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Where S’pore is not first world: not reported in MSM

In Economy, Political economy, Political governance on 10/07/2013 at 5:18 am

S’pore is richer (per capita) than Japan. Yet as this chart from the Economist shows, its welfare spending is below that of Japan, and is clustered with Thailand and China, with only Indonesia worse-off. Korea is slightly better than S’pore but the president there has promised massive welfare spending. S’pore has not made such a promise.

We should be aiming to be clustered withJapan. And as Temasek’s recent results help show, we got the money. Prosperous Japan is the only country that protects its people both well and widely, according to the index. In Singapore, now richer than Japan, social protection is spread broadly but thinly, the index shows.

For the geeks:The Asian Development Bank’s newly published social-protection index shows both the breadth of coverage (the percentage of potential beneficiaries actually covered) and the depth (the amount of spending per beneficiary, expressed as a percentage of the country’s GDP per person).

  1. Perhaps our PAP ministers should take study trips to check how the the Nordic Happiness Formula where evil high welfare,high taxation but less work help to make very happy and smart people.
    解码财商 2013:特别节目—北欧幸福公式 130704 http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNTc5MDM4OTg0.html

  2. […] Thoughts of a Cynical Investor: Where S’pore is not first world: not reported in MSM – Five Stars and a Moon: Are Malays in Singapore […]

  3. CI

    No thanks to be clustered with Japan for social welfare.

    To be clustered for technology/manufacturing/arts/culture, yes, all the way

    • You support PAP view on welfare? In 2001 peanuts go asserted that handouts would result in a “crutch mentality, which will lead to indolence, dependence and abuse”.

  4. CI

    I support that the breadth of it should be wide as shown above or even more as all societies have people who fall thru the gaps same as Japan and South Korea.

    I do not support the depth of Japan,of it as this will result in more bureaucracy as they the bureacrats search for a reason to be employed .

    So finite term limits of support for most except the minority which definitely needs long term help.

    More taxes, no issues up to 3% more and also more efficiency in all sectors of govt mandated at say 4 % for 4 years and further input of investment returns of 3% would provide additional 10%. Beyond that, all of us are asking for trouble considering the geographical location (especially) and size unless we are willing to pay to buy part of Sumatra on lease for 1000 years (bankrupting us in the interim),.

    I come from the realist point of view and the saying that the poor will always be with us still rings true even in the best socialist paradise eg Sweden with its recent riots and also rumblings in Norway.

    If you have issues with that, fine.

    So do you support the SDP or TJS way to make merry and spend all our reserves within 30 years than

    • Well I’m in late 50s. So SDP. TJS plans gd for me. Seriously, until we get the facts on how much money S’pore has roughly in reserves, no-one outside those in the know in the govt, has a clue whether the govt’s claims about spending is true or bogus. Based on the reported numbers by GIC, Temasek, MoF, MAS, there is plenty more to spend. Hopefully wisely and efficiently.

  5. In the west, the idea of a basic income has been mooted. This is applicable to everyone. With such a system, periodic, regular payments are automatically transferred to everyone and there is no need for a giant bureaucracy to administer the system.

    And before you decry this as commie/socialist thingy, this was first mooted by Milton Friedman when it became apparent to economists of the day that there will be a day where a combination of factors mean not all can participate in the market system to get their needs satisfied.

  6. CI

    I would be happy as well,however, do need to think of the kids so will reject SDP and TJS but willing to consider the WP.
    There is more to spend but those big numbers can go away very fast just look at the island state Nauru

    • We got institutional framework to prevent this. Remember that Temasek received $10bn equity injection around time it bot into Barclays and Merrills. If you look at the govt accts, $10bn was revenue that went into reserves from sale of land from 2006 to 2008. I for one can think of better ways to use that money rather than for it to go to reserves as per constitution.

  7. DO

    Basic income was not proposed by Milton Friedman.

    He supported the idea but implemented thru a negative income tax ergo Workfare which is as long they work, they get a tax credit larger for certain levels and less for certain levels.

    That is why would oppose the dole but quite happy to support a negative income tax.

  8. CI

    As the saying goes, there is a season to everything,
    I doubt that there will be much more big injections into the reserves as the Singapore population ages and the increasing dichotomy of political thought.
    So I rather they build the reserves than and squirrel as much away as once the grasshopper mentality holds sway hopefully ASEAN community comes about and things are much better and Singapore prominence may decline hopefully slowly

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