The good life shifting further away
The latest COE bidding for small cars and big cars were $73.5k and $94.5k. In the mid 90s the number hit $100k but was no sweat as many could afford them. There was a super bull run and money was everywhere. Everyone was making a killing in the stock market and everyone was spending. No one was complaining that COE prices were too high. And they said, it is not how much but whether the buyers could afford it. It was like the Fed pumping money to encourage spending.
The price of COEs today is going to be very painful for those who want to own a car or who need to own a car. There is no bull market to make easy money. Someone has intentionally killed the market. The market is as good as dead, like Bidadari or Bukit Brown. And some jokers were crowing how clever they were to bring down the cost of trading equities. Bloody fools. The few dollars of commission were the least of concerns to the retail traders when they were making handsome profits. It is when there are losing their pants that a few dollars became an issue. The cutting down of trading cost only benefited the big funds and their high speed computer trading when they muscle in to kill the small traders. They need the little advantage to generate huge volumes to disadvantage the small traders.
The liquidity in the market is gone. The average Sinkie is quite hard pressed to move around a hundred thousand for that car. Many are tied down by high mortgages to service. Ok, exclude the politicians, civil servants and children of the rich. And exclude the few exceptions that are doing well on their own. Let’s talk about the average Sinkie, the heartlanders.
What is so wrong to want to own a car or live in a better and bigger home? Now the spin doctors are saying the quality of life is better, in having no cars and living in shoe box apartments or 3 or 4 rm public flats. Is this progress? Who is kidding? Why are people now unable to own cars and have to live in smaller apartments?
What happens to the great inclusive growth in the economy? Why are the people (I qualify, people means heartlanders. I used to call them hardlanders) told to lower their expectations and live within their means? I know of families owning a few Ferraris and Lambos and some asses would say you work harder and you can have them too. They are having a good time. But why can’t the well educated average Sinkies be looking to live in better housing like their uneducated or lowly educated parents, and own a simple car like their poorer parents?
What is happening? Aren’t we progressing? Aren’t everything getting better, life gets better? And we have so much help from so many foreigners that our parents did not have the privilege to.
What have gone wrong? Nothing gone wrong? Everything is fine? The people are told to live better and to live well they must expect less. The people are told to buy smaller flats and go without their cars. The inability to own a car may seem a non issue, like the inability to buy a better home. When the reality sinks in, the people are going to rise and protest for being short changed.
When the govt can’t even provide the average Sinkie with a decent home that is better than their poorer parents without paying an arm or a leg, and can’t even own a simple car, it is not acceptable. This is not the good life that the people want. Many are still holding on to their present car. The pain will come when they have to give it up and could not afford another one. The withdrawal symptom is going to be very painful. The bigger pain will also come in the form of unaffordable housing. The next generation is growing up and many heartlanders don’t have that kind of money to buy a $500k home. And many can forget about owning private properties though private properties were quite easily attainable in their parent’s generation.
The lousy formula of a good life is going to be torn apart as it is simply a poor alternative for working so hard, getting better educated, for wanting a better life. Where did it go wrong? Dunno leh. The govt is still so happy about this great formula, which is the govt’s version of Swiss standard of living or its equivalent.
Just wait and see how the threshold of pain and tolerance is breached. The govt still have not a clue that it has shattered the dreams of the new generation. They think that they are creating a great life for the next generation. The COE is saying this is the end of the road unless your parents happened to be politicians or very rich. The good life is not a small little flat and taking public transport everywhere.
PS. I speaking from the viewpoint of the average heartlanders.