Saturday, October 29, 2011

Richard Wilkinson: Why Greater Equality in Developed Countries Makes Societies Stronger....

I did a search of youtube and another video in which Richard Wilkinson discusses the effects of inequality in greater detail. Richard Wilkinson has co-authored a book with Kate Pickett entitled "The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger" published last year.

In response to my previous posting there were a few comments that suggested that Singapore has managed to be an outlier that avoided some of the deleterious effects of inequality. I don't think that is true. The reason being Singapore became a very unequal society very rapidly and very recently. The ratio of income of the top 20% to bottom 20% roughly double from 1990 to 2000 and continued to worsen until 2011 when Singapore become the most unequal society among developed countries.

"During 2005-2007, the average income for families in the bottom decile of the income distribution increased just 3-4% while that of the topmost decile grew by 6-11%. As a result income inequality has grown markedly in Singapore, far more that most developing and developed countries which also experienced long periods of high growth."



- Income Inequality in Singapore : Consequences and Policy Options[Link]

Believing Singapore can avoid the problems associated with income inequality is analogous to a healthy man who suddenly takes up smoking and drinking....after one week he looks at the people with chronic health problems from these bad habits and wrongly concludes that he is immune. There is nothing in our social "immune system" that makes us invulnerable to the problems Richard Wilkinson talks about - if anything they are starting to hit us. Our society is becoming less cohesive, there is rising poverty and social mobility has declined markedly., ...and we are already suffering the highest stress levels in the world.. We are not immune...and we are foolish to think we are immune.


84 comments:

Anonymous said...

http://spiritleveldelusion.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

http://www.adamsmith.org/blog/justice-and-civil-liberties/the-spirit-level-delusion/

Anonymous said...

"Our society is becoming less cohesive, there is rising poverty and social mobility has declined markedly., ...and we are already suffering the highest stress levels in the world.. We are not immune...and we are foolish to think we are immune."
Lucky Tan

Yah lah, things are bad but PAP still can win 93% seats in elections what?

And if PAP can achieve it this time even when things are so bad as Lucky says, why not in 2016 too?

So what's the problem (for PAP)??

Anonymous said...

Mr Lucky

What society?
Which part of Singapore INC do you not understand?

Oh wait. My bad. U are mocking and teasing the low class sinkees again. Well done.

Anonymous said...

We should have you arrested for promoting Communism!

Anonymous said...

Look out for activities at Hong Lim Park(Speaker Corner) in the coming weeks.
Make an effort to be there.

Anonymous said...

The inequality in our society is worsened by rich Singapore businessmen using tactics to circumvent the employment law to hire more cheap foreigners and fire more Singaporeans.
Finally, these rich Singapore businessmen face their retribution. Now, their factories, companies, supermarkets, properties in Thailand, especially in Bangkok, are flooded. The amount of $million dollar losses they have incurred wiped off their more than 20 years of profit.
Now, these rich Singapore businessmen are tasting the food of retribution.
Let's ask these rich Singapore businessmen, what is the taste of these food of retribution?

Anonymous said...

Instead of spend on healthcare and support for the poor we should invest more on police and various security measures to ensure the lower class does not cause trouble.so fwr singapore is on the right track with bans on protests and punitive measures for the slightest offences. We can further strengthen all this by investing more to spy on our own peoplethat is why ISA shoul never be eliminated. Any troule surface it can always be activated by calling the disgruntled lower classes communists or marxists. Singapore society can be sustai ed through more immigrantion via foreign influx...those not happy are free to leave

mzabisa said...

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mzabisa said...

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Anonymous said...

I have been following your blog for about three months now. All your followers that wrote here are either bitter or emotional. They keep on mentioning the % of election votes and its like 'we already know that'
If they want to make this platform as a medium to attract more support for the opposition, its not going to work. It just showing that opposition just managed to attract 'emotional/bitter lot' to vote them.
Too much negative energy here. But Mr Tan, keep on the good job here!

Anonymous said...

we are all being conned by PAP. They care only for their own, and not singaporeans. Last night, I met Malaysians (Melbourne) that all their country men (Malaysians) in Singaporeans are all doing very well with 2 to 3 private properties in Singapore. Malaysians are different from us because their parents have the lands (resources) to send them overseas to study, whileas the singapore govt limit the number of us that can be graduates..it is so sad that our own govt bully us out.. we are not stupid, but because our own govt sold our birth rights.... It is now happening again with the influx of foreigners, and someone has to make a stop ...

Anonymous said...

The PAP elites and cronies think that they are immune. And that's the number 1 reason things will go on like this until suddenly overnight we have S'pore Spring.

Anonymous said...

it does not seem to make europe stronger.

Anonymous said...

"If they want to make this platform as a medium to attract more support for the opposition, its not going to work. It just showing that opposition just managed to attract 'emotional/bitter lot' to vote them."

If the group of emotional / bitter lot gets larger & larger, then it will work. With the last election, the trend is moving towards this direction. Don't you think so and do you think this direction is going to be reversed.

Anonymous said...

If PAP can win 93% seats in 2011 election, it can win at least 90% seats in all future elections! This one for sure.

Doesn't matter whether how much or long Lucky Tan or whoever say PAP this no good, that no good or whatever.

Just like if you can reach the top of Mount Everest, for sure you can reach the top of all mountains!

Anonymous said...

Why
Should
They
Care?

runroad said...

it does not seem to make europe stronger. - anon 29/10/11 15:59

No? And where do you think China (and Singapore) got their giant reserves from if not from the ostensibly 'weak' nations who practise and lead the way in equality, the rule of law and human rights? Who do you think is China's biggest trading partner - the 'strong' authoritarian ASEAN nations, Africa, Russia? If the EU sneezes ask yourself who will be likely to catch a cold?

If PAP can win 93% seats in 2011 election, it can win at least 90% seats in all future elections! This one for sure. - anon 29/10/11 21:21

The fact has finally dawned on Mr 60% that droning on ad nauseum about PAP getting 60% of the vote and thus 'the right' to ride roughshod over the wishes of ALL Singaporeans is facile, boring and infinitely counterproductive. So it's '93% of the seats' now, izzit? So bloody what?

Muammar Gadaffi had 100% of the seats for 40 years and that did not stop him being dragged from a drainpipe like a squealing rat and gleefully thrashed before being executed. If you've been paying attention you would have noticed that most of his family members and cronies came to a similarly grisly end. Gadaffi wasn't the first and he won't be the last.

THAT is the price of the doctrine of wilful inequity coupled with morally objectionable governance.

Anonymous said...

Lucky,

I am the one who mentioned the outlier point.

I do not disagree with you about the income inequality portion. Singapore has the highest in the world, that is true. But the fact remains that in the first video you posted, Singapore's social problem ranking was deliberately left out by the presenter.

Why? Is it because if Singapore was shown, it would discredit his correlation claim? Are we perhaps really an outlier? That is my point.

You made several points about how Singapore's income inequality will bring about social problems. You may be right, but my point is where is the evidence? Show me real facts if you want to be convincing.

As have your smoker analogy, I think you will be surprised to know that some smokers and drinkers live long lives. They are also the outliers. Why does it happen? Nobody can really say, but they do exist.

Anonymous said...

Income inequality does not bring social problems in Singapore.

Where is the evidence, you may ask?

60% mandate and 93% seats for PAP in Parliament in a free and fair election, this is the evidence.

And this evidence bears repeating, for daft people like "runroad 29/10/11 23:09" who still don't get it. Worse still he is even more daft when he mentioned Gadaffi, which is totally out of context to Singapore situation. Maybe he is from Libya.

Anonymous said...

"The fact has finally dawned on Mr 60% that droning on ad nauseum about PAP getting 60% of the vote and thus 'the right' to ride roughshod over the wishes of ALL Singaporeans is facile, boring and infinitely counterproductive. So it's '93% of the seats' now, izzit? So bloody what?"

Nothing boring. It is the same like any good & determined salesmen who will keep on repeating how good his wares are.

It will keep on being repeated until the other 60% sees the sense if they have not done so and at the same the same 60% is not being replaced by some by foreign converts.

Anonymous said...

"You may be right, but my point is where is the evidence? Show me real facts if you want to be convincing."

What do you think if those people with social problems are to build their own tents in the park. Or sleep at void decks or in the streets. Perhaps some have no other way to turn to or say so and finally up with a permanent sleep in some reservoir.

Anonymous said...

"I think you will be surprised to know that some smokers and drinkers live long lives. They are also the outliers."

So do you still encourage people to smoke and drink or you should advise the other way.

Even it is a outlier for some other reason, do you still encourage or promote behaviors which will contribute to inequality or make it worst.

What do you think of the implications over the long term. Not just on those immediate social problmes, but on the whole social infrastructure that eventually will still have to be adjusted & changed to take care of these poblems with perhaps greater political costs.

Anonymous said...

"No? And where do you think China (and Singapore) got their giant reserves from if not from the ostensibly 'weak' nations who practise and lead the way in equality, the rule of law and human rights?"

Hahahaha. What if your reserves are denominated in the 'wrong' currencies which get inflated faster or exposed to the wrong asset classes originating from these 'weak' nations or entities which may have to be written down or written off because . Zero sum right ? So do you think transparency is good or not ? Then, good for which group and bad for which group ?

TokyoSingaporean said...

The graph puts Japan's mental health as one of better countries albeit this is not the case. In Japan, mental health is a taboo. It is not captured in data. In 2010 alone, Japan's suicide hit 33 000 and has remained above 30 000 for the last ten years of recession. In fact, 1 person commits suicide in Japan every 15 minutes and it's not exactly a big thing here; even though more efforts are done to generate awareness such as the Tokyo Suicide Centre.

Having said that, Japan's has the highest proportion of longevity in the world. It's cultural specific.

Singapore has the highest proportion of inequality in the world. This does not augur well as the government has disenfranchised the local native born Singaporeans in the process of a "work-in-progress" nation-building. Japan has social capital to leverage on; something Singapore government has not worked hard to put in place. The Mendaki, CDAC, Sinda, etc. establishments do not facilitate integration as many Singaporeans are now interacially married. A secular national entity ought to be established by the government where Singaporeans-first policies have to be in placed to continue to develop national integration which has been taking place before the floodgates were open.

In view of the government's integration programmes, its unsuccessful integration programmes will be a social cost to Singapore; futher perpetuating the income inequalities. We're seeing more and more foreigners picking the fruits of the overworked Singapore labour force these past 5 years. We're also seeing more and more PRs living in condos and resale publlic housing.

Singaporeans need to decide what sort of society they want to shape. Otherwise, the malaise of elitism which is presently dividing Singaporeans (great unhappiness in ministerial salaries, etc.), along with unhealthy trends of rising suicides from the gambling resorts, broken marriages, teenage pregnancies, brain drain, intense competition in schools and the work place, etc. will erode the social fabric.

The general well-being and happiness of the people should factor ultimately in the final analysis. We ought not be in a position where we look back 20 years later to see what could have been done now to make the government and Singapore better.

It'll be a little late then to rectify some of the problems of mispolicies in modern-day Singapore. One of these is the 2-child policy in the seventies and the present HDB unaffordable prices for the young Singaporeans.

Anonymous said...

Society is strong when the country is peaceful, eg no protests and very safe.

In that sense, Singapore society is strong.

Anonymous said...

@runroad,
"Muammar Gadaffi had 100% of the seats for 40 years and that did not stop him being dragged from a drainpipe like a squealing rat and gleefully thrashed before being executed."

That happened because the people had enough of him and he did not have the Gurkha Contingent.

@Tokyo Singaporean,
"In view of the government's integration programmes, its unsuccessful integration programmes will be a social cost to Singapore; futher perpetuating the income inequalities. We're seeing more and more foreigners..."

Integration is just lip service. The PAP is deliberately bringing in Pinoys, Myanmese, North Indians when majority here are Tamils; rural Chinese from the interior provinces while the local Chinese are mostly from southern coastal cities. They want different peoples that will not unite, and nationhood is but just an aspiration so that they have easier control for their divide and rule mentality. They want the hoi polloi to have their noses to the grindstone 25 hrs a day so that they have no time to even be aware of the inequality besieging our society. So long as the 60% remain kiasu and kiasi, they will rule.

Saycheese

Anonymous said...

"The PAP is deliberately bringing in Pinoys, Myanmese, North Indians when majority here are Tamils; rural Chinese from the interior provinces while the local Chinese are mostly from southern coastal cities."
Saycheese 30/10/11 13:29

Assuming what you said is true, it is because these are the best type of foreigners available to us. And if we don't want to take them, we may have nobody to take!

In whatever choices we made, we choose the best available.

Just like most voters choose the best available party in elections, which is the PAP.

Anonymous said...

After the last GE and PE, we can see that netizens are beginning to warm up to the PAP.
There are much more comments supporting and favouring the PAP System.

Anonymous said...

Really?

Since PM LEE took over PAP, the anti-PAP system has went from 23% to 33% to 40%.

Are we living in the same country?

Anonymous said...

"Assuming what you said is true, it is because these are the best type of foreigners available to us. And if we don't want to take them, we may have nobody to take!"

we ? you must ask yourself who approves and controls the immigration inflow.

nobody to take ? r u also implying that we are not able to attract the better ones.

"Just like most voters choose the best available party in elections, which is the PAP."

So which group belongs to the 'daft' categories.

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Anonymous said...

i have a glance over the comments made by various people and noted that increasingly, participants from the pro-pap regime is getting louder. i am sure they can voice their concerns in the pap approved web-sites. but trying to do it here is fruitless. so pro-pap regime commenter (esp if you are paid to do this) please don't waste your time here trying to provide an alternate voice (we can read all that you have said in the pro-pap regime newspaper everyday).

Anonymous said...

The pro-PAP posters are opposing Lucky Tan's arguments just for the sake of opposing.

If they wish to be considered seriously, they have to do better and present well thought through rebuttals.

runroad said...

'60% mandate and 93% seats for PAP in Parliament in a free and fair election, this is the evidence [of no social problems].' - anon 30/10/11 08:05

Ah yes, you mean the 'free and fair elections' controlled by the 'free and fair' elections department which takes its orders from the PM? The comical electoral boundaries which mysteriously shift with the weather? The hustings shrivelled down to 8 days? The GRC abomination? The exorbitant $16k per head cost to participate? And we haven't even begun to discuss the use of the MSM as a weapon of mass FUD. Epic fail. Case dismissed.

'Society is strong when the country is peaceful, eg no protests and very safe. In that sense, Singapore society is strong.' anon 30/10/11 12:55

Sounds much like the strong societies in North Korea and Cuba. No protests and very safe too. Peaceful, very peaceful, just like a graveyard in fact.

'That happened because the people had enough of him and he did not have the Gurkha Contingent.' - anon 30/10/11 13:29

Gadaffi had trained mercenaries flown in from neighbouring countries like Chad and Niger which is why he held the upper hand until NATO air power tilted the balance in favour of the freedom fighters. Soldiers of fortune (like the Gurkhas) cannot save a despot if his people truly want him gone.

Anonymous said...

The proof of the pudding is in the eating.
The peace and prosperity of the Singaporeans speak for itself.
Elsewhere in Africa, US, Europe and
Asia, there are strife everywhere.
Count yrself blessed for the UN-CORRUPTIBLE Leadership. Yr leaders are wise and capable.

Anonymous said...

"Soldiers of fortune (like the Gurkhas) cannot save a despot if his people truly want him gone."
runroad 31/10/11 09:58

Applies only when there is superior air power, which is not often the case.

Otherwise, Gurkhas are very effective on the ground no matter what. And of course they can save any despots. Or at least protect and allow these despots to get away when things become real bad.

In fact Gadaffi would have got away if not for the NATO air strike on his convoy.

Anonymous said...

The US can give whatever protection Gadaffi and his followers need. However, he did not know better.
People in Sin are pragmatic, they have know how to live well and they are well prepared. Never under estimate that that survived and prospered under foreign occupations.
They must be cleverer than the fox.

Singapore Man Of Leisure said...

Hello Lucky,

Thanks for the 2 videos! They gave me pause for thought over the weekend...

1) I travel quite often to Copenhagen and Sweden for business trips and can see the effects of " greater equality" there. I've read that lawyers in Denmark make slightly more than the rubbish collectors there - after taxes.

The "price" for greater equality? Half your pay in taxes, and GST 20% plus...

2) I've not worked in Japanese MNCs, but I've heard about the pay in Japanese companies in Singapore versus working for European and US MNCs. Maybe those working for Japanese companies can share whether they feel underpaid versus their peers or not?

Perhaps that how Japan "pay" for "greater equality"...

3) I personally prefer the Hong Kong model a lot. Especially pre-1997. Small government, private sector rules the economy (very little government-linked companies), low taxes. But the price is little "equality" and few or non-existent safety nets... And of course competiion like hell!

The upside is no one cares whether you got paper or not, your parents rich or not. You succeed, you succeed! You fail, you try again!

Anonymous said...

How the rich a**holes got richer and more richer is not a concern to the poor, needy and the sick. The poor, needy and the sick in Singapore knows that money do not drop from the sky. They have pride also, they work, some sell tissues, collect cans or newspapers but very few of them begged.

They do need help and some of them are even reluctant to seek for the ruling party MP help. Meet the people sessions are filled with a**holes running dogs that only wanted to network and get flavors, instead of actually helping the people. What's worst, there are also shameless people who got traffic tickets and wanted waive-off for those!

When you see them scavenge trash and we as able, young and healthy members of the society walk past them. We should be ashamed of ourselves that we, the so called future of Singapore in the old people eyes, when we were young, have come of age but yet unable to let them live a dignified live.

I just saw an old man, a few days ago, who ate from the the big green trash bin. He spotted me and quickly walked away.

It is true that I should have offered my help, but I did not. I am an a**hole myself. How many of us have walked away as well? Why? If we cannot even act as morally correct individuals, why do you think that the whole society, including the gov acted as such?

WTF are we? We are worst than beasts.

Anonymous said...

In any society, it is impossible to make 100% happy and satisfied. Or even 80%.

But if any government can make only 60% satisfied, very great achievement already! Because there will be rock solid political stability (93% seats in Parliament) and social peace. Like what the PAP government did.

But on the other hand, don't make 60% or more unhappy and not satisfied. Then the government will be in big trouble.

So governments must look at the big, overall picture, although there are bound to be some poor and destitute in the population.

Anonymous said...

I think the main problem afflicting many of the 60% is really learned helplessness.

Anonymous said...

//Gadaffi had trained mercenaries flown in from neighbouring countries like Chad and Niger which is why he held the upper hand until NATO air power tilted the balance in favour of the freedom fighters. Soldiers of fortune (like the Gurkhas) cannot save a despot if his people truly want him gone.

runroad 31/10/11 09:58//


The mandate given by UN to NATO is to protect civilians of Libya. The best way to protect the civilians is to stop the civil war (which, according to a rebel leader, killed at least 30,000 people and wounded at least another 50,000) by imposing an immediate ceasefire and oversee the reform of Libya.

But NATO chose to do the opposite. NATO rejected repeatedly the ceasefire proposed by the African Union, which were accepted by Libya government. NATO chose to let the civil war expanded and provided arms and military training to the rebels.

As of 22 October 2011, after 219-Day War against Libya, NATO has conducted 26,233 sorties, of which 9,634 are attack sorties.

Attack sorties are missions flown to identified targets with the sole purpose of destroying them. Legitimate targets include, military hardware (tanks, air bases etc) communications, and command infrastructures, troop convoys, and as we have seen Gaddafi himself, his family and anyone else that happens to be near him (one of the attack killed 3 of the Gaddafi’s grandchildren age between 2 to 3).

Since June 2011, NATO became more desperate and started attacking non-combat buildings and basic infrastructures (for example, NATO airstrikes on the Tripoli headquarters of the state-owned national TV broadcaster Al-Jamahiriya and two of its installations on 30 July. Three journalists were killed and 21 others were wounded in the airstrikes). The attack at basic infrastructures has caused Tripoli residents having difficulties in getting water and electricity supplies.

If each attack sorties fired only 2 missiles and each missile is capable of destroying a building, we can envisage that how much damage the 19,268 (2 x 9,634) missiles have been done to Libya. The total population in Libya is only about 6.4 millions.


I dare to say that NATO is the main contributor to the dead and injury to the more than 80,000 Libyan (the figure could be much more as the rebel leader don’t have much information from Gaddafi controlled areas). So far, not much information about the casualties suffered by Gaddafi’s side, because almost every time after the attack, NATO and the western media will issues the standard clause “mission completed successfully and targets destroyed, any casualties arise from the attack could not be verified”. But if we based on the 2 incidents of “friendly fire” which killed 13 civilians and 5 rebels’ fighters and wounded many more others,(“friendly fire’ is defined as NATO mistook the rebels as Gaddafi people. That is, NATO has the intention to kill those people!). The 9,634 attack sorties could have killed and wounded an estimate of more than 150,000 people. [(13+5) x 9,634 = 173,412]
If we divide these figures by 219, we will have an average of 44 attack sorties and more than 685 casualties every day for the past 219 days.

During the last 2 months of NATO operation, the attack sorties were mainly aim at helping the rebels attack and capture those cities that do not support the rebels. It is worth noting that these cities were all either have been badly damaged or completely destroyed.

Many of the innocent people like the Gaddafi’s 3 grandchildren (age between 2 to 3) and the 3 journalists from the TV’s headquarter, were killed not at the battle field or war zone, they were killed by the well planned NATO attack sorties at their residential area or work place.

Tripoli residents have difficulties in getting water and electricity supplies is also the results of NATO well planned attacks at the basic infrastructures of Libya. How many civilians get killed when NATO attacking these basic infrastructures? In fact Tripoli is not the city at war, why is it received the most attack from NATO?

Anonymous said...

The parties benefited from the expanded war are the NATO’s arms manufacturing companies and the defense related industrials. NATO’s construction industrials will have many big contracts when participating in the reconstruction of Libya (Libya is rich and can afford to pay for the rebuilding). Also, NATO’s petrol companies will benefit from the oil rich Libya if the rebel has the control of the country.


With the killing and damages inflicted by the 16,196 missiles and the 160 cruise missiles and also the hardship caused by the many months of embargo imposed, it is hard to believe that majority of Libyan (except those residents from Benghazi, the rebel stronghold city) are grateful to the NATO’s action. For your information the total population in Libya is about 6.4 millions and the population in Tripoli is 1.8 millions and Benghazi is 650,000.

runroad said...

Count yrself blessed for the UN-CORRUPTIBLE Leadership. Yr leaders are wise and capable. - anon 31/10/11 10:01

Yes they are indeed. When you legalise corruption then by definition there is none.

Or at least protect and allow these despots to get away when things become real bad. In fact Gadaffi would have got away if not for the NATO air strike on his convoy. - anon 31/10/11 12:27

Whether or not he might have escaped is unknowable and unprovable wild speculation. The inescapable fact is that he paid for his sins with his life and the lives of his cronies. But you confirm my point exactly: mercenaries might allow the despot to get away but the bottom line is that he will be GONE. Any autocrat that dares use foreign soldiers to open fire upon his own people is done for, and that holds for the Gurkhas too.

The "price" for greater equality? Half your pay in taxes, and GST 20% plus... - Singapore Man Of Leisure

Isn't that a little exaggerated? Denmark's 2011 tax rates are progressive and approximately as follows:

Taxable Income (DKK) Tax Rate %

very low income (DKK 150,000, USD 26,550): approx. 29.7% of the full amount.
very low income (DKK 150,000, USD 26,550) and you pay DKK 20,000 annually in interest: approx. 25.3% of the full amount.
average income (DKK 375,000, USD 66,370): approx. 35.9% of the full amount.
average income (DKK 375,000, USD 66,370) and you pay DKK 30,000 annually in interest: approx. 33.04% of the full amount.
high income (DKK 780,000, USD 138,050: approx 45.0% of the full amount.
high income (DKK 780,000, USD 138,050) and you pay at least DKK 50,000 annually in interest: approx. 42.9% of the full amount.

The absolute maximum payable by anyone is 57%. Only the fattest of fat cats fall into that bracket.
In exchange, you get cradle to grave gold-plated social security. Dismiss the notion of ever suffering the indignity of becoming a cleaner to make ends meet in your retirement years or selling your home in desperation to pay for an operation. Seems like a good deal to me. Perhaps that is why Danes are happy to remain in their own first world democracy and do not yearn to emigrate given the slightest opportunity?

I personally prefer the Hong Kong model a lot. Especially pre-1997.

That was a laissez-faire model of governance where the devil took the hindmost. It works fine until the day misfortune (perhaps through no fault of your own like a chronic illness, a disabling accident, a defamation lawsuit, etc.) strikes you or yours out of the blue and brings you to your knees. Then what? What makes you think you will get a second bite of the cherry when or if you are disabled? Most likely your remaining days will end as brutishly as that of a stray dog. You might prefer to take your chances in that kind of system but count me out.

Anonymous said...

//In any society, it is impossible to make 100% happy and satisfied. Or even 80%.

But if any government can make only 60% satisfied, very great achievement already! Because there will be rock solid political stability (93% seats in Parliament) and social peace. Like what the PAP government did.

But on the other hand, don't make 60% or more unhappy and not satisfied. Then the government will be in big trouble.

Anon 31/10/11 19:49 //


Look at the GE 2011 results:

Aljunied GRC (Electorate 143,148)
total valid votes 132,118 - 92.29% of 143,148
WP received 72,289 votes (54.72% of valid votes),
PAP received 59,829 votes (45.28% of valid votes)

Ang Mo Kio GRC (Electorate 179,071)
total valid votes 162,528 – 90.76% of 179,071
PAP received 112,677 votes (69.33% of valid votes),
RP received 49,851 votes (30.67%)

Aljumied + Ang Mo Kio GRCs (Electorate 322,219)
total valid votes 294,646 – 91.44% of 322,219
PAP : 172,506 votes (58.55%)
Opposition : 122,140 votes (41.45%)

From the above, it is obvious that we can’t conclude that 69.33% voters in Ang Mo Kio GRC are happy and satisfied but for Aljunied GRC it is only 45.28%.

The Ang Mo Kio GRC (PM Lee ward) which PAP obtained 69.33% was because the opposition candidates are relatively unknown and they hardly conduct any election campaign.

Anonymous said...

>The Ang Mo Kio GRC (PM Lee ward) which PAP obtained 69.33% was because the opposition candidates are relatively unknown and they hardly conduct any election campaign.

31/10/11 22:25<

Can it be interpreted that PM Lee with an increase of votes(over his previous GE) had impressed the voters in AMK GRC, with his track record as Prime Minister ?

Anonymous said...

Why warren buffet is a sellout .....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vd5w66-3wtc&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Anonymous said...

Why Gaddafi was whacked by the Mafia...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvIPUHVI3Cg&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Anonymous said...

do you think egalitarianism can only be achieved with homogeneity? what struck me in richard wilkinson's charts was that all the countries which were most egalitarian, are also probably the most homogenous by race/ethnicity. i am wondering does homogeneity really make progressive policies easier to swallow for the society? in a way, this is related to the argument that LHL made in his parliament speech, in explaining why Singapore cannot be like the nordic countries and requires an active state participation.

[although as a side note, i have always thought it is a stretch to imagine singapore as a heterogeneous state when we are clearly a chinese ethnicity dominated society... or to claim that the nordic country does not have active state participation, when the public sector makes up by far the largest component in the danish and swedish if not all the nordic countries' economies! but i guess that isn't what LHL was talking about... he was probably talking about state participation in terms of curtailment of rights like political expression and participation...]

i think there are merits in this line of thought. nevertheless we need to unpack this further, particularly in the direction of causality. does homogeneity lead to egalitarianism, or is it the other way round? it isn't that clear frankly. sounds like a possible research project in the future.

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Hi runroad.

I must say a big thank you for explaining more eloquently and sheding more light to what I attempt feedble to say...

Yes, a Danish lawyer after paying 50% tax is taking home slightly more than a Danish rubbish collector who pays little or no taxes.

Yes, I like the HK system of small government pre-1997. I prefer having the choice of making my own private medical and hospital insurance plans. Come to think of it, I would love to have the option for me to opt out of CPF. I can manage my own retirement fund - thank you very much!

At the rate the rules keep getting changed, I not sure whether I can get anything when I reach 55!

It does not matter which party. I don't want govt putting it's hand in my pocket, and nanny me on what's good for me ;)

Speaking softly,
Jared Seah

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