Friday, November 17, 2006

Milton Friedman Dies at 94

Nobel Prize winner Milton Friedmen passed away yesterday. He is hailed by many as one of the greatest economists of our time.

When I was a young boy, I read the book Milton Friedman's book "Free to Choose", it triggered a lifelong interest in economics. Milton Friedman once said:

"A free market includes the free exchange of views, the ability to read what people write, regardless of what their views are, the whole area of freedom of speech, of religion, of discussion, of the press, is really an aspect of a free market. It is an area in which individuals should be free to cooperate with one another, to exchange views, to say what they believe."- Milton Friedman, 1912-2006.
He believed that the free exchange of ideas and freedom of the press is an integral part of a free market. Creativity and innovation become the main drivers of an economy after the industrialisation phase. Controlling the free flow of information, the freedom of people to gather and discuss diverse ideas will undermine the efficiency of an economy and hinder the progress. We see that in the Soviet Union which saw tremendous progress until the 1960s when heavy industry output exceeded that of USA.....they the started to decline as the inefficiencies of a totalitarian govt kicked in.
Of course our esteemed leaders have found better ways to ensure that the economy progresses even if there are inefficiencies in the economy. They do this by increasing the factors of production in particular labor. It can be summed up as a "more input=more output" strategy. In past decade, the PAP govt imported more than 800,000 foreign workers to keep the GDP growing. This is 30% of the workforce. Of course such a brute force strategy leads to huge distortions in our economy and society which includes structural unemployment and decline in household income of the bottom 30% of the population as cost of living increases. With so many problems brewing, the PAP transformed itself into a 'caring government' with lots of sympathy, empathy and concern for the underprivileged.
Singaporeans are so lucky to have a caring govt that takes care of them when they are down and out. Some of of citzens like Mr. Brown may be fed up with progress. Believe me, Mr. Brown is part of a small minority along with the people who are physically crushed by the wheels of progress. Most people can appreciate what the PAP has done for us. ...and the PAP is going to do more for us once they increase our GST to 7%.


Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Tan,

I am a big fan of your blog. I visit it almost daily, and I absolutely have to agree with many of your thoughts. We all know you write in a satirical way, and know exactly what you are driving at. Where do you draw your strength from? Don't you find it tempting to vent your frustration (and ours too) in a straight way? I really admire your discipline in keeping this line of commentary!

Have you considered running for the next elections (for PAP of course, who else... :)!).

Anonymous said...

It is very important to read the book Mr Tan recommended here. After reading the book, then ask yourself this fundamental question: Do we have choices?

Anonymous said...

Dear Plucky Tan,

your seems like a well-read person. Pls write more articles to enlighten us.

Thank you.
Kenny Low

Anonymous said...

After reading the book, then ask yourself this fundamental question: Do we have choices?

Australia, Canada, UK, US

Anonymous said...

Anon: 2:35 PM

the answer is YES.

LuckySingaporean said...

Dear 1st Anon,

I draw my inspiration from the marvelous and superior thinking of our ruling elite. As long as they are in power and think the same way they do 20 yrs ago, there is will be alway be material to fill up my blog.

I'm not worthy of public office. When I took my PSLE, my results is in the lower 40 percentile and that more or less determined my future as an ordinary citizen of Singapore. I'm only too glad to be governed by people of the highest calibre and integrity. They always know what to do for my own good, all I have to do is obey and I'll be happy. All of you should do the same.

Anonymous said...

Glad you think that way Lucky, some of the more superior minds around here (who are loyalists of course) would be very worried at all this material that looks suspiciously like veiled attacks on the government.

Anonymous said...

This is no veiled attack. It's genuine appreciation of what the elites have done for us. Even though I have not figured out how the 7% GST helped the poor, I (like what LUCKY always taught) look at the fountain at LUCKY housing estate and read ST, all my doubts will be replaced by the excitement from the sale advertisment

Anonymous said...

ST got singapore sales and sex&drama news. everytime i read ST i also forget about my problems. life in singapore is good.

Anonymous said...

WTG Lucky Tan!

Heyhey! "Free to Choose" videos @ .

Don't miss out the intro by Arnold Schwarzenegger too :)


Anonymous said...

this freedom expressed also entails that our souls be freely molested. subliminal molestation provides the impetus for mass consumption of goods and services that creates jobs and thus, theoretically, raise the standard of living(oh really? what kind?)but more importantly, it is an assured system of wealth and power transference from the people to the elites that eventually leads to social and environmental degradation for the venerated.


Anonymous said...

There is so much discontentment on this blog.But what to do? Everyone has got to live with their decisions.You had the chance to make a choice and chose you did. Now I see everyone complaining. It's so typical of Singapore. Not even a thousand Lucky Tans can change this.

freemason said...

anony 10:50am above
Wat freedom of choice are u speaking of ? yes i had the freedom to choose to be born to suffer in stinkapour ? yes i had the freedom to be born a commoner instead of elite ? or yes i had the freedom to be born a creative artist instead of an 'intellectual' genius ? and you're right , 1000s of lucky tans wont be able to change the 'system'