Fallacies About Increasing Productivity To Increase Wages

The government had said many times before that if they increase wages without increasing productivity, this would be detrimental. Really?

Why Have Their Wages Increased By So Much? Have They Been So Productive? 

If so, the high-income earners have seen their incomes rise the fastest over the past 10 years. Have their productivity increased by so much that they should deserve such high increases in their wages?

The low-income earners have seen their real incomes drop over the past 10 years. Could their productivity have actually dropped, such that they should receive even lower wages?

Why Do They Keep Paying Themselves So Much If Singapore Doesn’t Have Enough Money?

The government had said that they cannot increase public spending for the poor and elderly because otherwise Singapore would need to increase taxes, because we do not have enough money otherwise.

Sure, let’s not even mention the $800,000,000 sitting in the reserves, but if Singapore does not have enough money, why does the wages of the high-income earners continue to keep rising and why do the profits of the Singapore companies keep rising?

If Singapore does not have enough money, why do the ministers get paid millions of dollars? Sorry – why do the ministers keep paying themselves millions of dollars? Shouldn’t they pay themselves a much lower salary to help Singapore save, since they should be serving the country and should take less since there’s not enough money?

Have The Ministers Been So Productive That They Should Be Paid Such High Salaries? 

Have the ministers been so productive that we should pay them millions in wages?

Over the past few years, economic growth has slowed down. Does that mean that since their “productivity” has dropped that we should also pay them lower wages? Well, the low-income earners are being paid lower real wages even though their productivity couldn’t have dropped. So, why not lead by example, right?

Are the ministers so productive that even though our trains keep breaking down and housing prices have overblown, that our wages have remained stagnant and prices have grown faster than our wages, that more and more people aren’t able to take out their CPF monies even as healthcare becomes more expensive, that we should continue to pay them millions in salaries?

Why Have Wages Been Depressed? 

If indeed they will increase wages when there’s productivity growth, why did the S Pass and Employment Pass wage level stay the same for at least 7 years? Does that mean that from 2004 to 2011, there was no productivity growth at all, and S Pass holders should always start off with $1,800 and Employment Pass holders should always start at $2,500, without any change? Shouldn’t the wage level rise and be adjusted upwards annually according to productivity increases?

Is it no wonder then that our wages have been depressed and continued to remained stagnant for so many years? Why did the policies not change and reflect what’s on the ground? Or their propounded “productivity growth”?

What productivity are they talking about when the rich gets richer while the poor gets poorer – are only high-income earners productivity because they somehow are, and everyone else is not?

Who Should We Be Kind To?

Yes, the ministers want us to be kind to them to understand that if we don’t pay them well, that they wouldn’t want to give up their careers to serve the country. Sure, let’s be kind to them. But are they kind to the poor and elderly who are simply trying to make ends meet? For the poor who cannot save and who cannot take their CPF out, and for the poor who wouldn’t be able to buy insurance and won’t have enough for healthcare, who will be kind to them?

Let’s be kind, yes. But if they are kind to themselves, who will be kind to those who really need it? Why do they think we should be kind to a small group of them, while the large group of the rest suffers?

Have they forgotten that kindness begets kindness. Or do they only want kindness, as long as it’s our selfless giving for their selfish greed?

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9 comments

  1. chua c h

    Public should be kind to Ministers and MPs and all government officers who reach retirement age and automatically rehired with no reduction in salaries whilst private sectors do that……Leading by example or being hypocritic?

  2. chua c h

    Real issue is to reduce GST which government has been avoiding.
    Also service charges at restaurants and establishments should be abolished as it DOES NOT APPLY TO ALL IN SERVICE SECTOR and anyway not always evenly distributed in all institutions and MUST BE VOLUNTARY! Many establishments do not even deserve anything for lackadaisical services rendered and patrons forced to pay because it is reflected on bill.
    This means 17% of all bills!

  3. chua c h

    The CPF contributions for S Pass and Employment passes should be better managed.
    It should not be for foreigners but total sum go to programs for training and welfare of Singaporeans. If they do not like it, they can seek work in another country which can provide them better benefits.

  4. Suri

    GREAT ARTICLE! Reminds me of the meddling by NEA on dishwashing for hawker centres. Can somebody investigate who are the directors of GreatSolutions? Looks like another AIM-gate business opportunity to me.

  5. Ace

    The 2 main fixed cost for businesses are labour and rent. If selling price is kept constant, when rent increases, you will need to reduce labour cost in order to make the same profits. Period. In Singapore, rent has been increasing even more than inflation rates over the last 10 years as the biggest landlord here (you know who) sets the rental rates and others follow. On the other hand, labour is almost infinite if you tap into the global market and hence keeping wages low is simple. Just open the flood gate to foreigners to punish Singaporeans. Between controlling rent and labour, the choice is obvious for the MIW who treats the country as a business.
    It is impossible for the MIW to change and empathize with majority of Singaporeans who are earning below $4,000 per month as they earn that or more in 1 day. All they are interested in is to protect their own interest. I hope more scales are falling off the eyes of Singaporeans and they can see better and make a conscious decision for change come 2016.

  6. Mike

    Are your family of four figures of each parent earning at least $3500…is that before CPF cut or is that $3500 a gross salary?

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