The Difference Between Capitalism and Extortion

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.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Capitalism, Commentary, Singapore

3 Comments on “The Difference Between Capitalism and Extortion”

  1. szez Says:

    wtf, 2.2mil? if money is the main reasoning behind getting a better pool of talents to serve as minister, it’s only as a bait tt serves to attract anyone who’s in need of good pay (could be anyone & everyone eh) and is willing to suck up to PAP (which is the majority of people who wanta join the de facto single party government)… sg has the most retarded excuses for doing shite which is bloody blatant. They should learn from Dr M’s use of sarcasm. lol.

  2. Phinehas Says:

    on the other hand, some of those who join the PAP from the private sector do take drastic pay-cuts. for example, if TT Durai was paid $600k for running NKF, how much do you think the CEO level people who joined PAP get paid?

    so there is an element of capitalistic justification to raise the salaries. Plus the probable reason that Davinder Singh is still an MP and not a full time minister is probably ‘cos he’s among the benchmark lawyers earning the 3.92 million…

    not saying that it is right to pay the very high salary, but pointing out that the capitalistic rationalisation may have some basis.

    anyhow, if you look at it the other way, the bureaucracy pay scale usually runs like this:
    executive ~ $3k pay
    senior exec ~ $4-6k
    Manager ~ $7-10k
    Senior Manager ~ $10 – 15k
    Director ~ $20k (typically an average sized ministry will have 10 directors?)
    and so on.

    there’s a long way up to go to prime minister, so you can see that it would quickly run to the current $1+ million which is paid to our top leader. considering again the number of people the civil service employs, it isn’t that big a leap.


  3. You know, I didn’t consider the fact about the bureaucracy. But at the rate you are going, it’s going to take quite a few more levels to reach (2.2m/12)= 183k per month. This would mean our civil service has way too many levels.

    In any case, this is secondary to the fact that the people paying are not the ones who get to choose who gets paid. That is why I said that this has little to do with capitalism.


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