1. I had, in this previous Comment in The Online Citizen [ http://theonlinecitizen.com/2008/02/knowledge-based-economy-needs-more-uni-education-financing/#more-527 ] first tried to reason dispassionately about Foreigners and their effects on GDP, which have led to an unbelievable tidal wave of foreigners that has swamped our islet. Today, I will try to fuller.
2. What makes a Singaporean? -- vs a foreigner? I had postulated that it is SCE [Shared Common Experience]. "Thus, a Chinese and a Malay Singaporean can have More Shared Experiences than with a Chinese from China. However, if that Chinaman has enough Commonalities when he arrives, and gains more with time, he can be as Singaporean as any local-born." [self quote].
3. Thus, while we become emotional and even angry at Foreigners many advantages over locals, we need to remember that our ancestors were once immigrants but became Singaporeans. Singaporeans vs Foreigners is not one or the other, not Black vs White, but a SCALE which we all, locals or not, are on, each at various points of being more or less Singaporean. Simply, it is how much SCE you have, I think. My maid has worked here ~15 years. She can MRT and commute about, speak, read and write fairly good English, speak Teochew and some Mandarin besides Indonesian, and in looks and behaviour, indistinguishable from Singaporeans. I think, on my basis, she deserves to be given PR instead of the 'Foreign Talent' [FT] who flies in with few Commonalities. This SCE principle may already be implicitly recognised by some countries. My wife's colleague took his maid to London for several years. When he returned, his maid did not — she had qualified for PR!
4. Thus, countries may look into granting PR also on the basis of SCE and not just 'economic value'. This will save much maladjustments to both the immigrant and the receiving society.
5. In PAPadise, it is purely economic value but as usual, stupidly and typically UNTHINKING, leading to great harm and tragic results.
6. For example, suppose you vacuum your floor and wash clothes and dishes. You are generating NO economic value or GDP activity. Thus, a housewife, according to current Economic theories, generates little or no 'economic activity' and thus no GDP. So Singapore housewives are encouraged to work outside home because earning a salary gets recorded as 'economic activity' or 'economic value' and thus gets into the GDP figures. So when she earns $1,000, she 'generates' far more than $1,000 because she commutes, eats outside, buys office clothes, etc. All these suddenly boost the GDP simply because that is how GDP is measured. Further, the maid she has to hire to look after her kids, for $350, also 'generates' far more than $350 because the maid also consumes some personal-use goods and services, etc, thus also boosting the GDP -- again, since this is how GDP is measured. This explains the Second Wave in my 3 Waves Of Labour theory in my essay on Leeconomics [ http://i-came-i-saw-i-wrote-it.blogspot.com/search/label/RH%3A%20Robert%27s%20Complete%20Case%20against%20Leeconomics%20%5BMain%5D ].
7. Thus, we see the ATTRACTION of foreigners to the MinisterMoron, PrimeMoron, and their Cronies Morons. Even a lowly maid or other foreigner cheap labour generates far more 'GDP activities' than just their nominal salary. To crystallise it, suppose they import a foreigner cripple without arms or legs. This cripple will still 'generate' appreciable GDP activity because he will house, eat, buy diapers, medical care, etc. So more GDP activities. In short, like in the movie "Matrix", just Human Bodies are enough to generate GDP. So the Morons keep importing bodies, almost all cheap labour since they cannot lure betters. Thus, today, >1 in 4 of people in Singapore are foreigners! The most astounding rate in world history! Do LIE KY LHL PAP know something we don't? The contrary.
8. I don't think these Morons, or anybody else, have reasoned it all thus. What they do know is that every time they import foreigners, the GDP goes up and hence, their Performance Bonuses, so they keep importing foreigners even when these DISPLACE LOCALS. In fact, by not understanding all this, their importing policies have the effect of Displacing Locals because the GDP GROWS EVEN MORE THIS WAY. Let me explain : suppose a cheap labour foreigner is imported to displace a local low-wage labourer. This cheap foreigner generates far more than just his nominal salary in GDP activities, so good for the Morons Bonuses. But the unemployed local labourer does not become 0 upon being displaced and unemployed. He still needs to house, eat, utilities, etc, so he still consumes and thus generate GDP activities. So the NET GAIN is not just from the foreigner but also the captive local who still needs to consume and thus generate GDP. Thus, 2-WAY net gains from this Displacement policy. This explains the callous policies and insane tidal wave influx of foreigners, almost all cheap labour -- but never mind, they still generate big GDP. The so-called FT are only handfuls and mostly used to justify the real tidal wave influx of cheap foreigners. FTs have better options elsewhere so most don't come or stay.
9. The Morons are like lab rats in a cage. They have discovered that by pressing the Green Lever, more marbles drop into their cage and somehow, the lab scientists reward them more titbits as a result of the more marbles. So they furiously keep pressing the Green Lever, thinking they are "successful" [Performance Bonuses] even though there are so many marbles they have little living space left. But they still keep pressing as if addicted. This analogy explains the Morons unthinking addiction to foreigners and DELIBERATE DISPLACEMENT of locals -- nothing is NON-Deliberate in Singapore, except maybe the unique or extremely rare KASTARI escape from an ISD prison! Which is why it is so unbelievable and led to so many conspiracy theories.
10. Another example of this unthinking Green Lever Syndrome is the DELIBERATE [like Displacement of low-wage Singaporean workers -- IN MANY CASES, ALSO HIGHER WAGE ONES, TOO] policy to bias towards Manufacturing as against Services. Our Morons have always scorned Hongkong for its Service Economy and prided themselves on still having a big Manufacturing sector. The Green Lever Syndrome at work again.
11. In the first place, Hongkong DOES have manufacturing and very big, too, except that it is all captured as China statistics in Shenzhen and other centres. Second, it is Green Lever Syndrome again because manufacturing is mostly measurable in $ [as in widget parts costs and final selling prices] and so easily captured into final GDP figures whereas Services like a Hongkong clerk processing forms or answering calls in a Call Centre is difficult to value in $ and so only their nominal salaries get into the GDP. This doesn't mean that Manufacturing is superior to Services! as the Morons think. Only that one is more measurable than the other -- at least in $ and GDP terms. But, just like reading to a child or volunteer social work instructing elderlies in exercise, activities that are not capturable in GDP does not mean inferior or not worth doing, as the Morons believe in both thought and action.
12. Thus, Hongkong has a more 'normal', REAL economy as opposed to the LIEgime FALSE and distorted economy. For example, like all Real economies, Hongkong considers many factors besides GDP numbers, such as inflation, unemployment, jobs creation, consumer spending, social spending and welfare, govt spending and taxations, etc, and devises policies towards these [multiple] ends, whereas the False and distorted economy of the LIEgime is constructed and deliberately designed to produce high GDP numbers only. The US, probably the most intelligently monitored and managed economy, has a whole slew of economic indicators besides GDP numbers. US business media almost daily analyse dozens of indicators, from housing starts to PMI to Producer Price Indices, stock indices and prices, etc, and not just the final GDP numbers. Only the LIEgime stupidly constructs an economy solely to produce high GDP numbers. Thus, Hongkong's Real economy is probably many times bigger and better than the False economy of the LIEgime, which is more like a shop window display, artificial and FOR SHOW ONLY, like everything else about the LIEgime.
13. This False economy of the LIEgime is paralleled by its equally stupid education policies. In Education, there is also obsession with scoring high marks in exams, thus paralleling the construction of the False economy to score high GDP numbers. So, schools, principals, teachers and students are obsessed only with scoring high marks in exams. This means that non-exam subjects are hardly taught and studied. Worse, teachers and students choose subjects purely to score high marks, hence the decades-long bias to Math and Science subjects [far easier to score] than say, Lit and Lang. Unfortunately, due to the nature of Singaporeans and the way Math is taught from primary to university, this bias produces several generations of unintelligent 'scholars' [many become Cronies Ministers or Generals who later metamorphosise into GLC CEOs] who, other than high Math marks, cannot think, since Language is the Basis of Thought, not Math. Thus, when you teach [and learn] TO the test or exam, you do score high marks but learn little, in not much of an education.
14. Thus, the LIEgime has only 5 aims of govt. First, to entrench and further the LIE family stranglehold on power and to increase that power without limit so as to control every aspect of work and life in Singapore. Second, to LOOK GOOD always -- an obsession -- even if this is only surface or cosmetic. Third, as regards the economy, to produce high GDP numbers. Fourth, to produce huge budget surpluses. This means decades of unremitting, relentless, Overtax and Underspend policies, overtaxing exorbitantly on everything possible, especially HDB housing, car taxes [both giving many, many, multiples of profit or rather, profiteering], GST, etc, while underspending on everything else except the military, which always has the biggest budget allocations. Thus, Singaporeans are overtaxed in every way possible and imaginable while spending on heathcare, education, the poor, etc, are all shortchanged. The budget surpluses are not enough apparently, so in order to create even bigger and more impressive Reserves and SWF [Fifth goal], Singaporeans CPF are withheld to make the Reserves bigger. Thus, Singaporeans have little access to and cannot even withdraw their own monies because the LIEgime wants it in its own kitty. CPF was as much as 40% of every worker salary and bonus OVER HIS LIFETIME CAREER, now slightly less. Thus, 'managing by/for results', which is pretty legitimate, became bastardised, like everything else, to become 'managing by numbers', further bastardised to 'managing FOR [GDP] numbers'. Thus, the economy is constructed mainly to score high GDP numbers and the easiest way is to massively import foreigners -- preferably rich -- but practically, mostly cheap labour, since millionaires or FTs cannot be imported in numbers for various reasons. This explains why the LIEgime bends over backwards [this time] to play nice to all foreigners. It also explains why there is such an unbelievable tidal wave of foreigners in Singapore, the Third Wave in my essay.
15. The >1 in 4 of us being foreigners has obviously [how can anyone NOT notice!] become 'sensitive', meaning actually 'explosive' -- as it would be in a democracy instead of the secretive, suppressive dictatorship here. So, being politicians, and a govt obsessed with looking good ["Every time LIE KY looks good, the Truth doesn't" -- self quote] they spin and rationalise. They also Reclassify. This Reclassification trick reclassifies foreigners as Residents, PRs and even citizens to reduce resentment when the 'official' figures are out. If we grant PRs and citizenship more on SCE, this Reclassification trick will be harder. As is now, they can, with a simple sleight of the hand, change the numbers of foreigners into Residents, PRs and citizens. There is here, the 'magic trick' of DOUBLE or 2-WAY 'gains', just like in Displacing local low wage and even HIGH WAGE workers with foreigners. When the LIEgime reclassifies a foreigner into a PR or citizen, 1 MORE is added to the PR or citizen group while 1 LESS is reduced in the foreigner group. So double-counting 'gains'! But foreigner or local or whatever, the buses, trains, food centres, roads, infrastructures, malls, etc, are all overcrowded [noticed the many big groups of dark-skinned young men watching the big tv displays or loitering near the money-changers or just loitering]? The problem is vaster than anyone, including the Morons, realise. They are just rats pressing levers and thinking they are doing a great job.
16. What can anyone do about it? Nothing. LIE KY LHL PAP are proven to have rigged the 1997 Cheng San GRC election, almost certainly also the 1963 General Elections in a suspicious 6-hour electricity blackout centred around the City Hall Vote Counting Centre, most probably also the Ong Teng Cheong Presidential election, plus the Malaysia Referendum that offered no, only rigged, choices. We can all do nothing because LIE KY LHL PAP need no mandate since they cheat massively ['winning' 82 out of 84 seats is mathematically, politically and electorally impossible without massive cheating -- like Saddam Hussein >90% votes every 'election'] so they do what they like, "never mind what the people think" -- LIE KY.
17. According to a 2008 report from the Asian Development Bank, "The Singapore govt estimates that foreign labour contributed 3.2% of its annual growth rate of 7.8% in the 1990's." Another factoid : >40% of Singapore total labour force are cheap foreign labourers and >170,000 of the nearly 1 million foreign labourers are maids.
18. In an official Report from the ManPower Ministry for 2006 : http://www.mom.gov.sg/publish/momportal/en/communities/others/mrsd/Publications/ReportonLabourForceinSingapore2006.html
The 2006 Total Labour Force was 2.59m; 'Residents' [note Reclassification Trick] were 1.80m. UNEMPLOYED 'Residents' [seasonally adjusted] were 70,000 or 3.6% but 84,000 or 4.5% non-seasonally adjusted.
19. The point to note is that the overwhelming PAPaganda which has overpowered all thinking and discussions about foreigners, is that firstly, "foreigners do the dirty and dangerous jobs we locals shun". Secondly, "FT do the kind of Talented Jobs that we locals don't have the Talent to do so shut up and don't dare complain when YOUR job goes to a foreigner". Thirdly, "foreigners average DOWN business costs so businesses can profit more" [this is actually done by rigidly tying foreigners to employers so they cannot jobhop to better, plus other draconian conditions to give employers great advantages to exploit them, which explains why no employer wants Singaporeans!]
20. To this, I can only ask, pointing to MOM statistics in Paragraph 18, are there really so many "dirty and dangerous" jobs in Singapore? Or so many Talent jobs we cannot do? To the extent 3.6%/4.5% of us are unemployed? Or is it the usual politicians scapegoating and 'blaming the victims'? After all, even garbage collection is highly mechanised, requiring few workers. Same for cleaners who even drive cleaning machines. Same for construction work, since there is a limit to how many workers can work at any time because concrete floors are laid and harden floor by floor. The Truth is, employers PREFER foreigners because they can be exploited far more easily due to LIEgime policies, entirely pro-business and anti-workers at the best of times, having jailed union leaders from the moment LIE KY seized power half a century ago, who then constructed and maintained by force, a fake NTUC 'union' body to further supppress workers, an NTUC whose main objective like every LIEgime org or institution, is to profit from its multiplicity of businesses from supermarket 'co-ops' to condos and even funeral parlours.
21. This is the tragedy for us -- not for the Morons. They just keep pressing levers and collecting marbles and Performance Bonuses. While the tidal wave of foreigners continue to swamp every aspect of life on this little islet.
Recommended Reading :
A recent 500-page brilliant, extensively-researched book, “Lion Without Teeth” that proves that everything most people, especially foreigners, know about Singapore and LIE KY are carefully planted and fabricated LIES.
On Fri, Jun 27, 2008 at 10:03 AM, Robert HO
1. Since this is INFLATION Week in TOC, thought I would contribute the following snippets. Just short quotes and their urls :
"...fixated on wholly meaningless govt data that managed to report the lowest inflation... However, the govt's ability to make 'economic growth' magically appear is based purely on statistical finesse."
"...govt [should] adjust nominal GDP gains using the GDP deflator, which represents the inflation rate. This is done to strip inflation out of the GDP calculation so that only real growth gets counted: not nominal gains that result purely from inflation."
"Similar illusions are created in other numbers, such as retail sales, corporate earnings, and stock prices, which are all rising merely as a result of actual inflation being higher than the official reports. For example, higher retail sales reflect consumers paying higher prices for the products that they buy. They may in fact be buying less stuff, but are paying more for it."
"Similarly, just as inflation causes prices to rise for goods and services, it causes stock prices to rise as well. Though such gains may be less than the actual increase in the cost of living, as long as the govt gets away with using bogus CPI numbers which fail to fully reflect inflation, ...takes credit for nominal gains as if they were real."
"However, as ridiculous as the phony GDP number was, yesterday's biggest joke was a report on global competitiveness put out by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, which ranked the [LIE KY LHL PAP] economy as [among] the world's most competitive. To arrive at this conclusion, the forum has obliterated the obvious under a mountain of theory. In determining country rankings, the WEF weighed strengths in their "12 Pillars of Competitiveness", including: institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic stability, health and primary education, higher education and training, goods market efficiency, labor market efficiency, financial market sophistication, technological readiness, market size, business sophistication and innovation. It is as if the WEF decided to judge a weight loss contest without using a scale, by instead focusing only on mental attitude, dedication, perseverance, and nutritional education! As a result the prize is awarded to the fattest contestant. [Singapore] is clearly not [among] the most competitive economies in the world.
"More Proof That Numbers Lie"
"Numbers don't lie, do they? Ha! Numbers are the biggest liars on the planet."
"...govt statisticians – and corporate ones too – typically "crunch" numbers into the shape they want. Numbers get punched, beaten, hammered, bullied, and bamboozled. When the torture session is over they'll admit to anything. That is how we get a "consumer price index" of only 3%...when everyone knows prices are rising a lot faster.
"Increasing prices in just about everything has overshadowed the city state's prosperity in the last four years."
"The city-state has been hit by an unceasing bout of price increases that has overshadowed the city's prosperity in the past four years. Inflation is at its worst here in 12 years [now 26 years] and has become the people's biggest worry today. For many, the high costs are blurring the Singapore Dream."
"Worst affected is the broad middle class, ...a punishing [from] 5% to 7% rise in the Goods and Services Tax (GST)."
"There are two immediate effects. The value of money is dropping by the week, and savings are discouraged since consumer prices are rising faster than interest the banks pay on deposits."
"The govt appears unable to take action to stop the epidemic, a contrast to the first-generation govt during such crises."
"But so strong and persistent is inflation that many Singaporeans feel they are the poorer for it."
"...the govt ...priorities are economic growth and asset accumulation (for foreign investments) – even at the expense of a higher cost of living. To that end, it has increased GST from 5% to 7% and may eventually reach 10%. Fees for public services are being raised to ensure no drop in Treasury collection."
"Deficit budget, although not entirely unknown in Singapore, is a very rare happening."
"Many young professionals who just start off in life are worried that the sharp run-up in property prices has made it virtually impossible for them to buy a flat. Some are putting off marriage or raising children."
"Understandably inflation has become a hot debate subject. This is tough for the middle class and working class, which are just struggling for a living amidst the perceived wealth, unhappy and with few choices in life."
"Grocery bills increase as prices for foodstuffs go up."
"A Straits Times check on a random basket of basic goods sold at supermarkets here revealed price increases in almost every category, from fresh chicken to coffee and milk formula."
"Rising food prices have contributed to inflation here. September's  overall Consumer Price Index showed that prices generally retreated by 0.3 per cent from the previous month, but the food component - the biggest item at 23% - rose 3.7% as the cost of fresh vegetables, fruit, seafood and milk powder, as well as hawker and restaurant food, went up."
"Consumers The Straits Times spoke to said that while increases for each item may seem like a token sum, together, they add up to a much bigger grocery bill."
"She said that rental on her stall, which is now S$4,500 a month, is set to rise to S$5,500 at the start of next year, and then to S$6,500 in 2009."
"In GDP math, sometimes one plus one equals zero."
"If you don't understand that, welcome to the confusing world of national income accounting, where up sometimes is down, and where sometimes one plus one can equal zero."
"Because of the way govt counts and reports the numbers, real-life inflation was understated and growth was [therefore] overstated."
"The economy didn't really grow 3.9%, and inflation really wasn't 0.8%. The numbers aren't as good as they look."
"...it did produce quirky numbers that don't accurately reflect reality, even though they are correct from an accounting point of view. The accounting is right. But it's not reality."
"Why the GDP link?" "...the higher the gross domestic product (GDP), the bigger the bonus — even some ruling party MPs question the wisdom of such a link."
"If Monday's parliamentary debate on pay revisions for ministers and civil servants focused mainly on that "benchmark thing", yesterday's session saw the spotlight being trained on the GDP bonus."
"This bonus is a component which ministers, parliamentary secretaries, top civil servants and MPs are eligible for. Several of the 13 backbenchers who spoke yesterday had reservations about the GDP bonus. One common refrain heard in the House was whether it is a fair performance peg to use."
"We all know that a rise in GDP may not benefit all sectors of society equally. Some may even lag behind. I would suggest that the Govt consider using indicators that directly impact the livelihood of all Singaporeans," said Dr Lim Wee Kiak (Sembawang GRC)."
"He proposed one other indicator to be considered: That of the total cost of running the Govt as a percentage of total revenue. After all, CEOs in the private sector have to ensure profits are not eroded by increasing [inflation] costs and expenses, Mr Loo said."
"Other suggestions of alternative benchmarks included: The consumer price index and the inflation rate, as a way to keep cost of living affordable and protect savings; citizens' feedback to major public services; the number of jobs created for Singaporeans; and even the number of Singaporeans who migrate."
"Based on the latest revisions, ministers will enjoy a GDP bonus of between 3 and 8 months if the economy grows between 5% and 10% or more. But they will not get any bonus if the economy grows by 2% or less. For example, the entry-level annual salary of a minister this year is expected to include a 5.9-month bonus based on Singapore's estimated GDP growth of between 4.5% and 6.5%."
"Another comparison, between the civil service pay increases and the S$30 monthly increase for those on Public Assistance, was raised in the House. Said NMP Kalyani Mehta: "If we are going to be [so] generous to civil servants, then let's be generous to the very poor." In response, Mr Teo Chee Hean, Defence Minister and Minister-in-Charge of the Civil Service, said: "The needs of these individuals are quite different and we need to find more holistic and flexible ways of looking after their needs.""
"One new issue that cropped up yesterday was the danger of concentrating too much power and money in the hands of top public officers. MP Denise Phua (Jalan Besar GRC) said: "As responsible leaders, we must be careful not to leave behind a system or structure that combines power and monetary rewards to such high levels that incumbents are so handcuffed by this lethal combination that they find it hard to let go." NMP Eunice Olsen argued that the coupling of political and financial power is more likely to lead to the creation of a rogue govt."
"On this issue, Mr Teo said that the checks are elections [RH: a lie since elections are routinely rigged] and the ruling party's selection process. "If (a person's) motivations are self-serving or to make money, we do not select him. And if we discover that's what he's about after he has come in, we drop him," he said.
"But economists say one crucial aspect to watch out for is rising inflation. It hit 2.9% in August - the biggest monthly rise since 1994. MAS expects inflation of 1.5% to 2% this year, and up to 3.5% for the first half of 2008. But it expects this to ease in the second half of the year, with inflation at 2% to 3% for the whole of 2008."
RH: Many, many, THANKS to Mr Kaye Poh, from whose brilliant email all the above articles are sourced and excerpted here. The thrust of all these articles prove convincingly enough, that GDP Numbers are faked Higher when Inflation is faked Lower than it really is. They prove why LIE KY LHL PAP kept reporting abnormally Low inflation numbers for decades, when the experience of every Singaporean is of rampant inflation. Also, by reporting falsely Low inflation numbers, LIE KY LHL PAP disguise the simple fact that our CPF monies are actually Reducing in value, eroded by Inflation because the miserable, exploitative, cheating, scam 'interest' they give us are far, far, below inflation -- "an implicit tax" as Prof Mukul Asher [ http://www.spp.nus.edu.sg/Faculty_Mukul_Asher.aspx ] wrote. . Also, by reporting -- and convincing us through their PAPaganda media -- that inflation is 'low', the alleged GDP each year becomes automatically and fakedly Higher thereby giving the Ministers and top civil servants more millions in GDP 'Performance Bonuses'!!! Disgusting, dirty, cheats and scammers who routinely rig elections so as to be able to keep paying themselves more millions.