Sunday, June 10, 2012
PM's speech to the ESS
I have many objections to the PM's points but I am also cognizant that we might be disagreeing between bad options. This shouldn't surprise us because almost every nation today is facing unpleasant choices.
His strategy is logical and very doable if we were less human and more machine. Yeah, you must have the mindset of a citizen of Sparta to be fully engaged in the future of Singapore. You must turn a blind eye to a growing number of people "eating bitterness", and be shy about how we are slowly committing suicide as a society because we are not replacing ourselves. Social spending will go up but I know these guys will push it to get maximum growth such that the income gap remains. We can quarrel over what the real wealth gap is but it would just be confusing cash (meaningful) with book values and/or CPF (not meaningful) in our calculations.
The PM assumes that globalization will not be rolled back. I am not sure that is a safe assumption. No trend last forever or Venice would be the most powerful city on earth today. A great wave could be on its last legs when it polarizes the winners and losers globally especially when the majority are losers.
May be we will become a global city but it might be more apt to call it a global hotel. We will be Dubai exaggerated, shiny on the surface and soulless underneath. All the great religions here will worship one god: mammon.
I imagine the strain the family will have to endure getting there, I strain to grasp how can this continue to be a great place to raise a family. On the other hand it would be the preeminent city to stop by and return often to make deals, throw money around in flashy and conspicuous consumption.
Finally the PM does not realize that while it might be true that the majority of voters still support the goal of becoming a global city, the excitement will wane and support will erode on the way there. The promise of a better living will end up to be just the hedonic treadmill, a lesson nearly everyone has to learn the hard way. From the government perspective it appear as an increasingly demanding population which they rue as difficult and ungrateful. Sadly all these are just Psychology 101. Why can't they get it?
Posted by PengYou at 9:34 PM