Saturday, September 21, 2013

Tan Chuan Jin returns from the Netherlands

The good minister just returned from the Netherlands and shared his impression with us. I also had my impression from very long ago. Back in the 80s when I was certainly too young and half understanding these issues, I read many of Peter Drucker's writings. He already warned us about many things that is hitting us today. Peter Drucker single-handedly created Management as a social science. Surely our policy makers were very familiar with his prognostications but like everywhere else they left these problems alone. To be fair everyone had too much on their plates already then.

Every society where the old out numbers the young is at risk. Its senior citizens could out vote the young to protect their entitlements and interests. We must not allow this to happen here and I had defended this here many times.

It is much easier to persuade older people who have kids but for the growing number of childless couples or unmarried ones, this is a huge problem I am not sure we can overcome. A sense of entitlement almost too hard to detect is creeping in here. It always begin innocuously as defending one's own rights way in excess of caring for others. And we begin to head down this road when we face many zero sum situations especially with living space, transport, education...the non tradeable economic sectors. 

I am amuse that TCJ talked about political courage. Yes, you can talk about it in relative terms only but true courage this government has lost much of it. In fact, the greatest loss is to see how it should appear when LKY is gone. How often I wonder they lean on his courage. How often in private he must have urged them on. 

So TCJ and your colleagues, don't just ask the questions but what are your convictions in such matters. How much are you willing to stake?

1 comment:

  1. Why not wait till "we digest what we have gather" before sharing with us both positives and negatives of what he had learned on the trip, rather than start off with the usual negative slants on pension and healthcare subsidies by the state.