Sunday, December 02, 2007

Are we prosperous or poor?

Was reading this article ' We can barely stay afloat, say low-income folk' on Asiaone which makes me think that the recent price increases are indeed quite scary... The article talks about people who earns about $1k odd to support their family of a few members. These folks couldn't earn enough to coup with the rising costs of living and have to go to government agencies for handouts. The article also talked about retirees who effectively have shrinking savings in a drastic way cos' the bank interest rates are lower than inflation.

Sigh... it is really true that economy is improving... but not for all living here. The good economy is often used as the main reason for rising costs... I remembered another article that says that with rising wages naturally there would be inflation. However, I guess some people didn't realise that wages may not rise equally for all.

Inflation for luxury items like cars, condo, branded stuff is fine since those who wants it pays for it. There are always alternatives to these luxury goods. Large inflation for simple daily necessities like rice, canned meat, normal drinks is not fine.

From the article we see these
'A loaf of bread now costs 20 cents more and the price of a packet of 20 Milo sachets is up by 40 cents. Even chicken rice and kway teow soup at the hawker centre cost 50 cents more.'

She said: 'A can of luncheon meat used to cost $1.30. Now it's $2.50. Not everyone can afford that, especially the elderly who are not working and depending on handouts.'

Common, that is price increases of more than 5-10%! A retireee was quoted that he only has simple bread and milo for dinner as a result of rising costs!

Thus the prosperous and booming economy seems to favour only the rich and top wage earners. The middle class has wage increases just nice to coup with these rising costs while the poor suffers. Weird... but seriously, using economical theory with less consideration of social impact to formulate national policy would lead to such strange scenarios... big handouts once every 4-5 years is no comfort for the stomach and anxiety of the people in the years in between...

I'm curious to know the percentage of our people living like that (situations in the article)... wonder if DOS got stats.

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