Monday, October 29, 2007

Blame it on ... (insert anything you hate)

I can't believe this kind of article appears in Kompas -- or any newspaper for that matter. Look how its author in his attempt to attack liberalization thinks how oil crisis (what? oil crisis?) can be curbed by 1) encouraging the world to force oil producing countries to increase their production, 2) asking oil consuming countries to reduce their consumption, 3) asking countries to be 'patient' with their political ambition.

And oh, he thinks that Indonesia's own 'oil crisis' is caused by high oil consumption which is caused by large production of cars and motorbikes which is caused by liberalization.

Terrible. BNI shareholders, beware!


Anonymous said...

So, Dr. Patunru, what is the best solution that can you offer to anticipate the next crisis? At least in the view of Indonesia's interest. Could you show the application of design mechanism theoretically in solving the oil led crisis that might be happened real soon?
Oh, as the visitor of this blog, we notice that you are notoriously known as KOMPAS protester, what is the underlying reason why you are so hate with KOMPAS articles. Why don't you do like your companion MCB write in KOMPAS instead of become eternal protester?

Aco said...

My solution? Calm down, develop alternative energy sources, remove oil market distortions including the subsidy on gasoline and kerosene, encourage good public transportation, make private driving more expensive, invite more competition to Pertamina, and so on.

I am a Kompas hater? God, no. I love that newspaper. I've been its loyal subscriber and reader for more than 20 years! If there's a contest or trivia on Kompas history, count me in. If I were a hater, why do I keep reading it? In fact, it even comes before my breakfast. I don't read newspapers other than Kompas and Jakarta Post.

Why do I not write there in Kompas? Well, I'm not a good writer, I guess. My 'specialization' is to criticize the newspaper I love. For example, it hurts me to find that my beloved Kompas print a trash, ridiculous article like that. And oh, I don't really care with other newspapers.

Hope that explains :-) (I once had a friendly discussion at Litbang Kompas, and I said the same thing).

Thanks for visiting, Sir.

Udin said...

Aco, do you remember me? Well, I was your student at international class FEUI 3 years ago, but I was called John at that moment. I am a regular visitor for your another blog (diskusi ekonomi). Very good indeed and beneficial.
Oke, I just inform that I have a senior colleague at Bappenas who had developed oil policy briliantly. He is Hanan Nugroho (I think you know well who he is). He has no personal website, but you can get his articles about oil policy from google. I give links to his papers at my blog (
Sadly, so far, there is no place for his brilliant recommendation. Bureaucracy makes him marginalized.

Anonymous said...

Pak Aco, don't be so gender biased ;). The first commentator could be a ma'am. Btw, why is it so hard to develop another alternative energy source like ethanol? If I'm not mistaken, Brazil has somewhat succeeded on developing that. Or is it also still much more expensive and still in the development phase?

Aco said...

Udin aka John, yes I remember you. I share your concern: Bappenas is one of the few institutions with lots and lots of smart people that unfortunately are not given good chance -- or simply there is no good mechanism to channel their potentials.

Aco said...

Anonymous, there is probably a lot of reasons why alternative energy i.e. ethanol is still not popular in Indonesia. One would be because gasoline is still highly subsidized, so the incentive to develop (un-)subsidized alternative is very low.

Aco said...

Oh about my gender-biasedness, oops, I did it again... Sorry...

Gianie said...

I do beliave pak Aco is not a Kompas hater. We, at least me, appreciate his opinion to Kompas. And anyone who did the same thing to Kompas. We need a kind of people like that to make Kompas growing better (this is my personal statement, not Litbang Kompas... hehehe).

But i don't believe you are not a good writer, sir. You did it good in diskusiekonomi. Just try to the real Kompas. Once you make it, you'll addict. Or, i give myself to be your editor.... kidding sir! :)

About why alternative energy is still not popular in Indonesia, i think even we could develop its industry, it's hard to change people's habbit in consuming energy.

Aco said...

Gianie, thanks! Apa kabar teman-teman di Litbang? My regards to you all.

Anonymous said...

Kompas may need a (external) referee who has expertise or capacity to judge the submitted articles before they get publication...

Arya Gaduh said...

When it relates to economic opinion pieces, I think Kompas needs to internally improve the way it judges articles that are fit to print. When a person like Rhenald Kasali was allowed to write Kompas's "Economic Analysis" section, something has truly gone amiss.

That aside, I think it would be nice if Kompas has a everyday-(micro-)econ section. Then, Aco (and his Cafe Salemba colleagues) should well be recruited as regular columnists. ;-)

Anonymous said...

I think we need to distinguish between an economist ("ekonom") and "pengamat ekonomi". "Pengamat ekonomi" is no more than "komentator ekonomi". It is like "komentator sepakbola" when we are watching a premiership league...

Gianie said...

That's a good idea, mas Arya. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Not agree with Arya's opinion. KOMPAS is not an economic textbook or such thing like that. As a public newspaper, KOMPAS should need more economist like Krugman or MCB who can translate complex and rigourous economic analyses into a prose in which layman can digest it.

Arya Gaduh said...

Anon (2.35):
There are a lot of other spaces in Kompas where "economic commentators" can comment. I used to think that "Analisis Ekonomi" is supposed to be different -- a small space of economic analyses with credibility. Given that serious economics is given such a small space, I was desperately hoping that it will be filled by people trained in the discipline.

Anon (8:19):
Agree we need more Krugman (more precisely, a pre-NYT-columnist Krugman) or MCB. But I was hoping there can be space in the media for both the Krugman/MCB type and Landsburg/Harford/Patunru type of analyses.

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