Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Greed, the new dirty word?....

1987....and greed was good.....

We have had many national sermons on the evils of welfare - how it was destroying western societies, making its people lazy and bring down its economy. At the end of the day what brought down the western and global economy?....Unregulated, unbridled capitalism. The total cost to western govts and damage to the society far exceeds the money given to the needy and underprivileged. Singapore rejected the welfare part and but liked its capitalism - greed was good! The hedge fund and wealth management industry will bring us prosperity....take us to Switzerland faster. Deregulate the banks, invite those crappy Chinese companies that can't get listed in Hong Kong to come here, allow those structure products that can't be sold in the west to come here.....and the best part is our leaders admiration for Wall Street and western banks - the Merills and Lehmans resulted in billions of our reserves burnt in the incinerators of Wall Street. Here we are a nation that debate vigorously parliament over whether the really needy should or not get that $20 more per month to cope with the rising cost of food but not much debate about the billions....gone...

Welfare has been a dirty word in Singapore. ...but which nation has gone down because it helped the weakest members of its society? More often they are brought down by incompetence and greed. Look at Iceland, the country is now broke because of what its banks did. Greed, of course, grease the wheels of capitalism...driven by self-interest, individuals create wealth not only for themselves but the whole society. However, greed like fire can warm you or burn you. We have to control it the same way fire is controlled. ...contain, regulate and monitor. ...and keep a fire extinguisher around in case something goes wrong.

Giving help to people who need it is never a waste of money -it is used to buy food, electricity and medical treatment. You really have to wonder why Singapore is so allergic to this and the people in power can simply lose billions and move on without accountability.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is greed that makes people refuse to lower public tansport fares when fuel costs has dropped.

Great Banker Goh Chok Tong said...

"invite those crappy Chinese companies that can't get listed in Hong Kong to come here"

That's because we, the upper echelons of PAP, dine & wine & fuck around with the Chinese Communist *elites*. We are not called *PeeSai* by the Taiwanese for nothing, OK.

This of course motivates PM Lee to say that Asia won't be affected by the US becos of China at the beginngin of 2008, but we all know that Tight Slapper was like his Pa......farting through the wrong hole...shit

Great Banker Goh Chok Tong

DB10 said...

Help is given, but not to those that need it most.

You can borrow banks from the money, but only if you proof that you don't need it.

Anonymous said...

This is an excellent article-

Give and it shall be given to you.
Generosity not greed is what keeps us alive. The "dead sea" only knows how to take but not give (time,effort,energy,money,etc)....
give especially to those who needed most (poor,orphans,widows)etc is what keeps society alive and creates a true community spirit... and it must start from the very top (leaders, government and those in power).... it should be servanthood leadership not authoritative leadership, which we can live without..

Federativa said...

Hi Lucky Tan,

I've been a long-time reader of your blog and I'd like to thank you for the concise and lucid articles that you have written over the years.

Rest assured that future leaders of Singapore are keenly aware of the pain. We are all caged up in different ways, but our cages, shackles and chains are all made of people.

Only when the people are ready to be free, will the cages be open.

I apologise for my anonymity but it is not time yet. I'll have to go back to lurking as the powers that be are watching my every move.

Here's wishing you a happy and healthy New Year 2009!

Ghost said...

Singapore is so allergic to welfare because our leaders are firm-believers in free markets and everyman for himslf. If Singaporeans want welfare, we will need to have new political leaders first. Frankly I don't see it coming

Anonymous said...

Why are you complaining? You elected them, I did not. Why are you complaining? You listened to their bushits during election, I did not. Why are you complaning? You are Singaporean, I am too but, sorry, at least inside my heart,there is not anymore.

When MP can said BOCHAP, Who am I to "CHAP". Greed?? = talents without moral values are the roots. Politician is to serve the people and is not to make millions of $$$. If I were to become Minister, I shall cut my salary to only 1/10 of what are they getting now? And tell those that complain give up their power and go into private sector! How can they want powers and at the same time want $$$$$$?

This is my first time writing to you. Thanks for your many interesting articles.

BOCHAP

Anonymous said...

There is no witch hunt in Singapore.

In fact, if we allow witch hunt practice in singapore...it will be an insult to our intelligence and demoralised the capable people from achieving the goals set to them.

So please, forgive & forget.
More good years ahead.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lucky

Greed is one of the seven sins and can never be good.
That greed grease the wheels of capitalism is a myth. It is more accurate to use "rent-seeking". And even then, it is the pooling of savings\capital that makes capitalism possible. By thrifty, hardworking folks. Not the financial alchemy created by greed.

NoName

sor-i said...

"I apologise for my anonymity but it is not time yet. I'll have to go back to lurking as the powers that be are watching my every move."

hahahaha.

there is no escape. even in your showers, they will still be watching you.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

poor thing. hahaha

Anonymous said...

hi anon 2:12PM what nonsense are you talking about?

"Rest assured that future leaders of Singapore are keenly aware of the pain"

You called yourself future leaders of singapore???? You self elect is it?

keenly aware of the pain??? sure or not!!! you got paper cut is it?

future singapore leaders = earn big bucks (more than $30k/month) = inflation proof + unemployment proof (since no competition from opposition) = golden period = never feel pain = never aware of pain.

For a miserable increase of money in Public Assistance schemes, our kind hearted politicians debated until tears come out because they don't want to erode the work ethics of those who ALREADY cannot work!!!

ONLY IN SINGAPORE CAN THIS BE EXCEPTED AS NORMAL.

Cheers

Economist with a Heart :)

ps - I hope there is a special place in HELL for eyes doctors turned politicians.

facts actually said...

to anon 10:18am

"It is greed that makes people refuse to lower public transport fares when fuel costs has dropped."

Erm... It was quite unfortunate that the PEOPLE did a lock-in of prices for a year when it was at US$100/barrel when oil prices were skyrocketting then.

It made a lot of sense and we would have thanked our lucky stars when prices soared to almost US$150/barrel, and maybe infinitely. But now that prices have plunged to barely US$40/barrel we are cursing them for their stupidity and also 'rightfully' demanding that public transport fares be adjusted accordingly.

Oh well, sorry dude. You know when shit hits the fan!

Anonymous said...

Without greed, how else can the ministars earn a million bucks legally. They are just like the fat cat wall street bankers, only diff is that the singapore bank has yet to collapse yet.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lucky:

This is one of, if not the best of your written articles so far.

Thank you for this post.

Rgds
Unlucky

ConfederaciĆ³n said...

"hi anon 2:12PM what nonsense are you talking about?

"Rest assured that future leaders of Singapore are keenly aware of the pain"

You called yourself future leaders of singapore???? You self elect is it?

keenly aware of the pain??? sure or not!!! you got paper cut is it?

future singapore leaders = earn big bucks (more than $30k/month) = inflation proof + unemployment proof (since no competition from opposition) = golden period = never feel pain = never aware of pain."

Ha ha...

Good point. I needed that; the cage is strong.

The tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs trying to turn itself over. But it can't. Not with out your help.

But you're not helping.

Why is that, Economist with a Heart?

Anonymous said...

Anon"

"It made a lot of sense and we would have thanked our lucky stars when prices soared to almost US$150/barrel, and maybe infinitely. But now that prices have plunged to barely US$40/barrel we are cursing them for their stupidity and also 'rightfully' demanding that public transport fares be adjusted accordingly."

I do not agree with you.

They are supposed to be top world class bizmen running a biz.

The area of contention is that it is a monopoly and profit is not only guarantee,but the growth in profit per year is also guarantee.

You do not think this is ridiculous maio?well,then I shall say that they should not talk donwn to us and claim to have such a fantastic first world class brain.

Cheers

Anonymous said...

anon 12:59 am,

what made u think that i'm not helping the tortoise?

have u look in the mirror lately?

chinese proverb~ "if u want to scare away the monkeys, kill a chicken!"

or in singapore context, kill a FEW chickens!

Anon 12:59am i hope you were the few people who gave help to

1.chia thye poh = 32 yrs jailed w/o trial

2. lim hock siew = 22 yrs jailed w/o trial

3. said zahari = 17 yrs jailed w/o trial

4. jbj = bankrupted

5. csj = bankrupted

6. devan nair = fled to canada

7. ong teng cheong = fled to US

8. francis = fled to US

So don't point that accusatory finger at me while you hide in the shadows of self-preservation waiting for 1 old man to kick the proverbial bucket.

Cheers,

Economist with a Heart :)

Bundesrepublik said...

"So don't point that accusatory finger at me while you hide in the shadows of self-preservation waiting for 1 old man to kick the proverbial bucket."

Ha ha... so that's the way you see it.

You could be right, I'm probably not a future leader of Singapore. Only politicians can be leaders.

I'm just a pawn. Maybe I'm actually YOUR pawn... ha ha ha.

More likely I'm just a crazy old man with paranoid delusions - it's entirely possible, I assure you.

An insane old fool in a cage isn't much use.

Since you are helping to make a difference, I thank you for your efforts.