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12/06/2007

Creating a new social divide

The high cost of living is going to be the deciding factor in how society will polarise. The rich will be rich and the poor will be poor or poorer. This is a reality that no one can escape. What is unfortunate and apparent is how Singaporeans contribute to this division consciously. Without a healthy bank account or income, the life and future of the lower income are quite bleak actually. No matter how much assistance the govt is going to throw at them, if the poor do not help themselves and lighten their own burden, they will succumb to the pressure of simply living. Families with one or two children will definitely fare better, all things being equal, than those with 4 or 8 children. They just have more resources to bring up fewer children. And they will float to the top of the social class. Those who could not support their abundant children will simply sink lower. This is a natural social law and order. Will this social divide bring more tension and stress to our society down the road? Definitely. And it will manifest in many forms.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

What's the percentage of poor in S'pore? Is it small and 'manageable'?

As far as I know, S'pore has a dominant, docile and whining Middle Class.

Sure, the rich is going to get richer. But, hey, life's never really fair! There's bound to be some rich, some poor and majority squeezed in Middle Class. Social Divide has always been there for the longest of time. Don't pretend it does not or never exist...!

Anonymous said...

When you look around and find that just about everyone is going somewhere overseas during this December school holiday, it is hard to fathom what we mean by rich and poor in Singapore.

And judging by this alone, you could generalise that most Singaporeans are affordably rich, with only a small number of poor folks unable to manage not to talk about taking a holiday.

Matilah_Singapura said...

In the welfare and often warfare states of the so-called "developed" western industrialised democracies, the middle class has been under attack for the last 30 or so years.

They have had their job security, personal economic security eroded, many are in crippling debt, and they are taxed to the eyeballs. The divide between rich ans poor is widening BUT to the credit of these "first world" countries, their massive levels of industrialisation, national capital structure, infrastructure, culture and the level of economic diversity saves their hide. Whether they will eventually collapse is a moot point.

However that is not the case in more "free market" territories like S'pore. While it is true that the more the market opens up, the more economic casualties result at the bottom — BUT these so-called "unfortunate" people are also free to choose to design their economic fate — as hard as it is, they are FREE.

Western-style "democrazies" are founded on a idiotic, and loosely defined notion of "eqaulity". To have "equal rights" to education, healthcare etc. the state has to tax the productive to reward the unproductive. Immediately one can correctly concluded this can hardly be called "equality", especially if you are great at what you do, become wealthy as a result, and guiltlessly enjoy the fruits of your enterprise.

Democracy, western style is a system where the people get to fuck themselves up by electing leaders to do the fucking.

Singapore, despite its faults in politics — for which The People are directly responsible for (i.e. don't blame the PAP) — is still streets ahead in terms of OPPORTUNITY; not because the word "equality' appears in a pledge no one gives a shit about, and recites like robots from early school years, but because the govt essentially PROTECTS THE RIGHT of any individual who wants to "go for it" and make the best of his life.

I have always thought that helping one's fellow man in need is a good idea, HOWEVER if one relies on the state to do it, watch out...the state will then intrude more and more into the lives, of both the productive and under productive.

You can do just about ANYTHING in S'pore to better your life. Those who moan and groan are also entitled to their belly-aching, but hey, I'd rather be "pursuing my happiness" and enjoying the experience than complaining (which I do in grand style, occasionally)

redbean said...

i fear for the ignorant who thinks that it is ok to have 4 or more children when they can't even feed themselves.

this will form a class of its own in the future and if they cannot help themselves, it will put a severe strain on the social fabric of the society.

the govt cannot simply say no to them.

Matilah_Singapura said...

> the govt cannot simply say no to them. <

Oh yes, it can. And it should.

Is this cruel? No. It is the most humane thing that a govt can do.

In the western democracies, helping the "needy"—instead of leaving them alone and encouraging private charity—was the BIGGEST MISTAKE of the state. What happens is that a culture of dependency arises and the those at the bottom of the economic ladder become a govt funded underclass, supported by tax-payer dollars.

As time goes on, the beliefs in self-reliance and personal responsibility disappear from the social fabric. People start demanding more and more "welfare". Businesses demand welfare—protection and subsidies to make them "more competitive".

Once a welfare state is in place, it stays like that in virtual perpetuity.

If you are a fully-grown adult, you will understand that being economically secure is a choice. No one becomes poor for no reason, and they must BEHAVE in certain, exact ways to attain a state of poverty.

By not helping, the govt encourages behaviour modification, especially toward the ideas of self-reliance and personal responsibility.