Friday, February 05, 2010

A positive approach towards taxation

Read my views here. Give your views by email to or in the comment here.


wjsim said...

There is a very big and unwarranted assumption right at the start.

"Most of these social services can be provided more effectively and at lower cost by the state."

Human nature prohibits that from happening. If this can be successfully debated, then perhaps taxing for social services will indeed be good for everyone.

Tan Kin Lian said...

You may disagree with my view, but it is not fair for you to label it as "unwarranted assumption". Do not be judgemental.

AB said...

I am in agreement with the general principles of the proposed tax approach, except for some points as follows.

- 50% tax rate for the general public seems very high, I feel should be limited to 30%

- while a minimum wage will alleviate hardship to some extent for the low income group, I think it is not enough since a very high disparity in income levels could still be an issue

- therefore I think some measure to reduce the effects of the high income disparity between the lowest and highest income group may be required. One possible measure could be a second higher flat tax rate say 50% above a certain threshold, which is targetted at the highest 10% income earners only. A more drastic measure would be to impose a maximum wage.

wjsim said...

Unwarranted just means the assumption is not yet established. All the efforts in penning out those suggestions will go to waste if the very fundamental assumption is not true in the first place.

I don't see why the private cannot satisfy the needs for social services. Private schools are highly sought after, so are private hospitals and housing. In those 3 cases, the state caters for the lower end while the private picks up the slack in the higher end market. We know the converse can be true as seen in the state-run universities which are generally held in higher regard than the private universities (Please pardon my bluntness). Private sector will just pick up where the state is lacking.

I cannot understand how someone so starkly against the inefficiencies of the government can be advocating so strongly for state-run services by the very same million dollar ministers.

Tan Kin Lian said...


Warranted has a stronger meaning. It is defined as follows:

Adj. 1. unwarranted - incapable of being justified or explained, insupportable, unjustifiable, unwarrantable, indefensible, inexcusable - without excuse or justification

2. unwarranted - without a basis in reason or fact; "baseless gossip"; "the allegations proved groundless"; "idle fears"; "unfounded suspicions"; "unwarranted jealousy"
baseless, groundless, unfounded, idle, wild
unsupported - not sustained or maintained by nonmaterial aid; "unsupported accusations"

3. unwarranted - lacking justification or authorization; "desire for undue private profit"; "unwarranted limitations of personal freedom"
unjustified, undue
unreasonable - not reasonable; not showing good judgment

It is not correct for you to pass judgement by calling statements to be unwarranted. Be careful about your words.

Tan Kin Lian said...


I am against ineffiency, but this is commitment not only by the government sector, but by the private sector as well. The ability to do stupid things is not confined to any particular sector.

What makes the private sector worse is the drive to make profit at the expense of consumers. So, I am not so keen in favor of the private sector, especially where there are opportunities to exploit consumers through abuse of pricing power or ignorance. We have seen many examples of these bad practices in recent years.

I do not agree with million dollar ministers, but it is a separate matter and should not be used to argue against the state playing a bigger role in social services.

wjsim said...

Hi Mr Tan,

Thank you for taking some time to respond to my comments. I am sorry if I have offended with the use of overly strong words.

In short, I feel that the profits gained by private enterprises is much less than the waste generated by the government due to misalignment of values.

Blog Archive