Archive for March 2007

The Difference Between Capitalism and Extortion

26 March, 2007

I haven’t written for months now because I’ve been lazy, but the recent furore over ministerial pay in Singapore has forced me to defend capitalism once again. Not content with abusing the concept of Democracy, the paps have decided to mar the name of capitalism.

What happened is that they have decided to raise ministerial pay from $1.2 million to $2.2 million because the top few earners in the private sector earn that much.  This, according to them, will help attract talent and reduce the temptation to accept bribes, after all, we don’t want them to be underpaid and act like the directors in Enron now would we?

The fact is, capitalism cannot be used to explain what is happening here. In a capitalist society, consumers get to choose what they want. Investors get to choose what they want as well, as they buy and sell stocks. Neither situation is happening here. The elections were a farce, the fact is, with most of the voting districts unable to vote, Singapore wouldn’t qualify as a Potemkin Democracy.

So without the freedom of choice, the Capitalist argument cannot be applied here. This isn’t Capitalism, it’s extortion. In a Capitalist society, activists would give such leaders would get the boot and not fear imprisonment. Right now, there’s nothing Singaporeans can do.

The only purpose of this entry is to defend Capitalism. I am not as naive as to think that anything will stop our coffers from being raided.