In this latest posting he makes a less controversial point backed up with good statistics for comparison. Before I go into it, here is a photo I took from TOC showing 2 Workers' Party members holding a sign at one of the rallies at Hougang.
Professor Balding's latest posting [Link] explains clearly that this is not just sentiment on the ground but the assertions can be supported by numbers and facts.
Here's a summary Balding's findings:
1. Among the countries with the biggest surpluses measured as a % of GDP, the Singapore govt spends the least on its people:
Note that the other countries are oil producing or resource rich countries. While Balding says on his blog that some people may accuse him of making an unfair comparison, I would think that since most of the govt revenue in Singapore is collected from economic activity (say, sweat and blood of working people), the Singapore govt should feel even more obligated to return this money to improve the lives of the people through social spending.
2. Next the Prof Balding shows the countries that has similar level of govt expenditure as Singapore. Singapore is ranked 181 just above Myanmar and below Bangladesh, Nepal and Cambodia.
3, Balding concludes that "Singapore is treating its people as sources of wealth extraction. Rather, people should be considered resources. The people of Singapore deserve better than Myanmar and Bangladesh".
As our SWF gets bigger so is number of Singaporeans are falling into poverty. Today, 400,000 workers belong to the low income group and work at jobs that don't pay enough for subsistence [Link]. What Prof. Balding is telling us is consistent with what is felt on the ground in Singapore.
Thanks for the numbers Professor Balding....but Singaporeans already know because they feel the real effect of this "wealth extraction".