The main bug bear to Lim Chong Yah’s shock therapy is productivity. It is logical that before one raises the wage of workers, one has to take into account many factors, competition, costs and of course productivity. How can anyone think of getting big pay hike without complimentary productivity? The raising of worker’s income is a very serious matter and much deeper understanding and thoughts need to be put into it unlike bloggers like Redbean who would post anything that appears in his mind and in 5 minutes it is in mysingaporenews. No depth, no analysis.
I think the good professor must have spent many hours seriously contemplating on the problem and the solutions. It is not a wild shot. It is definitely a serious proposition that is supported by economic and academic considerations. An economics professor of his stature does not spout nonsense like bloggers, and his proposition should at least be placed on the tables for serious discussions. Bloggers can freely criticize anything without thinking. But to criticize the works of an economics professor who has done deep thinking before coming out with his recommendations, due diligence is needed from anyone who would want to dispense his criticism to do justice to the professor. Be respectful. Put in some effort to understand what the professor was saying before shooting off the hip.
Productivity may be an important factor in raising wages. But in the real world, wages or salaries can be raised by using other factors and considerations other than productivity. One standard methodology is to do a market survey and compare job values. And jobs of similar values should be paid similar pay. So when one is paid more, the other also must be paid more. This method is silent on productivity. It just says since you got so much, I also want to be paid so much.
Another way is to peg one’s salary to other people’s salary. Just assume one’s job is more important than others. So if other people earn more, one’s income will also go up accordingly. No need to talk about productivity. Just wait for the more talented and enterprising to work harder, to earn more, then one just tag on the bandwagon. When other people earn more, one must also earn more. What’s the correlation? Beats me. Where is the element of productivity? Who cares?
Oh, productivity is meant only for workers. Workers and farmers really produce goods of value and thus their productivity is important. When one’s job does not produce anything of value except talking cock, there is no need for productivity? Productivity is irrelevant to raise pay in such cases.