I won't go so far as Andrew Loh to suggest crony capitalism. They are more like leeches the government tolerate but for how long will depend on the public.
I had wanted to blog about this when it first appeared in AsiaOne.
Yahoo opens the story as follows:
Most of Singapore's super-rich achieved their wealth via bricks and mortar rather than through creativity and innovation, according to media reports quoting Forbes.
In fact, half of the republic's 16 billionaires achieved their wealth from hotels and real estate, while half of the 50 richest persons in the republic are property tycoons as well. This is based on Forbes list released in March and the Top 50 Rich List published last August.
To me we pay two taxes. One to the government and the other to these property types. They are leeches who add little to no value to our economy. I am tired of coming across this old food stall, some decades old restaurant etc., ceasing business because of rent. Sure, they also complained about failing to find workers but I know the problem would be far less severe if less go to rent and much more go to workers.
Please don't tell me property prices and rent are set by the market. That is a lie. Wait till people become even more emotional and unreasonable, the leaders will have a problem that is nearly impossible to solve. Fortunately for us Hong Kong and London are ahead of us on this fools' errand. May be we can pull back after we see one or both fall off the cliff but it would be ugly for everyone by then. Those economies with saner and regulated property markets will come off relatively better. These are the ones who do not have half of their richest made it via real estate. It is a confirmatory sign that something is deeply wrong about our economy.
Related: Londoners Priced Out of Housing Blame Foreigners