Sunday, August 30, 2015

Population growth is NOT the real mother of problems

The mad and frentic population growth impacts Singapore peasants from both tangible and intangible perspective. It strains all our infrastructure, shrinking all our public space, inflates cost of living, destroys our social fabrics, dilute our national identity, impacts the sense of security and the list can go on and on.

Therefore, we tend to believe that it is the main culprit for all our current woes. But when delved deeper, there is this underlying philosophy that connects the whole string of problems that have been persistently impacting the peasants. 

Even without population growth, all other existing issues will remain if the underlying cause is not addressed. We can freeze population growth but prices of public housing can still soar through the manipulation of the supply of public flats. For eg, supply of BTOs were eventually rammed up after 2011 in response of population growth but that fails to bring down the prices of new BTOs. 

How else then, when supply has satisfied demand, to soften the prices? And who actually controls the price? As such, population growth is not the cause of high housing prices. Also, housing prices have been an issue as early as the late 90s but it was curbed by the Asian Financial Crisis.

Therefore, population growth is a problem itself. It does not create existing issues such as stagnant wages/fall in real income, high living costs, escalating heathcare costs, unfair job competition, deteriorating public transport etc but merely exacerbates the extent of the whole range of issues.  (However, I do note that population growth does cause new forms of crime.)

What population growth does, is to bring our problems to their back-breaking points earlier than they should.

For eg, the 2011 massive train broke down. Prolonged period of under-maintenance will inevitably shorten the lifespan of both our trains and train system even in the absence of a growing ridership. Massive breakdown is just a matter of time. 

The Art of Monetizing Everything

If we were to look at all our current issues, be it population growth or healthcare affordability, they share the same underlying philosophy--absolute obsession with money. For it is this single philosophy that frames all our aristocratic policies to achieve the aim of profit making from the peasants.

Vivian says it best. To him, there are only two type of people who will serve at zero cost – the wealthy or the corrupt. Plain and simple, for a person like him, money is the sole motivation for everything he does and every breath he draws.

We need money to enable the basics of life. However, there is a huge difference between the means and the end. 
When aristocrats are driven by profit-making movitation across our public housing, public transport, healthcare, living costs, workers’ stagnant wages....., the peasants will be sacrifced. 

We should not be surprised that public housing meant for housing the masses at an affordable price deviated into a profit-making mechanism; public transport deviated from delivering efficient transport services to lucrative retail business; our healthcare is not about patients but breakeven?

It is all about--the pursuit of more profits and even more profits.

Population growth

Many others had mentioned about the true intent of this 6.9 million human target. It has nothing to do with our aging population in truth but the economics. 

Population growth brings direct lucrative profits in the forms of cheaper labour for businesses (a check on the salaries of the peasants too), demand on housing needs for developers, increase consumption for retails, upward pressure on residential rents (to justify higher property tax) and commercial rents which both benefit the government coffers and….many more which the PWP did not tell you.

Population growth is a short cut money-making mechansim to help boost Hsien Loong’s GDP pride. Without GDP, he is nothing.

Housing.Public transport.Healthcare.

The obsession of money seeps through every single vein of our aristocrats. You see them peering at all matters on earth through their money-tinted glasses. Homes, family bonds, integrity, aspirations can be valued in dollars and cents. 

Money-obsession will motivate our aristocrats to produce innovative means to milk money. Think of COE. It is the only kind in the world.

Public Housing.  From the moment when our homes can be monetized in the form of asset enhancement, we have stopped building a nation. If your home is created for the purpose to be traded for profits, then one needs no home. There isn't any need for a nation either. For nation can be traded for profits too.

A public housing scheme targeted to make HDB flats accessible to the general public at a minimum rate has been infested by all kinds of profit-making notions, such as including the “cost” of land, calculated at market price, into the cost of building public housing. Pegging our PUBLIC housing pricing to market rates until this was changed in recent years. Effectively, we have a public housing with market price. It is about profit-making, not about the provisions of affordable housing for our peasants. 

Public transport. Everybody knows too well of the story of our beloved MRT system. Private companies exist for the sole purpose of making profits. Inevitably. It is not SMRT's issue but rather why was SMRT allowed to act in this manner? And SMRT's largest shareholder is our Temasek Holdings. 

Surely anyone with eyes can see that the MRT system had been far more reliable during the era of pre-privatised days than the privatised version. Since that woman took over SMRT, our public-funded train system had deviated into retail business and a profitable work-place for former generals.

Healthcare. Hsien Loong mentioned the need for Medishield Life to breakeven. He denotes our sickly and elderly in dollars and cents. In his twisted aristocratic mind, defence budget, Gardens by the Bay, SG 50 celebrations need no breakeven.

Then we have the Khaw Boon Wan’s blatant advice of sendiing our elderlies to JB for cheaper home care.

If we are so short of fund to provide for a genuine low-cost healthcare, then why built an unsustainable project such as Gardens by the Bay? The revenue it generates cannot cover the cost of maintenance.

We have public funds to prop up the vanity project but holds back funding for our sick and elderly? Does the Gardens mean more for Hsien Loong than our sick and elderly? “With you, for you, for Singapore” sounds hollow at this juncture.

Many bloggers before me had pointed out the inadequate spending on our healthcare as a developed nation. We even fall behind countries like China when we boosted about our near-the-top GDP per capita.

If that is not enough, CPF also profits from Medishield premiums. For every $1 of premium that CPF collects, it only pays out $0.43 on the average and the rest will be profits. 

Education. Calculative is the word. The calibre of our students are measured in a narrow-minded manner that determines the amount of resources that they deserve. The “thick ones”, whatever that means, should resign themselves to the fate of low-status manual workers. That is how a human being is stripped off its meaning in the eyes of our aristocrats. They claim that we have limited resources and precisely so, why are we reserving a growing size of our limited resources for foreigners?

Capital Gains and Estate Duty

For a money-obsessed mind of our aristocrats, it came as a surprise that there is no capital gains tax levied on the sales of stocks, bonds, precious metals and property, especially when we have such hot real estate that requires 10 rounds of cooling measure to rein in the prices. 

Estate duty which was mysteriously removed in 2008? Hsien Loong’s mama fell into a coma in the same year.

Singapore is loaded with the super wealthy beings. It doesn't make sense not to collect more money from the growing rich. The aristocrat resorts to double taxing the peasants on our utilities to make every cent counts--GST was levied on our water conservation tax but would be generous enough to leave inheritance value untouched?

For afterall, estate duty and capital gains tax will only affect those wealthy beings, including our natural aristocrats. Who will stand to benefit from the absence of such taxes? Not the peasants definitely, who are already struggling to pay off their PUBLIC housing.  

Aristocrats' dull talents

黔驴技穷(qián lǘ zhī jì)。Our aristocrats likened to the Guizhou donkey which has exhausted all his tricks in the face of a tiger. 

Plain to see, our aritocrats are only interested in fleecing the peasants for every cent they can off us but not their wealthy friends. Which in other words, it is the poor peasants who are propping up these expensive aristocrats with the little money that we have and providing them with the "profits" that they revel in. 

They are unable to create a profitable local economy without profiteering from the peasants. Like the Guizhou donkey. No more tricks to play. Their talents are even more pathetic when it comes to profits-making/investments in the real world beyond our country.  

The essence is, our aristocrats cannot live their aristocrat lives without the peasants! In order to make even more profits, they can only fleece more from the peasants. By holding back the peasants' own CPF money, increasing taxes for them, increasing the price of all necessities which the peasants will need.

Population growth is an issue itself. We have to stop the madness of population growth. But the bigger monster is our aristocrats' money-mindset--this  is the "mother" of all problems. Deep-rooted in our system and are rotting our healthy system. The aristocrats will not relinquish the easy lives that they have been enjoying. 

These cheapskate aristocrats got to be removed. Else the peasants will not see the daylight at the end of the tunnel. 

When the current level of profits satisfy the aristocrats no more, rest assured that they will produce new efficient ways to harnest more profits from the pockets of the peasants.