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High GDP, Low purchasing power

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  • Rock^Star's Avatar
    11,142 posts since Jul '05
    • UBS study: Comparing Singapore in 2006 and 2010

      January 5th, 2011 | Author: Your Correspondent

      The PAP’s slogan for the last general election is ‘Staying together, Moving ahead’. More than four years later, has it fulfilled its electoral pledges to Singaporeans?

      In his New Year day message, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong proclaimed to Singaporeans that the Singapore economy has grown by 14.7 percent last year, but have ordinary Singaporeans benefitted from the stellar growth?

      Let us now examine and compare three key economic indices of Singapore which are often ignored by PAP leaders in 2006 and 2010 based on the authoritative study ‘Price and Earnings’, done by international bank UBS which can be downloaded here.

      1. Wage levels:

      In 2006, Singapore has a wage index (net) of 38.9 which is higher than Hong Kong (34.9). It declined to only 35.0 in 2010 while Hong Kong has surpassed us at 43.9.

      Despite the robust growth of the Singapore economy, the real wages of Singaporeans after accounting for inflation have actually declined.

      The UBS findings commensurate with that of the Manpower Ministry which showed a gradual decline in the average monthly wages of Singaporeans in 2010 while median monthly wages remained stagnant at $2,500, not too far off from 10 years ago.

      2. Domestic purchasing power:

      This is a more accurate indicator of the ‘wealth’ of citizens as it also measures our disposable income. Many Singaporeans are ‘asset rich’ because of their HDB flats, but are ‘cash poor’ after spending the bulk of their salaries on housing loans and other living essentials, thereby leaving little spare cash in their hands.

      In 2006, Singapore has a domestic purchasing power of 50.8 (by hourly income) which is less than half of Zurich (115.6). It decreased to a mere 38.8 in 2010 while Zurich’ remained stable at 110.

      Though Singapore is purportedly a First World nation, the low domestic purchasing power of Singaporeans put it along the likes of Doha (Qatar), Warsaw (Poland) and Bratislava (Slovakia), far below the other first world cities in Asia such as Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei and Hong Kong.

      To add insult to the injury, Malaysians living in Kuala Lumpur have higher domestic purchasing power than Singaporeans in both years though our diplomats had decried them as being governed by ‘incompetent’ politicians!

      3. Cost of living:

      While the wages and domestic purchasing power of Singaporeans have declined under PAP rule in the last four years, the cost of living has sky-rocketed.

      In 2006, Singapore is ranked the 32th most expensive city in the world after Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo in Asia. Its ranking shot up to 11th in 2010 and Singapore is now the second most expensive city in Asia after Tokyo.

      The result is hardly surprising given the annual inflation rate of 5 percent or more and the shocking increase in prices of resale HDB flats by more than 50 percent since 2007.

      Conclusion

      In the last four years, Singaporeans are earning less and have less disposable income while the cost of living has continued to rise relentlessly. Is life getting better under PAP rule? Have they managed the economy well? Do the PAP ministers deserve their out of the world salaries?

      You may ask: how is it possible to have such impressive GDP growth figures and yet Singaporeans are not earning more and having higher domestic purchasing power? Why do other countries have lower growth than Singapore and their citizens have higher wages and spending power?

      There is no secret to Singapore’s GDP growth. In fact, it is brainless. Singapore’s GDP growth in the last few years is fueled largely by the open-door immigration policies of the PAP regime which has allowed a rapid influx of foreigners into Singapore within a short period of time leading directly to a burst in economic activity, e.g. demand for services, thereby translating directly to higher GDP figures as GDP is merely a measure of the total economic output of a country.

      Furthermore, the easy inflow of cheap foreign workers has depressed the wages of Singapore workers while contributing to the higher cost of living, especially housing given the small size of the island.

      If other First World countries adopt the PAP’s immigration policies and open their doors to foreigners, they will surely have higher GDP figures than Singapore! However they cannot do so because their people will take to the streets and protest, but not in Singapore where the PAP regime enjoys absolute power and is able to do anything as it pleases without fear of any political repercussions.

      Judging from PM Lee’s New Year day message, it is pretty obvious that the PAP has run out of ideas to take Singapore forward because of its perennial obsession with ‘GDP’.

      Singapore cannot depend on cheap foreign workers indefinitely to boost its GDP growth artificially. We can never compete in terms of cost with our neighbors and it’s only a matter of time before their cheap workforce become more educated, well-trained and attractive to foreign investors after which we will lose our competitive edge.

      We have to nurture our own local talents and develop our moribund SME sector so that we can become a net exporter of technology, products and services like South Korea which is now the 7th largest exporter in the world.

      Unfortunately, creativity, entrepreneurship and innovation cannot be taught in schools. They can only survive and thrive in an environment that foster independent thinking which is severely lacking under our repressive political system. When you are not even allowed to question, challenge and criticize, can you be creative?

      Will the PAP sacrifice its own partisan interests for the greater good of the nation?

      One thing for sure, it has definitely fulfilled its election pledge of 2006 in a way: – The PAP ministers, MPs and their top civil servants have moved far ahead with their obscene wages, leaving the rest of us together behind to be plagued by low wages, low spending power and high cost of living.

      .

      Alan Au

      Source: Temasek Review

  • As romanista2001's Avatar
    1,859 posts since Jan '10
    • even when growth figures are not bullshitted..............after you deduct inflation .........any increase in VAT..........inevitable population growth...........

       

      there's hardly ever any growth................

       

      long-time puppet Goh Choke Tong last time say S'pore at Swiss living standards..........TOTAL BULLSHIT.......

       

      the truth is that we're not even 75% of the Swiss...........more like 50% only...........

       

      ###   a UPS delivery driver in US can make up to USD6000 a month...............US average pay is about USD48000................over here leh ??????

  • DailyFreeGames.com's Avatar
    2,930 posts since Nov '05
  • Junyang700's Avatar
    8,041 posts since Feb '08
    • If you had walked through Orchard Road last Christmas and new years eve/day... you would have noticed a lot of shoppers... but they are just window shopping... empty hands.... and even as they board buses home, their hands are practically empty.

      This is in contrast with years back when you can see everyone holding at least 2-3 shopping bags on hand.... with some even buying till the extent they cant carry it home..

  • Rock^Star's Avatar
    11,142 posts since Jul '05
  • Junyang700's Avatar
    8,041 posts since Feb '08
    • Originally posted by Rock^Star:

      that's a keen informal observation....a sign of the spending power.

      Yup. Its better than looking blindly at statistics.

  • As romanista2001's Avatar
    1,859 posts since Jan '10
    • PAP top dogs really think S'poreans so stupid meh ?????

       

      well..........most are dumb enough to believe them !

  • sbst275's Avatar
    113,395 posts since Jun '04
    • Originally posted by Junyang700:

      If you had walked through Orchard Road last Christmas and new years eve/day... you would have noticed a lot of shoppers... but they are just window shopping... empty hands.... and even as they board buses home, their hands are practically empty.

      This is in contrast with years back when you can see everyone holding at least 2-3 shopping bags on hand.... with some even buying till the extent they cant carry it home..


      it's always been

      but e recent yrs ever since 2008 has been in for high inflation rate.

      might as well spend less, save a little more icon_lol.gif

  • Rock^Star's Avatar
    11,142 posts since Jul '05
    • Temasek Review has just posted a few articles on how sgporeans' debt to income ratio is one of the highest in the world....thanks but no thanks to HDB loans.

      How many of you newly weds have HDB loans more than $300,000. I bet you it's 99.9%.

  • maxsee's Avatar
    947 posts since Jul '04
  • Rock^Star's Avatar
    11,142 posts since Jul '05
    • Originally posted by maxsee:

      No loan...my house fully paid for...><"

      newly weds dude, you're not included.

  • angel7030's Avatar
    30,628 posts since Jul '07
    • Originally posted by maxsee:

      No loan...my house fully paid for...><"


      me too, seaview at ECP

    • Originally posted by sbst275:


      it's always been

      but e recent yrs ever since 2008 has been in for high inflation rate.

      might as well spend less, save a little more icon_lol.gif


      ya, save in banks and let them invest to make more from your saving...go and invest lah, so many with good dividends, save for what?? those pathetic 1 to 2% FD is going nowhere in comparing to future inflation

    • Originally posted by As romanista2001:

      even when growth figures are not bullshitted..............after you deduct inflation .........any increase in VAT..........inevitable population growth...........

       

      there's hardly ever any growth................

       

      long-time puppet Goh Choke Tong last time say S'pore at Swiss living standards..........TOTAL BULLSHIT.......

       

      the truth is that we're not even 75% of the Swiss...........more like 50% only...........

       

      ###   a UPS delivery driver in US can make up to USD6000 a month...............US average pay is about USD48000................over here leh ??????

      Instead we end up with bangala, chinese rural village and south indian chennai standard...

       

      no wonder USA jobless still so high, driver get 6k...omg!

  • deathmaster's Avatar
    1,829 posts since Sep '07
    • lol. they having been cooking up alot of propaganda lately, stating 15% growth in 2010.

      strange, i don't see the trickle down effect where my pay also enjoys a 15% growth leh.

    • Originally posted by angel7030:


      me too, seaview at ECP

      you are one of those who live in the tents har?

  • angel7030's Avatar
    30,628 posts since Jul '07
    • why not, seaview mah, free usage of toilet, water, lamp, and sometime free fishes too. My rental bicycle shop just around the corner.

  • DailyFreeGames.com's Avatar
    2,930 posts since Nov '05
    • You all lose me lah… I got a home in almost every HDB building…1st floor void deck… .

  • Junyang700's Avatar
    8,041 posts since Feb '08
    • Originally posted by sbst275:


      it's always been

      but e recent yrs ever since 2008 has been in for high inflation rate.

      might as well spend less, save a little more icon_lol.gif

      huh?? your theory wrong liao.... the money you saved is gone with inflation. the banks' mediocore interest rates will surely kill you in no time.

      Probably some investment with the savings will help. (But of course investments come with risk.)

    • Originally posted by angel7030:

      why not, seaview mah, free usage of toilet, water, lamp, and sometime free fishes too. My rental bicycle shop just around the corner.

      Recently more and more people living at East Coast Park.

      I went to East Coast Park few months back and saw more than an unusual number of tents... and they are set up in such a setting that it looks more like a permanent fixture...

      Its one whole stretch of tents neatly lined up, just like our HDB flats.

  • sbst275's Avatar
    113,395 posts since Jun '04
    • Originally posted by Junyang700:

      huh?? your theory wrong liao.... the money you saved is gone with inflation. the banks' mediocore interest rates will surely kill you in no time.

      Probably some investment with the savings will help. (But of course investments come with risk.)


      you can use less items you dun essentially need for survival i.e. less usage of aircon.

  • angel7030's Avatar
    30,628 posts since Jul '07
    • Originally posted by Junyang700:

      Recently more and more people living at East Coast Park.

      I went to East Coast Park few months back and saw more than an unusual number of tents... and they are set up in such a setting that it looks more like a permanent fixture...

      Its one whole stretch of tents neatly lined up, just like our HDB flats.


      Better than HDB flat, the tentnants there are all very warm peoples, help each other out, share foods and water,..unlike HDB flat, all concrete and wall, once go to a fren's flat, go in only all rectangle shape, make you feel like as tho you are a square block head...and the door will close shut and lock, i notice there is also very less or completely no interaction among neighbourhood, a very poor community there. To me, HDB flat are nothing but a place to sleep at nite, not for living and certainly, for enjoyment. Look out only, either opposite flat or car park or road or a plot of unnatural garden...yak!

  • deathmaster's Avatar
    1,829 posts since Sep '07
  • angel7030's Avatar
    30,628 posts since Jul '07
    • why not, we got no storm, tsunamis, typhoon.. why need to built hot concrete flats,...but then if all built tents, HDB may collapse leh...then Mr Mah...how?

  • Asromanista2001's Avatar
    3,957 posts since May '10
    • to need to talk so much and complain so much.............you all know what to do.........

       

      spread the word and reasons to everyone you know why voting for PAP is most perilous to your lives.............as well as for your kids too............

       

      vote for PAP is same as driving off the cliff.............only a matter of time

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