Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Gross Domestic Problems

To author Lorenzo Fioramonti, GDP stands for Gross Domestic Problem, not the Gross Domestic Product as we know it.

His small book, only 200 pages long, traces the history of GDP, discusses how its formula was developed, analyses the key political and economic interests supporting the use of GDP  and the type of society it contributed to building. It also provides a comprehensive review of the most important criticisms against GDP. Criticisms such as this:
"Will raising the incomes of all increase the happiness of all? The answer to this question can now be given with somewhat greater assurance than twenty years ago... It is "no"... Put generally, happiness, or subjective well-being, varies directly with one's own income and inversely with the incomes of others. Raising the incomes of all does not increase the happiness of all, because the positive effect of higher income on subjective well-being is offset by the negative effect of higher living level norms brought about by the incomes generally." (R.A. Easterlin, 'Does Economic Growth Improve the Human Lot? Some Empirical Evidence', New York and London Academic Press, 1974)

Maybe Warren Fernandez was right when he told his audience at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos that we attained the Swiss standard of living in 2000 ("we managed to hit the mark”). And yet the choice by Swiss voters to reimpose curbs on immigration is sending shock waves throughout the European Union. With more than one million EU citizens living in Switzerland, there could be far-reaching political and economic consequences to Sunday's 50.3 percent "yes" vote in favor of imposing quotas on foreign workers.

It sounds all so familiar. Maybe mom was right after all, money can't buy happiness.


  1. “This anti-foreigner issue is in every city. It’s a natural debate and the Swiss are questioning it too. But no one owes anyone else a living; you cannot say you are entitled to jobs in your country,”

    Does everyone remember that haugty swiss lawyer Zimmerman? Well, she probably didn't vote hard enough to stop her fellow citizens from that sense of entitlement.

  2. Fire this Govt2/12/2014 12:45 PM

    Not only did a real first world country with a real swiss standard is rejecting globalisation, even the Canadians have smarten up to stop those frauding citizens who dont show enough commitments.

    Here in Sin, we throw out our PR residency to any Tom Dick Harry, Mary Jane and Sue as soon as they arrive. They didn't even need to lift a finger and apply for it. Then there is no minimum requirements as long as you fit into the PMET category. We are like a whore-house . As long as you have money to invest, even developers want you to buy, doesn't matter if you are actually residing here for long term. Soon we are the only country in the world, where all foreign/PRs can become a landlord while working as PMET or keeping their residency elsewhere. What kind of "productivity" can you yield from a landlord? Tell me?! That will explain the abysmal performance of this pathetic country, thus their constant resort to importing "talents" to make up fro the shortfall of genuine productivity and innovation.

    1. Obviously someone must benefit in throwing out our PR residency to any Tom Dick Harry, Mary Jane and Sue as soon as they arrive or it would have been stopped when chatter against this crazy influx started. And still it continues when citizens are howling? In a real democracy, the elected cannot ignore the wishes of the citizens or they will be booted out, but his Highness can disregard his subjects and continue to accept more as his subjects.

  3. PAP is Singaporeans' Gross Domestic Problem.
    True or not?

  4. SCMP reports canada scraps millionaire investors scheme and dumps 46,000 chinese applications.

    Wonder when will STB, MOM and PMO's offices start their woo-ing campaign, before we lose it all out Dubai? Only 1% of that number will make our PM a very happy GDP person.

  5. that explains why there is an increase in A$5m dollars investment scheme applications in Australia.

    It is so lenient that source of $ will not be verified if assets were acquired 5 years ago. Those corrupt $ could now fly there for their visa applications, 99% of applications are from China.


  6. Swiss and Canadians rejecting dirty money from PRC would only mean the red dot's floodgate could be opened even wider for the same dirty money (regardless of stench of course). Without new money, the "GDP" would collapse with the real estate market and their dependable votes from the red dotters who own 3 or 5 "investment" (aka speculation) properties. Suddenly, with these Swiss and Canadian rejection, papigs have found a new lifeline to boost GDP, real estate market and their GDP bonuses. I bet someone must be thinking hard along lines of "better strike while iron is hot". Not a coincidence for all the goodies to come together: MAS' U-turn on the property cooling measures, the "hong bao", the CPF edjustment for elderly etc. The next GE is now looking more and more like it would be 2015.

  7. GDP is a Keynesian metric, and should be rejected by anyone who rejects Keynesianism, because the easiest way to increase GDP growth is just to print/borrow money. This is not true "growth", but rather is a way of cheating to give the illusion of growth, as reflected in the artificial increase of GDP by means of debt and/or inflation - PAP's mantra and modus operandi. This desire for phony growth gives governments a blank check for deficit spending to no real productive end. Even so-called "investments" in infrastructure and education can be wasteful and politically motivated, without any metrics to measure real returns.

  8. FDR once said "In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can
    bet it was planned that way."

    "No one will really understand politics until they understand that
    politicians are not trying to solve our problems. They are trying to solve
    their own problems – of which getting elected and re-elected are number one
    and number two. Whatever is number three is far behind." — Thomas Sowell

    (Veritas: Indonesia 1965 massacre Forget about Holocaust, one to three millions killed by western sponsored junta)
    (The Perils of having a National Conversation | - Darkness)
    (How to defeat the PAP government (Part 1) – by Bullshit Politician)

    Joshua Chiang

  9. Crystal Meth2/12/2014 4:55 PM

    Timely Tattler!

    SG turns 50 soon. And GDP turns 80!
    Time to retire it like a certain nonagenarian.

    1. The granddaddy retired when he was called SM. He is just enjoying his sinecure in the Istana office and Government of Singapore Investment Corporation appointments.

      What can he do when he cannot even hold his tongkat and do not attend to his meet his people sessions?

    2. Ever wonder why the old fart's mouth is permanently open ?
      It is the side effect of speaking with forked many years and too many lies...and it will open wider when the useless son is booted out. LOL

  10. I for once, think the pragmatic Swiss have hit the mark with this referenradum. After the surprising vote, of course, everyone was quick to start scaremongering the Swiss.

    Oh yes. You will get isolated in Europe. Your trade will suffer. Other countries will retaliate. This is against free trade, free movement. blah blah blah.. The pro-European lobby will burn midnight oil in coming up with challenges and legal opinions.
    no doubt.

    There is a phrase in French “chacun a ça merde”, literally meaning, “deal with your own sh*t”.

    When the PIIGS were going bust and the Eurocurrency was doubtful, the whole world bought Swiss Franks as a safe currency. What was perceived as a safe haven by the world was a huge headache for a small country like Switzerland. I will not go into details, but suffice to say that the Swiss would rather have preferred to be left in peace.

    That was currency migration, let us call it. The next Swiss headache is the people migration.

    The Swiss have enough problems of their own. UBS, Credit Suisse, etc have been through hell in the last 6 years. There have been massive redundancies. The Swiss economy has not yet properly recovered. The Swiss society has not recovered at all. The last thing they need in Switzerland is European and other migrants snatching jobs from the Swiss natives.

    Being a nation without unnecessary taboos, they have told the Europeans deal with your own sh*t. Does all that sound familiar as a parallel example?


      we know how they feel

  11. Greedy Demanding Puppies.

  12. Our mom at home is always right.
    But our MOM in Singapore is not.
    They only come up with a weak framework that protects business actors and their interests. Not Singaporeans only.

    Unlike the Swiss democracy, since we dont get 4 choices a year to vote on important decisions via referendums, we only get to vote every 4 years, Sinkies should really wake up and use their leverage.

    Hopefully, those children of the pioneers whose parents are receiving the golden chocolate candies in hong bao and fake subsidies will remember, all these will have been unthinkable were it not for the 40%. If people continue to put 45% in 2016, they might just get back their CPF. Let the politicians work harder as you work hard to keep your family and lives going.

  13. Another domestic problem can't seem to blow away.
    Money simply can't buy us a haze-free air too.
    After all that uninvitations going around, we are invited to enjoy some nice smog from our neighbors again.
    Just remember to stock up your N95 mask and don't overpay for more than $2.50 a piece.
    That's one ill advice you wont get from both sides of the politicians.

  14. Possible themes for our forthcoming musical productions.
    The roots of some of our National Day celebrations.

  15. As the mouthpiece of the state, Warren Fernandez is, like the PAP, never wrong with the "right things".

  16. Almost all the GDP growth in the last 10 years coorelates with the growth in population, in other words, GDP growth was driven almost entirely by labour inputs. You can always make more sausages by adding more sausage making machines.

  17. Warren Fernandez fulfilled woody Goh's promise of a Swiss standard of living with his mouth. Incredible.