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8/24/2007

Sin of wasteful ways

While we are all worry about having not enough money for retirement, applicable to the hardlanders only, we are still caught up in this wasteful cycle of spending our hard earned money thoughtlessly. And at times this wasteful spending is even a compulsion. We waste thoughtlessly on scrapping cars in good working condition in less than 10 years. We waste tearing down sound buildings just to increase the value of the next development. We waste by making HDB flats affordable depending on how much is the savings in the CPF. Those who have certain incomes must pay for bigger flats even if they do not want to. And we even waste by insisting that people who are more financially well off must spend more in paying for more expensive wards in hospitals. They cannot opt for cheaper C wards! MEAN testing. At the other end, the income level of these hardlanders are not increasing exponentially but at a snail pace while cost of living is galloping away. How to expect these people to save enough when the system demands that they spend according to affordability? Why is thrift not encourage but a lip service? Why do we sometimes hear the statement that thrift is good and that people should spend within their means but the system is against this? If we truly believe in savings, then we must not spend extravagantly, unnecessarily, and thoughtlessly. We need a change of mindset and encourage people not to spend if there is no need to spend. And our system should be redesigned to help people to save than to spend. Then there will be more money left. Why people have so little savings for old age when we are one of the highest savers in the world? Is it so difficult to figure out why?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

That may be true 30 years ago at the stage of economic development then. You recyle used stuffs and the motto then was "Spend less to tighten your belt". Since we have become a middle income society now, there is no point to be nostalgic or sentimental abt that anymore.

For the present system to work well, everyone must play their part .. to scrap, upgrade, and constantly throwaway outdated stuffs to upgrade to the latest models. The middle class motto "work hard, play hard" thus means spend more to earn even more.

Our model has to change to suit the times and I think the tax collectors will appreciate you play your part as the all important consumer, otherwise they got to look for work elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

The problem is what happens if you cannot earn more to spend more. Then you spend on credit and are in debt. Keep up with others if you can afford it, otherwise live within your means and ability. You will stay happier that way.

redbean said...

i think you are right. the new economic principles is to generate economic activities. the more people spend, more liquidity in the market, more money turning around, bigger multiplier effect.

good for the economy. like having 6 million people to spend here.

savings and thrifts are bad for the economy. singaporeans must keep on spending. buy bigger properties, travel more and pay more erps, stay in the best hospital wards, buy more annuities.