Economic Affairs

Pathways to social mobility are difficult, but there are policy options

Levelling the social playing field is difficult, but there are policy options

"Social mobility is at the heart and soul of our ambition," said Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam in an engaging dialogue with Ambassador-at-Large Tommy Koh recently. "It has been part of our identity, it is part of our identity, it has to be part of the heart and soul of our ambition for the future."

Mr Tharman gave a vivid analogy of a moving escalator to illustrate the idea of social mobility. "Once the escalator that carries everyone up stops, the problems of inequality and all the problems of 'me against you', 'this group against that group', become much sharper," he pointed out.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 07, 2018, with the headline 'Pathways to social mobility'. Print Edition | Subscribe