Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Speeches from CNBC.com Speaker's Corner



These are ordinary Americans speaking up against inequality amd the financial system in America at a speakers' corner set up by CNBC at the Occupy Wall Street protest.
A few weeks ago I went to the Borders closing down sale. I walked around for an hour but was unable to find anything to buy - my fellow 'kiasu' Singaporeans had bought trollies full of interesting books leaving behind stuff that few people would buy. Just when I thought I wasted my time going to the sale I found a book that only people like me would be interested in reading. The book is "Going to Extremes" by Barbara Ehrenreich:

"Over the past decade America has become increasingly divided between gated communities on the one hand and trailer parks and tenements on the other between the super-rich travelling by private jet and low-paid workers making multiple bus trips to get to their jobs, between a wealthy minority consuming cosmetic surgery, and the many too poor to afford basic healthcare for their children"
-  "Going to Extremes"


The part about workers in US taking buses to work. I'm quite sure those buses are not packed like cattle trucks. In the last 10 years, in Singapore, we see prices of expensive homes crossing $2000 per square feet and the demand for good class bungalows rising to record levels at the same time the segment of the population too poor to afford their own homes has grown to record levels:


A few weeks ago, I saw a little ang moh kid at a playground near my home - I teased the hyperactive kid as he ran around the playground. They family has been here for several months and the mother came over to ask me where she can the parks and places to cycle, camp ..and so on. . After she was done with her queries, I asked her what she "thought of Singapore so far".  Before she got to anything else, she said she was quite stunned by what she saw "so many rich people with big cars" and so many poor people..."poor old people working". Coming from France, she said has never seen anything like this. I've asked many foreigners how they find Singapore and this is the first time someone responded by talking about the inequality in our society before anything else. Very often they will say how impressed they were with our airport, how clean and green we are and so on before they sometimes asked why there are so many old folks working.

America is the only other developed country with comparable income inequality. But you have to remember that America is a big place with rural, sub-urban areas and top cities. Their inequality is spread over a vast territory many thousand times bigger than Singapore. Our inequality is concentrated on a piece of land 700 sq km in size where extreme wealth and poverty exists side by side.

Unless there is political change, the situation can only get worse. Today our parliament is dominated by the elitist PAP party. While they promise changes in response to poor election results, they are not ideologically inclined to address the huge and growing inequality in our society. This is the same govt that eliminated healthcare benefits and pension for rank anf file civil servants while preserving these benefits for themselves. They imposed GST to cut taxes for the rich and corporations. They increased their own pay as poorer Singaporeans saw falling incomes and marked decline in the quality of life.  They richly reward a small select power-elite with scholarship and opportunities in the network of GLCs. Our inequality is manufactured  by political strructure that preserves a system ideologically shaped  for the benefit of a few. This ideological extreme has led to the extreme inequality and the situation will not improve unless Singaporeans wake up, speak up and stand up for what is right.

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

//
This ideological extreme has led to the extreme inequality and the situation will not improve unless wake up, speak up and stand up for what is right.
//

unless wake up?
any1 but lucky tan?
Obama is so crap that yet u endorse him.
Cow is a piece of shit yet u endorse him.
The opposition is lacking in funds and manpower yet u do nothing.
If elections is about blogging and issues, TKL would have won PE2011. If not for mudsling and TCB's $$$, TT would have won by a landslide.

And u what u think is "extreme poverty" is really lower middle-class. They do not exist side-by-side with the wealthy. They are swept under the carpet and away from public eyes.

And this will continue as long as the likes of u do not wake up.

Anonymous said...

Lucky, ignore the PAP trolls.
You have done great work.
The tide is changing. PAP is on its way out.

Anonymous said...

//
This is the same govt that eliminated healthcare benefits and pension for rank anf file civil servants while preserving these benefits for themselves. They imposed GST to cut taxes for the rich and corporations. They increased their own pay as poorer Singaporeans saw falling incomes and marked decline in the quality of life. They richly reward a small select power-elite with scholarship and opportunities in the network of GLCs.
//

Million dollar questions coming...

How do I join the ranks of the elite?

My principles and integrity are up for sale.

People who resisted the Japs got killed and forgotten or get turned into tourist attractions.

People who surrendered and worked for the Japs became the nation's "founding father" and president and other high-fliers in the civil service. They enjoy high pay, great pension benefits and die as rich men.

I know what which path to choose.

Anonymous said...

In church, the poor worship next to the rich lead by the rich pastor. But you don't have a problem with that because you failed to understand where is the...beginning of the rot.

So the rich leader says...look to your salvation in the sky; money will fall on you when you keep your faith and eyes on the God of fortune and you kept your peace and let the rot spread to our schools and civil service etc.

Well, the rich will drive their Mercedes and the poor will ride their buses to church and both will embrace their fate with joy of the hope of the rich man in the pulpit.

Anonymous said...

Obama is only crap if you happen to be a Republican or right wing conservative fundie or a manipulating coward of a translator.

Anonymous said...

//Coming from France, she said has never seen anything like this.//

Really? They had big riots there a few years back

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2005_civil_unrest_in_France

Anonymous said...

If things are really that bad, PAP would have lost its 2/3 majority or even voted out in elections.

Say what you want but the fact that they had won more than 90% seats is testimony to things are generally OK, or quite good, in Singapore.

Anonymous said...

You see the poor complaining? No. They give till tears rolled down their faces.

They are full of joy!

Anonymous said...

I heard TT speech at the opening of new parliament. Same old shit!

You see how they respond to calls to abolish ISA; How they threatened organizers of SDP's forum. Same old shit.

They will never change unless they lose a few more GRCs. Then they will kneel down.

Anonymous said...

The poor have it good in SIN. They have an EVERLASTING HOPE of the good life in SIN

Anonymous said...

lucky is gravely mistaken andvtrying to stir shit between the haves and haves not.

Anonymous said...

Looks like a lot of PAP trolls coming in.

The rich and the foreigners think that they are the master of the universe, quite rightly so, the entire country is skewed to benefiting them.

Even a local gets bullied by Malaysian Aetos checkpoint security while coming back from Malaysia.

GE 2011 is an election that is quietly fought by the PAP with new citizens support. Things have already change.

I still urge the young to leave and not join opposition. By the time, PAP leaves power, the entire country will be ruined, and the opposition will have to carry the can.

The opposition in the next GE will have to take into consideration of new citizens demands, which will be detrimental to true blue locals as new citizens, while they can vote but they can also vote with their feet when things go wrong.

There's no way to stop this train from going down the cliff.

It will be downward spiral from now.

Anonymous said...

"If things are really that bad, PAP would have lost its 2/3 majority or even voted out in elections.

Say what you want but the fact that they had won more than 90% seats is testimony to things are generally OK, or quite good, in Singapore."


If the PAP is so good and popular, it must be a great mark of cowardice to retain ISA to win elections?

Anonymous said...

quote:
it will be downward spiral from now.

Wrong, its already all the way down since 2006, when pm lee took over.

We know its not going to be easy, but if one find that little red dot is worth fighting for, we need to do our part.

Thanks Mr Lucky. Kindly ignore some senseless and silly post. Hope you will delete them.

Thanks again for writing to enlighten the masses.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, I don't see the poor unhappy. If they are it is because they failed to see the great salvation provided by our national leaders.

You need to give before you can receive rich blessings.

Thousands and thousands of the new poor are weeping for joy in such blessed hope is because they ate enlightened.

Lucky needs help.

Anonymous said...

//Coming from France, she said has never seen anything like this.//

Really? They had big riots there a few years back

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2005_civil_unrest_in_Fran

Of course there is inequality also in France.But unlikein Singapore you do not see old people still working in Macdonald's,Hawker centers,cleaners,the difficult menial jobs.In France like in Singapore we have very rich old men still "working" like SMM LKY:)The differnce is they do it out of PLEASURE.:)

Anonymous said...

what's the problem? there is no better time to reach out to people when they are poor,wretched and dying. in fact, the more of them, the better these religious bodies can serve them.

that's why we bring all these religious bodies together to lift the poor and dying spirit to greater heights of glory and hope.

when they are full of hope and assailed by unbreakable promises, they will complain no more because jehovah jireh is all they need...and that expensive HDB or ridiculously priced packet of chicken rice will become peas hill in the eyes of faith.

amen

Anonymous said...

lol

Anonymous said...

We are indeed blessed. Rich and poor worship LKY in peace :)

Anonymous said...

hahaha

Anonymous said...

Is good to be gays. Each can own their own flats and live together in one and rent out the other. Threesome even better. Live in one rent out two.

More power to gays and singles!

Anonymous said...

Extreme inequality was the main reason for France revolution and many other countries. The greater the inequality, the nearer the date of downfall of certain countries. Extreme inequality does not last forever.

Anonymous said...

#occupyrafflesplace this Sat 15 Oct. Go and make your point.

https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=269583853075724

Anonymous said...

We need to grow more temples and build bigger auditoriums to house more people in need.

Our talented preachers can offer the poor, hungry and thirsty hope and joy.

They can turn waters into Milo or multiply chicken wings to feed the masses.

Alan Wong said...

"This is the same govt that eliminated healthcare benefits and pension for rank and file civil servants while preserving these benefits for themselves."

The first person that comes to mind is the one who has the benefit of a publicly listed SIA plane as a personalised hospital for his wife.

Just wondering which other honorable politician in this world would dare to abuse such authority for his own benefit ?

Anonymous said...

people dun need CPF top up or cheaper housing, healthcare,transport etc etc.

they need faith! sell them faith and even if you give them salted fish they will be happy. so happy, they will give away their last dollar for your salted fish.

Anonymous said...

LOL

Solomon said...

It is wonderful to have the faithfool running our country or offering their ahem..wisdom. :)

Anonymous said...

Amen. Don't let low pay stop you. Claim that million dollar HDB in Jesus name.

Anonymous said...

//
Wrong, its already all the way down since 2006, when pm lee took over.

We know its not going to be easy, but if one find that little red dot is worth fighting for, we need to do our part.

Thanks Mr Lucky. Kindly ignore some senseless and silly post. Hope you will delete them.

Thanks again for writing to enlighten the masses.
//

This GE the ministers are caught napping, but they will not be caught again. The gov controls everything, if they cannot control the internet, they can use other methods to stay in power such as importing citizens.

The opposition had a lucky break this GE because of ministers' mistakes, so?

Did they take over and form a new gov?

Did MBT, Road Jammer Raymond, or Cow lose?

The machinery of the gov is still intact. The PA, the grassroots, the CCs, all these will be taken over by the new citizens.

The new citizens, together with PRs have already controlled the entire job market in this country, even the civil sectors is being slowly taken over.

Without jobs, our aging people have become insignificant as they cannot contribute to ministers salaries, and have difficulties in medical bills and will be slowly left to die off.

The older generations who cannot imagine a life without the current gov will slowly vote this country to its' end with the PRs and new citizens hammering the final nails into this country coffin.

Do not forget, the older generations, together with new citizens numbered more than the opposition young voters.

By staying in this country and waiting for hopeless change, ten years could have passed, 10 years of working life, when in other countries, you could have a family, have a good career already, with a car. Even without those, you would have a better chance at your dreams.

Every year, thousands have left and it will continue.

http://sg-quitters.blogspot.com/2011/10/retirement-in-canada-vs-singapore.html

Read the comments, people are leaving and more want to leave.

If a young man stay ten years here, he will be under-employed, lowly paid, and with flats and future medical bills looming ahead, what future does this playground run by MIW holds?

Do people want to be a slave here? Being played out by the gov time and time again?

Think again. Ten years of a person life is precious, even five years is.

Basically, I agree with foreigners action of not taking up citizenship but PRs instead, they are happily living here with every extended member of their family from great grand father to the not so great father.

They will ride off into the sunset when they withdraw their CPF, and will smile to themselves for having stopped that young Singaporean from advancing his or her career and instead benefiting his own fellow countrymen to take up the post instead.

That PR have done proud to his own country. Bravo.

Anonymous said...

though u r poor, yeshua is rich. in yeshua, u r rich though u r poor. haalleluhaha

Anonymous said...

We need to welcome adversity. When the storm appears,miracles can happen

Be patient and let your soul be at peace. Jesus was at peace in the midst of the storm and the storm of life yielded and surrendered to him.

You too can be rich with a carpenter's salary. Wait patiently and faithfully without murmuring for the miracle will come.

You will soon have your mansion in the sky(far better than your HDB flat)

Anonymous said...

yes, mansion in the sky with 72 virgins ..hehehe

Anonymous said...

Anon 11/10/11 16:58

If haven is that good, people would be killing themselves en masse!

Anonymous said...

It is that good. Millions, poor and rich, throng the church halls. Thats a testimony that heavenly hope will solve all our complaining. If not, why to you suppose our government allowed liars and cheaters to operate here?

Anonymous said...

To show true changes, these must be done immediately:

Abolish the privilege of all Permanent Residents,

All Permanent Residents are prohibited from buying and owning HDB flats,

All Permanent Residents must sell away their HDB flats if they already own them now,

NO subsidy for All Permanent Residents in schools, polytechnics, universities, polyclinics, hospitals, etc,

Permanent Residents must not be grouped together with Singaporeans when unemployment rates of residents are published,

All Permanent Residents must renew their residency yearly.

Anonymous said...

they are not liars and cheaters. they are holy magicians.

Anonymous said...

http://property.st701.com/resources/index.php?c=article&aid=20483&title=More-people-living-in-rental-flats

Anonymous said...

Sin is rightly going to the devils!

Anonymous said...

The government is sneaky. They raise the tax on alcohol, then make sure that the country is in such a mess that you drink more.

Anonymous said...

We need leaders with special ability to talk to the spirit

Anonymous said...

We need ppl with special abilities to send these leaders to IMH lol

Anonymous said...

I think one day, someone will end up a FT serial killer. When he is captured, he will be hailed as a national hero.

Anonymous said...

If Obama is crap, what about George Bush who depleted the US Treasury with useless wars? If Obama is crap, what about LKY who insulted his own citizens as daft and deserving spurs on their hide?

Anonymous said...

A man goes to a costume shop to ask if they had fig leaves that he could use a s a costume for a masquerade ball. He states that he wants to go dressed as Adam.

The clerk answers,” Why certainly.” As he goes to get a sample.

He returns with a leaf and shows it to the man who says, “ It’s got to be lot bigger than that.”

The clerk once again leaves as he goes to get another bigger leaf.

He returns again this time with a bigger leaf and shows it to the man who says, “ Nope, won’t do, it’s got to be lot bigger than that.”

The clerk once again leaves and returns with their biggest leaf and shows it to the man.

“ That’s still not big enough.” The man says, “got anymore that’s bigger?” he asks.

The clerk replies, “ Sorry sir, that’s the biggest we have.” As he returns to the register.

The man turns back and starts to walk towards the door when the clerk says,” Well, you could just swing the damned thing over your shoulders and go as a filling station!!.”

Anonymous said...

Estate duty was abolished... to benefit who ??? Its most unjust n wicked to impose GST on basic essentials

Anonymous said...

Kuma has an ass for you to fill up.lol

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