Friday, October 16, 2020

OK Boomer, Let's Talk


Maybe it's the recent talk I was planning in a secondary school, I've been trying to get to grips with the war between the Millenials and Boomers in the US. I chose a very one-sided book by Jill Filipovic that really does nothing to win any empathy from her detractors. The basic thrust of the author's argument is that US Millenials are doing badly because of racism by Boomers - Millenials in the US are less white than Baby Boomers.

I am not vested in her argument either way, but I am bothered that Singaporeans are importing the cultural wars and identity politics from the US. Somehow, a few local idiots think it is funny to translate #BlackLivesMatter to #BrownLivesMatter. We really need to fight a battle against this because what the US is experiencing is magnitudes worse than Singapore.

Here are some things we don't have here in Singapore:

a) Student loan debts cannot be forgiven by becoming bankrupt in the US

I do not know the basis for this policy, but bankruptcy should be a chance for someone to achieve a clean slate in life. But in the US, study loans cannot be forgiven by bankruptcy, which means that young people who weighed down by an expensive education may be enslaved for a lifetime by the folks who lent them money to study. This is really punishing for minorities who get less financial aid and often have a higher dropout rate in schools.

In Singapore, we do the opposite - organizations like Mendaki actually provide generous scholarships to encourage academic achievement. 

b) Redlining of black neighbourhoods

There is this horrible process where poorer neighbourhoods get marked out in red and wealthier neighbourhoods get marked in blue. The government will then invest more heavily in wealthier neighbourhoods. 

In the US, suppose a home seller sells a house and receives an offer from a black family but a lower bid from the white family, neighbours will often intervene to make up the difference to prevent the black family from moving in. 

In Singapore, we have policies to enforce racial quotas to prevent the formation of ethnic enclaves and ghettoes. 

In fact, NUS researchers found that Malay home-owners will often part with their homes with a lower COV when selling to an incoming Malay family. The kampong spirit is still alive.

c) Opioid crisis

This really baffles me. In the early 2000s, the government decided to subsidise pain-killers but that also made it easier to get prescription pain killers for recreational use from pill-mills. This affected the mortality rate of Millenials, and more of them die compared to Baby Boomers of equivalent age.

Over in Singapore, we still hang drug traffickers. Most doctors will not risk their licensing by prescribing these drugs willy-nilly. 

Anyway, I'm not trying to say that we should ignore poverty in our own backyard, but if you are from the political Left reading this, go read the rants and tirades from your counterparts in the US and ask yourselves is the situation really the same here. 

Maybe in a future article, I may even argue that since Singapore Millenials are still employable, the closest generation to US Milllenials are SG Gen-X because economic opportunities are evaporating really fast.

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