Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Increasing Living Costs in "The Island"

As of the 1st of October 2008, the cost of living is increasing again as electricity bills are increased by 21% and public transport fares are increasing. This is probably one of the biggest hike among the chain of rampant fare hikes that took place this year. Employers are still not matching up the increment in wages during this period of stagflation. Has any employer gave more than one increment during this year? Does this mean we will now have to work at least 21% harder to pay off increment?

Nevertheless, the 'one-off bonus packages' (which I call 'spending power' or 'tokens') buffered the increasing cost of living and pacified many. However, with the endless increasing number of temptations, such as the endless I.T. sales, a nicer but smaller and more expensive home, another baby in the family, cheaper cars, fancier fireworks displays, the recent F1 and the upcoming integrated resorts (IR), to motivate spending. If one does not expect these to be the luxuries of an average life, and live off S$1.90 nasi lemak for the rest of their life, they will probably find the package very useful. However, if most people are enjoying these luxuries as part of their normal life, the 'spending power' is probably not going to last more than a month. It is just like going to an amusement centre, where the difficulty levels are set to "Insane"; your 'tokens' are not going to last you through stage 1.

As many people will soon or had already realise that our ultimate 'employers' are handing out our bonuses in one hand and taking them back in the other hand in an exponential rate. I cannot help but imagine 'cash cows' strapped to the necks by tight reins and with their udders constantly milked 24/7! Where are these 'milk' going to, when the 'cash cows' only see fancier upgrades in the daily factory with a new section called 'imported cash cows'. How are the 'calves' going to survive in the future?

My resolution for this birthday is to device a strategy to escape from "The Island", like Ewan McGregor in the movie of the same title!

6 comments:

edna said...

not thinking of emigrating, are you? My take is that we should try to live within our means, not necessary for all those branded stuff all the time.

WILLIAM TAN said...

At this present time, the younger generations are expecting luxurious lifestyles.
Not many people I know can be like the older generation where they can scringe-and-save on everything like using 2nd-hand textbooks and eat only hawker food. I did!
Or who can tolerate an aging laptop when they can trade-in and get a new one from IT shows.
We can no longer adopt the older generation's Way of Life in present time.
The modern society is just too competitive.
It is either you hop on the bandwagon or be ousted, outcast.

Nevertheless, the grass always seem greener on the other side.
If opportunity knocks on my door, yes I will.
It is easier said than done.
I shall ask Abel on his opinion of working overseas, when he gets back.

As humans, we will still choose to ignore the upcoming possible global economic crisis, and splurge on leading a luxurious life.
Why do we work so hard for?
To Survive or to Enjoy Life?
If my offsprings are to be born to a world where they live to survive, I will seriously reconsider having my own children. What is life without enjoyment?
Everyone will be so stressed and worry about surviving in a competitive society.
I see people with a dull faces everyday and eveywhere. More people are enraged in public transports. Why is it that hardly anyone wears a smile these days? Is it because of a more stressful lifestyle?

Then again, despite all the laments, life still goes on.
"What to do?" is a common feedback, if anyone actually bothers to even speak or do something.
Though we know that one person's effort cannot change much. But not doing anything will never change anything.

edna said...

sigh, don't feel so disillusioned so soon as you've still a long way ahead. Contentment is relative to one's expectations .... not necessary to live like the past generation but one can still have a good life without too much excesses.

Home is where the heart is .... is there any place that's perfect? But it's good to go out there and try if the opportunity comes along ... and see if there are better things and greener pastures.

Hey, don't give up so soon. We might not have all the best, but we are more fortunate than some others. Be happy ....

WILLIAM TAN said...

"Home is where the heart is .... is there any place that's perfect?"

I cannot agree with you more.

Don't worry Edna, its gonna be mid-life crisis period for me, but I will survive. I do not give up easily. :p
I agree that there are more less-fortunate people these days.

Tay Hwah said...

Make a beeline for the fence. u cut wire, i look water. ON? Then paddle like crazy until we reach another mainland.

WILLIAM TAN said...

Tay Hwah said...
Make a beeline for the fence. u cut wire, i look water. ON? Then paddle like crazy until we reach another mainland.


good one!
but will need a better plan to make the break.
maybe something similar to MSK's Great Disappearing Act.