I eats, shoots & leaves
Drowning themselves with the iPhone and paper gain in their HDB price appreciation can only do that much. End of the day, it is still back to bread and butter and quality of life.
Singapore is a rich country, unfortunately it became so rich because it sucks the wealth of an average citizen and aggregates it into a few investment vehicles whose main objectives is to grow its portfolio.
If Singapore is purely a public listed entity on the stock exchange than I am sure most of its shareholders are very happy.
Unfortunately Singapore is firstly a country and we are talking about citizens who make a living in this country, who voted and trusted the government to make good decisions that balances a basket of objectives - social, economic and political.
We can see now that the government's overriding objective - growing its portfolio and monetizing every citizen is causing hardship, widening income inequality, etc.
For those of us who see this happening, the least we could do is to share this dark reality, explain that as citizens, we have options to cause a change and pray that our future leaders have the wisdom, compassion to empathize with the average citizen.
A government is about representation for the people making good decisions for its people.
A government that consist of certain echelon of the population, making decisions purely to grow its wealth is at best a capitalistic enterprise more suited in the ruthless financial marketplace.
Who do we want to represent the citizens of Singapore ?
That is why today everybody is taking home a piece of cake and happy and grateful about it.
Of course some cakes will have more toppings and some people will only bring home a cheese cake.
But nobody is hungry.
IMF list 2013 is interesting because it depends on what basis they drew up the ranking.
Statistics and ranking are always a matter of what one wants to measure and/or give higher weightage to.
And thus statistical result can be skewed in one way or another.
8. Hong Kong
Some random observations:
• Qatar is notorious for ill treatment of foreign manual labour workers. Qatar won the right to host 2022 football world cup in a desert country. Hilarious big talk about airconditioning the whole football stadiums. To win the bid Qatar assured that it would build high-tech air-conditioned stadiums to keep them cooler. But it is an unsustainable and idiotic plan.
• Luxembourg - rich and keeping low profile. investment management centre. Banking secrecy.
• Brunei dependence on oil and gas. In about 20+ years Brunei's oil reserves are expected to run out. In about 30 years natural-gas will be depleted. Then what? Separately, the Kingdom announced going to impose Shariah law.
• UAE - also notorious for ill treatment of foreign manual labour workers. One of the 7 emirates, Dubai got conned into a senseless building spree to feed the ego of the ruler. World's tallest building (in the end have to be paid for by another emirate) and silly real estate purposely built into the sea in the shape of an oil palm, when they got lots of land.
• Norway - rich and keeping a low profile.
• USA - at #7 in the list below Singapore? That is a joke. USA is the world's largest economy and the sole super power. USA has the most billionaires and the most millionaires in the world. Just think of how much it costs to operate their 10 active (+ 3 under construction) aircraft carriers for 1 day. Although we have our own capable SAF, Singapore depends on USA military protection in the Pacific region.
• Hong Kong - not a country but a SAR and part of PRC. Very lucky because they do not have to worry about defense since PRC will look after that. Unfortunately a handful of mega rich developers have too much power, at the expense of the rest of Hong Kong people. Singapore almost learned their mickey mouse shoe box condominium units bad example but eventually came to our senses and realised how inhumane it was.
• Switzerland - rich and keeping a low profile. Definitely above Singapore in wealth ranking.
• Netherlands (Holland) - rich and keeping a low profile. Definitely above Singapore in wealth ranking.
Japan which is somehow not included in the list, has the 2nd most number of millionaire households.
Last edited by ricohflex; 17th November 2013 at 12:45 PM.
I eats, shoots & leaves
IMF list is based on total wealth divided by population. It does not take into account the income distribution and inequality and living standard.
If you notice, a substantial part of our national wealth lies mostly with only a few institutions and couple of families.
If you use the cake analogy, the cake is growing bigger each year, but the majority of people's share is stagnant or shrinking.
We frequently read from mainstream media that in a growing economy, everyone benefits. is that so? Did the poorest and middle class really benefit ?
Have we verified these statements with independent sources?
if we are keen to buy the newest EM1 or GX7, do we read the review at Olympus or Panasonic website or look for an independent source ????
Just like a company's PR, the mainstream media promotes it's own objectives and not it's role to report the whole truth.
So, if IMF draws up a ranking that takes into consideration the bottom 80% wealth of a countries population, I am pretty sure Singapore 's ranking will not be at the top, more likely will be around the middle together with countries like - Malaysia, Romania, Czech Republic and definitely way below Switzerland, Japan, Korea, HongKong etc
What type of list will put Singapore at the top?
Total wealth of top 10 institution/families
% of foreigners
% of foreigners converter to citizens
% of foreigners converter to citizens voted for the government
% of foreigners converted to citizens and profited from public housing
% of foreigners given citizenship to play for adopted country in sports and who has gone home to its birth country after enjoying a payout
.....and some others ?
Last edited by ed9119; 17th November 2013 at 03:53 PM.
shaddap and just shoot .... up close
drawing a poverty line would help the poorest as more financial aid would be channel to them.
on one hand we have SWF like TH and GIC stashing our billions away and on the other hand, we have the poorest who cannot be defined.
When we can't define the poorest, we do not acknowledge explicitly its existence and so don't need to channel any financial aid to them.
it is like seeing beggars on the street and walking pass them because I am telling myself these beggars are actually rich and begging is only their hobby.
World Bank's $1.50 a day is not accurate because there are so many different countries, each with their own cost of living.
That is quite different from saying that a theoretical poverty line is irrelevant.
If you are starving and don't get any help for a long time, you will be dead (not just dead poor).
Local charities do try to help. There are several, of which 2 examples are Central Sikh Temple and Singapore Buddhist Lodge at Kim Yam Road have free vegetarian meals for the poor. No questions asked.
Last edited by ricohflex; 17th November 2013 at 10:26 PM.