May 13, 2013

Why don't we build a school using the sovereign wealth fund?

Using National Funds Wisely: Investing in Education and Providing Security for Our Seniors  Economics  Opinion  TR EMERITUS: by Jeremy Chen.

How to Create A True Property Owning Democracy through The Privatization of Temasek and GIC, by Kenneth Jeyaretnam

In response to Jeyaretnam's call to distribute common wealth held in Temasek and GIC to Singapore citizens, Jeremy Chen proposes to use it for education instead.

This is a common reason cited against unconditional basic income and against citizen dividend. 

In its crude form, it is "why give money to the lazy bums when we can use it for a good social cause."

Why should the common wealth be distributed? Shouldn't the government use it for a school, a hospital, a park, a road or anything that can benefit the community or society? For the case of Singapore, a conservative estimate is that each citizen can receive a citizen dividend of $9,000 annually.

One clear answer is that the common wealth belongs to each citizen. We, as citizens, own this country. The government is only an agent, a servant to the citizens. In withholding the money, the government is imposing a hidden tax. This is a very regressive form of taxation where the poor suffers close to 100% taxation. Morally, ethically, economically, this extremely regressive taxation is not justifiable.

If there is a need to build a school, a hospital, a park, a road or anything else, the government should raise revenue in other ways, not by imposing 100% taxation on the poor.

No comments:

Post a Comment