3/02/2006

lucky singaporeans: delusion of wealth

most singaporeans are asset rich in their hdb flats. own a flashy brand new car, and earning a salary that is big when exchange rate is factored in. and now the govt is going to give them more money. wow, what a life as a singaporean. but the wealth of singaporeans is fleeting. the hdb flat is worthless once the lease expired. the flashy car is technically worthless after coe expires. the income and handouts from the govt will quickly go to paying all the bills, children's education, tuition and school fees, medical bills, conservancy charges, fines, erps, gst etc are the average or lower middle class singaporeans really well off? compare to their technically poorer malaysian cousins up north, i think the malaysians are very much better off, their worth in real assets and value of their cheaper currency. everything they are getting is cheaper except for imported luxury stuff which they can choose not to pay for them. by the time a singaporean wakes up from his delusory dream his assets would have been worthless, and he will be penniless and still a lot of unpaid bills waiting to be paid, and an expensive medical bill waiting for him to sign. he will be in debt forever. any economist willing to do a real comparison, apple against apple?

11 comments:

Matilah_Singapura said...

Wealth is created in the mind. And once manifested can be "locked" up in assets.

Singapore is a wealthy country. It is also rich.

If peole didn't have the money, there wouldn't be kid's education, tuition. Conservancy charges are for those with econoic means: you have to be rich enough to afford an apartment, before you can "enjoy" paying conservancy charges.

The overall wealth of the cuntry lifts up the ones at the bottom of the economic strata.

What should be of more concern is the distributionof wealth. In sg, the govt plays a big art in this by taxing the rich, and also taxing the poor.

In the end, people are lost in the shuffling of this con man's shell game, that the govt ends up with most of the money.

The rich pay (and altho they moan a bit, it doesn't really bother them), and the poor pay too. (they kena terok terbokok).

I dunno. for many years, S'pore has been a very lucrative opportunity-base for me. I get to squirrel away most of the revenue, I am taxed very reasonably, and there is enough of free market to keep prices fair. Getting things done is very affordable, plenty of hungry people in the out-source market... I give it 9.9 out of 10 for doing business.

Totalitarian Xi Bai govt aside, S'pore's "naturalness" and the energy from the people position it well as a "successful" territory.

The PAP think it is they who are responsible for s'pore's success. Not true. Under Raffles it was successful, even under the Japs - they made money.

So my point is, if you can't get it together in S'pore, where the hell do you think you can go to get it together?

redbean said...

matilah, you got to tell elfred about this fact. repeat, elfred, if you can't make it here, how are you going to make it elsewhere? you have so much comparative advantage here. going to china you can only bank on what you have that they need. other than that, everything is against you.

our problem is that when people start to believe that the widening income gap is acceptable and the people, especially the lower end, must accept it. that all policies will treat the income gap as a taken. if the policy leads to further widening of the income gap, no sweat. if someone earns a million it is his ability. if another earns a dollar, just too bad.

with such thinking, you can see how far we have shifted from first base and how far it will go in this new direction.

oh, for the able, singapore is still a great place to do anything. i always picture singapore as a paradise when you have no money problem or if you have money flowing out from your ears.

Matilah_Singapura said...

redbean,

It is not my place to tell anyone anything :-) All I do is offer my - occasionally strong - opinion. ;-)

I make this point again and again, but people think I'm boasting. I'm not.

I have the best of both worlds: individual freedom in Oz (do as you please, but don't kacau people) and also economic freedom (2nd in the world next to HK - not bad!) in Singers.

Govts? Ah fuck them lah... useless mothers... but they exist nonetheless. As long as they don't go to war, bankrupt the cuntry, maintain the Rule of Law - that's all that is needed.

A cuntries success comes from the vitality and BALLS of its people. If the majority of the people can direct themselves in a SELFISH WAY to remain individually productive, enthusiastic and duly diligent about themselves and their families, you have a "successful" and definitely prosperous cuntry.

Both s'pore and oz fall into that definition: individual self interest leads to wealth, peace and security.

If you are not in a wheelchair, have brain and nerve damage, or in ICU - in tother words - if you are a normal healthy person - I find absolutely NO REASON TO COMPLAIN about barriers to entry or "hurdles" to keep one from improving oneself, in either Singapore or Australia.

There is absolutely NO delusion of wealth wrt S'pore. There is PLENTY of wealth and wealth being created everyday. S'pore is one of the most resourced cuntries I know, in fact, the people are SO SPOILT, that when they go overseas, they always compare. And in EVERY comparison, Singapore wins.

I will agree that the distribution of wealth in s'pore needs addressing - but how? It is run by fascists - who believe that all the wealth and power should be the preserve of a select plutocracy. And the reason - "long-term safety".

In my posts I have consistenly made the point that the wealth of any cuntry should be with its people. Those who are "better", get to look after "more". Those minority who don't have any, get the benefit of charity from the benevolent "haves".

I would like to see ALL S'pores public assets sold off and privatised, especially all those LAVISH govt buildings, the money returned to the citizens - highest taxpayers get the most. The govt should be trimmed to Pres. (Honourary post with $60k pa stipend) PM (ruling party leader $300k pa) Deptuty PM (OPPOSITION party leader $300k pa), Minister for Defense, Minister for Justice, Minister for Police (Home Affairs), Director of the Secret Service, Treasurer. They ALL get $300k pa.

All MPs - $60k.

Justice system: a range of private courts. Anyone can be a lawyer - simple exam, open market on fees.

Military, Police: semi-privatised, then after awhile full free market competition - including wages.

Treasury: privatised. Run by the big accountancy firms - each of them taking a part so that it is spread around (which means no one can seize control of policy)

Funding: No income tax. 2% GST, 17.5% company tax (like HK), weekly state lottery, gaming taxes from casino.

Now, you have balance. Only highly motivate people need to apply for govt. The job is tough, the money competitive with the private sector (but still on the low side), the responsibility immense... so with these conditions you are going to get winners - becasue in free market s'pore it would be easy to get a gig which pays $300k - with far less responsibility, less exposure to public scrutiny, and less working hours.

redbean said...

we have been screaming nanny so often. and the govt knew that they got to stop nannying. but this thing about children loitering after 11pm again. when is the govt going to stop this nonsense? that their role should be macro and not micro managed. the intention is good. but these are personal matters that every individual and parents shall take charge and take responsibility. the law shall only come in when there is a violation.

of course it is very clever to talk about being proactive. if that be the case, start a screening board and certify parents who are able, capable, have the time and resources before they be allowed to consumate. that is being proactive.

as for the distribution of wealth, everything should be done with some reasonableness. the rich shall help the poor. the govt shall help the poor. that is what is called humanism.

why would bill gates and li kashing through their monies away to help the less fortunate? humanity, compassion and philantrophy are the things that animals do not possess except humans.

we also must curb the evil of greed.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Actually the "giving" is a totally selfish act.

Compassion, humanism etc etc all these "touchy-feely" words to describe some kind of higher moral and spiritual ground is just a dishonest veil for:

SELFISHNESS.

when you give and feel good about it (the bloody christians will tell you it is not "good" to feel "good" about giving - you should instead feel someone elses "suffering" - I reject this wholly), then you are feeling satisfaction for a totally self-directed, selfisn act.

Everyone acts selfishly, all of the time. I thought it apt to take it right back to basics. Just think of it as my selfish contribution :-)

redbean said...

the buddhist said you must thank the person who gives you the chance to give. he is doing you a favour, to feel human, to feel compassion.

but many gives for selfish reason, like going to heaven.

but we should not denounce everyone in one stroke. some just feel like giving and sharing what they have. some share what little they have. some share what they have plenty.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Every concious action is based on selfish reason.

Which is why, it is proper to thank the person who has allowed you to impose your benevolence on him.

Elfred said...

Reddie, this is rubbish lah...

My friends who went China got what advantage?

One by one they get a small piece of action there and start gaining experience and make it big in the low cost environment.

In Singapore, no X years of experience? No this cert? Ok, sorry. And you are left dry in this barren high cost rock!

Please lah, Reddie. Your thinking shocks me. Look real. Once got opening I also wanna leave! Your continuous backward thinking as if Singapore is still in sweet 80s is not helping.

If you also think like that, it goes to show how difficult to find opportunities in Singapore, especially for a righteous guy. PM is just bullshitting... this is no land for opportunities for talents for grow. This is LOO for bootlickers and big-f**k to enjoy.

I now don't even know where to go find work to get monies to jar-bok...

Matilah, I am aware of that. But you cannot discount PAP's effort in Singapore's independency during Sukarno's influence and communism waves back then. And you cannot discount PAP's opening up and the then ministers' ability and efforts.

Aye... that was the golden era. And now is also the Golden era, saved it's the era the top are snatching the gold.

redbean said...

elfred,

the reality here is this. you got a little point right about bootlickers. then there are another two groups, those that earn less than $2,000, and the super rich. the former will forever be dependent on charity and be at the mercy of the govt. they have no choice and could not do anything. and they will ignorantly be grateful for the handouts given to them, but unable to understand why. they are paying heavily for all the increases in basic essentials, and the crippling gst. for this group of people, the ignorant masses, that is their fate in life. they could not earn enough to meet the regular increases in fares and fees.

then the super rich, where this is a land of opportunities. this message was echoed all over parliament. didn't you hear that. yeah yeah, singapore is a land of opportunities. you must know opportunities to who.

now your choice. either resigned to live from hand to mouth, and live on charity while struggling to keep up with all the 'affordable' increases in basic amenities and essentials.

or be a bootlicker, and live on the crumbs and be happy.

the super rich category and the largeses are out of your reach. the other way is to bite the bullet and ship out and become a statistic among the quitters.

no point whining. just make your choice.

Elfred said...

Of course I wanna leave! Why would I in the right mind entertain this sort of poor governance? :D

You should enlighten a Mr T...

I'm looking for some job, get the money quickly jump out of this sinking tiny boat.

Yeah... I know what this LOO of equality and meritocracy is driving at. Don't have to remind me.

I'd whine along the way, anyway.

Matilah_Singapura said...

elfred:

Ah yes, the independence and meritocracy of Singapore.

The govt unilaterally decides how meritocracy is "enforced". (Do you like it? Enforced meritocracy... disgree at your own peril).

The govt seeks out the young talented future "leaders" and grooms them to fit the PAP's ISO9000 "specifications".

Yah. Meritocracy.