I'm very troubled by this speech by Obama - supporting the existence of unions, workers' benefits, minimum wages and pensions. I think MM Lee is right about Obama being inexperienced and it looks like he has a lot to learn from Singapore.
Goodness how are American workers going to compete if Obama ever becomes president. With the emergence of cheap labor from China, he should be encouraging American workers to give up their benefits, accept lower pay and longer working hours. In Singapore we nationalise the unions and privatise all the state own services so they are free to make profits. PM Lee said that businesses will be more willing to hire if we make it easier for them to retrench workers. Over the years, the govt eliminated pension schemes for teachers and public servants but preserved it for the highest elites like ministers and superscale civil servants who make in one year what ordinary Singaporeans make in 2 lifetimes. After our ministers' pay was increased to end their painful sacrifice, workers who cannot cope with the rising inflation were told that wage increases will not be good for them by union chief Lim Swee Say. Now that is the model of leadership that Obama should be learning from. Instead of pandering to the demand of whining workers who keep telling him of their hardship, he should stand firm on capitalistic principles. The markets will take care of the workers and hand them a fair deal - no need to dictate minimun benefits, minimum wages.
Obama has a lot to learn from Singapore on how to compete and maximise GDP growth. He should open the floodgates to Mexican workers to enter the country and then explain to American citizens that it would be too simplistic to say that this will depress the wages of low income workers. He can also explain that foreign workers help to create jobs for Americans. He should remove all subsidies for the poor, sick and old and explain to them that subsidies will make them unhappy. Obama has a lot to learn from our esteemed leaders to make America a better place for Americans.