My new year wish

Nothing is worst than high inflation. It means that the money you have is getting smaller and smaller, but you think you are rich because you have plenty of them, your bank account looks big, your CPF statements make you think that you are rich. All that is illusion. Simply a deception. Everytime there is a big hike in inflation it means one gets poorer without knowing. A young couple could have save $100k to buy a flat. But if the price goes up by $100k, it is as good as they being robbed of the $100k. Yes daylight robbery and no one is stealing or being blamed. CEO price up by $50k. It means the poor motorist wanting to buy that car will have to work one whole year for nothing. This applies to all goods and services. The inflated HDB prices mean nothing to many as they cannot sell and translate them into wealth unless they want to pitch a tent in the park, and risk being arrested and make made homeless. This inflation animal is no joke. It makes many people poorer without knowing about it. And a big chunk of one's money just disappear daily. All the savings just go to waste. The more serious consequence of inflation is that it will destroy the competitiveness of our labour. America is feeling the heat now and is in deep shit. Some economists have asked why should American labour be paid so much when others can do the same job for a penny? It will come to us and our workers will be jobless too. It is happening, when the foreign workers are willing to do more for less. Our workers could not as the cost of living is eating up every cent they have. They need to be paid more for a decent living. Ah, some jokers will say if the foreign workers can, so can the Singaporeans. Yes, agree, live like a foreign worker. Apologies for the grumbling on the first day of a new year: )


Wally Buffet said...

Hi guys. Happy New Year!

I am now in the hospital awaiting the delivery of my granddaughter. While she may be born on the 1st of the new year, I do not think she will have a bright future here.

There will be endless stress the minute she is of school going age. Necessity to outperform will rob her of her childhood. And after the studying is done, she and her husband may have to foot 5 million for a 3 room flat, 2 million for a hybrid electric car. But her family's income may not amount to much as expected because there is always some descendants of the present wave of foreign trash willing to do the same job for much less.

The future is bleak. This coming from a Buffet. Think how hard the typical Sinkapoorean will fare.

I hope my granddaughter will be more optimistic than his constantly nagging, complaining and whining grandpa.


Matilah_Singapura said...


Tuan-tuan, Puan-puan, saudara-saudari,

Selamat Tahun Baru! Saya berharap anda gembira, sejahtera dan baik!

Wally, best wishes and congratulations. I hope the little one and mum are healthy.

Heartfelt wishes to redbean -- blog and forum owner extrodinaire, photo-documentarian of jambu dancing local girls. I hope he pushes the limits of his passion and embarks on 'photo studies' of the sensual nude female form... of these local gals of course. Who knows? He could become the 'David Hamilton of Asia'.

OK, on with the business:

First, a definition of inflation. I'll use the definition from the Austrian School as the definition from other schools of economic thought are misleading : Inflation is the growth/ increase in the money supply.

However when we are presented economic 'data' (mostly voodoo numbers -- be careful) inflation is defined as the increase in the price level as illustrated by a basket of goods in the CPI (Consumer Price Index).

i.e. people don't 'experience' inflation (the increase in the money supply) directly, experience the effects of inflation.

But it is not just rising prices. Inflation, as redbean's pointed out, has a positive psychological effect as well: asset prices (values?) rise, companies cash flows increase, companies profits inflate, PE ratios rise, stocks and/ or commodities have crazy rallies, interest rates are low and people (at least in the beginning and mid-term parts of the inflation) feel rich and secure. They don't mind putting up with rising prices if they feel 'wealthy'.

Inflation only starts to bite when prices are so high, they cause stress in people -- who at one time felt 'wealthy' are now begining to feel insecure as they realise their increasing 'wealth' cannot keep up with the rapidly increasing cost of living. To make matters worse, people have taken advantage of the low interest rates and borrowed themselves silly. Because of the low interest rates, the propensity to save is non existent -- who wants to save when interests rates are 1% or less?

Inflation is what we -- as a species -- are going to have to learn to live with. It can be de-stabilising, and the more the governments interfere, the worse it is likely to become.

Matilah_Singapura said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matilah_Singapura said...


Yesterday I blogged about the 14+% 'growth' Singapore experienced and included SingStat data. I suspect a significant component of that 'growth'was inflationary.

As for the future, I prefer to look on the bright side, whilst not ignoring the 'threats'. Let's face it, we lived through 40+ years of a Cold War where the threat of nuclear annihilation was constant -- 24 hours a day, every day.

If you want to look at disaster on a cosmic scale -- statistically we are 'ripe' for a collision from an asteroid or some other large near earth object.

A gamma ray burst from say the unstable Wolf-Rayet star (WF 104) which could go super nova anytime could fry the whole planet, Earth is DIRECTLY in the line of fire.

A lethal solar flare from our own sun could knock the whole of mankind back to the Stone Age. A large solar flare will knock out all communications, fry every satellite, destroy electric grids all over the world. In essence: no energy, no communications. I would take several decades or even centuries to recover.

Life is fragile. As is the existence of our very arrogant species. 99% of ALL the species which ever existed are now EXTINCT. That's how cold and uncompassionate nature is. And random too.

Human kind is so arrogant that there is a collective belief that somehow we are "special" and thus "invincible" that we can solve all our problems simply by using POLITICS and GOVERNMENT

I don't have a New Year's wish -- especially not for my own species. any wish is likely to conflict with someone else's. If I wish for wealth, some other person will wish for the end of capitalism. If I wish for no inflation, some banker or hedge fund manager will be wishing for more inflation. So fuck that shit.

The universe works the way it does -- it is weird, and the more we find out, the weirder it gets. It is more probabilistic and random than it is 'causal' -- although humans are more comfortable with 'causality' than they are with 'probability'.

'Wishing', 'Hoping' and 'Praying' are nothing more than putting probability into the realm of one's own subjective experience.

It sure feels good :-)

Anonymous said...

'Some economist have asked why should American labour be paid so much when others can do the same job for a penny?'

The truth is that Chinese labour can still subsist on that low wages because their cost of living is relatively low, due to their simplicity and thrifty habits passed down from generations of old. It is, of course, getting more complicated with their rising affluence.

The Americans can never subsist on such low wages, used to as they are, to their extravagance and wasteful consumption lifestyle habits, brought about by their several decades of prosperity without much competition.

Globalisation brought an end to that as factories and jobs moved to cheaper destinations. The result is that the rich factory owners and entrepreneurs get richer with ever rising profits while the middle class workers in America slowly disappear. Moreover, robotics also made many jobs redundant.

This will happen here in red dot in time to come. The rich will grow richer, the middle income will shrink and the poor will suffer a worse fate.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Ah, the old "high-low wages argument", always comical, and often misunderstood.

I would bet my 2 hairy bola that most people would prefer a higher wage to a lower wage.

The clue to look for is the capital structures in the country in question. You will noticed the more 'developed' and wealthier the cuntry, the higher the wages tend to be.

China is still poor. Despite millions (and growing) of millionaires, most of the 1.3 billion are still poor. Look at the 'capital structures' in the rural villages -- practically nothing that is able to 'produce' in the modern economic sense of the word.

OTOH visit rural Switzerland or Norway and look at the capital structures there. First class.

The amount of how much you earn is proportional to how much CAPITAL is behind the story. The higher the capital, chances are, the higher your wages.

Amongst many cuntries in the world, including ChIndia, Singapore is doing very well. Can they sustain?

That is the question. Being 'small' means being vulnerable too.

But OTOH being 'small' means it is easy to be 'flexible' and recover quickly from any 'shock' (provided the shock doesn't wipe it out totally).

Many folks are complaining about S'pore's 'direct foreign investment' model and complaining about Singapore being 'too dependent on the external economy'. HUH?

Mad people. They never consider the alternative: back to Turd World status!

I've stopped paying attention to the incessant complainers -- very hard for them to be happy lah. S'pore -- silly PAP govt notwithstanding -- still offers many opportunities unavailable even in many (so-called) 'developed' economies.

If you can't get your shit together in S'pore, I don't have much hope for you.

Anonymous said...

Every country's economy is in many ways an entity in itself. It is in a more or less 'steady state' shaped largely by its own native environment and other forces -even in a mostly interdependent world, so long as the rate of change is/can be controlled/manipulated. This is something most govts are constantly preoccupied with - tweaking the local economy in response to global and other influence and change.

Our problem here is the govt or some smart ass advising it got it to import en mass foreigners to prop up the local companies facing increasing global challenges notably arising from countries in this region - China in particular, the factory of the world with its bottomless supply of hungry human resource spanning the entire spectrum of quality/calibre from the road sweeper to PHds. The govt did this WITHOUT much care or thought for the consequences of this policy on the local citizens, us Singaporeans.

That in itself is a measure of its level of desperation much of it brought on by its initial lack of urgency and foresight. THE GOVT WAS BASICALLY CAUGHT SLEEPING! The casinos is yet another clear indication of desperate measures. We all know too well this TWIN CURSES dealt on us by our often arrogant and smart alec men-in-white.

Matilah_Singapura said...

anon 543:

> Our problem here is the govt or some smart ass advising it got it to import en mass foreigners to prop up the local companies <

That is completely both wrong and untrue.

Labour wasn't "imported". Labour -- which are actually flesh and blood individual humans with the ability to make choices -- came to Singapore in search of work in their own volition.

All the govt did was the right thing: get out of the way and make it EASIER for private enterprise to hire whoever they want.

Unfortunately the spoilt "entitlement mentality" locals -- who can't or won't take responsibility for their own lives blame the govt (aka "The Men In White") simply because they didn't make the cut when it came to being hired in the FREE market. It is as if "the world owes me a living" and that private enterprise has "an obligation to hire locals just for the sake of them being locals".

Of course, when the drugs finally wear off, the individual who chooses to return to rational thought knows that trying to blame the govt for your lot or scarcity is just "victim hooding".

In addition, as consumers you have the choice to choose where, how and what to spend your money on engaging in your own private individual enterprise, therefore other private enterprises run by individuals can also choose how, where, and what to spend their money on.

The policy of 'little policy and small regulation' in the labour market, gets my full support. The way the govt can make it even better is to ease up even further -- for e.g. remove 'quotas' (the local to foreigner 'ratios').

In the long run, free markets benefit the most people and are a way of building economic 'protection' for the future. In the short to medium run, some people are going to get a lesson in the realities of economic existence, competition, ownership and personal responsibility.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Singaporeans don't really have all the choices. Jobs, housing, cost of living, etc are not choices where there is no alternatives or substitutes.

Ok, now to something more impt. Congrats Wally, for being grandpa once more: )

Matilah_Singapura said...

> Singaporeans don't really have all the choices. <

Yeah right. And Negroes have big dicks ;-)

Any more stereotypes you care to share?

agongkia said...

First,congratulation to Wally for the newcomer.Wish all are fine.
My posting fail to appear this morning.,so I am using someone's PC as I need to express I oso have new year wish.
I wish every creature,be it animal,insects or human on this earth are treated fairly.A world of peace.No abuse of power,no bullying ....
and more news in MSN(My Singapore News),cos I save 90 cents per day ...hehe

agongkia said...

And not forgetting netizen Patriot here.Pls use "ME" so that I can identify you.
The days for planting tapioca and getting closer to nature seems to be getting nearer.
Best wishes to you here.

Best wishes to everyone in MSN.

Wally Buffet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wally Buffet said...

Good Morning Guys!

Thanks for the good wishes.

Mother and child is fine.

Looking at her nose, I knew straightaway that she is indeed a "Buffet".

My only wish for the New Year is that my grandchildren would be subjected to less stress by their kiasu parents to excel in School.

Give every Singapore kids a break and let them enjoy their childhood, same as I did. Flying kites, catching spiders, sieving monsoon drain fishes, stealing fruits etc. Well, you can't do these anymore in 2011 but at least, just leave them space to do what they like to do.

Those days, how nostalgic!


Wally Buffet said...

Mr. Bean,

Fantastic Header Pic.

When you do decide to switch profession, consider a job with the National Geographic.

You'll make a good photo essayist. Travel round the world, see beautiful sites but do come to Lijiang.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Congrats Ah Kong Wally. As for a second career, wait till I sell my first photobook on Kois. Then I will know how to take it off from there: )

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year to all and congrats to Wally.

Talking about those days! Well someone is going to say: were you talking about the time when Singapore was a swamp?

Haha, Wally, honestly I share your nostalgia because I lived through those times. Totally carefree, games we devised ourselves, no pressure over studies, romping around in the mud and crabbing (I lived in a kampong surrounded by a real swamp), catching spiders, fishing in ponds.

Sad to say, that kind of childhood will never be around for your grandchildren and my to enjoy. Sure, they may have their high tech toys and junk food which we lack, but I do not feel deprived even to this day.

What kind of a world are they going to inherit?

Matilah_Singapura said...

Actually today's "junk food" (depending on what you eat) is way better and more hygienic than the shit the dirty street hawkers used to cook up decades ago. There is nothing 'charming' about catching TB, cholera or dysentery.

Also -- how far do you want to take this 'back to nature stuff'? My grandad used to hunt wild boar when Singapore still had significant amounts of 'jungle'.

If you've notices, local kids games like chatek and kuti-kuti are practically unknown now. Also who plays sepak thakraw anymore?

You can still have kids experience the 'nature' thing. In fact, adults should do it too. I do. One of my favourite haunts is Bukit Timah Nature Preserve. I also trek in Mandai, Pierce and McRitchie Reservoirs. Ever spent the day at Pulau Ubin? It is the welcome alternative to that commercial shit-hole Sentosa -- which needs a tsunami to obliterate the crap off the island -- including the fuckers who spoilt the place.

Kids have ample opportunity to do everything we did and more. But in Singapore 'good parenting' seems to be lacking. Most S'pore parents expect the govt to look after their kids 8 hrs everyday and 'edu-ma-cate' them. The result: most kids DON'T KNOW SHIT about their own cuntry, and although a lot of them are 'book smart' they are actually sotong-blur in therms of real-life smarts compared to kids in other more 'individualistic' and 'free' cuntries.

Singapore kids are getting fatter at younger ages, thanks to lousy attention from inattentive or ineffectual adults.

Add to that, the characteristics of Gens Y and millenium kids: very short attention time span. They've grown up in an era of fast information processing and communication madness. Data/ info is 'out of date' very quickly. Data is streamed 24/7 -- what is relevant now is history by tomorrow. Attention has to shift quickly too: one minute you are on your Wii or XBox, then the cell phone rings, you get IM on MSN, and someone on Facebook writes on your wall. Your BFF just Tweeted a shoe sale at Takashimaya or musica sale at HMV, ....and ah fuck your battalion just kena General Recall.

...and in this mess you are supposed to care for others, have filial piety and observe family values.

Good luck! Let's have more teeange stress.

I love it.

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