Where the PAP is wrong, seriously wrong

In Political governance on 02/07/2015 at 4:51 am

One Harry believed that democracy held back growth, citing PinoyLand and India (He could cite Greece if he were alive). His son said that if S’poreans voted too many opp MPs in, he’d be too busy fixing them (Think Aljunied town council though to be fair Auntie and her Sikh failed to notice that the managing agent wasn’t keeping proper accounting records*, thereby allowing the PAP to make all kinds of allegations.) to grow the economy.

They and their PAP would say:

GDP growth in [China] at an average of 10% over the past decade, has easily outpaced that of its democratic emerging-market rivals. India saw annual growth of 6% over the same period; Brazil, just 2%.

In other words: democracies grow slowly; non-democracies grow quickly.

In 1994 Torsten Persson of Stockholm University and Guido Tabellini, then of the University of Brescia, published a paper that argued that in democracies, vote-hungry politicians divert resources away from people who could use them more efficiently by lavishing spending on their constituents in the form of unemployment benefits and pensions. This and political gridlock, another unfortunate aspect of democracy, both tend to slow growth. Another paper published in 1994, by Robert Barro of Harvard University, analysed data from some 100 countries before concluding that the “effect of democracy on growth is weakly negative”

The Economist, Hard Truths’ more liberal (legalise the use of marijuana and other drugs, allow gay marriages), compassionate (no death sentences) and sophisticated cousin (feed the poor to grow the economy, shumething the PAP is finally adopting to increase its share of the votes), reports on new research that challenges this …. The paper uses a huge dataset (175 countries over fifty years) and makes a number of statistical improvements (that are explained in the column) and concludes that “democratisations” (ie, when a country becomes democratic) improves living standards substantially. As the piece notes:

They find that a “permanent” democratisation—where there is no slide back into autocracy—leads to an increase in GDP per person of about 20% in the subsequent 25 years.

Pro-democracy activists may not get that excited: few fling themselves into campaigning for self-determination in order to boost GDP. But freedom and growth make for a pretty unbeatable combination.

Interesting the piece is entitled “Have your cake and eat it”.

Err we S’poreans can have democracy and a better material life; juz like our millionaire ministers can combine public service with serious money.

As Thomas Piketty, the French economist and rock star asks,  “It’s OK to pay someone 10, 20 times the average worker’s salary but do you really need to pay them 100 or 200 times to get their arses in gear?” Related post ttps://

But if we have democracy, they’ll not be able to have their cake and eat it.

So that’s the real reason why they hate democracy?


*Why didn’t it keep proper accounts and why didn’t Auntie and PritamS notice the lack of accounting documentation? These are legitimate questions. No need to allege this or allege that. Just ask these questions and see the response. Taz how incompetent the PAP administration and MND can be.

  1. Some economist believe democracy inhibits growth too.

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