12/15/2008

Wage trap and housing policy

The truth is hitting us faster by the days. Our workers' salary cannot keep going up like the PMETs. No matter how we try, the larger pool of hungry and equally adaptable workers in the world will compete with our workers for jobs. And there is no way we can keep pushing our wages up. In fact the trend is to push them down. How is this going to affect the cost of living here? Everything is up, gravity defying. Now public housing for 4 rm flats in prime area are costing $500k, 3 rm flats $400k. How can our workers pay for such luxurious public flats? As the prices of flats cannot come down or many HDB owners will lose the value attached to their only asset, it can be expected that more and more will opt for rental flats. How many working class young people can afford to pay for a $300k flat? It is time that HDB turn to building rental flats and the existing HDB flat owners can hope that there will be people with the money to buy their flats with a profit down the road. Look out for en bloc sales. These people will be cash rich to buy cheap HDB flats. Or they may upgrade to private properties with their new found cash.

9 comments:

Matilah_Singapura said...

The flaws of this system have been well illustrated.

Workers need only to have one employer — the state. They are told what to do, what to make, how many and for what purpose. They are not allowed to question the authority of the state.

The state then allocates accommodation to the workers. Since the workers role is to work, they only need minimum housing — a small space for them to rest and eat, and perhaps watch state-controlled and created entertainment on state owned media like TV, radio and the internet.

The problem now is that the state is allowing too many people to own spaces larger than what is required. If each worker had a 2.5 or 3m square box as living quarters, there would be plenty of space for everyone, and these could be very cheaply created by the state. The state must conserve capital to build the perfect society of the future. Therefore, this irrational extravagance has to stop immediately.

It doesn't make sense to have HDBs costing hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. It is high time TOTAL GOVERNMENT CONTROL was introduced.

redbean said...

why is your idea so familiar? hey, this is like how our foreign workers are being put up. maybe they are experimenting with the foreign workers first.

Anonymous said...

It just means you work for the rest of your life and keep paying CPF and by time you are about to retire, you have only the flat paid thru CPF.

This design keeps all able bodied person working and occupied so there's no free time to meddle in politics.

Which explain why many chose the path to be hawkers and seek out oportunites to be wealtier but that life sucks too.

For new graduates $350.000 is alot to money to pay let alone the non graduates.

It is puzzling why there is this sudden increase of $200,000 increase. If this is not day light robbery what is it called?

Anonymous said...

'This design keeps all able bodied person working and occupied so there's no free time to meddle in politics'

I was of the same opinion about the community centres and clubs keeping the housewives and retirees happily engaged in karaoke, day tours, talks etc so that they are occupied and have no time to meddle in politics too. And the old folks will be happy and come election time you know what they will do after the brainwashing. Active aging my foot!

redbean said...

who is the cause of higher cost of living, higher prices of public housing, higher rentals? external factors?

why are we complaining that singaporeans did not have any savings in their cpf or whatever they save will never be enough?

redbean said...

this policy of high property prices can become our subprime crisis one day if we hit a big economic crisis. with so many people taking hundreds of thousands in mortgage loans, and the moment they lose their jobs, my god, all will be hanged by these millstones on their necks.

the americans were indulging themselves in the belief that high living on borrowed money or future earnings is a clever thing to do. and they are caught by their cleverness. we are apeing them and refusing to think and look at the danger.

keep tying hanging millstones around our children's necks.

Anonymous said...

SIN must never support government funding subsidy for public homes esp when it benefit only a small group.

Properties prices fluctuate just like stock market, so it is common for properties to have different asking prices.

The housing policy must be consistently applied and transparently. It is proper for developers to re-coup cost when materials and delivery cost goes up.

When state funds houses for a small group it will be a bottomless pit. The market is diverse with many price band to suit affortabilities brackets.

The issue on wages are separate entities from housing policies.

The issue you raised is more about affortabilites rather than housing policy or wages.

redbean said...

let's confine to public housing. the govt started well by overcoming the housing problems we faced in the 50s and 60s. and the people were grateful for the affordable housing in the early days.

the govt can change its policy from providing affordable housing which the people will be grateful, to market price housing which the people will just treat it as another commercial transaction, with no gratitude. when public policy is no longer about providing affordable housing but about higher profits, the people will look at the govt differently, maybe even choose another govt.

wages and housing prices are inter related. we can leave everything to market forces or manage them for the good of the people. the trick is how to do this balancing at. and the judges are the people and the judgement will be passed in the general election.

redbean said...

let's confine to public housing. the govt started well by overcoming the housing problems we faced in the 50s and 60s. and the people were grateful for the affordable housing in the early days.

the govt can change its policy from providing affordable housing which the people will be grateful, to market price housing which the people will just treat it as another commercial transaction, with no gratitude. when public policy is no longer about providing affordable housing but about higher profits, the people will look at the govt differently, maybe even choose another govt.

wages and housing prices are inter related. we can leave everything to market forces or manage them for the good of the people. the trick is how to do this balancing act. and the judges are the people and the judgement will be passed in the general election.