Socialism with market characteristics

Many people have a strong opinion that communism is bad and that it has failed as a system of government. If any matter goes badly wrong, they use the phrase communism to describe it.

I share this conversation with a friend.

Friend – Communism is bad. Tell which which country practiced communism and has succeeded?

Me – China? Vietnam?

Friend – Ah. They only succeeded after they adopted capitalism.

Me – they adopted capitalism at the micro level. China described it as “socialism with market characteristics”. At the national level, they practiced socialism in deciding on national policies and in letting the state own the means of production, such as infrastructure, utilities, manufacturing, construction.

Friend – I agree, Even the banks are state owned. They adopt central planning. I do not want the state to tell me what my daughter should be studying.

Me – Central planning failed in the past due to corruption and bureaucracy. We are in a different world today. With the use of big data and technology, we can use central planning to help people to make their optimal choice. Companies adopt corporate planning. At the national level, we need the state to adopt planning, but it has to be effective.

Friend – My daughter wanted to study medicine. The govt (and he is referring to Singapore) said tht they only needed a certain number of doctors, so she does not get a place. Now, many years later, we find that we are short of doctors. This is the bad result of central planning.

Me – You have shown an example of bad planning. A good planning system is responsive. When the demand changes, it should feed back into the planning system and adopt different goals. A planning system cannot be rigid.

He agreed with my point.

Me – Take a look at what happens with an unplanned system. Many young people wants to get a degree. If they cannot enter the local universities, they enroll in foreign universities. Many of these graduates cannot find a job after getting their degree. It is a big waste of resources.

My view is that a country should adopt social policies at the national level, market characteristics at the micro level and have a responsive central planning system.

 

Tan Kin Lian

 

 

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21 Responses to “Socialism with market characteristics”

  • A Cheap Economy:

    While many others are arming their citizens for the knowledge economy, SG PAP is preaching that one cannot eat the degree and such pursue is a waste of resources.
    TKL comments reflected his RC pedigree, fit nicely into the pack of chicken rice group.

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  • TKL Retirement Boredom:

    As good as the Pay and Pay talking cocks [for F they care for you but talk and talk]. Can’t even help to solve own domestic problems, talk so much hypothetical meaningless nonsense for what?

    Please retain your coffee shop “too free” retirement boredom empty talk at the coffee shop. Please don’t use TRE to solicitate attention for your retirement boredom.

    I am sure many are not interested in TKL.

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  • TruBlu:

    TKL,think you cannot be misconstrued that *NATION-WIDE* PLANNING cannot jive with DEMOCRATIC PRACTICES.

    COMMUNIST SYSTEM IS WHAT KIM JONG-UN N LEE JOBG-UN (here) are practising?

    You have NO IDEA that * CENTRAL/ COMMAND* PLANNING is mostly FLAWED.

    SG HAS *CENTRAL PLANNING* N WE ARE MORE COMMUNIST than even COMMUNISTS themselves?

    Before you forget,MY CPF CAN SUDDENLY BECOME NOT MINE???

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  • Don't Pussy foot!:

    TKL : If you are talking about Singapore – why don’t you say so? Don’t puss*-foot around!

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  • tan kin lian so ffffing stupid:

    One of the rules in life is, get that education. Education even from horseshoe U cannot be a waste of time.

    Cannot eat degree is a lie by pap, repeated by ffffingly stupid people like tan kin lian.

    Sure, some degrees such as Oxbridge Ivies open doors. Sure, some degrees take a harder effort to open any door. But between the ffffingly stupid without a degree and one with a degree, who shows more mettle?

    The ffffingly stupid cite Bill Gates and such as being very rich without degrees. ffffingly stupid is a mild term. Bill Gates is one in seven billion. But having that degree narrows the odds, even if from horseshoe U.

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  • Irene Vanessa Wan Si Hung:

    Since Singapore is essentially a trading port, why not have market characteristics at the national level? Have the social engineering at a minimum? Only ting I agree is a responsive central planning system. But mind you, it takes six years to train a doctor. And then junior docs have to understudy the senior ones.

    Yes many people wasted their money on degrees. Can’t find jobs to earn back the tuition fees spent. But would you rather have an uneducated nation? Also our country culture is hell bent on studies as the ONLY route to success. No one wants to risk being an entreprenuer or inventor or being creative. All these types of people are weird renegades.

    You see nowadays all these young people dressed like they want to blend into the wall or the ground. All black. No colors. No design. It’s very telling. Afraid to take risks. Afraid of ridicule. Afraid of failure. Always looking for the tried and tested. Well they never failed because they never tried. As successful people will say they failed many times before succeeding. Failure in Spore lose face boo hoo hoo. Like your fair weathered friends and relatives have contributed to your life besides having good times.

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  • TruBlu:

    hey! TKL,you seem you wanna start a new COMMIE PARTY with NEW CITIZENS FROM CHINA,eh?

    maybe if you win big,all the accused commie-sgs can come back home safely n celebrate for you???

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  • The Ethical Imperative!:

    Man is an animal that makes bargains: no other animal does this – no puppy exchanges bones with another … It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest…To widen the market and to narrow the competition, is always the interest of the dealer…. To widen the market and to narrow the competition, is always the interest of the dealers (crony ministries). The proposal of any new law or regulation of commerce which comes from this order (initiative), ought always to be listened to with great precaution, and ought never to be adopted till after having been long and carefully examined, not only with the most scrupulous, but with the most suspicious attention. It comes from an order of men, whose interest is never exactly the same with that of the public, who have generally an interest to deceive and even oppress the public, and who accordingly have, upon many occasions, both deceived and oppressed it.

    [Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations]

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  • Rabble-rouser:

    Thank God that Tan Kin Lian wasn’t voted in as S’pore President – he would have been a disaster!
    He is totally wrong about everything he has written here in TRE even his conversation with his equally stupid friend! What a pair of morons!
    Politics isn’t economics management; politics is about wealth redistribution on a social scale re: prevent income inequities & avoid social fragmentation; provision of social goods like education, healthcare & public transportation; regulate market structures to prevent price cartels, anti monopoly structures & most importantly, keeping out of business. Understand this & you’ll have unparalleled knowledge about how economic works!
    Everyone who understands Economics well knows that the first stage of Economic Development is the easiest stage re:”picking the low lying economic fruits” using a combination of Infrastructural Spending, target housing developments, creating housing demand & protecting targetted industries to achieve initial market success. Any authoritarian govt will have initial success at this stage as their Central Planning model allow mobilization of labour resources, capital allocation & management inputs much more efficiently.
    But once their economy reaches middle income level, there is a term where Economists used which they termed “The Middle Income Trap”. What this means is that a Centrally Planned Economy can’t transit beyond their Middle income status because the next stage requires more individual endeavour & brilliant entrepreneurship to scale that economic barrier. The analogy here is trying to harvest “the higher level economic fruits” which aren’t easily accessible without some level of ingenuity & creativity. Political technocrats aren’t entrepreneurs nor visionaries – which is why they have constantly failed at this level! Hence the inherent failure of Central Planned Economies & Socialist Politics re: Communism & “socialism with market characteristics”.
    Formal education re: established education & universities are failing fast in a technological eco-system & in a disruptive manner. Authoritarian Politics involved passing increasingly more rules & regulations especially for Authoritarian regimes. Under Authoritarian political mechanism, education becomes an indoctrination tool with which to control the masses. Market enterprise creates good jobs (with career prospects & high pay) whilst a crony economy (under Central Planned tenets) only creates low level jobs with dead end career prospects & low wages – the cronies keep the profits & high pay for themselves!
    - Cont’d -

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  • Rabble-rouser:

    Part 2…
    Which is why State-owned Enterprises are an economic anomaly that will fail at some stage. They can’t reinvent themselves fast enough when the competitive eco-system gets disruptive & tumultuous.
    Capitalism is about constantly husbanding capital resources for reinvestment & that is investing on winners, not on losers (…like Gamblers & speculators). That is why real investors used ROI for their Investments & have clear strategies about their Investments. They only invests for positive cash flows & for strategic reasons re: high capital growth.
    Centrally Planned Economies aren’t ROI-focused because they rely on the State for support especially for their capital needs & financing. In the long term, they failed miserably because they are totally inefficient; consumed too much capital; become heavily indebted; & their management being overpaid but too incompetent to manage at their level being political appointees. If you recognised these characteristics, you realised that such State-owned Enterprises have reached the end of their line.

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  • BK:

    LOL. @ Rabble rouse

    Just as I felt there need to be a respond to the author, I saw your brilliant piece !!!

    It amazes me, the same ppl complaining about PAP sucks up to CPC. Lets be clear. The PAP is not Spore, nor is the Communist Party, China. Instinctively, the Chinese is not a parochial ppl. The historical and natural ability of China to assimilate cultures means its DNA is global, part of their mindset. From India, Buddhism, from the West, Communism.

    President Xi is doing a great job of fighting corruption. But China’s internal politics means he has to suck up to the military, his power base. The South China Sea is going to be a big miscalculation.

    US will economically, manifested through a stronger dollar and stock market be dominant for the medium term, and in a way by default, as it reins in its capacity to be more ‘generous’.

    At some point, the natural characteristics of a global transnational company which China has many now, will conflict with the interests of the CPC. It is hard to see an obvious challenge to CPC. So, the logic would be that these business ppl will start to enter politics to effect changes.

    U have to be careful how u define socialism, what is socialism in the Scandinavian countries is quite different to the US. Socialism is also associated with Human Rights. Socialism in China is CPC takes care of u as an authoritarian father, disobey and u get punished.

    China’s rise is relative. It cannot pretend to hit the same zenith as the US in the last 70 years, the historical context of supremacy is different.

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  • oxygen:

    @ Rabble-rouser

    GREAT TO SEE YOU AGAIN in TRE. Brilliant insightful comments from you again on economics and politics in this thread!

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  • patriot of TUMASIK:

    Tan ahhhhh!!! btx you and CI the best both of you can do as a service to TRE and their readers is to Quit while the going is good…A retired Insurance CEO and a self Proclaim Pundit whose Blog nobody goes to but Musterbate @TRE

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  • UniQ:

    My advise to Mr Tan, rethink your narratives along the above thread. This will do u no good. A hint :
    Remember Ops Coldstore relating to Maxism = Detention without Trail ?
    So old already, use your brain juice instead. Seek popularity so important meh ?
    Sigh….

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  • Harder Truths:

    TKL

    Please read @Rabble-Rouser before writing any more of your fantasies.

    In a forum that should not discriminate against various points of views, you should at least have some knowledge of what you are talking about.

    Hope you are taking your medication.

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  • No Dafts or Dogs Allowed:

    @ Rabble-rouser

    Thank you for standing up what most readers here had been telling this idiot.

    Tan Kin Lian must have gotten tired of his ‘nitwit’ admirers in face book and now trying his luck to impress the erudite TRE readers here. Sad to say, not only is he ‘outclassed’ but also given a reality check.

    I advise him to stick to his 70% dumb followers (the Hyflux type). At least he can still be a self-deluded emperor with no clothes there instead of coming here and make a deplorable fool of himself here.

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  • Haigen-Diaz:

    @ Rabble-rouser, awesome lecture!
    @ BK, I cannot let you get away with “The PAP is not Spore, nor is the Communist Party, China.” :)

    China is a great nation and the sovereign powers of China do not belong to the dictatorship of the CPC. Those powers are forever in the hands of the Chinese people– not the CPC. Any power who tries to diminish a peoples sovereign power is immediately illegitimate. The CPC is struggling to force Hong Kongers to accept that China is the CPC and the CPC is China.

    Beijing’s position is not about HK, it is also about contagion out of HK into the mainland. Beijing’s dream of seeing Taiwan re-absorbed into real rule by the mainland will become a pipe dream if things go down badly in Hong Kong. I’m sure Xi Jinping & Co. know that. What
    scares the Chinese leadership most is not criticism, but activism, at least based upon what they censor. They, like all leaders, are terrified of the people they govern. The street demonstrations in Hong Kong, if successful, will show people in China, that activism can work. If the CPC and its cronies continue with this style of condescension toward their constituents ad infinitum, they will have more than a student protest on their hands.

    These protests were never about Hong Kong. The real target is actually mainland China. The real purpose is to incite similar riots and unrest within other cities in mainland China, so as to destabilize and subvert the country. The foreign powers funding the
    provocateurs were hoping to bait the PLA garrison soldiers stationed in Hong Kong to shoot and kill the protesters. The CPC clearly recognizes the threat to their dictatorship that the Hong Kongers pose.

    Lastly, because I just can’t help it, contradictions abound. The Election Committee is representative of Hong Kong society, and yet it is also important for Beijing to reserve the power of appointment. You can’t have it both ways. Beijing wants to have full confidence in
    the chief executive, no matter who he or she is.

    To quote Brecht, “Would it not be easier in that case for the government to dissolve the people, and elect another?”

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  • BK:

    @ Haigen-Diaz,

    Great exposition my frd. (:

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  • empty calorie this one:

    Haigen-Diaz:

    To quote Brecht, “Would it not be easier in that case for the government to dissolve the people, and elect another?”

    “Die Lösung” (The Solution) is a famous German poem by Bertolt Brecht about the uprising of 1953 in East Germany. Written in mid-1953, it is critical of the government

    The Solution
    After the uprising of the 17th of June
    The Secretary of the Writers’ Union
    Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
    Stating that the people
    Had forfeited the confidence of the government
    And could win it back only
    By redoubled efforts. <a<Would it not be easier
    In that case for the government
    To dissolve the people
    And elect another?

    Kenna suan still dunno

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  • No Dafts or Dogs Allowed:

    How to train a acanine: to recognise Haigen-Diaz is using Brecht’s poem to ‘suan’ the Govt?

    empty calorie this one: “Die Lösung” (The Solution) is a famous German poem by Bertolt Brecht about the uprising of 1953 in East Germany. Written in mid-1953, it is critical of the government

    The Solution
    After the uprising of the 17th of June
    The Secretary of the Writers’ Union
    Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
    Stating that the people
    Had forfeited the confidence of the government
    And could win it back only
    By redoubled efforts. <a<Would it not be easier
    In that case for the government
    To dissolve the people
    And elect another?

    Kenna suan still dunno

    Disclaimer: I cannot be held responsible for the opinions above, as apparently one of my dogs has learned how to type.

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  • Haigen-Diaz:

    @ No Dafts or Dogs Allowed

    Thanks. Precisely my original intention. ie: To ‘suan’ dictatorial Governments. “Kenna suan still dunno” is thinking on a lower plane of consciousness than the canines. lol

    No Dafts or Dogs Allowed:
    How to train a acanine: to recognise Haigen-Diaz is using Brecht’s poem to ‘suan’ the Govt?

    Disclaimer: I cannot be held responsible for the opinions above, as apparently one of my dogs has learned how to type.

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