor does the other way around?


  1. Or he is simply speak up (talk is cheap right?) to gain people's sympathy (and gaining credit for re-election) while benefiting from reduced traffic jam (and claiming credit later).

    He knows what he is doing (to get re-lected). Serahkan pada ahlinya :-D

  2. Rizal,
    The central govt policy is not a subsidy removal but fuel rationing-which has different impact with the former. It is true that it may reduce subsidy allocation.

    Yet fuel rationing may lead to much higher price than the one which necessary to adjust with international price. It is not surprising that the governor yells.

    i think it somewhat similar to quota.

  3. Berly, ah, so the voters are fooled, or simply don't get the idea of cross price elasticity of demand? :-))

    Hendri, either way, it raises the price of gasoline as well as driving cars, doesn't it? Which is good for him, I suppose.