Doing Good Better
Choices and Paradigms in the Social Ecosystem

Section 3: Values

Chapter 3: To be or not to be?

Values are core to the social sector, and they usually determine how dilemmas are resolved. But there are values and values. This section looks at market values, national values, religious values and personal values. It delves into how these values manifest in the following contexts: our marketised society, privilege and meritocracy, treatment of migrant workers, gambling, volunteerism, religion and charity, tax morality, and fair play and fair share.

Chapter 3A: When market values rule society
Not everything in life should have a monetary value placed on it, as is often the case in our marketised society.

Chapter 3B: Where markets don’t work
The ideal of a free market has to be tempered for the achievement of broader social goals. Social goods should not be privatised, especially not to commercial monopolies.

Chapter 3C: Pushing back on privilege
Privilege comes easy, but we should not take it for granted. Instead, we should work to improve the lives of the less privileged at the policy and personal levels.

Chapter 3D: Shaping national values
Singapore is seeing a subtle shift from an almost exclusive focus on economics to softer social values. But which social values should prevail?

Chapter 3E: Embracing the dignity of work and workers
For too long, there has been a lack of respect for migrant workers as fellow human beings and the dignity of the work they do.

Chapter 3F: Can gambling be responsible?
Gambling is a vice. Responsible gambling is thus an oxymoron. The responsible thing to do is to stem its spread.

Chapter 3G: Volunteering matters
Enlightened NPOs will see volunteers as much more than free labour, and they will engage them well to ensure a meaningful volunteer experience.

Chapter 3H: When churches are charities
Compared with other charities, religious organisations have special features such as their religious leaders’ power and their link with divinity. Should a different approach be used to regulate them?

Chapter 3I: Please be fair, raise our taxes
How is the government to find the money for increased social spending? It is time the rich stepped up to play their part.

Chapter 3J: Towards a new tax morality
There is an increasing public acceptance that all should pay their fair share of taxes. Governments hard-pressed for tax revenues are tightening the rules and working together to ensure that they get their fair share, especially from multinational enterprises.

Chapter 3K: The unfairness of fairness
What is equitable depends very much on the rules and criteria applied for fair play and fair share. But if the decision-maker is partisan to the process and outcome, it can seem very unfair.