As a country we are doing very well, and extremely well in many areas. We have become rich and life has become very comfortable to many. There is no doubt that we are the envy of the world in being what we are today. And it is quite appropriate to call this the paradise on earth to many of the wealthy residents.
While the rich and able are happily living their lives, the lower income earners are getting to feel the pinch. And this pinch is going to get worst everyday. No one can deny that many goods and services are going to be out of reach to the average citizens.
There are several major causes that are leading to a frightening future and if nothing is done to restrain these forces and reverse the trend, the eventuality is not going to look pretty.
The high property price of residential and commercial properties is a very dangerous game to play. For those who have acquired the properties, they are just in for a good ride and everything is looking better everyday. Many are selling their properties bought for a few hundred thousands and selling for a few millions. They are so happy to live with their new wealth till kingdom comes.
The problem will be those coming after them. Residential property is going to be the biggest debt for the future generations to bear. They would have bought these properties costing hundreds of thousands or a few millions. Their only hope is that the value multiplies like their predecessors and at the end of the day they could sell off for an easy retirement. Could this be repeated?
The high prices of commercial properties too have a compound effect on the cost of living. Everything, goods and services, will cost more and more to cover the rental or property cost.
The real problem is that there is no winding back. Falling property prices will hurt a lot of property owners. This time around, with the debt becoming so much bigger, it is inconceivable how serious would the problems be if there is a crash. And the govt cannot afford this to happen and will have to keep boosting or supporting the high prices. There is no other way out. Price going down is not an option of the planners.
It is unlikely that the lower income groups can catch up with the high cost of housing and services, in particular the very deadly medical bills. A gap is going to open up very soon, when more and more of the lower income will be gasping for air. Their meagre income and the mini increment rate can never keep up with the rapid rise in cost of living. Once this gap opens up, social disorder is going to be a major issue.
The other major concern is foreigners and foreign workers. There is no way to get rid of them in the short term. And as they grow and melted into the whole social fabric and economic system, they will be embedded as a part of our society and tearing it out is out of question. It becomes an inter dependable arrangement, that the system needs them or will face another big empty hole. This is another policy of no return.
The competition by foreigners, and many would have been given the pink IC, will be felt adversely by the original Singaporeans. How this game will be played out in the longer term is still hazy. Couple with the marginalisation of the lower income groups, which will keep swelling, it is looking like a recipe for more unbearable consequences. A recipe of no return.