Warning: This is an opinionated political rant.
I hereby warn readers to take it with a grain of salt. After all, we value the freedom of speech and in my case, the freedom to rant.
What is Government? What is the role of Government? I often throw these rhetorical questions repeatedly at myself, especially when I am agitated and frustrated of the current ruling elites.
As for me, Government is supposed to be more like a game referee, not a player. Government is supposed to enforce contracts, not pick winners and losers. Government is supposed to protect life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Today, most governments of the world are far more interested in taxing the hardworking citizens in the name of increasing welfare and bureaucracy spending.
I have yet to see the true genuineness of any government fighting for the poor and, in most cases, the poor gets poorer while the rich gets richer. Enormous amounts of tax revenues are collected, yet so many nations are crying and drowning in billions and trillions of debts. What could have possibly gone wrong? Shouldn’t the Finance Minister or Secretary of Treasury work together with the ruling administration in balancing the budget? Aren’t these the people we voted into power obligated to serve the country? Yet, many are interested in taking backroom deals and siphoning away taxpayers’ money.
Nobel-winning economist Milton Friedman, in his masterpiece “Free to Choose,” wrote of four ways to spend money:
Category I—You spend your money on something for yourself. Here you are very careful, because it is your money, and the good or service you are buying is for you.
Category II—You spend your money on something for someone else. Here you have the same incentive as in Category I to economize, but since you are buying something for someone else, you are not quite as meticulous when it comes to the purchase meeting the needs or values of the recipient.
Category III—You spend someone else’s money on something for yourself. Here you are not concerned about how much you spend, because it is not your money. But because you are spending on yourself, you make sure you are getting what you want.
Category IV—You spend someone else’s money on something for yet another person or persons. (This is what we ask our legislative representatives to do every day.) Here you are the least incentivized to economize, or to buy something that meets the needs or values of the recipient.
Now tell me, which category does your government belong to? Let me know if there is a government that practices the habits of Category 1 or 2. Maybe there is. I know there is a lot to learn from Singapore and Hong Kong’s economic policies. Their tax rates are some of the lowest in the world. Come to think about it, the Singaporean government is very calculative and meticulous in balancing the nation’s budget and they only consider people with CEO or CFO experience to be in the ruling cabinet. It’s quite a wonder that this tiny country with little natural resources has become the third richest country in the world by GDP per capita according to the IMF.