Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Chicken Games

According to CNN International, Singapore's prime minister openly criticized the United States over the government shutdown and ongoing deadlock over the debt ceiling, calling them "problems you have created for yourself in a game of chicken."

CNN's interviewer Patricia Wu turned the tables back on him, asking if the U.S. would benefit from a system like Singapore's, where government ministers are paid hundreds of thousands of dollars (actually the figures are in the millions) in salaries. Predictably, Lee gave the stock answer, that he believes his country runs a clean system in which officials are paid "what their job is worth and what the quality of people is worth." Lee actually said, "We may have competitive salaries but we are far from being the richest law makers in the world."

The game of chicken, as played out in the local context, is "Killing the Chickens to Scare the Monkeys". Quite different from the game of chicken (also referred to as playing chicken) in which two players engage in an activity that will result in dire consequences unless one of them backs down in time.

No local media journalist would dare to play that game. Even to call out the obvious white lies about "competitive salaries" and "far from being the richest". In April this year, the New York Times reported that President Barack Obama will voluntarily return 5 percent of his US$400,000 annual salary to the United States Treasury, in a demonstration of solidarity with federal employees who are seeing pay cuts or furloughs as a result of sequestration. To avoid embarrassing Mr Obama, Lee's salary, even after the token reduction to regain a few votes, will not be printed here.

Grace Fu's personal reaction to the compensation adjustment has been immortalised by her Facebook posting: "If the balance is tilted further in the future, it will make it harder for any one considering political office." Now, that line sounds more like a game of chicken. Thanks to her subsequent promotion, her family "would not suffer a drastic change in the standard of living even though I experienced a drop in my income".

27 comments:

  1. "We may have competitive salaries but we are far from being the richest law makers in the world."
    Really?
    Name some richer lawmakers lah!

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    1. He was probably envious of Ferdinand Marcos, Suharto, Hosni Mubarak, or Muammar Gaddafi.

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    2. Unlikely.

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    3. It is a paraphrase of papa's comment many years ago, something along this line "Singapore's politicians are the best paid in the region, but the poorest". Which I think is true - just think of the millions that ministers in our neighbouring make outside their job. Ours of course is legalized.

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  2. Her Facebook remarks were calculated to ensure a promotion. That is really clever, no ?

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    1. Actually it is easy to be clever when you have a dumb and spineless PM as your boss. I will bet that not only grace fu but majority of the PAP buggers, from grassroots, mps to ministers have been scheming to extract maximum benefits from the useless PM.

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  3. Well, asked Mary Lee, the one who wrote the article that leads LKY to question her motive.

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  4. In The Strategy of Conflict, economist Thomas Schelling observed that in a game of chicken, one driver could gain an advantage from throwing the steering wheel out the window. It appears that Republicans have come up with an even more extreme version of that gambit -- insisting loudly that they are immune to car crashes.

    Does that sound or look like a particularly Party here in SG?

    They think the economy will fail if they are not the one governing.
    They think singaporean women will become maids in other countries.
    They think our first world country is immune to poverty.
    They think their leaders are entitled to highest aka competitive salary for having a piece of scholarly paper or being connected to so-and-so.
    The list goes on. Who will call their bluffs first?

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  5. In Switzerland, the citizens get to have a referendum to vote on giving every adult citizen a basic 2,500 swiss franc due to the large inequality. Further insisting on a 1:12 base ratio of tagging lowest pay to the highest CEO pay, along the line of german companies. No CEO/Leaders should be paid more than a year of the Janitor's pay. Try telling that to our Grace Fu and the lots. They'll frame it as capitalism suicide as opposed to their political career suicide. And you will see who the real chickens are.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/04/us-swiss-pay-idUSBRE9930O620131004

    ReplyDelete
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    1. One of our PAP leaders even dared to say they have no dignity if they are not paid well enough.

      Just imagine how this present batch of greedy leaders compare to our past thrifty leaders such as Goh Keng Swee. And yet our PM still want to defend that they are not as rich as the other lawmakers.

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  6. Spies, Lies & Secrets10/09/2013 10:41 AM

    http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50156534n

    Truth has a way coming back to haunt you.
    Just like what Mary Lee has said about LKY dirty tactics.
    The ghost of Dinesh or Shane will do the same too when you don't give people their deserving closure in a dignified way.

    Catch this 48hrs on CBS. At least you won't call them chickens for not speaking out against government or media spin.

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  7. LHL believes his country runs a clean system in which officials are paid "what their job is worth and what the quality of people is worth.". At the end of the day, a minister should be paid for results he delivers in his job and not for his non-corruptness which in most developed democratic
    countries is generally a given. Are our ministers honest not more for fear of a robust CPIB and of much to lose in their million dollar pay than being honest in principle.

    So what did they each deliver?
    Lower cost of living? Nope
    Adequate infrastructure in transport, hospitals,housing? Nope
    Lower HDB flat prices? Nope
    High immigrant inflow? Yep
    Enable democractic practices like freedom of expression and of information? Nope
    High GDP growth? Yes in the past but no longer as that has gone down from 7-8% to 1-3% with greater frequency of recession. If GDP growth is more dependent on world economy condition, which is outside their control, why are they then rewarded for a high GDP rate but not punished for a low rate? Because they are in control under a one-party system, that's why, and can do anything and pay themselves absurdly high pay that they fancy.

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    1. LHL delivered higher salaries for his PAP colleagues.
      True or not?
      I don't know.
      You tell me lah!
      That's got to count for something tio bo?

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  8. Last heard the US president can only serve max 2 terms. Our "leaders" are almost on pension scheme and irremovable from their post.

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    1. Our leaders deserve better than the US president,
      in fact I hope they serve life time, But at "changi holiday resort"...and CNN interviewer Patricia Wu can look forward to interviewing LHL, again. :)

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  9. Let me see...

    Oh the thought of PARASITES comes to mind then...zzz

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  10. 'Competitive salaries' for the best running dogs who will lick their master and can never bite. I suppose maybe he did not dare elaborate.

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  11. Paying themselves SINFULLY to prevent themselves from corruption is the Best Reason only the Most Foxy is capable of cooking up.
    And
    Sin does not need many of them(Rulers) doing all those mundane stuff that ONLY benefit their own incomes.

    Does Sin need so many parliamentarians and cabinet members?

    Is it more than a game of chicken?

    patriot

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  12. "We may have competitive salaries but we are far from being the richest law makers in the world.""

    Then who is the richest law makers in the world other than Pinky and his bunch of morons who created their own law to benefit themselves foremost ?

    " and ongoing deadlock over the debt ceiling, calling them "problems you have created for yourself in a game of chicken.""

    Did anyone not know that Singapore has one of the largest debt in the world of top 10 countries, debt that own the citizen's money, and yet can shamelessly make law that don't have to pay citizen if CPF insolvent ?

    http://www.therichest.com/expensive-lifestyle/location/the-top-10-countries-most-in-debt/

    don't even have natural disaster like japan, or greece welfare, and yet has the highest debt in the world ? USA is not even in the list of debt . Where is our money gone to to incur such debt ? Your guess is as good as mine.

    Somemore can do creative accounting as discovered by Christopher Balding and don't even dare to refute his claim ... only bully citizens and don't dare to touch other country's intellect ...

    ReplyDelete
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    1. LHL was playing with words. Instead of agreeing with the fact that Singapore ministers are the richestly PAID in thw world, he taichi by saying they are not the RICHEST. These are 2 different matter. One can be the richest without being the best salaried in the world.

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  13. the reason for the USA government shutdown is that the opposition did not agree it is right for the government to put financial burden on the citizen to address the country's issues. Contrast with the evil party which happily want the citizens to PayAndPay for everything, and to hike fare, rental, erp, everything because they can under the dictatorial system under the guise of fake democracy, while giving themselves the world's highest salary in the world.

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    1. Really? They have the citizens at heart?
      You know what they do to keep busy in the Pentagon the night before a governmental shutdown that will furlough 400,000 Defense Department employees? Why, spend more than $5 billion on military-related contracts, of course.

      The end-of-the-fiscal-year action is an annual occurrence, but sometimes context is everything -- Monday night the number of contracts awarded jumped from 14 on Sept. 3, the start of the work month, to 94.

      Talk about priority. We of course don't have to look very far to know this sort of spending is also happening on our own shores. 6% of GDP spend and 12billion and you still get an unmotivated NS force who is rightfully telling the govt to f** off and stop treating them like slaves and serfs while foreign talents come in for our lunches from the back door.

      Oh yeah, let's not forget we approved the high-salaried leaders with our votes because there too many chicken-littles who refuse to make evolutionary change out of inertia, fear and cowardly conscience. Just the kind of role-models our children are learning from to suffer under the mental stress passed on down to them by a society of sociapaths. Bravo..

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  14. it constantly puzzles me why the privileges and benefits that come with having power are totally ignored when determining the pay of politicians here. surely that should make up at least half the remuneration.

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  15. Another fine example of teaching one's grandmother how to suck egg. Enough said. When he is not "teaching", he is pure lame.

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  16. Truth be told, the pap has been playing a game of chicken with us Singaporeans at every GE. In 2011, 40% decided to call its bluff.

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    1. Yeah, we can see the evolving patterns.

      https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=718730154808642&set=a.378177495530578.106131.378167172198277&type=1&theater

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  17. //he believes his country runs a clean system in which officials are paid "what their job is worth and what the quality of people is worth.//

    All masters out there must remember what your servants say. The servants are worth the money and job they are paid to do. But when it comes to masters pay, you are supposed to ask yourself "Do Singaporean workers deserve their wage".

    http://business.asiaone.com/news/career/do-sporean-workers-deserve-their-wages

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