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12/16/2010

A return to govt service

The privatisation of hospitals, public transportation and housing is starting to show how serious this mistake is. Essential services cannot be left to the free market to determine how much the consumers should pay. The market forces, if only it is real, is only concerned with profits, and profits and nothing else. The only principle that governs private business is how much the consumer is willing to pay or how much the seller of services and products can squeeze out from the consumers. As long as there are consumers able to pay, it is affordable, at least to those who can afford to pay. A $100k COE is affordable to the one who can afford it. A $1m 3 rm flat is affordable if there are people who are willing to pay for it. Resources, limited resources, are allocated according to what the market dictates, as being the most efficient and effective. Really? However, for sure, resources will not be allocated to those who need it most if they cannot afford to pay. And the haughty and cocky explanation is that one has to pay for it at market determined price.. If one cannot afford it, go for substitutions, downgrade, or tighten the belt. At the bottom of it all, if one cannot afford to pay, one does not deserve anything, even goods at inflated prices.. To overcome such inequalities, to the rich and powerful these are not inequalities, there are govts, not necessarily socialists, who would want to intervene to better allocate the resources to the needy. I would like to make a call for essential services to be returned to the govt, place under the charge of the public sector. My reservation is that govt services are run by incompetents and any services they provide will be inefficient and ineffective. If this assumption that public servants are all incompetents and useless, which was the justification for privatisation, then it is like the frying pan and the deep blue sea. This is a strange phenomenon as our govt services are staffed by the best talents in the island. As economic system approaches the end of the capitalist road, the communists will say, I told you so. The capitalist road will lead to its own destruction and a revolution of the under class is the natural anti thesis.

3 comments:

Matilah_Singapura said...

Not true.

"Essential" services above all, MUST be left to the free market. That is not only the sensible thing to do, but also the MORAL thing to do.

The price mechanism of the free market works to conserve resources by affecting individual behaviour.

If you subsidise everything or fund "services" by re-distributing the wealth (tax and spend) eventually you will run out of OPM -- Other People's Money.

OK, a reminder of forgotten moral principle based on the idea that taking other people's stuff against their will is not a good thing.

The fact that some people cannot 'afford' something, or have a 'bad life experiences' doesn't under any circumstance grant them an AUTOMATIC RIGHT to claim the property or assistance of other people.

HOW WELFARE WORKS

Let's say your car has broken down. You then proceed to the nearest 'opportunity' - house, business, fellow motorist and DEMAND that they take you to your destination, or give you money for a taxi, or hand over their car to you- and you cite that you have this "right" to do so because you have a "right" to travel.

The cost of repairing your car is "expensive" so they also have to hand over money to "help" you repair your car, because it is your "right" to have a functional vehicle.

Whilst your are is being repaired, you require alternative transport -- so now these folks must pay up for a hire car, lend you their are or cover you with cab fare until your car is suitably operative again, as it is your "right" to claim of any stranger all of this "assistance" simply because you are in "need'.


Now multiply those "rights" and the individual "need" millions of times until you reach the size of your country's population.

This is what happens when "need" is made "the standard of value" -- this is how the welfare state justifies itself.

BUT another part of me -- the schdenfreude inside me -- say's "Why not? It should be fun to watch. Introduce a welfare state in Singapore and let the govt subsidise EVERYTHING from cradle to grave for EVERYONE"

Neither of us have any control over the future, however: The people get the government they deserve.

However, there is always HOPE. Do I hope Singapore adopts welfarism and heads down the road to a welfare state, and rejects free market capitalism, the nobility of profit and the virtue of self-interest?

Yes, when I'm feeling in a particularly dark mood. :-)

Socialist and communist cuntries are barrels of laughs -- self inflicted human misery -- what could be funnier and more entertaining than that?

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