the canal runs through here / nozick returns

singapore brings out the opinion in me. i walked up to the atm machine in orchard at lip's prompting, i put in my card, pressed "gst credit" and got 200 bucks. was i happy? you bet, i just got 200 bucks. me, ex-ns man.

one part of me wanted to complain. i stay in landed property, i don't need the gst credits because i won't be in singapore, and i know a thousand other people who won't need it as well, but the avowed aim is probably to lessen the regressive aspect of the tax. so, there is a part of you that feels very bad, that wants to blame the government for giving you this money (what a stupid policy), when you know you're just going to use it to buy clothes.

but think about it. you don't like the fact that this money comes so easy? then give it away. why do we always expect the government to do the redistribution for us? i could have taken the 200 bucks and given it away to a charity (although admittedly, it would be hard for me to find out which particular needy person needs it). whatever it is, some moral responsibility must be taken by yourself for not redistributing if you believe in redistribution. admittedly, though, this scheme is a little like paying tax and having it returned to you, considering the non-discerning nature of the taxation.

there are a few arguments for government redistribution:
scale effects: they have less transaction costs. they can put in the money easily
selection effect: they do possess more channels and information regarding who is really needy

so yeah, in a way there are arguments why governments should redistribute, but if you are a true libertarian, then one cannot blame the government for not redistributing, you should be rejoicing that they are not forcing you into forced labour. what i mean is that there is a flipside to nozick's philosophy: your money, your tyranny, your responsibility. (and my responsibility)

singapore has nice food, but it's all a little too oily. life nowadays is about property and finance. it's depressing. i think that is why i foresee best that i have to wander from place to place from time to time.

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