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7/21/2006

lets teach people how to be happy

Happiness seems to be the new topic of discussion. Anyway it is a safer topic than politics per se. You just won't know when Bak Kwa will become more Kwa than Bak and starts to exert itself as the Kwa. A letter from a Jolene Tan in the Today paper said, 'As a general rule, govts that do not randomly detain, execute or oppress their people are likely to be governing happier citizens.' Well, in all counts, detain, execute or oppress, our govt is free from them. Unless you disagree and insist that this is a statement of myth. So, why are our people unhappy? Jolene added, 'Perhaps if we had less meddling in private affairs and more space for people to live as they see fit, rather than trying to find a neat formula for every person, we would have more of that elusive happiness.' Are we meddling with the people's life? Too much meddling? Is the jacking up of basic cost of living meddling with the people's life? How to explain that with such a strong Singapore currency, earning S$2000 a month is not enough and need to beg for assistance? If with this level of income it is difficult to live, to make ends meet, all those in this category or earning less are already in the unhappiness group. But there are those who can live happily by pretending that life is not all about money. So when they eat potatoes, they will call it fish. And when they eat sweet potatoes, they will imagine that it is beef. So they can live a life of plenty with fish and beef in their menu everyday, and be very happy. It thus takes a little creativity to be happy. Tell yourself that people earning a million bucks are very unhappy. And a simple life and living on fresh air and water is a healthier life, with little of the rich man's sickness. I think we should have a campaign teaching people who are earning less than $2000 how to be happy and telling them how bless they are.

10 comments:

abao said...

Actually, its rather simple.
不要把钱看的太重要
And we'll have many more happy people. Even from those earning millions. It all boils down to your perception of money.

redbean said...

i won't when i am earning a million bucks a year.

Anonymous said...

bloody hell, can earn $2000 considered good already lah. look at those people affected by the tsunami in Indo or the refugees fleeing the carnage in the Middle East. Really can't understand some people.

redbean said...

it is not how much one earns. one must also take into account the cost of living.

this guy has a family to look after. for an individual, $2000 is sufficient. but as a family income, $2000 is definitely not enough.

there are many young man who's $2k or $3k income is still not enough for their own lifestyle. but can't compare this to a man who has to pay for all the bills at home.

EconsDummy said...

I am no economist but I have alweays thought cost of living goes hand in hand with high pay. I do not think there is any country in the world that has high salary and low cost of living.

redbean said...

hi econsdummy,

welcome to the blog.

it is true that high wages will lead to higher cost of living. the two are interlinked. but the proportional change must not be too wild. what we have is to let housing and some essential services to runaway while salary increases are at a crawling pace.

eg fresh grad salary from 1970 to 2006, from $1000 to $2,500(2.5x).
5 rm HDB flat, $27,500 to $400k(14.5x).
a 1.5L car, $7k to $50k(7x), only recently. you can compare other items in the same way. Bus fare 10c to 60c(6x).

singaporeans today are thus poorer than those in the 1970s despite a higher income, which is an illusion of wealth. during those days, it is a damn big deal to earn $1k. it was touted as a 4 figure salary. and not only that, that $k can buy a lot of things relative to today.

EconsDummy said...

redbean, so who controls cost of living ?

redbean said...

hi econsdummy,

i have been counting and both my hands still not enough. but here we are only concerned with the one that did so much to raise the cost of living.

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