12/04/2012

Singapore can become that Greater Society



This is the title of an article in Today written by a young doctor. His message is clear. Taxation must be progressive and not regressive. He did not say it, but GST is a regressive taxation where the tax burden falls heavily on the lowest rung of the economic ladder. Do not be deceived by whatever clever talks that GST is good for the poor. It is not. And abolishing of estate duties to allow the super rich to keep their wealth intact is anything but progressive.

Though the young doctor, Tan Wu Meng, commented about many issues, the main crux of his article can be summarized in the following quotes, ‘When all is reduced to price(money), we lose track of the priceless. When a mentality of winner takes all takes root, it takes away something from our society.’ The brackets are mine.

Some may comment that the young doctor’s view is full of youthful idealism. Some may call him stupid as the real world is all about how much to grab, and corruption can be eradicated by paying upfront, legally. These are the hard truths that young people cannot understand. They are not greedy yet.

I would like to disagree, and I believe that life must be filled with youthful idealism to achieve that greater goal of a better people and a Greater Society. The fact that Tan Wu Meng said that Singapore can become that Greater Society is as good as saying we are not there. He also made several pertinent points that I would like to reproduce here to give credit to him.

‘Inequality becomes particularly corrosive to society when people no longer see a path upwards; when those on top do not give a helping hand – or worst, having climbed to the next level, pull the ladder up after themselves and pretend the ladder was never needed in the first place. The meritocratic system begins to fray when great success breeds a sense of great entitlement, rather than the calling of great responsibility to others….A nation’s defence is incomplete unless each citizen feels he has a stake in the future, that he is part of something greater, that he is fighting for more than just another person’s possessions.’

I could not have said it better. This is part of the bigger stirring that is going on. Those who can think are not happy with a situation that looks perfect on the surface, but the truth is further than you think. This young doctor is saying it in a less than subtle way and representative of the polite elite who wanted change but not pushing their points too hard, not wanting to ruffle feathers.

Would his message get through? Would this be picked up in the Natcon as a vital issue to be addressed?

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

Where my plantation is located when I first came here, there were only a handful of Singaporeans, today my last count is 361 give or take 50.

Most r professionals. Most have been unable to find jobs as the PAP has a happy go lucky policy of no regulating PMET FT's.

And all without exception no longer see the point of slaving for a 99 year old pie on hole or to pay out 100k just to drive a Korean car.

Chin Leng, the smart are voting in their droves. They are saying those buggers do not know how to run a country. As for me, I have no comment.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hi Darkness, I think I should join you if there are any opportunities for an old PMET in your new found land.

The neglect of the PMET is very serious but all hidden under the term resident.

patriot said...

Come to think of it; if an over sixty intellect like Redbean aka Mr Chua Chin Leng is and have to look for a place to retire away from the Land he is born to be happy, what can i say?
Honestly, the Generations after us, those in the sixties, will face hard challenges ahead.

Hope that more Native Singaporeans will be adventurous like the foregn talents and venture to places where there can be more time to enjoy with family, neighbours, smell the roses that fragrant the fresh air. Fly kites, fishings and catch spiders will be a lot more wonderful than ranting at Blogosphere.

There is more living to do than having to worry about survival. To live a fuller life, one has to have time for cultural activities, the relationships of family, neighbours, friends, colleagues, camaraderie. Money will not buy one much spiritual and emotional fulfillment and no one can bring any with them when time is up.

Set the priorities right abd have an enjoyable life journey.

patriot

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hi Patriot, the high cost of living here is not a joke. The amount of money Sinkies have to pay to have a roof over their heads is crazy and unacceptable. The possibility of settling down somewhere, maybe even UK is always there. Imagine the cost of living in UK or Oz could be cheaper than Sin.

Veritas said...

The fragmentation of our society is a deliberate design by LKY and forced onto us from childhood. Every Singaporean child are taught to back stab one another through the social engineering of streaming.

Even if today, with a more educated parents and children have better academic standards compared to 30 years ago, MOE still mandates that around 40% of students must end up in normal. That makes our society a zero-sum game.

Those who got good grades got scholarship paid by PAP to fancy fancy university. The rest of Singaporeans pay tution loan themselves into bankruptcy. Even lousy FT students (worse than Singaporeans) got fully paid scholarship.

In work, PAP will screw your wage by mass importing FT. The scholars are well protected.

In housing PAP screw you again by using red tape and long queue, long delivery time if you apply public housing. The FT get a lot of subsidy. Many got subsidize dormitory to help them stand on foot, subsidized lease appartments. Many FT are unable to compete with Singaporeans. It is PAP who subsidize them.

In short, our system is designed to screwed Singaporean, to make them fight against one another. We need to do away with PAP if we want to have happiness.

Anonymous said...

Chin Leng, age per se has never ever been a barrier. It is the attitude one holds towards ones age that IS the barrier.

Good day to you and the rest.

Darkness 2012

Anonymous said...

http://cod-democracy.blogspot.sg/2012/11/unconscionably-regressive-tax-systems.html

This shows how super regressive the Singapore tax system really is. And it is not even counting GST yet.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

I want to repeat this. GST taxes on the unborn, the babies and children, the unemployed, the retired, the sick and also the poor, and also the dead.

This friend of mine had a major illness and has spent nearly $600k on his medical bill. Try figure how much he has paid for GST at 7%?

How's that for GST, $42k!!!

Anonymous said...

Voting for PAP: Benefit #6
- Even when you are sick, you have the opportunity to make a contribution towards our Ministers' salaries with the GST on your hospital bill.

Veritas said...

Taking monies from the poor is the main reasons every empire collapse. Unfortunately till date, no elite has learn the mistake.

In USA, the poor has been paying excessively high tax. Warren Buffet is taxed lower than 15%. Most middle class got 30% and above. The MSM keep harping social security bankrupt the country. But if we take a closer look, USA social security is like our CPF, funded by the poor. The social security contribution is cap at certain wages.

Today, everywhere in the world harp budget deficit. There is no budget deficit per se. The problem in every nations is the rich are paying too little tax. Hence, the state has to borrow.

When the state borrow, it creates a creditor. The creditor is the rich. In fact, all budget problem can be solve by taxing away all the surplus of the rich.

This is of course a simplified and not too suitable way of doing things. I write not because i support taxing all surpluses but because I want readers to understand some concepts.

You will not learn this from MSM or A level econs. You need to read Karl Marx.

There is no problem in the world per se. The problem is inequality.

Anonymous said...

Inquality is good. I have the drumstick you have the bones.

I am smart and I deserve the drumstick and you are stupid you be happy with the bones.

Veritas said...

Inequality is incentive for to make people work hard. Extremely inequality got nothing to do with hardwork or meritocracy, it is often robbery manifest in another form. We see this form in Singapore.

We knew much of our inequality comes from Land Acquisition Act where PAP take the Malay Kampong, Chinese farms and let rich man district like Bukit Timah and Katong unmolested.

Without Land Acquisition, many poor Malay criminals could be millionaires today. They would not be in jail.

Inequality often favors capitals in putting down labor. In SG, labor are exploited. But then who is more important? Capital or Labor?

Marx rightly point out that without labor, capital is just an idle asset.

For example without the influx of FT, the HDB room will not be able to find tenants and our shopping malls will bankrupt.

In fact, the labours hardwork is what that enables the rich to enjoy. Inequality, by emphasizing on capital actually degenerate a society.

Keynes has the insights that inequality brought forth destruction of demand (wages too low) which eventually cause the destruction of capital.

All these theories are all decades and centuries ago. They are manifested. The problem we don know is because our elites do not want us to.

Fxxx the A level econs.

Veritas said...

For a society to progress, we need a little inequality. But extremely inequality is undesirable and is the result of robbery.

In fact, Karl Marx whose ancestors are Jewish rabies plagiarize his works from Bible. The Bible preaches that the rich must give, tax must be just.

After studying further, Marx is able to shown that a society cannot exist for long if there is inequalities. Till date, no capitalist economist is able to show otherwise.

One exception is Joseph Schumpeter. He uses the Law of Creative Destruction to counter the arguement of Marxism.

The Law of Creative Destruction would probably prevent the destruction of capitalism if it is effectively carried out.

We need to destroy the weak and unproductive. But very often, the most weak and unproductive elites are preserve and the productive people are destroyed.

In the last financial crisis, base on the law of creative destruction, we should let the banks bankrupt and we should take down the boss of Temasek and GIC for their incompetency.

But the banks get even more properous by making productive people pay. Ho Ching is still there. Tony Tan get promoted to President.

In fact, the creative destruction become socialism for elites and capitalism for people.

Its even far more unrealistic than socialism.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Good luck in lecturing Singaporeans about the "evils" of money.

This young idiot is an asshole who doesn't know how to read the ground. Communication: epic fail.

Singaporeans love their materialism, whether they dare to admit it or not. You can argue and complain you are blue in the face and become so annoying that you've lost all your friends...and you are still not going to change the CALCULATING minds of Singaporeans.

Good luck trying though. Don't let the door hit you in the ass when you fail and spiral into mental depression :-)

Want to poke fun, level scorn and derision at "materialsim" and the fake poseurs who embrace it?

Consider Psy creating something like Gangnam Style -- which is a song ridiculing the pretentious nouveau riche.

Opa Gangnam style! Op Op, Hey Sexy Lady. Op. Op.

Communication loser: idealist in Singapore making bullshit anti-capitalist speeches.

Communication Winner: Psy -- manages to make money whilst spreading a message GLOBALLY.

Anonymous said...

MS, getting delirious again?

' You can argue and complain you are blue in the face and become so annoying that you've lost all your friends...'

Talking about yourself?

Anonymous said...

I'll drink to that. Give the man a tiger!

oldbread said...

I think the biggest obstacle we have here in singapore, is the inability to listen to one another without condemning and demonizing.

we cannot listen and agree that we have different views.

anyone who have different views, is either naive and dumb or plain evil's incarnate.

you don't agree? you must be PAP's stooge, or some crackpot senseless oppo supporter who wants anarchy.

Anonymous said...

It is just a leaf from the PAP's book. Only their views are rational, sensible and good while everyone outside their enclave is irrational, crazy, lunatical, full of whinning, full of nothing but noise and most of all, even full of time bombs.

Wonder why they need to have a NatCon with such an attitude?



Anonymous said...

Migrate to a first world country, not everything is equal there but definitely more equal than in SG. There are many flaws in the law of SG. From HDB to GST to COE to whatever. The law is soaked with injustice, bullying and inequitable. I have already given up any hope that the piggies can even open their eyes. There is no future when your leaders are atheists do not believe in God, do not fear injustice, do not seek the truth.

Anonymous said...

Singapore's only road to salvation is to vote Opposition.
There is just no other way.

oldbread said...

you can only shift the blame elsewhere if we are not aware of what's going on, once we do ...... seriously 2 wrongs don't make a right.

oldbread said...

you can only shift the blame elsewhere if we are not aware of what's going on, once we do ...... seriously 2 wrongs don't make a right.

Veritas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matilah_Singapura said...

The day anyone can convince Singaporeans to change their institutionalised materialistic world view, by giving the whole cuntree passionate speeches....

....that's the day I leap into action to prepare for the extravaganza the following day: I will assmeble a media crew, and some actor friends to stage an event: at precisely the stroke of noon in ther heart of RAFFLES PLACE, I will CUT OFF MY BALLS AND COCK, stuff the bloody mess into my mouth and dance Gangnam style with my friends, uploading the event LIVE to the net.

So please, as great orators and master-debaters, go ahead and convince your fellow Singaporean that materialism and money are very bad for them...and they should stop :-))

patriot said...

Haha.....

How can Singaporeans not know the ever growing difficulties! But, frankly few are making efforts to leave.
Liked what me had said before, a domesticated animal will find it hard to survive outside the cage. After it got conditioned and engineered to take the commands and coaxings of it's masters.

Indeed many lands have plenty to offer.

Personally, me am too used to Oriental Culture, so cant imagine myself migrating outside Asia. Europe is beautiful to visit as a tourist, but to settle in may not be easy.

Many friends and relatives are in Canada and Australia. Most are happy.

patriot

Anonymous said...

To live and enjoy life or to slog and struggle to be alive?

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hi oldhorse,

When Matilah is running amok, just ignore him. The rest of the bloggers are very decent and fair minded people.

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