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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Learnings from National Day Rally: how to justify pay increase

I caught the first part of PM Lee Hsien Loong's speech at this year's National Day Rally. This year, his speech was about the widening income gap. He put the blame squarely on globalisation (doesn't everybody nowadays?), but also laid out his plans to reduce the pain as much as possible.

But the part that I found amusing was at the start. He was explaining the reason for the widening income gap, even within the upper class. He gave the example of Tiger Woods, the professional golf player, who earns $100 million a year through games, endorsements and other means. The next highest pro golf earner, whose name I forget (haha, no one remembers No. 2!), earns less than half of that.

Bottomline: you must pay for the best. Therefore, the best must earn stratospheric incomes that are much more than what the next tier earns.

Not happy? Blame globalisation.



entrepreneur said...

I think its a bit ridiculous to use sports celebrities in the US for comparison. I don't think even the people in the US will think of this comparison when they think of a widening income gap.

People like Tiger Woods, everyone knows is 1 in a billion! His combination of God-given talent, practice, and having had his dad to train him from 2 years old are combinations that are hard to replicate, if even possible. And because he is in the US where there is an enormous (280 million) population with lots of spending power, advertisers can afford to give him lots of money.

This is NOT the norm.
MINISTERS are NOT that special.
A LOT OF PEOPLE CAN do their jobs.

Yuhui said...

Entrepreneur: Hehe, yeah, I'm sure a lot of viewers thought the same thing too. Personally, I just chuckled at the comparison and didn't think much about it.

Gerald said...

Isn't it interesting that PM used an analogy of the most elite of sports -- golf?

Yuhui said...

Gerald: Hmm, I missed that!

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