Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Economic Growth Is So Overrated

video
The dictionary defines stasis as "a period or state of inactivity or equilibrium" e.g. "The country is in economic stasis".

That was the term hanging in the air when we were talking to a Japanese manager in his plush office 60 floors up, overlooking the future site of Summer Olympics 2020. Already a bridge spanning the Tokyo Bay was in place, providing access to new sports stadiums and supporting infrastructure on Ariake, Odaiba and the surrounding artificial islands. The Tokyo metropolitan government set aside 400 billion yen to cover the cost of hosting the Games.

Depending on who you talk to, Japan has had one or two lost decades of economic growth. Yoshinoya, operator of the 115-year-old beef bowl chain, raised the price of its regular-size "gyuudon" dish by 27 percent to 380 yen (US$3) on 17 December 2014, the first pure price hike for the dish since March 1990. A favourite of Japan's penny pinching corporate employees, it is an informal measure of consumer prices equivalent to the Big Mac Index. Elsewhere, train fares, like the prices of the canned beverages in the ubiquitous vending machines, appear to be frozen in a time warp.

On the streets, everyone was stylishly dressed, accessorised with the latest iPhone model. From the young to the silvered haired generation, an overnight stay at an onsen, which can cost anything from $100 to $500 per head, was an affordable weekend getaway. If stagflation crimped their style, it was not obvious.

Perhaps the Japanese had long attained the Swiss standard of living, something Goh Chok Tong promised, but failed to deliver to the masses. It must be nice to be able to cruise at such a high altitude of living.

13 comments:

  1. Is the Swiss standard of living the only promise they failed to deliver? Whatever they have delivered has gone down the drain in the last 10 years, leaving an "unhappy", "disturbed" and "shocked" Tommy Koh" to look to the heavens for deliverance. We have been frozen in a time-warp of our own making.

    ReplyDelete
  2. And the price of our Kopi-O keeps creeping up little by little until its no longer a poor man's sarabat stall price. :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The price of a packet of ten eggs has risen from $2.50 to $2.85.
      My burger king breakfast this morning costs me $6.55 (I usually take the set meal using coupons which normally cost lesser).

      Delete
  3. kudo to the female who call a spade a spade. Notice how the clown on the left try to divert attention not once, but at least twice but to no valid by asking another person to comment to interrupt her.

    Seriously if the clown on the left feel so uncomfortable talking about the reality, should he just get off to his PAP's den. Stop pretending he is not a lackey.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Notice how the Eleanor Wong who talk while the rest keep quiet. And the guy on the left towards the end of video try to ask the female next to him to comment to interrupt Eleanor's brutal truth but the female is not willing likely that she can relate to the truth Eleanor is speaking.

    Anyone know who is the guy on the left who to disrupt her ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, he keeps interrupting Eleanor Wong. Most of the time he just wants to give airtime to the PAP man.

      Delete
  5. One ex-Minister promised us the Swiss Standard while another once asked the poor what meals do they expect ?
    Meanwhile, the Prime Minister increased his own & his Ministers' salaries well past the Swiss Standard.

    In hindsight, what GCT promised was only applicable to the Ministers only, it seems. Anyway did GCT promise you & me anything ? We must be fools to believe him, aren't we ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have been fools to vote for the greedy and corrupted party again and again, and when by the time we awake, the party find that gullible and naive local supporters are exhausted , they turn to converting the foreigners to buy more votes. Isn't the foreigners going to cause more problems in future ? You think PAP care ? PAP reflect that old f*******RT is just a pragmatic opportunists , putting themselves into power is more important than anything else, diluting the voice and vote is more important for PAP than sinkies.

      Delete
  6. People are slowly catching on. The daft had allowed the Old Fart and PAP to get away with many things because they improved our lives. Ah Loon could not do it so he is using GDP growth as a proxy; purely a pretense that our lives can get better with him in charge. How can our lives be improving when productivity is going down even when GDP is up?

    Saycheese

    ReplyDelete
  7. We have become the most expensive city in the world, a Swiss standard of living which Ah Loong delivered in his 10 years tenure. Well done Ah Loong! With another 5 more years of his stewardship (sic) and his GDP growth, our cost of living will reach the moon, making Sin City a playground for the rich and people of his ilk. Pardon my repeating this cliche - his economic growth has privatised the profits and socialised the costs.

    ReplyDelete
  8. He should try living on 1k a month for 3 months...then ah loong will know how really good his policies are...some people just a dignified living small means it may be...but the policies are killing them...or maybe ah loong executors of his policies screwed the pooch or feeding ah long BS information....only reason ah loong is seen as always screwing up instead of his "followers"/advisors....

    Really nuts....zzz

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please don't provoke him otherwise the world's most expensive clown aka Pinky will increase his own pay further to $4millions per year just as out-of-touch and incompetent PM just to prove his point that it is possible to live $333,333 a month. We know how retarded pinky and his cabinets are, didn't we ?

      Pinky will argue that if it is possible for him to live just $333,333 a month, definitely it is possible for lesser mortal to live 1k a month. Don't doubt him because Pinky graduate from cambridge university, but more like Cambridge MPH.

      Delete
  9. If we have Swiss standard of living, there will be no old locals wiping tables and picking up rubbish. Phooi

    ReplyDelete