Friday, January 15, 2010

PAP's little economic trick unravels...


In his famous article The Myth of Asia's Miracle (1994), Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugmen wrote:

"But it is only when one actually does the quantitative accounting that the astonishing result emerges: all of Singapore's growth can be explained by increases in measured inputs."

The factors leading to the rapid growth of the Singapore, wrote Krugman, were one-off - a dramatic improvement in education of our workforce & the share of employed rising from 27 to 51% of the population. Krugman concluded that "Singapore is unlikely to achieve future growth rates comparable to those of the past".

Krugman was wrong! Singapore grew by 8.1% in 2005, 6.4% in 2006, 7.9% in 2007 and 7.7% in 2008[Link]. Krugman could never imagine in 1994 that the PAP govt will resort to massive import of foreign labor to boost the GDP growth:

“Between 2005 and 2009, Singapore’s population surged by roughly 150,000 people a year to 5 million—among the fastest rates ever there—with 75% or more of the increase coming from foreigners,” Wall Street Journal (see report below).


More input, more growth. Put aside the hard work of improving efficiency and technical progress, and just expand the population.


"The influx helped boost Singapore’s economy in the short run by creating new demand for goods and services and helping manufacturers keep labor costs low. Developers built apartments and posh shopping centers for the new arrivals." - Wall Street Journal


The population growth was great for property developers, service providers like telcos and manufacturers. Many of these are GLCs.

"At the same time, though, foreign workers have driven up real estate and other prices and made the city-state’s roads and subways more congested. Their arrival has kept local blue-collar wages lower than they would be otherwise, exacerbating Singapore’s gap between rich and poor" - Wall Street Journal

The effects of this massive influx have been largely negative for the ordinary citizens especially the poor whose living standards have fallen sharply in recent years.

The foreign labor policy implementation has been deceptive. We were initially told that they were needed to complement the local labor to bring in skills that did not exist in Singapore. Then we were told that they were here to create jobs for Singaporeans. We were also told that they were needed because of our low fertility rate. Recently, we were told the Chinese workers are needed to sustain Singapore-China ties[Link].

Singaporeans expressed concern about this policy as early as 2000. These concerns grew louder and louder. 2 years ago, I attended a 'meet the MP' dialogue and a resident stood up to express unhappiness over the policy. Some where in his long winded explanation the MP told the resident "not to be small minded". There is nothing small minded about Singaporeans' concerns about this policy. We don't have anything personal against the thousands of individuals who are here to seek a better life for themselves and their families - most of us would do the same if we are in their shoes. In fact it is important that these workers are treated well when they are here in Singapore and their rights as workers protected and respected because poor treatment of these workers will spread to Singaporeans especially those working for low wages. Singaporeans are not asking the govt to keep foreigners out...all we are asking for is for its implementation to result in benefits for ordinary Singaporeans. However, this may not be so easy for the PAP govt to do...

Over the years, the interests of the PAP has expanded beyond that of ordinary Singaporeans. Its large network of GLCs and TLCs provides high paying jobs for the elites in the establishment. PAP leaders are selected from a power-elite network [Link] whose loyalty is to a system that rewarded and benefited them rather than Singapore and ordinary Singaporeans. For the PAP govt, this internal selection process has primacy over general elections ....the PAP govt has had no qualms about modifying election rules - GRCs to parachute newcomers, linking flat upgrading to votes, repressing the opposition etc. All these moves to take the power of choice from ordinary Singaporeans. In their corporatist model, Singapore is Singapore Inc and our PM is the CEO and ministers, the board of directors. Elections are secondary because leaders are selected and appointed to their positions. When you understand this, you will begin to see that the PAP govt policies are consistent with this model. Raising of transport fares during recession to prevent fall in profits, increasing foreign labor as the income gap expands and massive reserves buildup at the expense of ordinary Singaporeans' ability to retire.

If you have any doubts about what the PAP govt really is, it should disappear once you look at the outcome of the foreign labor policy. The foreign influx increased as income gap rose, cost of living rose, structural unemployment worsened and living standards fell. As long as GDP grew and corporate profits rose, ordinary Singaporeans were made to shoulder the burden of the negative effects of PAP policies. The only little kink in this system and model of govt is the one-man one-vote system. Despite the rules limiting the activities of political opponents, control of the media and the unfair playing field (GRCs and estate upgrading), the PAP exposed its own insecurity[Link] by tweaking the system yet again with the 'cooling day' to gain an advantage. They have not found a way to remove the one-man one-vote system without completely losing their legitimacy. Other tweaks have been considered along the way:

"And whether you have one-man, one-vote or some-men, one vote or other men, two votes, those are forms which should be worked out. I'm not intellectually convinced that one-man, one-vote is the best. We practice it because that's what the British bequeathed us and we haven't really found a need to challenge that. But I'm convinced, personally, that we would have a better system if we gave every man over the age of 40 who has a family two votes because he's likely to be more careful, voting also for his children. He is more likely to vote in a serious way than a capricious young man under 30. But we haven't found it necessary yet. If it became necessary we should do it. At the same time, once a person gets beyond 65, then it is a problem. Between the ages of 40 and 60 is ideal, and at 60 they should go back to one vote, but that will be difficult to arrange"

- Lee Kuan Yew in an Interview with Fareed Zakaria[Link]

Maybe one day they will suggest that newly converted citizens be given 2 votes since they have been exposed to 2 different systems, they will be appreciate the PAP system better....and so on. It is because the one-man one-vote system is still around and the PAP govt need to conduct elections soon that we get this concilatory message[Link] from PM Lee on New Year day that the foreign influx will be 'moderated' and the benefits of economic growth will be shared among all citizens - the same PM didn't hesitate to up his ministers' pay and hike the GST almost immediately after the last elections. There is really no excuse for Singaporeans not to understand how this govt work and what they have to do to secure their own future and that of their children. Whatever the PM says today, the size for foreign population (now 36%) is set to continue rising until Singaporeans become a minority in the own country because that is the path of least resistance to satisfy the extensive interests of the PAP govt. Unless Singaporeans make the right decisions at the next elections, things will not change and the outcome for ordinary citizens can easily be predicted.

-----------------------------------
Singapore's Expat Surge Fuels Economic Fears
By PATRICK BARTA And TOM WRIGHT
SINGAPORE—For years, this rich city-state has marketed itself as one of the world's most open economies.
But as Singapore recovers from recession, its residents are questioning a key part of the country's economic model: its long-standing openness to foreigners.

Singapore Struggles with Immigration Issues1:55
As Singapore grapples with an uncertain future amid weak demand for its exports to the U.S. and Europe, it faces a sensitive subject: the role of foreign labor in sustaining its multi-decade economic boom.
Singapore has thrown open its doors to bankers and expatriates in recent years, making it easy in many cases to establish residency and hastening the country's emergence as an Asian version of Dubai. It also welcomed low-skilled laborers from Bangladesh and other developing countries to help man construction sites and factories.
The goal was to capture more Asian wealth and offset Singapore's low birth rate with immigrants, spurring economic growth. But the push has also fueled discontent, turning immigration into a red-hot political issue in a country where dissent is still tightly controlled by the government.
Between 2005 and 2009, Singapore's population surged by roughly 150,000 people a year to 5 million—among the fastest rates ever there—with 75% or more of the increase coming from foreigners. In-migration continued in 2009 despite expectations it would collapse because of the global recession.
The influx helped boost Singapore's economy in the short run by creating new demand for goods and services and helping manufacturers keep labor costs low. Developers built apartments and posh shopping centers for the new arrivals.
View Full Image Reuters
Crowds gather at the Ministry of Manpower amid a wage dispute.

By some estimates, a third or more of Singapore's 6.8% average annual growth from 2003 to 2008 came from the expansion of its labor force, primarily expatriates, allowing Singapore to post growth more commonly associated with poor developing nations.
At the same time, though, foreign workers have driven up real estate and other prices and made the city-state's roads and subways more congested. Their arrival has kept local blue-collar wages lower than they would be otherwise, exacerbating Singapore's gap between rich and poor.
Some economists say the most damaging effect of the immigration is that the influx appears to be putting a lid on productivity gains, as manufacturers rely on cheap imported labor instead of making their businesses more efficient. Labor productivity, or output per employee, fell 7.8% in 2008 and 0.8% in 207—a phenomenon that could eventually translate into lower standards of living.

Lee Ah Lee, a 58-year-old who makes 850 Singapore dollars a month (about US$600) clearing tables in a cafeteria, says the flood of immigrants has made it hard to make ends meet by pushing down blue-collar pay in Singapore, which has no legal minimum wage. Sitting nearby in a drab apartment block built by Singapore's Housing Development Board, a state-owned body that constructs and sells subsidized housing, 79-year-old Lee Kwang Joo says low-skilled foreign workers are often housed in corporate dormitories, meaning they have no housing costs and can survive on lower pay.
On Temasek Review, a Web site dedicated to Singaporean affairs, one writer recently warned Singaporeans would be "replaced" as "3rd class citizens" by foreigners, while another said that immigration "will emerge as the single most important issue" in Singapore's next general election, due by 2011.
Immigration "kept our economic growth high but, at a tremendous cost," says Kenneth Jeyaretnam, the secretary-general of Singapore's Reform Party, a small opposition party founded in 2008. Relying on foreign labor to help boost growth is unsustainable, adds Choy Keen Meng, an assistant professor of economics at Singapore's Nanyang Technological University. He says a better model would involve the reining in immigration and accepting that Singapore is becoming a more mature economy like the U.S. or Europe, with a long-term growth rate of 3% to 5% a year.
Singapore, unlike many of its neighbors, has a reputation for reliable public services and minimal corruption. Its openness to foreign investment is one reason why gross domestic product is expected to rebound to 4.5% this year, according to the Asian Development Bank, from a contraction of 2.1% in 2009.
Still, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, speaking at a Singapore university in September, said there was a need to be "mindful of how quickly our society can absorb and integrate" new arrivals, and vowed to curb immigration.
The government is also studying immigration as part of a wide-ranging review of the city-state's economic model launched in 2009. Results of the review, due this month,are expected to include steps to diversify Singapore's economy and reduce its reliance on exports to the United States and Europe by boosting domestic consumption, among other things.
Yet people familiar with the government's plans say it is unlikely to press for deep cuts in immigration, and will aim to find other ways to restore productivity growth. Singapore remains committed to a long-term goal of increasing the population to 6.5 million, though it would do so by prioritizing high-skilled residents as opposed to blue-collar workers.
Immigration "is not a weakness, it's a strength," said one person familiar with the long-term economic planning process. "People want to come here, why not make use of that strength?"
Serious cuts to immigration could also generate a backlash from other interests—notably the factory owners and real-estate developers who rely heavily on foreign arrivals. Many employers complain that local Singaporeans, accustomed to a higher standard of living than most other Southeast Asians, are unwilling to take on menial jobs, and are likely to resist further tightening of foreign labor supply.
Write to Patrick Barta at patrick.barta@wsj.com and Tom Wright at tom.wright@wsj.com

36 comments:

The Pariah said...

Insightful article - Thank you.

UBS (Union Bank of Switzerland) 2009 Prices and Earnings report showed some interesting numbers for Singapore. A careful analysis confirms those numbers are unflattering! Hence, mainstream media did not give it full play.

Check out my extraction from UBS report (pls scroll down to para 9):
http://singaporeenbloc.blogspot.com/2009/10/horse-dumbstruck-by-mutant-three-hump.html

Towkay said...

Recently the cost of hiring foreign talent has gone up due to higher demand. Maybe this is why Courts is holding recruitment drive in JB for positions in Singapore.

The reason for this higher demand for foreign talent is because MM Lee and other leaders have reiterated that Singaporeans are just a lazy, fussy, aging bunch of morons. Foreign talent is the future. As a Towkay who need business from PAP, we just go with the flow and hire what they want. Foreign talent just seem more impressive, even with their half baked English, 3rd world degree cert, and lackluster attitude.

Anonymous said...

I always think that Singapore's small size, while having many disadvantages, also has many advantages and these work for the PAP.

1. Every part of Singapore is quite homogeneous, ie urban and about the same mix of races, rich and poor. Remember the racial quota for HDB flats for certain blocks and areas? Or just before the polls some upper class areas are included in certain GRCs. This is how they manage it if things are not too good for them. Unlike other countries, where got kampongs, slums and rural areas concentrated in one area?

2. Being small, you don't need a lot of foreign talents or money to make up the numbers and having the desired effect, especially where property prices are concerned.

3. Being small, they know the data about the population much easier and faster than big countries. The govt can also control the economy much easier and better.

4. Being small, it is not too difficult to get 66% quite happy and OK. These are the civil servants, people with business links with the govt, their employees and families etc. They owe their ricebowls directly or indirectly through the govt. Of course you know how they will vote.

So if talking about SIngapore, always think of its small size and the implications of it. And this is what makes us so unique and lessons and outcomes elsewhere cannot apply here.

Anonymous said...

sporean jobless still hv to pay bills, pay taxes, pay fr education, pay.... pay....
FTs if jobless would just packed up & go home, and you will loss all yr income from thm.

So it is much more important to ensure FTs are employed in spore.
So that u can continue to earn somethings from them.

locals are less important, becasue they cannt run away

Anonymous said...

meeting the aspiration of a sophisticated and better educated citizens and at the same time managing those who can't keep up with the system is basically what the gov is doing.

if they don't create opportunities for high level and well paying jobs, there will be more brain drain or you will see our young leaving for greener pastures - also bringing with them the oldies in some cases or uprooting the entire family clan

despite hamming up the economy, we are still losing thousands of our people each year.

so the plan is to make sg the best place to work, live and play, hopefully, we retain quality people.

in other words, we believe and promote talents here which lead to oppression of those who can't keep up.

you mean to tell me you have a problem with promoting "talented people" like your own children?

give me a break!

LuckySingaporean said...

anon 12:00,

You mean hamming up the economy cannot stop people from going to countries with lower economic growth, better pace of life, minimum wage, democracy, social safety nets.....gee these people even don't mind paying the higher income taxes there.

Yes, and cheaper better faster is suppose to bring them back?

Towkay said...

anon 12:10

Not true lah. Are you saying products of PAP's world class education system cannot even compete with those from inferior 3rd world? Mind your words!

From what I see, government's constant praise of foreign talent has created a fake aura of superiority. Foreign talent are also human beings - there are also lazy, inefficient, irresponsible ones.

I will still prefer hiring foreign talent because this is the direction government want Towkays to take. Towkays are business people, we go with the flow. If government want us to hire Singaporeans, we will hire Singaporeans. But that's not the case so far.

Anonymous said...

it is more or less brain drain - people will still leave depending on a myriad of reasons only known to them.
but if you have all, if not close to, the conditions or factors which make a country livable, more will probably stay than go.

the way we are going is the natural progress of the evolution of a beastly man riding a potential exploding global market - at least that's what he thinks.

do your math carefully. you will be surprised how you are more like the miw than you think or share the same values as them from within but outwardly, attempting to be defiant perhaps out of purposelessness or your own empty existence in an urbanize city.

runroad said...

Anonymous, at 16/1/10 12:10,

You sound like Saddam's Comical Ali maintaining that "everything is just fine" even as the skyline of Iraq burned in the background behind him. You are not fooling anyone.

The exodus of Singaporean brains began years ago and is gathering speed with every day that passes. Brainy people are not leaving because of the money dummy, they're going because they want the freedom to live an ordinary, decent lifestyle with their families rather than one of constant stress and bogus affluence in a police state.

You can jack up the economy with artificial inputs all you want and it won't make the slightest bit of difference. This nation is becoming a revolving door for transient 'talent'. Only the poor and helpless will remain to become cannon fodder because they have no choice. The rot is endemic and it's spelled 'PAP'.

Hope you've made your plans for the day when two out of every three people you see on the street will have been born in a foreign country. You'll be the stranger in what you thought was your own country. Will you be forced to speak your Mandarin with a Beijing accent in order to be understood in your own homeland then, I wonder? Will you ask for kali png and be met with a blank look? Where will you run to then?

Welcome to Singapore 2020. You asked for it. You got it. Enjoy.

Anonymous said...

15:12

Why don't you paint us a picture of Singapore,the way you would have envision it that keeps the status quo of self regeneration, minus the conflicting interests of wealth creation?
Tell us how you are going to retain a better educated work force which is highly mobile and in demand by developing economy and even mature economy?

Return to kampong days?

Pls.

Anonymous said...

no wonder our gahmen keep saying the economy improve this year 2010, they are hinting they can hike their salary again! Time to reward these Elites again! And it is also our time to vote them out!

DanielXX said...

One day, MM Lee will realise that his wishes for a strong Singapore and for PAP to remain a one-party government are simply not complementary with each other. In normal corporations you have strong audit committees and external auditors watching over the management. That is the way things work, failing which management will eventually turn complacent and even self-serving.

Our society has matured to a level that a multi-party system working coherently will eventually be the way to go, in order to satisfy the common public. Everybody knows this, and I suspect even PAP itself knows it. But I doubt anyone wants to voice it out.

It will eventually be left to THE party elder to implicitly admit it. Just as he admitted the need for casinos to promote greater economic openness, he will have to be persuaded of the need for an alternative voice to bring Singapore to the next level of development.

Anonymous said...

it's like gathering a group of people for a marathon race. each will have to run to the finishing line in his/her capacity. not all we finish first or be the top 10 or 20. only winners will be rewarded, praised and promoted and those way behind will have to suffer the humiliation of defeat or without monetary rewards.

cruel you say?

what rubbish. i saw you celebrating the winners ALL the time!!

runroad said...

Anonymous, at 16/1/10 15:33,

Don't be disingenuous. It is the irresistible urge to meddle and 'engineer' and play God that has brought us to this unhappy state. Why has self-regeneration become a burning issue today if not for someone's unhealthy obsession with eugenics? Who's responsible for the obsessive-compulsive need for your grandiose wealth-creation which results in GDP worship and a workforce chained to the treadmill? Did anyone ask the people if they wanted to compete and work till they dropped dead?

Step One, tie the hands of the culprits and remove them from office; they have amply demonstrated that they're unfit for purpose.

Step Two, make the creation of a kinder, gentler, more civilised society an urgent priority of the next incumbent.

Step Three, wind down the hothouse forcing and allow the economy to progress at its natural pace. There's no need to squeeze the very last drop of blood from the stone.

Step Four, end the culture of secrecy. We want to know what's being done in our name. We want the buck to stop with the persons responsible. We want TRANSPARENCY.

Step Five, stop the absurd dog-in-the-manger hoarding of our funds by every govt entity for the rainy day that never seems to come, no matter how dire the situation. Give the people back control, after all it's THEIR money, isn't it?

Step Six, restore the spirit and the letter of the Constitution.

Step Seven, kill the fiction of being able to defend a 700 sq. km island for any more than the briefest time; the SAF should become a small well-paid professional force which is all that's needed and we can then kiss goodbye to NS, and good riddance too.

That's plenty to be going on with for the next govt's first term. Does this slower, more measured, gentler pace cramp your money-grubbing style? Well you know where the door is, don't you? Don't worry about the brain-drain or the shortfall in babies. It'll go into reverse all by itself because the nation will finally get the chance to fulfill its original promise of being a unique blend of cultures, a pot-pourri of races living in harmony and a centre of intellectual and artistic excellence; in short a country that its people, rich or poor, would be proud to call home.

Anonymous said...

What's the big deal about "economic growth" if we don't get our share?

How does inflation, rental hikes, wage stagnation and wage depression help us during economic growth?

Anonymous said...

Lucky. By far, one of the best articles.

"Serious cuts to immigration could also generate a backlash from other interests—notably the factory owners and real-estate developers who rely heavily on foreign arrivals."

This is the problem and it will get worth as this model of growth based on foreigners can only be sustained if more are brought in as the reliance on them has become habitual - unless they are willing to compromise the interest of existing factory owners and real-estate developers to be replaced by new set of players who do not have such burden.

Growth may be affected but new set of local adjustment, competency and labor structure will be developed.

Anonymous said...

"The foreign labor policy implementation has been deceptive. We were initially told that they were needed to complement the local labor to bring in skills that did not exist in Singapore. Then we were told that they were here to create jobs for Singaporeans. We were also told that they were needed because of our low fertility rate. Recently, we were told the Chinese workers are needed to sustain Singapore-China ties"


Lucky Tan,
I think you reserve the best for the last and you know what the old fart going to say before he hit the bucket. To finish up the continuity of your astute observation,
"Finally, we were told the foreigners are needed to keep PAP in power for another 50 years because Singaporeans are waking up from their slumber.

Anonymous said...

fanning fart is it?LOL

Anonymous said...

Mr Goh said: "(The ancient saying is) 'an army of sheep led by a lion is stronger than an army of lions led by a sheep'.

"In other words, leadership is critical in battles; the leadership qualities, the courage and the ability and getting the team to follow you is crucial."

And Mr Goh said that for a country to succeed, good leadership is critical in four areas - political, public service, business sector and the people sector.

"In a country, of course, leadership is important. In a battle it is crucial, in peacetime (it is important) in terms of generating economic growth," he said.

"If you track the performance of a country in the last 30 years, you will come to the conclusion that there is a co-relationship between the leadership of a country and economic performance of the country," he added.

"The better the leadership, the better the government, more enlightened, more visionary. The more honest the government, the better the economic performance."


the more honest the government, the wealthier we are.

hear that?

somebody needs to remind him about another erm..ancient saying...

...'an army of sheep led by a lion maybe DEVOURED BY THE LIONS and an army of lions led by a sheep may become pussycats.

hahaha

Anonymous said...

stinking sinking slinking away...

pap, that is the way...

Anonymous said...

" I'm not intellectually convinced that one-man, one-vote is the best. We practice it because that's what the British bequeathed us and we haven't really found a need to challenge that. "

Time and again, LKY has been right(in my view) on many counts.

But I can't say, despite his brilliance, he has suggested a better political system than what was passed down to us.

Better be quick or the disaffection will spread further.

eatmoney said...

Hi Lucky, nicely done! pointing out the PAP's little economic trick. Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman must be dumbfounded !

So is IBA/IBAHRI! their members must be dumbfounded we actually have kangaroo logic passing off as legal wisdom.

So is China's communist party! their members must be dumbfounded we actually hoodwinked everyone with a fake democratic system and our unique system of meritocracy embraces nepotism and cronyism.

So is the entire world community!
their leaders must be dumbfounded our tiny red dot by itself can produce world's 30 highest paid politicians and yet none is good enough to solve the problems of any country you care to name.

Under better political circumstances, I hope lucky will consider compiling all the PAP's little tricks and make it a compelling 101 lesson for all Sporeans, especially our students.

Kojakbt said...

Can we ever hope to integrate FTs into our Singapore's society?

In the last few days, an article about a Myanmese girl has triggered a cyber war breaking out between Singaporeans and Myanmese FTs on TR site. It clearly shows that there exist fault lines between Singaporeans and FTs here. I believe such incidents will never be reported by PAP's 151st. They would rather prefer it to be sweeped under the carpet and hope that things would die down. But nevertheless, you cannot make these deep fault lines disappear.

It is quite clear from the postings that in the event of a conflict between Singapore and Myanmar, where the loyalties of these FTs will lie. If you guys have the time, do read the kind of postings from these so called Myanmese FTs and ask yourselves this question:

Do you seriously think PAP can successfully integrate such emotional Neatherthals (see below) with us Singaporeans???

http://www.temasekreview.com/2010/01/14/myanmar-national-with-poor-command-of-english-working-as-accounts-executive-in-singapore/

David Constantine on Sun, 17th Jan 2010 4:04 am

Stupid #Kojakbt¡­ Apologize for saying ¡°you Myanmese are a bunch of ignorant fools¡±. Or I swear to every powerful beings in the universe that I¡¯ll track you down and kill you.

Look at yourself, without those things the PAP gave you, what do you have? an ugly face? a look which in other country would be called a ¡°freak¡±? Well a freak from a freak¡¯s country will say just like freaks¡­ You jerk.. Coz of stupid asses like you, there were times I thought of invading Singapore and skin kinds of ya alive. If it wasn¡¯t for those Singaporeans who really nice and loved me, I¡¯ll really do that. So watch your mouth and apologize. THAT¡¯S THE LAST WARNING!

Anonymous said...

Ong Ye Kung is likely to be one of PAP's next slate of candidates to be filed or presented as "labour' MP.

http://www.ntuc.org.sg/ntucunions/statements/statements_131008.asp

Anonymous said...

When the water level falls, turn on the tap and raise the level and when the water rises too high, turn off the tap to ease the level.
We should enjoy a stable supply of water for everyone.

Kojakbt said...

Correlation of FT population vs Productivity growth

I’ve just plotted the annual labour productivity growth vs FT population growth on a single graph. There is clearly a correlation between increase in FT population vs lowering of our productivity.

http://i47.tinypic.com/erkdon.jpg

PAP is turning us back into a 3rd world country indeed!

runroad said...

Anonymous, at 17/1/10 13:29,

The problem with your water analogy is that our knowledge of what constitutes 'too high' and what indicates 'too low' is imperfect, to say the least. That is why PAP's hardline policies fail time and again whether it is to do with the economy or demographics.

Turn off the flow too soon and you risk a drought. The plants and the animals (read 'economy/population') begin to die off e.g. with previous downturns in real estate due to regulatory overkill.

Leave the tap on for just a little too long and before you know it you have a flood and begin to drown in your own cleverness. That is the present FT policy at work.

Changing the direction of a nation is like steering the Titanic - the sheer inertia cannot possibly be overcome without huge over- and under-shoot. That lag is the cause of national trauma. Just ask Iceland.

In the long run it's far, far safer to have a gentle, steady hand on the tiller to avoid being forced to make the sort of abrupt changes we see today.

Anonymous said...

"Kojakbt said...
There is clearly a correlation between increase in FT population vs lowering of our productivity. "

Yes it is inversely proportional. If the output does not increase at a faster rate of population increase; productivity will continue to drop! In the PM's own admittance, we are likely to see slower growth rates like 3% and since we are increasing our foreigner talents by a much higher rate' productivity will continue to plunge. The most hardworking workers in the world cannot turn this around even if you drive your spurs deeper into their hides.

Anonymous said...

Election must be near..

The bogeyman is out..reminding us that we are first and foremost Chinese, Malay, Indian, Eurasian or what ever double barrelled race and not one united people as our ideological pledge says. Once the pappies are gone we are suppose to be at each others throat.

Now we are told we come first, does not matter we have no spurs in our hides or are lazy. We come first because we have the vote which will allow them to earn millions and will not require them to have spurs on their butts

No,foreigners are not taking your jobs. Who wants be a cashier, clerk or supervisor. All of us want to be MPS and Ministers, where you can get paid millions even if you are reject to cannot get elected the democratic way. No we do not want be heartland massage ladies cum prostitute.

We have hearn from Vietnam that we will keep growing providing we can find ways to fix the figures.

Anonymous said...

"The problem with your water analogy is that our knowledge of what constitutes 'too high' and what indicates 'too low' is imperfect, to say the least."

I think they monitor your threshold of pain and in the measure that ensure your pain will translate to your gain

Like they say, no pain no gain.

Anonymous said...

Let me make it clear to the motherfucking deceptors of the day - the PAP. I will not accept nor treat a fucking Chinaman in my country as an equal native Singaporean. And many are joining me on it, even when we may be seemed to be "forced" to accept it. We don't have to. Each time a Chinaman fucks with me, he or she is gonna get this: "Fuck you! Go back to China! You're not welcome here." If the Indianman comes on over and fucks with me, I'll give that motherfucker this: "Fuck you! You're not welcome here. Go home!" I will only support my fellow native Singaporeans: Chinese, Malay, Indians and Eurasians. The rest of the motherfuckers can simply fuck off. I have seen many Chinese Singaporeans fuck the Chinamen here. Hell yeah! If I know you got your fuckin' pink IC as a foreigner working here, I'll say: "You're not welcome. Go home! We, SIngaporeans, don't want you here."

Anonymous said...

The PAP party has learnt how to maintain its power and push its agenda by slowly working on the principle of forgetfulness of its citizens. It has also learnt how to ASSIGN VALUE to itself. It is in the business of values creation: top, down, high, low, elite, heartlander, good, bad, honest, dishonest, men in white, men in black, etc..

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

His balls probably shrink when you say that. LOL.

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Stephen Stapinski

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