ST Opinion editor Chua Mui Hoong wrote a great common sense piece today!
A good government first needs to create the conditions for business to flourish. Then it needs to spend and redistribute the wealth created to maintain harmony and fairness in a society, to enhance citizens’ wellbeing. Doing the latter is not being populist.
Spending money to ensure universal health coverage is not populist – just the responsibility of any decent, humane government that has the wherewithal to do so.
Helping the jobless and underemployed get back into the job marketplace via wage subsidies and training is not populist – just good old common sense to get people back onto their feet.
Nor is spending on early childhood education to help poor children do well in school populist – just good investment in these kids’ futures.
If a government has rich state coffers, but its people feel stressed and anxious at every stage of their lives, it cannot be a good government.
A good government strikes a balance between collecting enough for a country’s future, and spending enough for the present.
It has to satisfy the elite generating most of the wealth, and the masses whose labour help sustain it. The 47 per cent, the ones who earn below US$1,800 a month.
1. Let us imagine in a simple hypothetical situation, that you have a pool of money in a fund which guarantees you annual returns of X% in interest rate regardless of good times or bad.
2. Overtime, if you were to believe that X% interest rate is too low due to factors such as inflation, then by all means suggest and request for a consideration of higher annual returns – and that means altering the initial understanding of how much you will get each year.
3. It is a plain act of mischief by harping over and again on how much are the fund’s returns since inception, or that of its managers (if any exist). The main issue should be as per the initial understanding of all parties involved, what are the guaranteed returns, and whether or not this obligation can be fulfilled – you ought to be relieved if these issues were addressed, and you can also ask questions on those fronts if you have further doubts. The initial agreement between parties is the key.
4. What is the big deal if the fund or its managers indeed has/have returns much higher than the X% of returns guaranteed to you annually regardless good or bad times, and bearing in mind that this is not even considering if the fund or its managers are managing some other assets other than your pool of money?
5. If you are truly concerned about the pool of money you have with the fund, the questions should be what are the annual rate of returns guaranteed to you, whether or not this can be fulfilled, and whether based on current circumstances, the guaranteed rate of returns is sufficient. If it is not sufficient, by all means suggest changing the initial understanding on the amount guaranteed returns.
6. So why the persistent harping on the issue of “returns since inception”? To open more fronts in order to confuse and to mislead?