Reckless Meritocracy

‘In meritocracies, though, it’s the very intelligence of our leaders that creates the worst disasters. Convinced that their own skills are equal to any task or challenge, meritocrats take risks that lower wattage elites would never even contemplate, embark on more hubristic projects, and become infatuated with statistical models that hold out the promise of a perfectly rational and frictionless world.

Inevitably, pride goeth before a fall….It will do (the country) no good to replace the arrogant with the ignorant, the overconfident with the incompetent.

In place of reckless meritocrats, we don’t need feckless know nothings. We need intelligent leaders with a sense of their own limits, experienced people whose lives have taught them caution. We still need the best and brightest, but we need them to have somehow learnt humility along the way.’

Come come, I know what you are thinking. No. Not what you are thinking.

This is an extract of an article in mypaper today by an American called Ross Douthat and reprinted from The New York Times. The author was referring to Jon Corzine, who grew up in rural Singapore, oops, I mean Illinois, a farmer’s grandson, made it good in his studies and rose to become a politician. In his egoistic grandeur, he took big bets on other people’s money and hoping to make a killing and be celebrated as the new financial whiz kid. He failed and lost billions of his clients’ money in MF Global. The story is just beginning. How big is the hole is still unknown.

When God is not willing, no amount of talent or presumed talent can save the day. He was just a gambler. He dug his own hole and is falling into it.


Anonymous said...

Fortunately in Singapore, we don't have reckless leaders losing billions of dollars in badly thought out investments!!

Anonymous said...

Luck is far more important than talent.
If one is born a prince or even princess, talented or not; the
throne is his or her as the king

As for gambling, there is such a thing as gambling and winning all
the time when he/she is given the
capital to gamble all he/she wishes and be paid rewards. It is perfectly lawful/legal and highly

Okay, meritocracy in Sin is precisely this; when one is able
to monetize anything. Be it gamble, prostituting oneself and or legally
approved con job and corruption. that's talent
at the highest level

Anonymous said...

Even preachers commit the idolatry of self aggrandizement.

Anonymous said...

At least, if he lost billions, he can be forced to be responsible and step down. Just look at our clowns like Sissy Lee and Ho Jinx, who lose far greater amount of money, and still happily can now to live a life of no regret and conscience ! Better still, Ho Jinx can be up and up and up all the way in TH because she belong to family of GodOfNoMercy ! PapaLee can also giving cock and humiliate Singaporeans at expense of tax-money ...

Managing SinCity is the best jobs ever for PAP ! Lose billons and still can claim world-record millions ... where else can you find in this universe ?

Anonymous said...

Singapore is a cloney American Meritocrazy.In the Ameritocrazy the best brains in either business, banking or government service are all from the most prestiges universities like Harvard, Yale, Princeton and New York. But these high ranking universities seem to be churning out only self satisfying rogues, crooks and scoundrels who lack proper morals and ethics and have absolutely no conscience at all. As a result these highly corrupted egoistic rogues and scoundrels who are running big business concerns, listed companies, banking or the government are turning the world upside down causing tremendous devastation to the economy and finance not only of the US but because of contagion effect also that of other countries the world over. Similar outrageous things are happening in the European countries. This is the trend of American or Western Meritocrazy democracy.

Singapore PAP government is aping the the US in every way and as a result Singapore is suffering now. The rich is getting richer and the poor is getting poorer. Singapore ministers and its president and PAP MPs are notably self satisfying. The ministers and the president unethically pay themselves insanely high salaries and PAP MPs sit as directors of many different companies collecting just as much in director fees while treating their MP seat as casual part time tenure. The CEOs and directors of Government Link Companies who may also be PAP members or cadres are similarly paid millions of dollars in salaries irrespective of whether they perform or not. As an example Liew Mun Leong the CEO of Capital Land paid himself 21.5 milliondollars in 2007. This is sheer madness and unconscionable in every way. Why should Government Link Companies which are established with tax payers money pay such disproportionate sum to the CEOS and directors. Policy wise they should be paid only a fix salary of a few hundred thousand dollars annually and that also must depend on the status of their performance or otherwise they should be shown the door and ask to leave.

The jobs of our ministers, the president and the CEOs of GLCs are interlinked and are inter transferable depending on the situation. If the minister's seat is getting too hot he can leave to become a CEO or director of a government link company. And if the CEO's seat becomes untenable because the company is losing hundreds of billions of dollars in wrong wasteful investment he can go back to assume the post of a minister's job.

When the government loses thousands of billions of dollars in wreckless failed investment in
American banks , business or financial entities it can always fall back on the people's CPF and raise taxes everywhere. What do the ministers and the government care even if the poor and the middle class are being squeezed beyond the limit of tolerance so long as they are self satisfied with enriching themselves.

If this type of selfish self satisfying and self aggrandizement meritocrazy system continue to run at the expense of the people at large there will be a big tragical price to pay one day.

Singapore should dispense with the insidious American meritocrazy democracy system as quickly as possible before it brings Singapore to destruction.