Tuesday, May 3, 2011

We are a country, not a company

extract from Diary of a Singaporean Mind, by Lucky Tan (source)

Singapore is frequently known as Singapore Inc and our leaders reward themselves like CEOs and directors of a corporation. Our country has taken on characteristics of a corporation -once you accept this many policy decisions will begin to make sense.

Corporations are driven by the profit motive and Singapore lnc's goal is to maximise GDP growth. Our leaders' pay packages are linked to GDP growth just as pay packages of CEO is linked to profit growth. GDP growth is the KPI not your quality of life, not your income level and not the number of hours you work etc. Once  you figure this out, most of what the PAP does becomes a lot easier to understand.

Take high foreign influx as an example. Initially, we were told that it is to supplement our economy with talents that don't exist in Singapore. Then we were told they are here because of our low fertility rate.  A few days ago, Lee Hsien Loong made the point that they are here to create jobs for Singaporeans. To most people, this is absurd because very often they experience this : they go to service counters  that are manned by Singaporeans to get something done and a few weeks later they suddenly find all the Singaporeans gone and replaced by Filipinos. Those who frequently receive calls from telemarketers from banks or insurance companies know that over the years, the accent of the person on the end of the line has changed from Singaporean to foreign. Those in the IT industry know the dominance of IT professionals in this area. The truth about foreign talents is they are brought here in large numbers to boost the GDP growth by growing the size of the work force. This is the only reason. Every other justification is created by the PAP govt to make us accept this large influx. Besides depressing wages, the large influx has caused serious structural unemployment because businesses now have a limitless supply of young workers and don't have to keep older workers anymore.

We were told that the decision to increase GST was to help the poor. However, if you look back at all GST hikes, they are always accompanied by corporate tax cuts and income tax cuts for the wealthiest individuals. These cuts again will help to boost GST. We are told that the income gap is "not important" [Link] because it is easier to keep the GDP growing if the income gap is ignored.

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