Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Singapore Economy - Ruined by bad policy?

The firm ISES conducted the survey did not identify the root cause and just conveniently attribute the poor results to labour crunch and high expectation.

Some key poor results:
F&B - 10.5% down
Hotel - 10.4% down
Tourism - 7.3% down


I have seen many new inexperienced startups follow this cycle, Success, Scale -- FAIL

And I disagree with many of the Government policies in Singapore because it seems to be hastily constructed, and much focused solely on economic growth, above all else.

The new laws seem to favor the rich. No Estate Taxes, No Capital Gains tax, etc. Yet there is GST - A flat 7% tax on everything -- even on necessities such as food and clothes. 

I don't understand how attracting billionaires to Singapore who are no interested in paying taxes beneficial to Singapore, if all they do is to buy properties and speculate. 


When ministers who are paid millions hold shares in REITS, and directorships on large government linked companies providing public services, there seemed to be a conflict of interest between serving the public and serving the shareholders. 

There is something really wrong when people speculate in HDB flats, HDB retail stores, coffee shops where they are sold off over millions of dollars. Money does not come from voids and someone paid for this -- THE OTHER SINGAPOREANS.

When rents of small stalls in a coffee shop can exceed $8k, then the poor hawker has to pay about $300 a day just to cover rents, electricity and gas. All businesses need to be profitable and if the hawker sells 600 bowls of food, then the consumer is paying $0.50 towards rent. I question the validity of the high rent and as everything is imported and market rents keep going up as they government keep "upgrading" Cooking for yourself is also not cost effective.

Because of high rents, store owners now want cheap labor, which can still be found in terms of foreign workers, and this cause the wages to drop. With poorly paid workers, poorly trained workers, how do they expect good service, from the high prices caused by high rental costs?

I eat in third world countries and pay very little for food, but I do not mind poor service from the third world staff attitude. But paying NYC prices for poor quality service and food because landlords want to earn more is not a good policy for tourism or the economy.

I am sad that the people in charge has killed off some industries and focused so much on Tourism that we not have 2 Casinos where the staff in the casinos are mainly foreigners. As a tourist, I'd be "under happy" when I pay first world prices for service delivered by third world staff. (Not talking about where they came from, but more about their attitudes and service levels)

When you do not treasure labor and see them as commodity, you get uncaring staff who cannot afford a service they provide, and this usually leads to bad service. 

-- Ironbowl

Saturday, November 08, 2014

SMRT Graffiti again

Graffiti happened again at Bishan Depot. In 2010 where vandals painted on the train and a Swiss national was jailed and caned, the SMRT promised to increase security and in August 2011, a hole was cut in the fence at the Bishan depot, and the words "Jet Setter's" were spray-painted on one of the trains.

On 8 November, 2014 it had happened again. LTA and SMRT previously believe that it is of national security that the breach happened and will take the matter seriously, but words as seemed to be cheap nowadays from SMRT who promised to maintain the SMRT trains

-- Iron Bowl