How long can Singapore remain a welfare free state?

January 13, 2010

Have you read the latest Essay by the Brotherhood Press 14th Jan 2010 – 

Has Google Suddenly Discovered its Moral Compass?


As some of you probably know I have been dabbling with this Temasek Review fake DOSS attack – well it’s time to change tack; so I’ve decided to put all this nonsense into a shoebox and slip it under my bed. Besides its beginning to sound like a broken record and I have far more interesting stuff to write about.

So let’s dive right in – how long can Singapore remain a welfare free state?

Well on the surface, it seems this is a cut and dried matter; we have been told time and again, welfare is a solvent; first it hollows our precious Asian work ethic; secondly, it fosters the crutch mentality and yada yada yada yada – it’s a litany that generally sounds like, “don’t go down that road, it will turn your backbone into jelly.”

Sure those arguments do make sense on the surface; but if you really take the time and trouble to look deeper at the innards of the whole idea of welfare against what’s happening in the world economically then what becomes immediately apparent is; Singapore may not be able to remain welfare a free state, not for long at least.

To cut a long story short – capitalism is unravelling like the oninon story; the more you peel, the more you cry, only to end up with nothing.

Sounds like a quirky idea; but let just spend some time to understand what is really happening in the global economy and how this all relates to the idea of why I believe at some point in time Singapore will ultimately have to buy into the idea of building a welfare state proper.

Lets begin with the global trends? – first, the poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer – income gaps are widening to historical levels and that simply means the tea auntie and those who may not have the right papers will just see themselves getting poorer and poorer as time goes by. There are many reasons accounting for this, but to simplify the case; it all boils down to the whole idea of globalization. You see globalization means exactly what it means; we all have to compete globally; that means a factory in Boon Lay has to compete with a sweat shop somewhere in Shenzhen and whoever produces the cheapest products wins the contract.

Sure we call this “free trade” – “level playing” – “healthy competition.” And all this comes under one word – capitalism. But you know what? These days with the disparity in wealth distribution where the poor are getting squeezed and the rich are getting fatter – capitalism doesn’t work anymore; in short, it no longer delivers the goods – don’t believe me, then consider why are the Communist in China promoting capitalism could it’s even way better than Marxist Leninism to keep the masses in line? Is it even possible capitalism is a far more effective way to squeeze much more out of the ordinary man in the street – the another thing about Capitalism, like all great Hollywood movies with great endings; it even comes complete with the promise of redemption – that’s to say, capitalism as an idea can even relieve the rich and of the burden of guilt by perpetuating the myth; “hey, if you are down at the bottom of the ladder, it’s all your fault; you just didn’t study hard enough in school and now it’s all coming back full circle….that’s your lot, suck it in!” Thus allowing them to grind the ordinary Joe right down to pulp! It even allows the rich and privileged to envisions the idea that the world is fair, “if you produce a great mouse trap, someone will always beat a path to your shed!” You see one of the things that I find almost impossible to square off when I try my best to square income divide and the whole idea of capitalism is simply this; not only does it provide a multitude of reasons for the rich and privileged to continue squeezing more out from the ordinary Joe; but it even cap able to engendering the false belief amongst the rich, that their hands like their conscience is clean and when you translate all these into nuts and bolts it’s a far more expedient way than communism to devise a system to grind the poor legitimately with a set of justifications that’s darn hard to push to one side.

You see one reason why the capitalist system works so well as compared to the moribund communist system is unlike the latter; it even comes complete with the “rags to riches” fairytale; the whole idea that anyone can just go out there and carve up a good and decent life; if he works diligently, hard and intelligently – the myth is perpetuates its one that engenders everyone within the capitalist machinery; they too can one day aspire to be the modern day Hectors and Achilles of lore; they too can be the Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Oprah and Olivia Lum of this world, if only they put their shoulders to the wheel of life and push it really hard!

But as I said, let’s not kid ourselves, capitalism is no longer capitalism; you dont have to be a double first political scientiest to figure out with the recent economic meltdown, the stripe of capitalism that the Obama administration is  closer to communism than the idea of free trade – otherwise how can you square off the economics with the ideological reversal of the century of bailing out zombie banks with trillions of tax payers money?  “Too big to fail!” Hey Obama! I got news for you, that was exactly what Stalin used to say, when he poured millions into inefficient factories producing stuff that no one in their right frame of mind would buy only, he glossed it over as, “Too important to fail!”

So lets get it straight once and for all – these days when we talk about capitalism, its as elastic as silly putty; it doesnt have the same conceptual coherency that it once had. Juxtapose all this against the current economic landscape and what do we have?

 Capitalism as a idea doesnt work anymore! And the case is strongest when one compares the economic realities against the myth of what capitalism as an idea claims to hold out: “this is the best way!” – Bullshit!  Facts don’t lie, for example: if you really want a snap shot of wealth inequality, consider this: the top 1% owns 60% of all the bonds, stocks and business assets; while the bottom 50% owns a paltry 2.5% of the net worth of a nation like the US – I mean mirror these realities with Singapore or even Timbuktu and you would roughly be right even if you were off a few percentile points. So in a nut shell, we have already successfully re-created a slave driven economy that so well packaged; it even comes wrapped up with a dream and the hope that one day when those magic TOTO number line up; you’ve made it to the top of the hill.

Nope the facts; don’t gel and I am not even going to touch on complicated subjects on how the poor will be continually shelled by diminishing disposable income as the price of commodities e.g oil and basic necessities go up; or even how the fall of the US$ will continue to take a larger slice of salaries from food, healthcare etc; because our SGD is pegged to the USD. Neither am I going to talk about cost of capital or  the possibility of hyperinflation or for that matter at least 30 things other that is simply going to exacerbate the divide between the have’s and have’s not in the forseeable future.

In a nutshell – the gulf is going to widen; the disparities will sharpen and the sense of estrangement between those at the top of the social pyramid and those at the base will simply be more pronounced. This cant go on forever, if it did then we might as well all throw away our history books and consider the French Revolution; winter uprising and ten or so revolutionary tsunami’s that has hit the world as a dream or try to rear gooses that churn out golden nuggets.

Seems to me a day of reckoning will have to come;  its only a matter of time; the bough will break; I could be wrong (coming to think of it, I am always wrong, that is why I always end up with a two metric ton blind date), my point is jugular; I really can’t see with the figures facing me  how we are going to reconcile the growing divide, discontent and disparities against the hubris of the have’s and have’s not: when you really get down and dirty and begin looking closely at the excel spread sheet figures ; what becomes apparent is capitalism doesnt offer salvation as perdition; neither do I see us reconciling the widening wage divide or how is it possible for us to keep living on this harshly divided world while squeezing productivity gains out of the masses as we continue to hold wages down to levels in an economy when basic commodities are going to go up and up – so far the response from the government is just happy families rhetoric, but as I said, you cant run from the economic and social realities anymore than you can step out from your own skin.

What we have here in short  is the gun powder, ball and flint that just waiting for the bang!

It just doesn’t square off with to me, not even a bit; as even in the days of slavery; masters had to provide food, shelter and warmth; if they really wanted to get the best deal out of their lot.

The year 2010 will certainly be an interesting year – but let’s start by buying into one reality just so we dont live in so la la dream world; this is not the land of the free as it remains very much the land of the fee. Get with it, that’s as good as it ever gets.

The machine that was supposed to change the world has broken down for good! No amount of kicking, ranting or hammering it will ever get it spluttering again and even if you managed to get it to cough up; dont be surprised is communism holds up a better future.

We have finally come full circle.

Darkness 2010

P.S: You know what? I am sick and tired of the watching the poor get poorer and the rich get fatter; its even happening in the virtual gaming world – one thing great about the gaming world is I regularly use it to test out some of my cracked brained monetary policies; I have a few ideas how to balance the accounts and square off the records – I am working on it and I’ve probably run it through the whole network – if it doesnt work, then I say, things are already so bad that it would not make a molecule of difference either way; but if it works, we may just be able to climb out from this mother of shit pots and fix the machine that was supposed to change the world – thats the beauty about the gaming world, its like a $30 million simulator where you can fly and even crash and burn only to play it all again. Now you must all excuse me; I am finalizing the last details of this plan; I have work to do! Just one message; to the Joe out there who is struggling, just hang in there; we will come through; we always do!

(The Brotherhood Press 2010 – This essay has been published in Just Stuff / Ekunaba/ The Strangelands / PBK – codex 992373400383 Doberman)



” There are two ways to read, one is you let someone spoon feed you like a baby. The second is you choose what and how you want to eat.  Remember, if your body is a temple. Your mind has to be the altar piece; it’s the linchpin that makes possible the grand idea of La Convivencia with you and your community, spirit, mind and perhaps 7 million other things- without this one thing, the power to choose, you are simply a cactus on a window sill! 

So understand this little rich girl, there is reading and there is reading, there is a world of difference, if you dont even bother to argue with the belief, you are what you eat. Then you would have absolutely no problem understanding – why, you are most definitely without a shadow of doubt what you read and dont read.

You can certainly categorize what I write, but you have no right to judge ……that was what Singaporedaily did – a broad line has to be drawn, otherwise, dont be surprise, if someone decides its card blanche to give you and me the mushroom treatment, “feed you shit and keep you in the dark.” So this has nothing to do with Anime 3 and her rubberband brigade. I value her readership and support, but this is a bigger sphere we are dealing with here – so this is where I will draw the line…it will hurt…like that other fake site, Temasek review that kept faking doss attacks; but how could they let the real wolf out without first planting the idea in peoples mind, “if it can happen to me, it will also happen to you,” Think about it – they cried wolf – we helped, but this time, I am not going to stick my neck out for no one…its everyman for himself….I dont even care, if the whole house catches fire…call it tough love, but if you aren’t a hard man, then you shouldn’t be in the ring and that’s the only way to deal with people who cry wolf – dont worry dotty, the readers will eventually pick up the scent…they always do, you just wait and see, dont ever sweat the small stuff, life is too short – Darkness 2010……”Missy Dotty

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