Saturday, February 20, 2010

Economy : Where we are headed...

"A Golden Age for Asia lies ahead" - Tony Tan 18 Jan 2010[Link]

Hmmm...why do I get worried everytime I hear them say the word "golden"? I think it will all become very clear about a year from now when one of 2 possible theoretical outcomes will come true. I discuss this later after I recap where we have been in the past few years.

In his recently published book, Hank Paulson described Bernanke as “easily one of the most brilliant people I've known". For the former Goldman Sachs CEO to say that about you, you have to be a real genius given the caliber of people they hire into Goldman. So we have this situation where we have the finest economic minds tackling the gravest economic problem we have seen in the past 70 years. Last week we saw American politicians throwing spanners at poor Geithner for the AIG bailout - why was Goldman paid in full for the CDS contracts with AIG? Why must AIG be bailed out? Why did Geithner call an ex-Goldman man 20 times over a few days based on his phone record during that time? Geithner defended himself well throwing a few fireballs back at those senators. The politicians who are going for elections in Nov 2010 had to show some anger as the Americans citizens are fed up with the 9.7% unemployment rate and bankers who continue to receive fat bonuses after the govt bailed them out. Geithner told those senators if there was no bailout, if the Fed and Treasury did not intervene, the entire system would have sank and the unemployment rate would have gone up to 20+%. The Great Depression scenario did come in handy to defend against a barrage of accusations by politicians now looking back at the bailout with the benefit of hindsight and a big microscope. The people are unhappy someone has to be blamed and the more blame they can put onto Geithner they more likely they will get re-elected .....for being tough on bankers, tough on Goldman and tough on beneficiaries of the bailout. This whole painful unpleasant hearing was conducted to find out why NY Fed failed to disclose in a timely manner that the bailout money to AIG was used quickly to pay Goldman and other banks - the insinuation is there is some kind of conspiracy to cheat the American people.

All our dailies, a few weeks ago, featured an article "The Bernanke Counoudrum"[Link] by Paul Krugman about how the support for Bernanke has faded. It all happened quite suddenly after the Democrats were defeated in Massachusetts. Bernanke is due for reappointment and just a few weeks ago there was little doubt that he will get the support he needed. Bernanke was credited with rescuing America from Depression II and preventing a collapse of the system. However, the defeat in Massachusetts reminded American leaders that the voters are still very angry with the economic mess and see the Fed as part of the problem. A number of US senators who earlier wanted to reappoint Bernanke succumbed to populist demand/anger to replace him. Krugman explained that Bernanke, after heroic efforts to rescue the system, went back to the mainstream and failed to bring about banking reform and keep unemployment down. A few days ago, Obama to shore up support for his agenda, brought back 82 year old former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker, to push for a set of banking legislation better known as Volcker's Rule to keep a bank from having anything to do with investment vehicles. A few days later in a town hall speech in Ohio, Obama spoke about how the past decade had been difficult for middle class families and how he will 'fight' to keep their dreams alive[Link]. The American middle class in the past 2 decades has been decimated:

"The middle class has been under assault for a long time. Too many Americans have known their own painful recessions long before any economist declared that there was a recession. We've just come through what was one of the most difficult decades the middle class has ever faced -- a decade in which median income fell and our economy lost about as many jobs as it gained." - Obama in his Ohio speech.

It is unfortunate for Obama that he came to power at this time and has to face economic problems which over time may have become almost intractable. I'll talk about what all this has to do with our own economy a little later but first you have to understand what happened to the Americans before we get into that.

Here is what happened to the Americans explained in 3 steps:


1. Globalisation and free trade, contrary to popular opinion, did not benefit the American worker:


The graph above compiled by Ravi Batra shows that as the volume of trade increased, the real wages of American workers fell. What was happening isn't difficult to understand. American corporations shifted their manufacturing to the far east where wages were lower. The real wages of American workers fell as productivity increase cannot overcome the low wages of Asian countries. Wages rose in places like Singapore & China, however, govts make sure that they lag behind productivity gains. Wages of workers form the demand for goods, however, because of the wage-productivity gap, there has to be another source of money other than wages ....which brings me to the next point.


2. To consume all the goods produced and keep the global economic system going, consumers in western countries took up a rising level of debt as a % of their GDP:



3. As US consumed much more that it produced, it had a trade deficit. This was funded by sales of US treasuries. The Japanese and Chinese snapped up these treasuries - lending the Americans money to consume goods made in Asia. Over time, US became the largest net debtor nation in the world.

Every recession that came in the last 20 years was solved the same way - getting the US consumer to borrow more to consume. We have Alan Greenspan to thank for that - the maestro waved his magic wand to cut interest rate and keep the easy money flowing every time there was a recession and presto! the American consumer starts spending and the rest of the world is bailed out of the recession. But there was never a reset of debt levels with every business cycle - debt just got bigger. At the same time unit labor cost fell and real wages fell which meant that increased demand was generate largely by rising debt. When Obama took office, after talking to his advisors, the best minds in economics, the way to get out of the Great Recession he said was to get credit flowing again so that Americans can borrow for college education, cars, home purchases etc. Don't repeat the mistake of the Great Depression when the Fed tightened as the economy sanked. Paul Krugman, a Keynesian faithful said the US govt had the correct strategy to borrow and incur huge deficits to stimulate the economy. Easy money + huge govt deficits was the solution - don't repeat the mistake of the Great Depression.

If you watch CNBC often enough (for entertainment?), you will catch this feller in a trader's uniform that is saying something like this:

"It is widely believed that the Great Depression was caused by the Fed tightening the money supply...however there is another school of thought that the Great Depression was caused by the mountain of debt...." - CNBC Advert for Squawk Box.


There is another (minority) school of thought that the Great Depression was due to a high level of debt. That will mean that the current measures taken by govts will only have temporary effect because the high level of debt is not going to disappear soon. If debt shrinks, demand shrinks and the global economy will re-enter recession and perhaps one worse than the one we have seen because govts are now themselves in debt and their ability to intervene will be limited. Bernanke and company prosposed the only way that is politically feasible because alternative was to allow the economy to fall and intervene later. The Jim Rogers aka Austrian way would have been too painful. However, the problems faced by Obama was not due to any of his decisions and created over 3 decades may be completely insolvable without economic pain by the time he took office according this alternative school of thought. Jim Jubak looking at the huge US federal deficits said the numbers don't add up - for the US federal deficits to shrink, the US economy needs to grow by 4% in 2011 and beyond just to keep its debt manageable...4% growth is unlikely ...this govt debt will weigh on the US economy for many years to come..some Americans are screaming at Obama not to put their grand children into debt. If Obama didn't do what he did, we will probably be seeing 15-20% unemployment and Americans will be screaming anyway. Little can be done in 1 year for a problem that was created over 3 decades.

While the global economy appears to be growing looking at numbers and stock markets have surged from the March 2009 lows, you have to be mindful of the 2 alternate futures being played out. Greece was just a sample of what can come. Marc Faber said warned not to confuse the asset reflation with sustainable recovery. Print enough money and everything from Gold, equities, oil to paintings start to move up. There is little sign that economic growth has reached some kind of "escape velocity" to overcome the mountain of debt built up over the years. If this economy lose momentum, we will be in for tough years ahead.


“Singapore’s future over the next five to 10 years is an 'optimistic' one, and and the tourism sector will reflect that,” - MM Lee, dinner at Tanjong Pagar, 18 Feb 2010.


Our most famous economic forecaster, the one who said we were in a 'Golden Period' in 2007 is now saying things will be good for the next 5 to 10 years. Maybe that explains GIC's strategy to invest billions in ANA's hotel chain[Link] after losing hundreds of millions in Stuyvesant Town[Link]. Even if one has faith that 10 years will be good, should there be some contigency planning? Given that we have been through 2 crisis and 3 recessions in the past 10 years, aren't there lessons learnt about the global economy we live in? Investing our reserves in risky assets that will be hit badly during crisis is not a good idea - when we need our reserves most, they will be stuck in assets that have fallen sharply in value. Once our economy showed the 1st signs of recovery, the govt starts to go back to its old habit - school fees have been increased[Link], ERP charges hike up, housing costs up etc ....actions that passes the financial risk to Singaporean households who have to strain their balance sheet to meet these hikes. This type of perma-growth assumptions will make us more vulnerable in future crisis e.g. families taking up 30 yr mortgages to pay for public housing. In the ESC (Economic Strategy Committe) report there is no discussion on stabilisers that will help ordinary Singaporeans in the next recession/crisis e.g. unemployment issurance. It is a strategy on one track i.e.how we can keep growing the economy. The moment we discover Obama's plan going wrong, you can throw the whole ESC report into the dustbin because our export led globalised economy cannot escape from the unscathed when the US economy tanks.

60 comments:

Anonymous said...

Do not worry. No matter how bad unemployment in America, their middle class decimated and what not, the US will still be a peaceful democracy and the US dollar will still be a international currency even if US is already bankrupt. Obama will complete his term or may even win another term. If Bush Jr could, why not Obama?

Same thing for Singapore. No matter what happened in America or the world economy, life will go on peacefully here. We even have property prices, including HDB going sky high (golden age for property owners!)in the worst recession last year. How do you explain that?

That's why LKY is optimistic about the future and rightly so. Because not only will things be peaceful but politically stable as well. What more optimistic can a govt want?

Anonymous said...

Hi where did you get the graphs from? online? interested to read more.

Aurvandil said...

If you look at the recent flip flops from the top PAP leadership, you will realise that the PAP is actually quite clueless as to where to go from here.

MM Lee summed it up best when he stated that the Singapore economy had been growing mainly by importing foreign labour. As long as the FT policy could be allowed to continue, Singapore's GDP growth could defy gravity. If you cut back on our intake of FT, then GDP growth will fall.

The recent infatuation with productivity seems surreal. Somehow, older Singaporeans are going to go back to school, get re-trained and emerge more productive. Singaporean employers who have been happily gorging on cheap foreign labour are suppoed to recognise this improved productivty and raise the pay of Singaporean workers.

If that will happen, then pigs will also fly.

It looks like that there isn't a single honest PAP Minister/MP who is brave enough to stand up and tell Singaporeans the truth of what the next 5 to 10 years will really be like.

I am not a politican so I shall call it as it is. The next 5 to 10 years will be an extremely painful and bitter period for Singaporeans.

Externally, we have the IT revolution which will continue to remake the global economic landscape. India and China will rise to become the next super powers of the world.

Internally, we have to deal with the policy failures of the past 5 years. The current housing bubble will burst and we will see a large number of people suffering from large paper losses and debt for the rest of their lives. Even if we do a u-turn on the FT policy, the FT already in Singapore will continue to depress wages and displace Singaporeans from their jobs.

Instead of fancy politcal half-truths like "productivity improvement" or "grow the external wing", we should be thinking of how we can best help Singaporeans transit over this difficult period.

Anonymous said...

The housing price will only go up, will not come down one.
The price is control by hdb and resale market index to push up the price. Buy now before it increase more.

Anonymous said...

The housing price will come down to reasonable prices when the PAP and their cronies are booted out, as they are the ones controlling the market prices in reality.

Vote the PAP out before prices rise further and further !!

Anonymous said...

I thought 2009 was already a very difficult year.

Yet stock market up, property prices up, COE up and everywhere things looked peaceful and prosperous.

So can the future be more difficult and worse than 2009?

It should be at least the same or even better than 2009 if 2009 isconsidered the worst. So how can one not be optimistic about the future?

Anonymous said...

Haha, if the hdb price come down, I do see how it benefit first time flat owners, which majority are likely to be middle class group buying from HDB.

Those buying from resale market are the one with more cold hard cash or with more risk appetite, they will laugh more if the pricing come down.

Who will want pricing to come down, if you are cash rich, you should buy potong ice cream and it will reward you well when time to come.

Anonymous said...

To 21/2/10 18:00

If those 1st time owners sell their hdb flats, they will still need to buy from the current re-sale market, and pay the same sky high prices they got from selling theirs. So no gain in reality. Unless they go and live in the jubgles in Malaysia !!! LOL !!!

Anonymous said...

PAP is well known for copying other country policy blindly.

Not surprised that they never considered the consequences that can result from such ill conceived policy too.

Anonymous said...

To 21/2/10 18:14

actually, I type wrongly, my Bad.
it shall be..

...if the hdb price come down, I don't see how it benefit first time flat owners, which majority are likely to be middle class group buying from HDB.

Those buying from resale market are the one with more cold hard cash or with more risk appetite, they will laugh more if the pricing come down.

Who will want pricing to come down, if you are cash rich, you should buy potong ice cream and it will reward you well when time to come.

Anonymous said...

The younger and new generation of Singaporeans will want the hdb prices to come down, as it is hard for them to afford a hdb flat with the current depressed wages and high cost of living and competition from the FTs.

High prices cannot keep on rising without proportional increase in wages in the long run, it is a bubble and will burst eventually.

So don't be deceived by the rising hdb prices that you will gain. Unless you sell it and move out of Singapore to a 3rd world country.

Anonymous said...

those who think they can afford will buy, being younger doesn't make you less smarter.

why will the gov risk bring down the hdb price and let the whole country swear at them?

Anonymous said...

Mr Lucky

Wow.
I admire your fanatical loyalty to Obama.
I guess its like religion.
Having said that, I agree we will miss him when President Palin takes over.

So its dark days ahead.
What do you propose?
Learn farming?

Anonymous said...

Anon 18:17,

How true! I'm working overseas and I can see that Singapore copies a large portion of the Japanese framework (nation building), the States (healthcare and finance) and Australia (education).

Anonymous said...

The current decade would see a transition of single superpower (US) into multi-polar world of Asia, US and Europe, and the super growth prompted by US domineering policy via easy money from 1980s until recently would be passe, and it means that we in for a slower growth since we have 3 trains now instead of one super train, and they are not pulling together in the same direction, and worst we must avoid them colliding together.

However, the doomsday scenario of debt crisis to me is far-fetched, it is just all of us would have to suffer the pain together now, i.e. we have to wait for the continued deleveraging of US companies and individuals to finish its full course, and also the evolving of middle-class in China, India and the newly industrialised economies to boost consumption.

So it is adjustment along the way, with those aged 40s and above fearing loss of jobs, 30s fretting abt raising a family and buying property, and those 20s discover that starting salaries are not as high as before. All have to work very hard.

Imagine if you may, a global winter time and it is prudent to look after yourself and love ones and don't get chilled to death.

ps. Lucky, it shd be 2 recessions (dot-com and global financial) instead of 3 in the last ten years.

Anonymous said...

Personally I think people should examine the intellect and resume of LHL and his current generation of scholar buddies/ministers. All are schooled in Laissez-faire "Friedmann-esque" economics.

When I first heard LHL's use of the term "trickle down economics" - a term that is borrowed from Reagonomics or supply-side economics - during budget speech several years ago, I know majority of Singaporean workers will face, and did face, hard times ahead.

Anonymous said...

when MM Lee say 5 to 10 years, probably he is trying to forecasting his time. Some clueless still dont know there are greater ruthless sharks waiting for the tiny red dot. Lol!!!

Anonymous said...

LKY n his papists are very good contrarian indicators. When they make such rosy predictions, be prepared to see the worst.
Either we have a run away inflation or a double deep which will drag the world economy into a long recession like the one the Japanese went thru. We could also have both. Swinging from one extreme to the other. These are very uncertain times. LKY and Tony Tan just about confirmed that this is what is in store for us.
Housing will continue to escalate due to severe shortages. Rental will stay firm and if the enbloc craz starts again, supply will decline as old are demolised and the replacements take time to build. However the bubble will eventually burst and Singapore economy will stagnate for a long time. We are very close to the limits of our growth. The way forward is innovations but our government and society are not ready for it. Unless drastic changes are made to our society, the future is bleak. The youngs are advised to venture beyond the shores of Singapore. Go when it is still open. The gates are closing fast.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anon 20:21,

We had 3 recessions. Much of these have been downplayed by Channel News Asia and Straits Times. You can get the much needed information from other literature. Here's from the horse's mouth, the Finance Minister himself, Mr Tharman.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNnPwT-l91M&feature=channel

Time: [5:18 to 5:23]

Also, from last May 2009, Tharman cited an optimistic projection of 12 months. This means that it runs through this year.

Cheers!

Anonymous said...

You guys should know that the situation is really that bad. NTU and NUS has frozen the tuition fee loan repayments of their graduates from April 2009 to May 2010. I should know 'cos I'm payin' them.

Anonymous said...

Oh No, doom's day. Quick, vote in the oppositions to save us!! LOL

Anonymous said...

how much oppositions want pay? peanuts can save us or not?

Anonymous said...

Ya i know, copy cats have the highest paid jobs. All they have to do is to employ as many advisers and counsels as possible, sit back and throw darts. And oh ya, make predictions, forecasts .. and nice speeches. Forecasting is an enjoyable job really, a niche. No need to worry abt competition at all, just bury them will do. But must read widely. Allow me to make a prediction here, Sg is in a golden era, our growth could double in the coming years provided the foreigners stay so must treat them nice, and china wow it going to overtake US in say... 10 years; by 2020 man, india and china will be so big, it will be the pacific century.... see i have also been reading lah, if you read morgan stanley often enuff your speech can sound better than the economists, no kidding.

Anonymous said...

21/2/10 21:44

Lol!! die cock stand faster

Anonymous said...

Oh,no. Property Market is going to BURST, JUMP SHIP JUMP SHIP

woes unto us, who shall save us?

Anonymous said...

orr..somebody START the talk vulgar. how lucky? shall we start a dirty tokie here? hehe

Anonymous said...

21/2/10 21:47

sooo...your cock big enuff to save us or not? hehe

Anonymous said...

eCOCKnomy: where we are HEADED

get it? LOL

Anonymous said...

Textbooks creatures or blur kings must go to the ground to know wther their guesses are working. When they pile themselves up with figures and stats only, they will begin to realise where they are wrong only after the hurt is too deep.

Anonymous said...

mah head is too big to fit into the condo.

condo price sure burst!

Anonymous said...

I recently had a talk with a young colleague. She is about 28, getting married and earning about $3k a month.

I at first felt sorry for her that she and her fiance are paying close to $400k for her new flat. I thought the housing loan would totally crush this young couple.

Instead, she seemed very happy that the price of her flat has risen to nearly $500k on the resale market, even though she can't sell her flat for the next 5 years.

It is worrying. Before they buy, they all hope the flats remain cheap. But the moment they buy, they all hope the price of flats go up like crazy.

This is the market. Every man for himself. You want to help others, but others won't mind selling you out for a quick profit.

Cao Cao was truly a visionary when he said, "I rather betray the world than let the world betray me."

Everyone out there talk like a saint, but all have the plans to betray each other.

Anonymous said...

I recently had a talk with a young colleague. She is about 28, getting married and earning about $3k a month.

I at first felt sorry for her that she and her fiance are paying close to $400k for her new flat. I thought the housing loan would totally crush this young couple.

Instead, she seemed very happy that the price of her flat has risen to nearly $500k on the resale market, even though she can't sell her flat for the next 5 years.

It is worrying. Before they buy, they all hope the flats remain cheap. But the moment they buy, they all hope the price of flats go up like crazy.

This is the market. Every man for himself. You want to help others, but others won't mind selling you out for a quick profit.

Cao Cao was truly a visionary when he said, "I rather betray the world than let the world betray me."

Everyone out there talk like a saint, but all have the plans to betray each other.

Anonymous said...

21/2/10 21:51
sorry for the use of words, that's how I feel anyway.

Anonymous said...

Textbooks creatures or blur kings must go to the ground to know wther their guesses are working. When they pile themselves up with figures and stats only, they will begin to realise where they are wrong only after the hurt is too deep.

quite true.

Anonymous said...

21/2/10 21:57

if no one starts, no one will have an excuse to start one. just mock politicians if you want. :)

Anonymous said...

i generally agree with all you said, except for one triviality.

lky is not the most famous forecaster in singapore.

he is the most notorious.

Anonymous said...

Anon 21:20,

Please explain further. Many thanks.

Anonymous said...

Anon 21:24 said:

"LKY n his papists are very good contrarian indicators. When they make such rosy predictions, be prepared to see the worst."

How true. That came from observing PAP politics for a good number of years. I have seen how they played wown the asian financial crisis in the late 90s. Some Singaporens did not even know what hit them. When times are bad, always read alternative literatures instead of what is being forced fed by the local media. I learnt this from personal experience. There was a time when we wanted to take a trip to Thailand and my buddies declined to go as they'd read from CNA that the Thais was mobbing Suvarnabhumi International Airport. I decided to go ahead. Lo and behold, I couldn't believe what happened. The riot had died down weeks before I arrived as it was business as usual. Yet, CNA was broadcasting the episodes from its "file" coverage. Also, what intriques me most is that when I was watching the local thai media, there was no mention of the riots at all for the last few weeks. Coincidence, you say? Here's another one. When I was backpacking in Kyoto, I chatted up some Australians and they didn't know about the racial mobbings of Australian indians in the Sydney trains. There was a short mention of it in the australian news but when I got back to Singapore, they played it up! It was an isolated eposide in Sydney where hardly much Australians paid attention to. Albeit CNA paid special attention to it, because race and religious issues are simply NEWSWORTHY here. Politicians here find the race card useful political weaponry for election. So, open your eyes wide when you listen to what the local media or the ministers tell you. It's not truth management, my friends. It's perception management.

Anonymous said...

I share the same sentiment as yr article though If you think like that for too long, you end up a doomsday sayer (insane). We shd just look at Japan n see what debt cycles can lead to. It will be a long painful period ahead (1 generation down the road). I was actually researching how to beat a doomsday scenario? stock up on food/water?

Fievel said...

First of all, Lucky, I think you should delete all the nonsensical comments. It might lead to others thinking they are the internet trolls sent by somebody to lower the standard of this blog.

Second, I refer to
"...Everyone out there talk like a saint, but all have the plans to betray each other."

I think its sad indeed that Singapore does have the above traits. But in a way, it is a trickle-down-effect of how our government think and behave.

Anonymous said...

Debts can kill. US and Europe must learn how to eliminate debt and build reserves otherwise China will takeover them one day.

Amused said...

Anon@21:57 wrote:

"I at first felt sorry for her that she and her fiance are paying close to $400k for her new flat. I thought the housing loan would totally crush this young couple.

Instead, she seemed very happy that the price of her flat has risen to nearly $500k on the resale market, even though she can't sell her flat for the next 5 years."

This is the classic greater fool or pyramid scheme. It is being played out in the US and many part of the world. Is it possible for everyone to have a free lunch?

In the US, the fools at least have the escape clause via bankruptcy. As a result, the banks and taxpayers are now holding the bags.

Will the fools in Singapore have a way out when the going gets tough?

Anonymous said...

A stagnant Singapore economy will coincide with LKY's fear that the pap will lose power in the election after the next.
The pap is really caught in between the devil and the deep blue sea. They don't know how to drive the economy without cheap foreign labours. However cheap foreign labours has caused much anguish and anger in Singaporeans. They are also not prepared to adopt genuine democratic ways which will unleash the free power of innovations and ideas to drive the economy. A more democratic system of election will be detrimental to the pap hold on power.
Really shitty position the papists are in now. Anywonder that LKY has thoughts of calling in the military.

Anonymous said...

Anon 21:24

"Albeit CNA paid special attention to it, because race and religious issues are simply NEWSWORTHY here."

Wonder why CNA kept a news blackout of such incidents that prevails across our border? Afraid of crossing swords with them?

Anonymous said...

This is enlightenment! Im prepared to go for the worst to come and that is why the only luxury I owned is a car and not a house in Singapore. A simple house in JB only. Do all my shopping and stuff in JB so as not to lower my quality of living. I admit this is out flow of cash but so be it and as the article had mentioned clearly, everyone fend for themself. Speaking from a 27 yr old guy.

Ghost said...

Actually Tony Tan isn't wrong. The devil is in the details. Golden Age for Asia because Asia is very big. There has to be some successful countries somewhere in Asia.

Anonymous said...

Blogger Fievel said...

First of all, Lucky, I think you should delete all the nonsensical comments. It might lead to others thinking they are the internet trolls sent by somebody to lower the standard of this blog.



As the readership of local blogs such as this is i suspect 0.01% or less of the total population, i seriously doubt the impact these nonsensical comments will ever make on anything; if you still have any belief your comments here will add to anything, it is about time you come back down to earth. Use your brain.

Anonymous said...

22/2/10 14:01

"Golden Age for Asia"
Too bad the GLCs will only take care of themselves.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Fievel.

"First of all, Lucky, I think you should delete all the nonsensical comments."

But my suggestion to them is since they have so many ideas can start own blog what.

Onlooker said...

anon @ 22/2/10 20:46
But my suggestion to them is since they have so many ideas can start own blog what.

But you see anon,If they start their own blog they cannot guaranteed there will be readers.example? P65 blog perhaps?

>>
PAP is well known for copying other country policy blindly.

Not surprised that they never considered the consequences that can result from such ill conceived policy too.

anon 21/2/10 18:17

Anon 18:17,
>>
How true! I'm working overseas and I can see that Singapore copies a large portion of the Japanese framework (nation building), the States (healthcare and finance) and Australia (education).
21/2/10 20:20
>>
Aurvandil said...
If you look at the recent flip flops from the top PAP leadership, you will realise that the PAP is actually quite clueless as to where to go from here.

Clueless and complacent perhaps.

Anonymous said...

They are so happy now with the spike in tourism numbers and spendings and the I.R.s are not even fully opened yet.

Hey very bad huh? Kopi in the afternoon and see many young chaps and old chaps free and not working.

Anonymous said...

has anybody read the budget in pdf?

i got very angry when i came to this part that said the removal of estate duty necessitated the institution of property tax.

put simply, PAP removes estate duty so that the rich will stay rich for generations to come.

then, to make up for the loss of tax dollars, all singaporeans have to pay property tax!

cruel... cruel... VOTE PROTEST.

Anonymous said...

Cannot really depend on Budget handouts to survive.

You need a good paying job and lots of savings to live a continuous OK life here.

Budget handouts are just one off things especially those top ups and what not.

Without proper welfare system here, one need to help oneself.

Anonymous said...

Yehlah. In Singapore socialism is only meant for the rich and powerful. Pay high high. Income tax low low. Other incentives. Subsidies and direct grants to ride out headwinds. Monopoly. Sure enjoy life what.
The rest must face the full force of capititalist markets so that the top can have socialism. All sorts of compeitions. Work like hell also not enough. Everyday also karna stress from home and work. How to enjoy ?

Anonymous said...

These comments are directed at those who are whimpy enough to complain and not make the hard and necessary changes to improve their lives. This country no longer suitable for healthy living. So pack your bags and struggle a little for a better future in another country such as Australia for isntance. The long term benefits in Australias far outweighs the long term benefits in Singapore. For a number of reasons, we have human rights in Australia. It doesn't exist in Singapore. That's why you guys are struggling to eke a living and probably be hit by cancer in due time. Your CPF is locked by the government. Before I left Singapore, they were debating about delaying the age for CPF payouts. People were upset about it and the idea was scraped. So I thought, until I hear about the backdoor way of locking my CPF. This time, they invented the minimum sum scheme to give the illusion that they are advising me how best I should spent my money. WOW! A 65-year-old-man needs ministers in their 40s and early 50s to advise him how he should use his hard-earned money. He is not mature enough to decide for himself at that age. I don't need taffic jams. I just need a car in a large place with greenery. If you can't use your CPF, you are basically paying taxes. CPF = taxes. The worst part of it all is that the CPF is not enough to get you by in your old age. And now, the government wants you to work in your 60s and 70s. You're not gonna have a decent old age in Singapore. It's take courage to migrate but it takes more courage and psychological pain to stay in that country and take in the shit thrown at you everyday and every year. Your own politicians look down on you. You Singaporeans are just a caged animal, struggling like an economic slave to make the life of leaders more comfortable. You are working so hard to make them richer. Make the difference today.

Anonymous said...

23/2/10 09:19

Is there anyway we can get help? They got to be belovent leaders of us over there right?

Anonymous said...

Anon 09:19

What nonsense talking you? Look, if you'd asked me I would think you are pathetic. You sounded like a loser, that's my opinion. I am staying, and the rest of us, not becos we like the policies any better but becos it is our birthrights; this is home. You have made your pessimistic views clear, those were your own calls and for whatever you may have conjured as reason or excuse, you are now leading a new life in a new place with your new found "wisdom" (?). You have quitted. So good luck and bye.

PS: As it seems like you are in the wisecracks school of tots more than reasoning, i will just leave it at that. Hope you got the point, outsider.

Anonymous said...

Hello...23/2/10 13:40

who is stopping you?

Anonymous said...

The US is the Godfather of SIN and its' children in SIN will be assured of political asylum and protection should the heat be too hot for them(SIN Leaders) here.
As there is very likelihood of this tiny dot sinking soon, the Leaders are in dire need of protections from the Godfather.
Fattening their incomes is the most pragmatic measure to prepare for their escapes. They are a foxy bunch that cares only about themselves and their offsprings. Who are we the citizens to them ????

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Here, I do not really imagine it is likely to have effect.