Saturday, January 17, 2015

10 years as PM: Miscue on cost of living

The knee jerk reaction from many reading this is that the PM and his ministers are out of touch because they live separate lives from us, which they never lacked anything especially money. May be they lack time with the family, but so do we.

Go back to basics which he ought to know better than most of us running the economy successfully for the short term.

In life, you grow or you begin to die. Even academics must publish or perish and the armed forces need to constantly upgrade themselves to fight wars they never hope will come. NGOs are different. They succeed when they are no longer needed because they have achieved their aims. Does Singapore want to be an NGO? I am not kidding because some of us undervalue the primacy of economic growth to sustain everything we do here.

Cost of living complaint is nothing but the tangible feedback to the more nebulous concept of growth. The average fellow thought in unimaginative and simple terms which regularly fail to capture the full meaning of what his heart meant. Simply put, people here and everywhere else want to grow and in such a way that the ceiling is so high they don't even need to worry about hitting it. America attracts immigrants by the hordes because there are many pockets of such opportunities. Not all offer monetary rewards.

In economic terms, we can look at it in both ways as us growing to the point when we hit the limits of growth and begin to experience zero sum games and also diminishing returns. Therefore we need to find new niches and many of them will not be financially and material resource based. But before we move on to any of these new areas, you cannot have a starting line where people see themselves are belonging to winners or losers. That is why so many here envy the Swedish example but never bother to assess if it is practical here. The message if the PM still don't get it is we want a more equal society but without its uncompetitive drawbacks which would make us equal but poor.

Of course the PM and his ministers if they think within this economic box, the problem cannot be solved. You have to make everyone happy to begin to explore new niches and start the game all over again, otherwise they will remain myopic and fight for and protect their share of this small pie. Keep with this for I don't know how much longer and Singapore must go down.

We mustn't have have Socialism with Capitalistic characteristics. We must have Capitalism with Socialistic features in order that we can move on to explore brave new worlds and grow.


  1. It is so easy to be blinded and not see the growing gap between the haves and the havenots. So what we have all the nice shopping malls and amusement places - how many can really afford and those who spend, how many can assure themselves they will be able to sustain their spending habits?
    And PLEASE stop expecting the middle class to do the charity act when the former themselves are being pushed down the wealth ladder. No wonder we hear of the 1% haves and the 99% havenots. It has already arrived???

  2. While there is excess capacity around, we see cost of living going up? What possibly could have caused that?
    On a related issue (if one can see the connection) - how's something worth a read :
    Ultra-expensive automobiles accounted for a massive slice of the global luxury goods market last year. Across the world, the super rich spent almost $438 billion on fancy cars in 2014. Personal luxury items like perfume, jewellery and clothing were the second largest market, accounting for $278 billion. The value of the world’s luxury goods market has increased steadily in recent times, little surprise given the increasing number of billionaires across the globe. All in all, people splurged over $1 trillion on upmarket items throughout the year.
    ... and in the meantime, we have so many unemployed, non-employed, and poor.

  3. Its hope mister

    I dont feel I have any hope in your command, you took everything. You're greedy

  4. Maybe our beloved leaders should take a read at this piece

    Are the Poor Better Off Than King Louis XIV?
    Jan 16, 2015 11:24 AM EST
    By Barry Ritholtz

  5. what would charts showing the local situation be like - are we close on the heels of the world's number 1?

  6. Some say if you dont pay them right (meaning in millions) the private sector will grab them or they will leave. Me says if you cut their renumeration by 50%, they will still stay as they cant even get grabbed by the private sector at this discount. How many really hv the commercial experience to dictate such high salary. How many of those who left got same or more of their last drawn. No wonder people are deaf and non supportive of G policies, good or bad.

  7. This is a very sorry state as the reality exists - the income gap is growing and growing All the fanfare for SG50 will not be able to mask the feelings on the ground. I wish I can qualify as a Pioneer Citizen and enjoy my last good meal but I will grieve for my next generation(s)

  8. We seriously have leadership problems. He did not compare property prices and costs of living from the early 80s till now. Maybe he thinks shoulder pads and big hair is still fashionable nowadays. Even Michael Jackson has passed away.

  9. Can you believe this bloke. 50 years has come and gone, and he's still talking about fucking aspirations! Still pushing the blame on citizens' wanting a lifestyle more than they can afford! Unbelievable...the same thing that is going on in the property industry, you see the ads everyday still selling dreams..about this premier location, that branded kitchen or One has arrived" scenarios. IT is actually those 'BS, materialistic "aspirations that they will soon realize, people are sick of playing the zero sum game. You spend 10 years chasing the ladder and think you have arrived, but in 5 years time, you slipped back to where you started 10 years ago because the cost of living and inflation rate keeps going up, and your salary on the other hand has stagnated due to older age or foreign competition. This bloody PM is so out of touch, he has no answers for the economy other than an immigration one which he has swept under the carpet. I've reached my threshold with him.