Monday, July 19, 2010

Government: Your Friend and also Enemy

A government's power is not shown in war making most of the times. It is on display when it fiscally pump prime the economy. It is powerful.

If you benefit from a government's policies, it is your friend. If it hurts you, it is your enemy. If you are farseeing, you navigate yourself to be its friend. If you are unfortunate or careless you might end up bearing the brunt of policies that caused you pain.

Each government creates these two spaces of benefits and penalties. Governments hope as many of its voters would move to the benefits space. They must try to make the migration to this space as feasible as possible. When they fail to do so, they risked getting voted out of power.

The size and quality of these two spaces vary widely across nations. Some have such small and narrow benefit space, its citizens try to leave their country. Even non-bumis up north is leaving their country in increasing numbers.

The Singapore Government tries to enlarge the economic pie. It is the preferred way to enlarge the benefits space. However this strategy will not work well if the wealth gap widens. Worse, if the pain space is perceived to be growing even faster. Benefits get concentrated into a small and narrow group of people. Egregiously the government tries to persuade the people to accept this as a fact of life. Silently the people respond to the economic and social realities with slow suicide: Total Fertility Rate of 1.22. I wonder what is the fertility rate among the office holding politicians and senior civil servants.

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