Beating the inflation beast
Govt policies have long term implications, some good and some bad, and some effects can be very extreme. Today everyone knows that Singaporeans are asset rich and cash poor. Everyone knows why. Singaporeans used to be very rich in their savings. Today, not many can smile at their CPF monthly statements as most have been depleted by you know what. Whatever little left will be schemed away and becomes untouchable. It all started when someone realized that Singaporeans have a lot of savings. Then schemes started brewing. How to get hold of this money while they laid idle in the CPF accounts? The rest is history. Today practically everything is priced to empty those savings. Of course they don’t said it this way. They said, Singaporeans can afford to pay because there is money in the CPF accounts. And everything is priced, carefully calibrated, to be affordable according to how much money there is available in the CPF accounts. Brilliant but disastrous. Clever but very short sighted. On one hand encouraging the people to save and on the other helping the people to spend at double quick time. Then utter the big surprise, why money not enough? Now there is a problem when it should not be. So we blame the inflation beast. It is all because of inflation. And inflation eats up a life time of savings at 40 to 50% of one’s income. If only time can be unwound to bring back to where it started and this asset inflation nonsense be killed before it gets wilder. So how? How to return to the time when housing was really affordable, medical fees affordable etc etc and people’s savings keep growing and they can smile at their CPF monthly statements? The inflation beast needs to be beaten. But there is no way to bring down the price of housing or medical fees. Doing that will be even more disastrous. Perhaps inflation can be beaten by inflation. How about inflating the CPF accounts of Singaporeans to the tune of $300k or there about? This will return some cash to the Singaporeans whose savings have been whittled away by inflation. And it will help Singaporeans wanting to buy those inflated HDB flats or pay for those inflated medical bills. It will cost he govt nothing. It is just printing money like all countries are doing. Follow our role model America and we can’t be wrong. When the rest of the world is printing money, we will lose out if we don’t. The buying power of our dollar is shrinking in a frightening way for domestic purchases. This must be done right. And there is no need to throw the whole amount to all Singaporeans. It can be carefully calibrated to the young and old, and to new and old citizens. We cannot repeat the silly thing by throwing all we got to new citizens. More thoughts can go into this little idea of inflating the CPF savings accounts of Singaporeans to fight the inflation beast. And the amount must be meaningful to right the excesses of the last 30 years. Let’s see what Tharman is going to say during his budget speech. Would it still be $1 for you and $1000 for me again?