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Thread: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

  1. #41

    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    1. Please check the history of how the Geneva Convention and the UN Human Rights charter of 1948 came about. There are 30 articles in that Convention. While it was driven by the West, the rights are defined by the UN and acceded to by all, including Singapore.

    The convention basically called for certain rights to be innate to humans, such as freedom of religion, expression and assembly, right to a free trial in an open court of law, etc.. If you read it wholly and fully, including of how it came about (hint: had something to do with the aftermath of Nazism), you may find it more compelling and even heart-rending.

    Do not just accept the propaganda being fed to you-- that human rights is a "western" thing or that it's an "American" thing.

    2. Freedom of expression means what it means. Anybody can go around in America saying "I hate Bush" or "Bush is Satan" and no one can arrest them. People are free to speak their mind (in this case, they hate Bush).

    This does not mean they cannot be sued for libel. UK tabloids are frequently sued for libel when they cannot back up their sensational front page articles. But they can and certainly do criticise govts and govt policies, and that's a good thing-- at least better than the total absence of criticism here.


    Quote Originally Posted by jsbn View Post
    Hold on a second.

    The one abt trading constitution for 'human rights'. Who defines the rights of a human? U? Me? The govt? Uncle Sam? God?

    The so-called Human Rights thingy are currently defined by no other than Uncle Sam. So, the rights of a human are being defined by the govt of another nation now?

    *Back to topic*

    1. Had seen my fair share and unfortunately, truly passionate & dedicated people are really very rare.

    2. Freedom of expression? In absolute with self-fixed rules that one could bend it to their own advantage allowing the person to say whatever they wish (If that's the case, can I say "the admins of Clubsnap are a bunch of morons")? Or freedom of expression with the accompanied responsibility, proper respect backed with facts and logic?

    4. So, Civil Servants are basically kinda like the underlings & if possible, eliminated since they are technically redundant?

    Maybe could send a feedback abolishing Civil Service - along with SAF (no NSF!), along with all other security forces (haters of the 'draconian ISD' will love this), along with Teachers (Adam will be very sad) as well?
    Last edited by waileong; 14th November 2006 at 06:01 PM.

  2. #42
    vince123123
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    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    Comparison with other countries is flawed - they have other perks that we dont have.

    And the Government like to compare when it suits them. When it doesn't they will say that other countries have different conditions. Either way, they always win.

    Quote Originally Posted by feryl View Post
    like 12% GST in NZ...

  3. #43
    vince123123
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    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    Please count by per capita basis before you say that the quantum is small.

    Quote Originally Posted by dkw View Post
    Actually, a fair number of people ARE talking about the extra $40.

    Sorry, I disagree. Whether we overpay our ministers or not is a matter of opinion. Despite their extraordinarily high incomes, as compared to other countries, the truth of it is that the total quantum is very small. Say we are talking about 20 ministers/MOS/ofiice holders, earning an average $2 million a year. What is the grand total? $40 million a year? For a team to run a country? I think its a bargain. Some companies have CEOs that earn 3 times that. They hardly need to raise GST to support $40 million.

    As for losses, I'm sure they have made some major mis-steps, but I believe their overall track record has been good, otherwise how did we accumulate FOREX reserves that puts us in the top 6 or 7 in the world, and one of the highest when taken per capita?

    No, I'm not being naive, politics is politics, and politicians are politicians. But as politicians go, would you trade ours for any other in the world? The US? Asean neighbours? China? France? PM Lee has said so himself, politics is about power and control, but insofar as it relates to setting policy and direction.

  4. #44

    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    Quote Originally Posted by vince123123 View Post
    Comparison with other countries is flawed - they have other perks that we dont have.

    And the Government like to compare when it suits them. When it doesn't they will say that other countries have different conditions. Either way, they always win.
    well, if u wanna put it that way, they have a lot of natural resources. if we compare our situation with another country, it can be related to a rts game, like Sim City or warcraft. now imagine that your opponent has mines all over his city and exploit them happily to build an army, while singapore has only citizens but no mines. the logical thing is to try to upgrade these citizens by training them into powerful soldiers (er, in the context of the rts game) with hope that it's enough to withstand the competition.

    i guess if our country has oil, palm or coffee, the current govt might have been to tweak some kind of welfare package or use that extra money to do something even more audacious.

    but the truth is that we have nothing but ourselves and a lot of concrete. so if we take the direction to become a welfare state and something screwed up in worldwide economies and lose any pitiful reserve or investments we have left, we will probably have to eat concrete.

  5. #45
    vince123123
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    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    You have just reinforced my point that comparing of countries is futile.

    Quote Originally Posted by feryl View Post
    well, if u wanna put it that way, they have a lot of natural resources. if we compare our situation with another country, it can be related to a rts game, like Sim City or warcraft. now imagine that your opponent has mines all over his city and exploit them happily to build an army, while singapore has only citizens but no mines. the logical thing is to try to upgrade these citizens by training them into powerful soldiers (er, in the context of the rts game) with hope that it's enough to withstand the competition.

    i guess if our country has oil, palm or coffee, the current govt might have been to tweak some kind of welfare package or use that extra money to do something even more audacious.

    but the truth is that we have nothing but ourselves and a lot of concrete. so if we take the direction to become a welfare state and something screwed up in worldwide economies and lose any pitiful reserve or investments we have left, we will probably have to eat concrete.

  6. #46
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    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!


    must be out of your freaking mind...

  7. #47
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    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    Quote Originally Posted by waileong View Post
    1. There's more than enough passionate people to go around. Just that not everyone wants to join P A P.
    Really? How qualified will they be to run a government? Enthusiasm and passion does not equal ability.

    Quote Originally Posted by waileong View Post
    2. In principle, our Constitution guarantees freedom of expression. So ask yourself, where is the freedom of expression? If tomorrow I took out an ad that says "PM Lee go fly kite with your GST increase", what do you think will happen? To me? And to the publication that took out my ad?

    Remember Mr Brown?

    People can take out anti-Bush ads in US. They can't take out anti-PM Lee ads here.
    I am unfamiliar about the part of the SG constitution that guarantees freedom of expression. Could you kindly educate me on that please? I've seen the recent electioneering for the mid-term US congress first hand, having been in the US for a month. A lot of it is downright sickening. Not sure its a model I'd like to import.

    Quote Originally Posted by waileong View Post
    3. I think you need to understand more about globalisation... It's not just a case of who has the lowest tax rates.
    Pray tell, for 2 countries who are equally qualified, would a tax regime not be a tie breaker? What other attraction for as business is there other than the ability to make the maximum profit in a safe and conducive environment? Would a friendly tax regime not contribute to that?

    Quote Originally Posted by waileong View Post
    4. Civil servants don't pull the strings but they certainly set everything up. Do you think that the Ministers thought of all the wonderful policies by themselves? Or do their underlings do all the research for them and present them with detailed papers outlining all the alternatives?
    Where are you getting your information from? I can tell you a minister in Singapore has huge influence on the policies of his ministry. Certainly they may not get into the nitty gritty, but they set direction and strategy. My experience has been directly or indirectly with the MOH, with 3 different health ministers. The tone, approach to issues, priorities and strategic directions were totally different.

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    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    Quote Originally Posted by vince123123 View Post
    Please count by per capita basis before you say that the quantum is small.
    I already have, in a previous post in this thread. It is less than $1 per person/month.

  9. #49
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    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    Quote Originally Posted by soma View Post
    Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!


    must be out of your freaking mind...

    To contribute to the social compact? To enable provision of help to the needy? To aid in income redistribution? Where else will the g'ment get money to fund social programmes? Partially from citizen taxation, is it not? What's so crazy about that?

    Did you even read my first post?

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    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    Quote Originally Posted by dkw View Post
    I already have, in a previous post in this thread. It is less than $1 per person/month.
    5 plates of char kway teow per year, this figure given by the former PM.
    I believe many S'poreans would prefer not to waste their 5 plates, not sure if it is money well spent.

  11. #51
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    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    Quote Originally Posted by dkw View Post
    To contribute to the social compact? To enable provision of help to the needy? To aid in income redistribution? Where else will the g'ment get money to fund social programmes? Partially from citizen taxation, is it not? What's so crazy about that?

    Did you even read my first post?
    Many are old enough to know their 'bull & crap' Help us? WTF.. They are helping themselves with our serving. KNN..

  12. #52
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    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    Quote Originally Posted by waileong View Post
    Let me put the question the other way? Should the PM be paid more than the chairman of Goldman Sachs? Should he be paid more than Jack Welch?

    What is your yardstick?

    So he "runs" a country while Jack Welch "runs" a company. And by definition, a country is bigger than a company so the PM should be paid more.

    In that case, why don't we pay PM $50M per year? $100M?

    You said $10 from every inhabitant in Singapore is no big deal. Then what about $20? Still peanuts right? What about $50? $100? Where is the tipping point?

    How can the reasonableness of PM's pay be linked to the amount per inhabitant?

    C&B specialists have come up with ways to measure the worth of a job. For CEO's, it's typically linked to performance, to sales and profits. How do you establish what is the right amount to pay the PM?

    It's fine if you want to discuss another day.
    So, what is YOUR benchmark? If a company fails due to poor performance of a CEO, all that happens is that folks lose their jobs, maybe their pensions and investors get burnt. What if a poor leader runs a nation into the ground?

    You ask what is the tipping point? I ask you, what is YOUR tipping point? Wedding photographs are important yes, how much did you or your sister or your colleague pay for his/her wedding package in the last year? $1000? $2000? Congratulations, that is equivalent to his contribution to the cabinet's pay for the next 100 years.

    That we are quibbling over cents for a PM's pay, something critical to the continued economic and social well-being of the nation, is too ridiculous to be even believed.

  13. #53
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    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    Quote Originally Posted by dkw View Post
    To contribute to the social compact? To enable provision of help to the needy? To aid in income redistribution? Where else will the g'ment get money to fund social programmes? Partially from citizen taxation, is it not? What's so crazy about that?

    Did you even read my first post?
    Increase GST to help the poor? Absurd, I think.

    To start with, they can cut down on wastages and divert funds to better uses.
    eg not to build govt buildings that rival 5 star hotels in opulence, cut down on civil service fat where many CBL as their daily work routine, cut out on all those inefficient upgrading programmes, etc...etc...

  14. #54
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    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    nadda. it's a joke. really. the discussion is futile as it's quite obvious where it stands. we're looking to hit 10% in the near future so it's just sitting back and wait for the inevitable to happen, whether we like it or not.

    meanwhile just a quote
    "everything in singapore is going up. except wages."

  15. #55
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    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    Quote Originally Posted by CTN View Post
    5 plates of char kway teow per year, this figure given by the former PM.
    I believe many S'poreans would prefer not to waste their 5 plates, not sure if it is money well spent.
    Really? Where did you last go for your overseas vacation? That kind of purchasing power and economic stability got conferred on you by accident?

    Many Singaporeans are willing to give their 5 plates, and much much more. As I said, I am thankful the views in this forum are from the small minority.

  16. #56
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    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    Quote Originally Posted by CTN View Post
    Increase GST to help the poor? Absurd, I think.

    To start with, they can cut down on wastages and divert funds to better uses.
    eg not to build govt buildings that rival 5 star hotels in opulence, cut down on civil service fat where many CBL as their daily work routine, cut out on all those inefficient upgrading programmes, etc...etc...
    .......

  17. #57
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    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    Quote Originally Posted by soma View Post
    Many are old enough to know their 'bull & crap' Help us? WTF.. They are helping themselves with our serving. KNN..

    Cabinet's pay is transparent, a matter of public record. A generous extrapolation puts it around $40 million. They don't need to put up the GST to raise $40 million, it is not a very large amount as operating costs go. Are they self serving? Perhaps some. But we get results on the whole, do we not?

  18. #58
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    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    take a look at the number of poor people before the implementation of GST and now. take a look at the number of bankrupts. increasing, aint it?

    you are coming in here, shooting arguments down and telling us we're from a small minority and you're thankful of that. so, which section of the party do you work in?

  19. #59

    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    Quote Originally Posted by jsbn View Post
    Hold on a second.

    The one abt trading constitution for 'human rights'. Who defines the rights of a human? U? Me? The govt? Uncle Sam? God?

    The so-called Human Rights thingy are currently defined by no other than Uncle Sam. So, the rights of a human are being defined by the govt of another nation now?

    *Back to topic*

    1. Had seen my fair share and unfortunately, truly passionate & dedicated people are really very rare.

    2. Freedom of expression? In absolute with self-fixed rules that one could bend it to their own advantage allowing the person to say whatever they wish (If that's the case, can I say "the admins of Clubsnap are a bunch of morons")? Or freedom of expression with the accompanied responsibility, proper respect backed with facts and logic?

    4. So, Civil Servants are basically kinda like the underlings & if possible, eliminated since they are technically redundant?

    Maybe could send a feedback abolishing Civil Service - along with SAF (no NSF!), along with all other security forces (haters of the 'draconian ISD' will love this), along with Teachers (Adam will be very sad) as well?

    actually europe has strong stands on human rights, more so than america sometimes.
    go look up on their record, it's quite impressive.

    sorry but freedom of expression in singapore has been *******ised so badly by the government that even something like an article that people can actually agree with written by Mr Brown gets slammed to the ground on the basis of being distortion. Welcome to the world of humour! You exaggerate some points so that people can have a laugh! Open up Time magazine and look at the fricking illustrations of george bush with his big ears and tiny features! it's called humour!

    waileong made a good point about corporate taxes...yeah of course if our corporate taxes are lower it's more attractive to foreign investors, but whether it's sustainable is another issue. Sustainable at the cost of the citizens is another issue. And as waileong suggests, taxes are only one of the reasons that companies set up shop here. There must be other areas which can encourage companies to set up shop. there must be a reason why New York is so hot even though it's so fricking expensive...

    so dkw, do you agree that the tax raise is really about maintaining competitiveness rather than helping to bridge the income gap, helping the needy, or whatever you want to call it?

    You can put down people's reasoning with all the logic in the world, you can tell us that it's necessary, you can tell us that ministers should be paid this much, etc etc etc, but I think most people are not stupid. When they feel something is wrong it stays in their gut. Have you considered that since up till now, even after all the official explanations, people still feel some things are wrong? (ministers' pay, CPF, GST)
    You can't run a country clinically, and yes you need passion to run a country! I don't care how many capable people there are, Wee Shu Min is probably a very capable person but I don't want her running my country. You can train people to be capable, it's much harder to train people to have dedication and love.

    let me be an old man and share a little talk I had with a heart surgeon here in New York
    he said that the education system in america was getting worse and worse, being all about tests and whatnots
    He said that it is easy to train a person in the technical skills of being a surgeon, but what they should be looking for is people with compassion to become doctors, because it's very hard to teach that.

    btw, I HATE the term "first world nation"
    it only came up during the last election, and now people keep using it. For the record I think that most of us singaporeans are more sophisticated than most Americans, and more "first world"


    haha dkw I'm sorry to tell you that you can keep giving the most logical reasoning to everyone's gripes but the real skill in politics is actually convincing people.

  20. #60

    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    We need higher taxes.... to keep hums on someone else's Mee Siams...

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