Monday, 23 June 2014

Dangers Of 'Please-All Economics' Real: PM Lee

S'pore must make hard choices

Singapore must acknowledge and address serious trade-offs facing the country as it moves to improve people's welfare while ensuring jobs and economic opportunities for the future, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in a Facebook post on Monday that was prompted by an article warning of the perils of "please-all economics".

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PM LEE 8 YRS AGO: PAP MAKES LIFE BETTER FOR ALL SINGAPOREANS

At the PAP rally on 8 Dec last Sunday, LHL was in a desperate and panicky state. He talks about the opposition “checking” on them. He mentioned the word ‘checkmate’, clearly indicating that he is clueless about the notion of modern democracy. So, how is he going to appease the citizens?

Well, if you read his speech carefully, you could really feel the desperation. Phrases like ‘If the PAP fails, Singapore is in deep trouble. We shall not fail’, ‘We don’t make empty promises’ and so on, certainly reflect his desperation.

Worse, for the first time, the PAP openly mentions about the possibility that it may not be able to form the govt (see TRE article – ‘First time PAP admits may not be able to form govt‘). Why? just to scare us to continue to vote for him and his party?

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The Perils Of Please-All Economics

A “Return Our CPF” protest at Hong Lim Park last week. For all the grumbling, the majority of Singaporeans are too pragmatic to opt for unbridled welfarism at the next elections, which will take place by 2016. -- ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

Singapore is confronting the perils of please-all economics. Ageing citizens are pushing the Government for bigger nest eggs and more subsidised health care and housing. There is also popular resentment against letting more foreigners in, and not much appetite for increasing the 7 per cent consumption tax. Squaring this fiscal circle will be a long-term challenge.

Already, there's simmering anger in the city-state about overcrowded trains and costly public housing. About 2,000 people gathered recently to demand that the state-run retirement plan raise its 4 per cent annual interest rate.

People protested last year, too, when the Government unveiled a plan to boost the resident population by 30 per cent to 6.9 million by 2030, with immigration compensating for a drooping birth rate.

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Lee Hsien Loong facebook

Came across this thoughtful piece by Andy Mukherjee over the weekend. It explains clearly the issues and trade-offs Singapore faces in building our ideal society, while ensuring that Singaporeans have jobs and economic opportunities to build better lives and a brighter future.

As the article points out, we do enjoy important advantages compared to other countries, but it will still not be easy. There are serious trade-offs, which we must be willing to acknowledge and address. If we just pretend that everything can be better, and no hard choices are necessary, we will get into trouble. Mukherjee calls this “please-all economics”, and expresses confidence that Singaporeans are too pragmatic to fall for it. We must make sure that he is right. – LHL

http://www.straitstimes.com/news/opinion/more-opinion-stories/story/the-perils-please-all-economics-20140614

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PM's way off with Mukherjee's "please-all" economics

Bad move Prime Minister. You could write or explain the trade-offs better than this former ST writer Andy Mukherjee. Why did you have to borrow his bad work? Yes, even you couldn't do an adequate job persuading the people on the painful trade-offs. Anyway Mukherjee is off the mark. Just because he saw one or two cockroaches, he began to imagine there are lots of them or at least there will be more. He missed the point and why did you join him too? As PM I expected a lot more from you.

The risk has always been there that views like Mukherjee might become reality here some day. We see that sort of attitude in many societies especially the French.

The greatest trade-off Singaporeans make is our unquestioned commitment to bearing arms serving in NS. As long as that commitment remains rock solid, would we be so unreasonable as Mukherjee is fearing and you joined him in his wagon? I can only be disappointed with you. I think you are just pleading with us to be more reasonable so that your job as PM is more doable. But I think we need you to do much better. No thanks to you for making it impossibly hard for us to choose a competitor. An alternative would have made your government work harder and better.

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Dangers of ‘please-PAP economics’ real, caused untold suffering

I refer to “Dangers of ‘please-all economics’ real: PM Lee. PM Lee comments on his Facebook as if the article by Andy Mukherjee is the gospel truth.

PM Lee says the article is “thoughtful” and it “explains clearly the issues and trade-offs Singapore faces in building our ideal society”. “If we just pretend that everything can be better, and no hard choices are necessary, we will get into trouble”.

These are simply motherhood statements which insult our intelligence. PM Lee should not make sweeping statements and expect citizens will regurgitate them. Was a poll conducted to determine the number of Singaporeans who will pretend “everything can be better” or does “we” refer to only PAP and its supporters?

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Singapore confronts peril of please-all economics

(Reuters Breakingviews) - Singapore is confronting the perils of please-all economics. Ageing citizens are pushing the government for bigger nest eggs and more subsidised healthcare and housing. There is also popular resentment against letting more foreigners in, and not much appetite for increasing the 7 percent consumption tax. Squaring this fiscal circle will be a long-term challenge.

Already, there's simmering anger in the city-state about overcrowded trains and costly public housing. About 2,000 people gathered recently to demand that the state-run retirement plan raise its 4 percent annual interest rate. People protested last year, too, when the government unveiled a plan to boost the resident population by 30 percent to 6.9 million by 2030, with immigration compensating for a drooping birth rate.

The multifaceted discontent puts Singapore's fiscally conservative government in a quandary. Expanding the economy - and the tax base - with less foreign labour will mean improving the productivity of the local workforce. That's a long shot.

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Island abuzz over ‘please-all economics’

A COMMENTARY warning of the dangers of “please-all economics” in Singapore has sparked discussion about the growing demands on the government purse, with even Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong weighing in on the trade-offs between welfare and prosperity.

Lee’s Facebook post was prompted by an article by Reuters columnist Andy Mukherjee published in The Straits Times last Saturday, entitled “The perils of please-all economics”.

Mukherjee said that with Singaporeans demanding a bigger retirement nest egg, more subsidised health care and housing, and yet being against admitting more foreigners or raising the 7% consumption tax, the Government faced a long-term challenge of “squaring this fiscal circle”.

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Dangers of 'please-all economics' real: PM Lee

Singapore must acknowledge and address serious trade-offs facing the country as it moves to improve people's welfare while ensuring jobs and economic opportunities for the future, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in a Facebook post on Monday that was prompted by an article warning of the perils of "please-all economics".

The article was written by Reuters columnist Andy Mukherjee and published in The Straits Times on Saturday.

Mr Mukherjee wrote that with Singaporeans demanding a bigger retirement nest egg, more subsidied healthcare and housing, and yet being against admitting more foreigners or raising the consumption tax, the Government faced a long-term challenge of "squaring this fiscal circle".


Singapore is confronting the perils of please-all economics

Sadly, many Singaporeans have lost their sense of pragmatism, overhlemed by deceit and emotionalism- want 1st world perks but only willingly to pay 3rd world rates. Most times, anti – government commentators have no real feel of the challenges confronting Singapore at the global and regional arenas.

Well, PAP had made policy mistakes , and will continue to do so in the years to come since no man is perfect ; thus its system. However, what is important is that mistakes were acknowledged and rectification measures taken. some cried : ‘ Vote out PAP is 2016 ‘. Seriously, given our limited local talent pool, are there alternatives? I cannot fathom WP, or a coalition of opposition parties as the next government. It will potentially be a disaster given what I have seen and hear in parliament and at the Speakers’ corner.

Unfortunately, it may take a crisis for Singaporeans to realise the importance of good governance albeit long term damage which we may not be able to recover. This is the price of absurdity and lack of wisdom.

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THE PERILS OF PLEASE-ALL ECONOMICS

Alternatively, the government could skimp on investing. The outlay on the city's development budget in the most recent five-year period has jumped by a third. Slowing the pace might be a mistake, however. Pricey real estate would swoon if Singapore loses its urban buzz and stops attracting investors and tourists. That will make Singapore's property-loving citizens less wealthy and more miserable.

The trade-offs are difficult. But Singapore has some advantages. Rival Hong Kong is facing an existential threat as China tightens its grip on the former British colony and boosts alternatives like Shanghai. By contrast, Singapore offers investors proximity to India and Indonesia, neither of which will boast a global city soon.

For all the grumbling, the majority of Singaporeans are too pragmatic to opt for unbridled welfarism at the next elections, which will take place by 2016. Still, please-all economics is scratching at the door. If it finds a way in, prosperity could be in jeopardy.


Singapore confronts perils of please-all economics

About 2,000 people gathered in Singapore on June 7 to protest against low returns and lack of transparency in the state-run Central Provident Fund, the city-state's main retirement plan.

The CPF pays 4 percent on amounts contributed by employers and employees, a rate that the protestors say is not enough to build an adequate savings pool for old age.

The number of people in Singapore over the age of 65 is projected to triple to as many as 900,000 by 2030. By then, the resident population may be 6.9 million, up 30 percent from 5.4 million now.


Singapore confronts perils of please-all economics

Singapore is confronting the perils of please-all economics. Ageing population is pushing the government for bigger nest eggs and more subsidized health care and housing. There is also popular resentment against letting more foreigners in, and not much appetite for increasing the 7 percent consumption tax. Squaring this fiscal circle will be a long-term challenge.

Already, there’s simmering anger in the city-state about overcrowded trains and costly public housing. About 2,000 people gathered recently to demand that the state-run retirement plan raise its 4 percent annual interest rate.

People protested last year, too, when the government unveiled a plan to boost the resident population by 30 percent to 6.9 million by 2030, with immigration compensating for a dropping birth rate.

read more