The CEO & The Fisherman
The CEO is looking to have a really fresh meal so he goes to the docks in the town and finds a man unloading his fishing boat with his morning haul. He buys a great looking fish and starts talking to the fisherman. The fisherman says “every day I fish for a few hours in the morning, then I eat lunch with my family, take a siesta, visit with friends, have dinner and go to bed.” The CEO says “Well if you fished for a few more hours every day you could buy a bigger boat. Then you could manage a team of fishermen and buy more boats and then move to the United States to manage your company. Then you could build your business until you can sell it to a major company and retire!”
This is the shortest version I could find on the internet.
The fisherman ponders that for a second. “What would I do after that?” he says. The CEO responds “It would be great! You could move to a tropical village. You could fish for a few hours, eat lunch with your family, take a siesta, visit your friends, have dinner and go to bed.”
I wish I could write a variation on that story. About an American who comes to SG and speaks to a local and then tells the local that SG is not a true Democracy, that we do not have civil liberties and we have traded off our freedoms for economic prosperity. and how we should strive to be a REAL democracy, with Freedom of Expression, and regular elections.
And then what, the local would ask.
Then, the American would say, we would be free to pursue economic prosperity.
But I won't be able to make it funny. It would be ironic, because Democracy in the US have led to a dysfunctional government. Not that things don't work in the US. But rather they work not because of the government, but in spite of it.
It is telling that Congress passing a bill, is headline news. And then they congratulate themselves for doing their job. Which was to correct a problem they created 18 years ago. In other words, it took them 18 years to pass a bill to correct their mistake. That's news right?
Democracy at work?
Democracy is like God. It works in mysterious ways.
Because a law with NO defenders took over 10 years to be repealed or replaced. What more a law or an issue with entrenched defenders and proponents? Like abortion, contraception, universal healthcare, minimum wage, gun control, etc?
So the story of the American trying to convince the Singaporean of the need for Democracy first before economic progress would be full of irony. But only if you know the back story.