Saturday, January 17, 2015
10 years as PM: Miscue on cost of living
The knee jerk reaction from many reading this is that the PM and his ministers are out of touch because they live separate lives from us, which they never lacked anything especially money. May be they lack time with the family, but so do we.
Go back to basics which he ought to know better than most of us running the economy successfully for the short term.
In life, you grow or you begin to die. Even academics must publish or perish and the armed forces need to constantly upgrade themselves to fight wars they never hope will come. NGOs are different. They succeed when they are no longer needed because they have achieved their aims. Does Singapore want to be an NGO? I am not kidding because some of us undervalue the primacy of economic growth to sustain everything we do here.
Cost of living complaint is nothing but the tangible feedback to the more nebulous concept of growth. The average fellow thought in unimaginative and simple terms which regularly fail to capture the full meaning of what his heart meant. Simply put, people here and everywhere else want to grow and in such a way that the ceiling is so high they don't even need to worry about hitting it. America attracts immigrants by the hordes because there are many pockets of such opportunities. Not all offer monetary rewards.
In economic terms, we can look at it in both ways as us growing to the point when we hit the limits of growth and begin to experience zero sum games and also diminishing returns. Therefore we need to find new niches and many of them will not be financially and material resource based. But before we move on to any of these new areas, you cannot have a starting line where people see themselves are belonging to winners or losers. That is why so many here envy the Swedish example but never bother to assess if it is practical here. The message if the PM still don't get it is we want a more equal society but without its uncompetitive drawbacks which would make us equal but poor.
Of course the PM and his ministers if they think within this economic box, the problem cannot be solved. You have to make everyone happy to begin to explore new niches and start the game all over again, otherwise they will remain myopic and fight for and protect their share of this small pie. Keep with this for I don't know how much longer and Singapore must go down.
We mustn't have have Socialism with Capitalistic characteristics. We must have Capitalism with Socialistic features in order that we can move on to explore brave new worlds and grow.
Posted by PengYou at 9:48 AM