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9/03/2006

cheaper and better

When I first bought my Nikon camera a couple of years back, it cost me $399. My plasma tv cost $6000. Today, less than two years, I can get a better Nikon for the same price, with better features and improved technology, from 4 megapixels to 6 and a 1.5 inch LCD to a 2.5 inch. So is a plasma tv. A laptop used to cost at least $2k. Today it can cost below $1.5k. All the prices are coming down but without compromising on quality. In fact the quality has improved in leaps and bounds. Why is it that in this little queer island called Uniquely Singapore, the price of everything can only go up. And any suggestion of cutting down cost, the immediate reply is that quality will be compromised. That lower cost means lower quality. A CEO is a CEO and is himself. Pay him $1m or $10m, he is the same turkey producing the same work. Of course he will turn into a monkey if he is being paid peanuts. The only problem here is that nobody thinks that he is paid enough or excessively. And with the govt setting the trend, telling people that all cost and prices and salaries must go up (except for those at the lower rung that are faced with fierce international competition), it is like an edict to raise prices. And salaries are raised even in positions that have no international competition. Positions that are the reserves of Singaporeans. Then look at all the low tech industries like public transportation, essential services and basic food, how can their cost keep going up when high tech industries with cutting edge technologies, employing the best brains are able to produce better products at lower cost? Something is seriously wrong in this logic that cheap means lower quality. Just look at those who are getting ever higher salaries and compare their performances and see whether there is a proportional improvement in their performance. I bet many were just doing the same shit in and out or may even be worst. Some may spend time networking for more kickbacks for doing nothing but to show their faces or lend their names. But this is not a game of golf when a name like Tiger Woods sells.

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