Weak productivity: PAP’s Frankensteinian monster

When I read the u/m from Rana Foroohar, a FT columnist that I love to hate (usually so pretentious and full of BS and who refuses to accept that Trump the bum is doing some good), I couldn’t help but think of the S’pore economy which the PAP administration claims it created:

— looking at the “supply side”: all those FTs;

— “capital intensity of the most innovative sectors – like pharma and high tech – is quite low”: pharma and high tech are high on the PAP administration’s wish list of investments that we must have;

— “the most digitally advanced industries – again, software, biotech, etc – aren’t the biggest employers.”: throw in the oil refining and petrochemical industries and that describes to a “T” the industries that are paid and paid to come here; and finally

— “The industries that are labour rich – retail, healthcare, education, public sector – are both tech and productivity poor.”: think of our huge finance sector (13.1% of GDP in 2016). The “retail, healthcare, education, public sector” are all part of any modern economy, so the PAP administration’s can’t be faulted for encouraging their growth.

Here’s what the FT columnist wrote:

According to James Manyika, the head of the McKinsey Global Institute, weak productivity – a real mystery in a time of such dramatic technological change – is down to a cocktail of issues that we aren’t looking at in the right way. First, demand is weak in most parts of the developed world, yet economists studying productivity typically look more at the supply side. Second, the capital intensity of the most innovative sectors – like pharma and high tech – is quite low relative to the past (they just don’t need big factories or expensive equipment). Third, in the past, big productivity gains were seen when the biggest employers made large tech jumps. Yet today, the most digitally advanced industries – again, software, biotech, etc – aren’t the biggest employers. The industries that are labour rich – retail, healthcare, education, public sector – are both tech and productivity poor.


The kind of economy we have

— lots of FTS;

— with capital-intensive hi tech, oil refining and petrochemical industries that don’t need much labour; and

— finance which is labour rich, productivity poor,

was created by the governing party, the PAP, which has ruled since 1959 this de facto one-party state.

And which said party is louding KPKBing has a productivity problem

Which begs the question, “Do PM and his team deserve their millions?”: At 8.38 pm January 8, PM’s pay would pass Ah Beng’s yearly salary.

After all, they created an economy that is inclined towards low productivity.

What do you think?

Cynical Investor

Cynical Investor blogs at Thoughts of a Cynical Investor.



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8 Responses to “Weak productivity: PAP’s Frankensteinian monster”

  • Rabble-rouser:

    Ha-ha-ha-ha! Again, some parts of CI’s comments I do agree with him but on most of it re: the others I do find that CI loves playing the Devil’s Advocate – either raising a lot of fake concerns [or slamming critics especially on PAP's GDP growth & on private property] for alternate views or cynically siding with the PAP on certain [many] issues.
    CI’s QUOTE: The “retail, healthcare, education, public sector” are all part of any modern economy, so the PAP administration’s can’t be faulted for encouraging their growth.{end}
    If PAP administration is doing their best for retail – then I’m afraid that CI & the PAP are “barking up the wrong tree!”. Where is S’pore’s version of Amazon or Alibaba (Taobao)? The best S’pore can come up with is a scalper website (Ezbuy) which itself is an aggregator shopping site laid on top of Taobao website for S’pore buyers. No wonder Taobao got into a dispute with Ezbuy!
    In healthcare, S’pore is so goddamned expensive (Dr Susan Lim’s profiteering of the Brunei Sultan). If S’pore’s healthcare system is so good, why then in 2017 NP speech, PM LHL came out to speak about health & diabetes? SGH contamination HEP C outbreak? lack of hospital beds after 40% foreigner influx but zero growth in hospitalization infrastructure? Truth is that S’pore isn’t that good with Medical Tourism, many foreigners are going to Thailand instead!
    In education – much of the S’pore education needs from primary-to-pre-university are self-funded by parents re: tuition, enrichment courses, cram schools, assessment books, etc. At tertiary level, there is a 30% quota against locals; parents have again to fund their children for overseas universities. So what’s S’pore Education then? It is a metric game much like the PAP’s GDP-growth-at-all-costs of foreign population numbers & mega infrastructural projects. For Education, it is the PISA scores & assessable tests which elevates the “fake” criteria of education excellence. Top schools go all the way to maintain their high standing; consciously asking parents of poor students to ‘take a hike’ to inferior neighbourhood schools. And that is the truth of S’pore’s Educational System re: Dog-eat-puppy mechanism, a take-no-prisoners-eco-system!
    The Public Sector is failing! How can the Public Sector be paid much better than Private Enterprise? It is a clear indictment of a dysfunctional economic system of a tail wagging the puppy! Public sector civil servants are administrators of govt policy enactment but are totally devoid of entrepreneurial spirits. So how can they be paid better than private sector workers?
    What do you think?

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  • LKY failed Singaporeans:

    The biggest mistake LKY made was to focus on annual GDP (instead of productivity) growth. He took the “soft option” and grew GDP with a low wage policy (to match the low productivity). That is why Singaporeans now have 1st World per capita GDP and cost of living but not 1st World wages, productivity, and standard of living. Only PAP officeholders and senior (and spineless) civil servants got “out-of-this-world” (aka obscene) wages. Other Singaporeans got stagnant wages, less job security, over-priced HDB flats and depleted CPF accounts. To make matters worse, PAP is still on the same GDP rut because hubris prevents it from admitting LKY made a mistake.

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  • karma:

    You think Beng care
    Beng care cPeeF which Pigs in Pariah们 declared “cPeeF not pupils $$$$”….knnbccb….wtf

    GD Star Rating
  • How is GDP audited?:

    But which of you audited the GDP ?

    Or is it a figure you based on TRUST or BELIEVING ?

    Block Chain should be applied to GDP calculation.

    GD Star Rating
  • Haigen Daiz:

    We are awash in trans-formative technologies — smartphones, tablets, big data — and yet the growth in labor productivity, which should benefit from all the technology, is dismal. The problem is that current technology gains are not making people more productive, they’re putting people out of work. These people then downgrade to lower end service jobs like security-guards, taxi-drivers, food-deliverers, estate agents, etc. where productivity is low. So what few people remain at the automated factory have a greatly increased productivity, but it’s cancelled by the much lower productivity of the displaced workers. And the flood of gimmicky apps that we are supposed to view as innovation is like a bar code scanning check out replaces four regular workers, he or she should at least get a higher salary. Never happened. By firing the other three, they made the remaining scanner scared enough to take a pay cut. So what’s productivity? Any thoughts on whether PAP’s ‘smart city’ might make sense, and if so how to measure it?

    GD Star Rating
  • patriot of Temesak:

    What we NEED is a Trump the “BUM” to turn things around …rather than a Lee the CRAP!!! with Crabs crawling all over him and a BRAIN fried through CHEMO into dried SHIT!!!

    GD Star Rating
  • HarderTruths:

    Growth is not measured by specific industries or government spending – these are doomed to fail one day – every country has to reinvent itself to stay relevant in the world economy.

    This means letting the private sector take the lead and developing the technologies that would ensure growth in the forseeable future. Industries that a third world country can produce ‘better cheaper faster’ are not viable for $G. The days for factories with cheap third world goods mean cheap third world living.

    Banks and financial institutions do not create real wealth therefore they are useless if there is an economic downturn. They also do not invest or divest, rather they lend and collect their dues without concern for a potential future business leader.

    SG is made up of only these – factories, banks and government bodies spending tax money masquerading as businesses. The reason is simple – this outdated system is the only one the government can control. The fear of losing their power in an open society that makes money without them taking a major cut is out of the question.

    Therefore $G will see other countries move past it economically, technologically and socially. It is losing its relevance as a hub for trade and industry – what had been done here is now easily replaced in other countries through their own talent, real immigration of skilled labour and strong social cohesion.

    $G lacks almost all of these since the $G government took up power. it will not be long until this power is only able to sell bananas to passing entrepreneurs intent on moving to socially and technologically advanced countries.

    GD Star Rating
  • LIONS:


    As for AH LONG’S FAVE FTs,keep FAKING lah till productivity becomes NEGATIVE.


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