Thursday, November 14, 2013

Singapore - the poverty line

There has been some debate over whether Singapore should have a minimum wage or whether it should have a poverty line or threshold.

Personally I find it very sad when you have civil servants and politicians who are being paid some of the highest salaries in the world debating over the pros and cons on what level of poverty a person needs to be before they get some form of assistance. Its a bit like having wolves having a discussion over where sheep and cattle should graze. How can someone who is being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars a year  empathize or understand the problems of someone who survives on less than ten thousand a year?

The problem about the Singapore system is that control of government and the civil service is held solely by the elites - you can get in only via a narrow criteria, ie paper academic qualifications. It is usually inherent in our human nature to protect and further our own selves, our families, our peer group, our self interests, our class and social status; and also to see the world from their perspective.

I'm sure a Swan will be puzzled when the chicken is spending all day tending to her eggs when it could be out gracefully flying - and vice versa.

Now if the govt body was held by a mixture of groups, that might work out. But when one group monopolizes control however...

I'm not saying that wolves and swans can't empathize with sheep and chickens. But that is often rare.

And perhaps that is what Singapore's leadership needs - people with a greater sense of empathy and care.

The Singapore people are remarkably tolerant and they have been grateful to all the PAP has done for them. However, it seems the Govt has lost its way in its pursuit of the worship of the GDP God. All this sacrifice that the people of Singapore have to go through - the sort of everyday shit that normal ordinary people have to endure is getting too much.

And I'm not sure whether the men and women in white fully appreciate this.

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