Wednesday, September 07, 2011
Someone brought my attention to this interesting video in the comments section.
The only other developed country with comparable income inequality as Singapore is the USA. They have numerous social programmes to mitigate the effects of the income gap such as Medicaid for sick, unemployment benefits for the jobless, social security for the aged etc. Unfortunately, over the years the tax rate was cut as the income gap grew and the US govt borrowed heavily to spend on defense and these entitlement programmes. The American society became a divided one with the top 1% controlling 25% of the wealth and the top 25% controlling 84% of the wealth. The rich assert their political control and influence through donations to right wing politicians who promote tax cuts, cuts in social spending and increase in defense spending to appease the military industrial complex. Under George Bush, a series of tax cuts was implemented for the rich and that caused a cut in govt The one redeeming aspect of the American system is that it is a democracy and they elect people from the other side to get some balance in place. Unfortunately, the division in American society has run so deep extremist groups such as the Tea Party has emerged who sole interest is small govt and low taxes...and they did not hesitate to take the country to the brink to get what they want during the debt ceiling negotiations.
Singapore like America has also become a divided nation. During the PE, one common theme that the candidates adopted was they aspired to be a "uniter" if elected to office. The political divide is ultimately linked to the economic divisions that has deepened in our society. It does not help that we have a govt that subscribes to an ideology that generate policies that will drive this society further apart/ President Tony Tan says he is independent and will heal the rift in our society by reaching out to everyone. Does anyone know what "reaching out" means? If he does not have influence to change divisive policies how is he going to play the role of "uniter"?
Posting Time 9:49 AM
Posted by Lucky Tan