5/19/2009

New session in Parliament

What impresses me most during the keynote speech by the President is Nathan's health. He seemed to be getting more youthful by the day. He was so radiant, relaxed, well fed, and looked like he will live for another 50 years. The fountain of youth must be somewhere in the Istana. His motherhood speech was comprehensive and covered everything that needed to be said. Now comes the implementation part which the ministries are expected to do the due diligence. One recommendation I have in mind is to raise property prices, both private and public. This is the best strategy 'in helping companies stay viable and continue to employ workers.' It will 'strengthen our revenue base', and the excess profits can be accumulated as reserves for a rainy day. With higher prices of properties, the private developers can make more profits, provide better jobs and pay their employees very well. In the public housing sector, the profits can be used to help those who needed help. Never mind if the buyers would have to pay a lifetime for the little space they bought. They can feel good to live in a half a million or one million dollar flats. Compare to Hongkong, our flats are still very cheap and very luxurious, endearing homes. In Hongkong one will have to pay a fortune for a 90 sq m. Here it is so affordable. Our 3 rm flat is like a mansion! So liveable. Our standard of living (and cost of living) is improving by the day.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

u know what is scary?

although u said it as a joke, i have no doubt that is what his minions heard when they listen to the speech.

else how can cost of living go up & up every year even though he always say must take care of the poor etc.

or its just one big wayang as usual.

Anonymous said...

Wayang, i think it was not.

BUT,

reading a script writtened by his boss, that was for sure.

patriot

MayRulersBeRighteous said...

As if the current high cost of living, which is suffocating for average Singaporean, is not enough, we have to compare with Hongkong to justify further increase in cost of living. May the Rulers of the day have compassion and try to make the cost of living affordable for the average citizen.

Matilah_Singapura said...

It is to be expected that the guy will occasionally share his 2 rupiah's worth of opinion. After all, he's being paid a small fortune for simply being a head of state with no 'real' authority.

(Reminder: In a republic, the authority is with the people)

No govt in the world can create jobs or run a complex market economy — the market economy (love it or hate it) as so fare THE ONLY means to sustain modern life and to create wealth which ends poverty and privation.

Anonymous said...

You mention about raising property price. It is not a good idea. The Singapore property is already high. High property will crowd out the disposal income one has. The better method increase the disposal income one has. More disposal income mean more consumation, that will mean everyone is happy.

Jaunty Jabber said...

Redbean,

Not only the President is looking radiant & healthy, his vocal tune also sound like he is very calm and unaffected by whatever junk that is going round the place. Cool.

redbean said...

hi mayrulersberighteous,

welcome to the blog. as ordinary beans, we can only hope and wish. the only thing that is on the side of the poor beans is history. all unrighteous rulers will meet their own justice one day.

Matilah_Singapura said...

The idea of a price being "high" or "low" in this discussion is purely subjective and relative.

Objectively there is only one price: the market price. It is both (at the same time) the highest price the market will support, and the lowest price sellers are willing to dispose of a good.

redbean said...

what if it is a fixed up market?

Matilah_Singapura said...

I was waiting for that question :)

Even if the market is hampered, interfered with or 'fixed' in any way, the idea of 'market price' still applies. It might be 'higher' or 'lower' than it would be under 'free' conditions.

For e.g. if the govt borrows money by issuing debt (bonds) to finance its deficit budget, the govt borrowing 'crowds out' the credit market for borrowers of funds for private purposes. Over time, real interest rates (the market price for money) rises making it difficult for private enterprise and consumers -- home and car buyers, and by the flow-on effects causes economic dislocation.

Jaunty Jabber said...

So Matilah,

In simple words, are you saying that when the government is rich, we are not in danger?

We know the government cannot be poor, if not we will be worse off, but to live better while the government is rich, we want not just out of danger, we want also a better quality of life.

Matilah_Singapura said...

You are in less danger if you have more wealth.

Wealth should be held privately as much as possible. If the govt holds most of the wealth, the people are in trouble because they have little or no control (see countries where the govt controls the wealth and notice how poor the people are)

When the people hold most of the wealth, they are in control of their government. Sure, the govt needs money to function, but it is up to the people to decide how much.

In the old Swiss model of direct democracy (long gone), the people decided how much to give the govt. If the govt needed more, it went to the people with its case. If the people said 'no', that was the end of it.

Republicanism requires vigilance and 'active citizenry' to function so that the govt is ALWAYS subordinate to the people.

redbean said...

is paying a lifetime for a 3rm or 4rm, or 5 rm flat a good quality of life?

Matilah_Singapura said...

To be able to live, you haven to have the means — provided by you or someone else. Nothing which is "objectively" valued can ever be provided "free" because of the real physical resources required to produce the good.

You have to eat to live. You pay for your food — or at least someone does. It is not free. The underlying objective value (or purpose) here is "to be able to continue living" — throughout the entirety of your lifeTherefore other goods which have such objective value apropos to "be able to continue living" like housing and healthcare need to be paid for too — by you, or by someone else.

Paying for somewhere to live — throughout your life, if that is the case — is a whole lot better than being homeless.

Being wealthy sure beats the alternative. It may be tragic that other people are broke. If you want to help them, you might want to make sure you're not in the same predicament and have the means to be able to do so. i.e.: you have 70-85 yr lifespan. There's ample time to create wealth.