Well, the job hunt continues. Went for some more interviews, mailed in my CVs, went for a walk-in interview or two. No dice. Seems like the global joblessness plague is hitting this lovely little island as well.
In any case, this little tidbit caught my eye. Our glorious leader LKY denies that Singapore's low birthrate is his fault in his new memoirs:
In his new book 'One Man's View of the World', Lee Kuan Yew shares that he has given up on solving the problem of low fertility and also emphasised that money won't solve the problem.Locally, the Stop at Two policy wins the award for the greatest "keblekan pusing" (Malay: about face) that the incumbent government has done. Is he right? Partly, yes - the effects of atomised people, hedonism, political freedom, breakdown of patriarchy and traditional social support networks, etc, etc - these factors are all universal across time and cultures to bring on the downfall and resultant zombie apocalypse of the golden masses in every civilisation in which they manifested themselves. This is, after all, the cycle of history. One can no more expect things to be different today as opposed to the women of Sparta, who refused to partake of the very activity which made them so valuable.
He suggested that if he were the prime minister, he would introduce a huge baby bonus which was equal to 2 years of the average Singaporean's salary.
He expected that running such a scheme for 1 year would prove beyond doubt that even super-sized monetary incentives have only a marginal effect on fertility rates.
This would prove that "low birth rates have nothing to do with economic or financial factors, such as high cost of living or lack of government help for parents.
At the same time, it cannot be denied that Lee's government back in the day actively pursued policies that contributed to this situation. Legalising abortion, selling sterilisations and abortions door to door to the point when a single doctor found themselves performing nine sterilisations per day, exponentially increasing fines and hospital fees past the first two children, denial of education to third and fourth children, and that's from the policy alone. Not to mention the targeted (whether intentional or not) breakup of the extended family structure, then once those support ties were severed, refusing government assistance to women with more than two children - a policy which continues to this day with the lower class. (In this last point I can see why dysgenic fertility should be discouraged, but the means should be a 'discomfiture at the bottom rung' that's socially imposed. More on this another time.)
Things would have gone downhill eventually, as Mr. Lee suggests. But people respond to dis/incentives, so that doesn't excuse him from blowing the brakes to hell and claiming "not my fault". Dis/incentives are why some cycles take longer to turn than others - hardship, affluence, decadence, destruction, back to hardship. At this point, the only way to fix this is what history has gone through before - destruction of affluence and artificial governmental constructs leading to the family being net positive to those who don't eat their seed corn, and a return to the patriarchal social structure. It's only a matter of time now.
On a side note, the idea of overpopulation is nothing new - it's been bouncing about since at least the second century AD with Tertullian. Apparently having a track record of being wrong for 1900 years hasn't dampened their enthusiasm any.
What I find curiouser and curiouser is that manosphere ideas are beginning to permeate the local culture as well, although it seems that the authors of these articles haven't quite grasped the full extent of human realities the average game blogger might, let alone a reactionary.