The Importance of Money- Means To an End or End in Itself?
In the Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index, for example, the authors -Development Finance International and Oxfam - point to the significant roles states play in distributing the wealth of a nation such that everyone can reap the rewards of development. In this index, Singapore is ranked 86 out of countries because social spending as a proportion of overall spending is low compared to other countries with similar capabilities for spending; its tax structure does not sufficiently redistribute wealth generated by the country to the broad population; and its labour policies afford limited leverage to low and middle-income workers vis-a-vis employers when it comes to wage conditions.
The announcements made during the Budget speech - increase in Buyer's Stamp Duty, an enhanced GST Voucher scheme, or the SG Bonus - do not go far enough in committing to reduce income and wealth inequalities. If Singapore's founding ethical values are to be taken seriously, we as a society must change the market orientation that currently dominates the welfare regime.
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Adequately meeting everyone's needs - for housing, healthcare, education, work-life balance, long-term security - will require shifts away from the current model, where wage-earning capabilities are the precondition for access to all these things. Throughout a human life cycle, people may sometimes be wage workers; but they are likely also caregivers - fathers, mothers, grandparents, daughters, sons, nieces, nephews, grandchildren.
Many are simultaneously volunteers, helpful neighbours and otherwise contributing members of their communities.
- Instrumental and intrinsic value;
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The talents of our people also include things that are not easily monetised, and our country is undeniably richer because of the labour of artists and civil society activists. All of these social roles ought to be valued. People should not be deprived of having their basic needs such as for housing or healthcare met because they take on various social roles that take them away temporarily or permanently from wage-earning.
Inequalities in wages should not also map onto public goods, which by definition are goods that all should have access to, for the good of society. Lower income during a life course should not, for example, result in reduced access to basic healthcare. Policies governing the distribution of these goods should reduce market inequalities, not replicate or compound them. Public policy regimes have to foster not just individual values but also shared ones. They must make space for the concrete practice not just of individual choices but also social solidarity.
These are easy words to say. In practice, they require institutional mechanisms that shift people away from thinking only about and acting on behalf of themselves and their families. As a sociologist who studies poverty and inequality, I hope our policy regimes will foster this shift.
Because inequality is a central problem, not a mere externality. And the economy is a means to a potentially beautiful end. We have been experiencing some problems with subscriber log-ins and apologise for the inconvenience caused. Until we resolve the issues, subscribers need not log in to access ST Digital articles. But a log-in is still required for our PDFs. Skip to main content.
Wrong means to an end | Comment | wergolfspecne.tk
The writer says people should be valued for the social roles they take on, that is, beyond wage workers but as fathers, mothers, grandparents, neighbours, volunteers and otherwise contributing members of society. A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 23, , with the headline 'The economy as a means to an end, not an end in itself'.
The authors go on to state that the extent of empowerment and involvement of the local population is more limited in the first approach than it is in the second Nelson and Wright . Claridge, T. Designing social capital sensitive participation methodologies. Subscribe me to receive updates about social capital. Notify me of new posts by email. See more information.
Email address:. Yes Please! Participation as an End or Means. Citing this article This report was prepared for Social Capital Research. You should reference this work as: Claridge, T. Journal of International Development 11, S Wright.
Global Environmental Change 7,