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Fragment On Machines

This is a modern ‘rephrase’ from one of Karl Marx’s many jotted side notes. Needless to say, the verbiage and the twists that academics can spin with this is many folds and unfolds; the sometimes needless iterations. I would recommend reading on Paul Mason’s take on this.

But for me, extrapolating from the above ‘rephrase’, what if we have a perfect technological machine/s that drives marginal costs to zero? The value of labor in this process eventually dissipates. Does it mean capital can capture the whole value proposition?

But in our understanding of globalization, which means low production costs, higher productivity, efficient supply chain, scalability, the end game is more labor buying more goods. The mass consumer market. Isn’t that the reason why Singapore Inc is in China and India?

However, if labor value dissipates, how does capital gain from mass markets? Who do you sell to when people can no longer work and generate no income?

But what if the perfect machine is not a machine but information. Free and unadulterated information. What if the cost of information goes to zero? Information is important for today’s technology. There is no question that ICT and with IOT (5G), new services powered by individuals not just big companies will flourish.

The tech sector in China was not driven by the CCP but by (free) individuals, who copied (knowledge-information), by now, in some sectors way advanced of the US.

“….The tech sector’s ruling triumvirate of Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent (BAT) built their success on technologies developed overseas, including the internet itself.

Like firms across China’s wider information and communications technology (ICT) sector, the success of internet companies was greatly aided by returning Chinese expatriates who had gained knowledge through study and work abroad. Taking Baidu as an example, the firm’s co-founders, chief operating officer and former Big Data Lab director all received their postgraduate education and foundational work experience in the US. From 2000-2006, Beijing’s Zhongguancun technology park (the heart of China’s ICT sector) registered an average of two firms established each working day by such returnees…” [ 1 ]

There are countless other examples. Small businesses operating out of homes rely on the internet to market their wares etc. No surprise supermarkets that are just locations for others to display their wares are going, going, some gone, like ToysRUS. Physical displays are replaced by online displays. And this ongoing cultural consumption will accelerate the declining brick and mortar businesses.

The days of globalization that salivates at division of labor, low costs, mass markets are gone. Globalization will increasingly be about localization, self sustaining industries, blockchain supply chain, ethical and moral considerations.

The perfect machine is in fact only possible with information (AI). The perfect machine does not have to take value out of workers, but basically shifts the paradigm from mass markets to customized markets. From mass brandings to individual brandings, from mass consumerism to selective communities of consumers, less about price but communication.

Let’s take a critical analysis through the capitalist eyes. If you want more profits you need to make information scarce. You need to control information to monetize it. Facebook, Google etc sells personal info to advertisers. Instagram captures key words in your conversations and the next instance, you see a list of those words in your app even though you never actually search for them.

Information is now weaponized between US and China, in a beggar thy neighbor policy. In a capitalist world, profits or dominance is the primary objective.

And yet, we can envisage a different world.

The ‘Fragment On Machines’, and this has been said, is not Marx beyond Marx, but Marx against Marx. It postulates a scenario that signals a post capitalist world that does not pit class against class, it does not drape everyone in some Maoist uniforms, but allows for individualism and work that is more meaningful.

And part of this possible utopia is that as Alvin Toffler said decades ago, the growth of prosumers. The consumers are increasingly also producers, example; people who sell from homes. In this post capitalist world, the bourgeoisie can also be the proletariat. And hopefully, this brings us to a more balanced political equation.

But as history has shown, when we jump from one technological age to the next, there are those that will still be working in the old tech era. Hence, minimum wage is a good way to prevent these people from being a destitute class. Hope is no felicity but an ideal.

 

 

BK

 

 

yyy
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20 Responses to “Fragment On Machines”

  • jj:

    Another rubbish

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  • xoxo:

    Whatever ut is, from high tech(becoming old tech ) or the NEW TECH, elderly poor sgs will still be collecting cardboard litters so that RICH PAPple can COLLECT MORE MONEY.

    On a more serious note, APPLYING MORE TECH MEANS MORE JOBLESS even if feudal LORD$ ,BE THEM FROM CAPITALISTS OR COMMUNIST CAMPS, will become RICHER N MORE POWERFOOL$?!
    AFTERALL, CAN THE POOR AFFORD HIGH FORM OF TECH or CONtinue to be DIGITS/PAWNS mostly?

    Utopia is as the word suggest, A DREAM N WILL REMAIN SO.

    All, i can say humbly but firmly is that the EVIL FORCE is getting stronger n stronger in a world of $ECULARI$M,beyond what us capiralustic or communist???

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  • SojoüRner:

    The most prescient, thoughtful and insightful article I have read in a while. Yes, the coming age of ubiquitous automation will dramatically reduce the need for human labor. In the work society, people are needed to work and, hence, they will earn money. But labor also is the large part of the consumer group. Eliminate the work and you reduce the funds of the consumers.

    The technology described in this article is largely intended to make things better for employers and capitalists at the expense of labor and the consumer. These effects can be seen today. In spite of wages being stagnant, hiring is also stagnant because of lack of demand for goods.

    As you envisage, as more machines displace workers (consumers) there will be less money for buying all those goods and services. I argue that the only reasonable and humane solution is to guarantee the basic needs of every person (water, food, housing, energy, data), at which point everyone has the opportunity to work or not. It feels weird to think about because historically, we’ve always needed most people to be working to ensure the proper functioning of society. With most support-jobs automated, that won’t be the case anymore.

    I don’t claim to have all the answers (especially with regard to how to do the transition), but I believe that this is the approach that best serves us as a species. Among the principles that we should be careful not to compromise is that of the responsibility of the individual human agent. http://www.portedeurope.org

    In the development of robots and complex technologies, those who design, market and deploy systems should not be excused from responsibility for the actions of those systems. http://www.uebersetzung-deutsch-englisch.com Technologies that rob individuals of their freedom of will must be rejected.

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  • oxygen:

    @ SojoüRner: & @ BK

    YES, TWO GREAT THOUGHTS below that invite further discussion, extending into the economic spheres.

    SojoüRner: the coming age of ubiquitous automation will dramatically reduce the need for human labor…. Eliminate the work and you reduce the funds of the consumers.

    and

    BK: Who do you sell to when people can no longer work and generate no income?

    Indeed technology is NOT THE PANACEA to civilisation’s woes, it sometimes adds to it. At best it is DISRUPTIVE and CHANGES the way we live. PAPpypolitics talk of “smart nation” dogma is SMART A*SE thinking in captured reality – sold to gullible minds as the ultimate be-all-and-end-all solution to our growth constraints.

    Why do I say so? Very simple.

    In economics and finance, every payment is the satisfaction of someone’s liability and if that chain is broken, the economy functioning is broken. Which doctor or dentist will take care of your health needs if he/she is not gonna paid for his training, skills and labor? Technology, particularly digital technology PRETENDS that you can fabricate wealth without material, time resources and much laborious extended effort i.e. like bitcoin or block chain or cloud computing. After you eliminate physical labor – and hundred of millions got retrenched, only a few employed in high tech can afford healthcare or habitation. No specialised cancer doctors, no bricklayer and construction engineers to build your habitation.

    From the moment of sunrise till sunset, I see this truism – everything we EAT OR USE are either cultivated on or in the ground or mined. Wealth is material-based of discovery and utilisation. Even snow or rain water provide the means of food cultivation.

    YOU CAN’T BUILT WEALTH solely by technology or its fabrication WITHOUT MATERIAL BASE. People ask me why I dislike investing in technology stocks. My easy reply is that it is for idiots. Technology is TRANSIENT. We have the “Kodak moment” and the “Nokia moment”. We got Sony walkman, now the smart phone in the hands of every walking dead on the street (in a few years time, it will be gone I suspect.

    Technology like ZOOM or Netflix or even online shopping are fad-like but disruptive to even capitalism. Zoom got hijacked by porn. Netflix in pandemic.

    Netflix subscription gains screech lower as pandemic wears on, stock falls 5%.

    Netflix adds 2.2 million net new subscribers after two consecutive quarters adding more than 10 million customers, earnings miss estimates

    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/netflix-subscription-gains-screech-lower-as-pandemic-wears-on-stock-falls-5-11603224575?mod=home-page

    to be continued.

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  • oxygen:

    Continuiing from preceding post…

    If you bought Netflix shares near its recent top, and the market tumbles, you might lose your shirt, pants/panties and something else too.

    Netflix has signed up NOW in the pandemic a load of subscribers who might have been waiting for another few years to take up its services. Netflix is enjoying a feast now waiting for a longer famine ahead.

    The same observation is found in Harvey Norman in Down Under.

    ‘Never been like this’: Gerry Harvey reels after record year for Harvey Norman

    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/harvey-norman-posts-record-result-as-covid-cocooning-boosts-demand-20200828-p55q4i.html

    What is happening? Aussies were buying fridges, freezers, laptop from Harvey Normat outlet faster than the retailer can stock them up in display during the pandemic rush of work from home, entertainment from home lifestyle (including netflix subscription I presumed), they are NOT GOING to buy another fridge. freezer or laptop/desktop computer for another 4 to 10 years.

    Some US technology stocks are priced now at 40 time price-earnings ratio – in a world of negative interest rate in parts of Eurozone and US 10 yr treasury bonds is 0.8 % per annum nominal. Nominal interest rate is theoretically real interest rate plus inflation. If inflation is 1.5% (against a failed targeted 2%), the real rate of return on bond investing is NEGATIVE.

    All that means is that the forward global economic outlook – EU, Japan and US are appalling dismal. For those who bought technology stocks on a Price-earnings ratio of 40 and above now and caught in the next downturn, YOU CAN RECOVER YOUR LOSSES NOT FROM YOUR SON’S GENERATION BUT YOUR GRANDCHILDREN GENERATION MAYBE.

    SUCH IS THE WONDER OF TECHNOLOGY in the economic spheres.

    I have NEVER BELIEVE OR EVER BELIEVE that wealth can be made out of digital creation – be that artificial intelligence or blockchain or bitcoin or cloud technology.

    You can’t built wealth out of something non-existent. I like to be contradicted on this account.

    You create wealth out of REAL GOODS AND SERVICES simply because everything we eat or use is either grown or mined from the ground. WITHOUT THIS COMPONENT there is no wealth creation.

    The first generation of smart phone is museum copy, no trade-in value, soon Apple i-phone 12 is heading the same way.

    And for those retrenched by technology, they have no means to pay for 1-phone 12 or healthcare or food on the table, it is NEGATIVE WEALTH for them of technology advancement as @Sojourner and @BK.

    In that case, the liability and payment linkage is permanently shattered (unless the retrenched find equal good employment) in a shrinked economy.

    And when THAT HAPPENS, technology takes us into the domain of negative wealth creation.

    HOW TO FIND AND INVEST IN WEALTH CREATION IN THE TECHNOLOGY SPACE???

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  • simple sinkie:

    @xoxo

    I can agree with your views.
    Expect more jobless n poor people.
    Rich will get richer.

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  • The view from nowhere:

    supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
    There’ll be thinkers and
    there’ll be twisters,
    Doers and servers for
    riders and masters
    A straight way man or
    a crooked path to crave

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  • BK:

    Morning @ SojoüRner & @ Oxygen. SojoüRner , your usual elegance, and Oxygen with his cut and thrust.

    I think we are entering into an era of chaos. U have technological shift, climate change, pandemics and global powers struggle. U may say a perfect storm.

    Im a firm believer in technological change as one of the principle drivers of life. If u were a slave owner of agriculture Southern US, u will see how the Industrial North need for manufacturing workers, coincide with a philosophy to ‘free’ slaves, resulting in war and shifting of wealth from South to North.

    While we see a darkening future, yet, we must have a vision of what the end game is. And in that end game what separates the survivors from the dead.

    No point being moody and dragging our feet. All hands on deck. Lets brave the storm for the young, with a belief of what is beyond.

    For Singapore, our food security is paramount as food shortages due to supply chain disruption drive prices up the next few years. Invest heavily in storage of essential materials and manufacturing.

    Yes. As technology shifts, the possibly of unemployment, under employment will increase, we need to have basic needs provided.

    Externally, there will be massive civil unrest. Domestic politics are now defining foreign relations, wont end well.

    Have a good weekend bros!

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  • BK:

    jj:
    Another rubbish

    Lol. I accept what u say (:. So let me say a tongue-tied chauvinist is the epitome of a brain dead con-munist.

    Enjoy your red bean soup and slogans.

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  • BK:

    @ xoxo, enjoy your comments bro.

    The view from nowhere:
    supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
    There’ll be thinkers and
    there’ll be twisters,
    Doers and servers for
    riders and masters
    A straight way man or
    a crooked path to crave

    Witty mate (:

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  • Prof Wei Shin YU:

    Dear BK
    Great words!
    Q: If SG has “era of chaos”and massive unemployment, how do we prepare our young for this, and ensure food security to feed the millions of “dead” mouths?

    Automation and technology are great, but require significant financial resources and investments,long gestation time,plus very talented,skilled and very EXPERIENCED APPLICATION ENGINEERS, which are in very short supply in SG and Worldwide (e.g. Why China enticed several thousands top Japanese technologists to work there?)

    With the hollowing out of SG’s significant manufacturing industries, there is little opportunities for our engineers to be exposed to and gain such valuable experience.
    The alternative is to “buy” foreign-made technologies, and pray that they can do the work that we require? (Anyone remember the saga of the Japanese satay skewing machines?)

    In any case, having our manufacturing “hollowed out” to Batam, etc, what is there left to automate in SG?
    Bus & cabs drivers? Hawkers? Food deliveries? Waiters/waitresses? Bank tellers? Street sweepers? Supermarket checkout? Doctors & nurses? “Paper” professors? Police & Customs officers? …..
    And what will be the consequences???

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  • oxygen:

    BK:……… we are entering into an era of chaos. U have technological shift, climate change, pandemics and global powers struggle. U may say a perfect storm……..Im a firm believer in technological change as one of the principle drivers of life…………While we see a darkening future, yet, we must have a vision of what the end game is. And in that end game what separates the survivors from the dead……..No point being moody and dragging our feet. All hands on deck. Lets brave the storm for the young, with a belief of what is beyond.

    YES, I agree that we are entering the age of chaos, much of which is driven by technology. skills hard fought and won over long periods risk obsolescent overnight. Even cardiac surgeons may have to clean table top for a living.

    Israelis scientists are growing new blood vessel and heart organs with the potential to displaced all heart surgery going forward.

    https://www.israel21c.org/scientists-develop-protein-to-regrow-blood-vessels/

    https://www.jpost.com/health-science/israeli-researchers-build-3d-model-of-heart-tissue-from-stem-cells-617525

    Online shopping also means that “influencers” of brand identification could suddenly discover their life-line cut off when business have no premises for shopping traffic to visit in store to tests for product claims. Once a particular brand has an established niche in the digital space, the influencers will be redundant to the marketing tools of the seller entity.

    Work from Home legislation championed by an animal-loving MP – if instituted – means that skilled labor supply is opened to the entire world – the cheaper the better. How could high-costs base Sinkies working in LEE-jiapore survive the competition? Perhaps there could be more unemployed PMETs available to cost-free care for his “loving” puppies, cats, rats and mousey rats in HDB heartland.

    @ BK, me thinks the future is much more gloomier than PAPpypolitics/PAPpynomics dare to admit – the consequences of their failed economic mismanagement over decades. Most Sinkies will be swimming against unfavorable tides, financially speaking for two reasons

    - much more slower global economic growth for this coming decade, bogged down by debt over-leverage both of sovereigns, corporate and households

    - the decade beyond 2030 face ageing population time-bomb of healthcare cost implosion and lack of vibrant economic space given labor shortages,

    I SUSPECT THAT THE FUTURE BELONGS TO THOSE WHO CAN INVEST SKILLFULLY in the age of turbulent change BUT THESE SKILLS CAN’T BE TAUGHT.

    It is a strange chaotic world for next generation OF LEARNING TO LEARN with very small chance of a breakthrough for a lucky few and for the rest, will mostly swimming against the tide for survival.

    Have a good weekend, mate.

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  • BK:

    Hello Prof,

    I am no tech expert. But if 5G allows remote surgery, say a surgeon from US or China on anyone in the world, the physical logistics of arranging taxi to airport, bringing assistants , hotels etc, that part of the economy goes up in smoke. U repeat this over thousands of professions, then a major disruption is less than a decade away.

    I know for a fact, that architecture drawings are brokered to be done in Vietnam, the broker charges 30+% of what locals do.

    But sooner or later even the broker’s job will be gone as online social communication gets more advanced with language translations.

    The globalization that allowed Spore to prosper is gone. The pragmatism that arose from globalization which is to “make us useful” to the world was externally directed.

    To be blunt, with Covid, we are economic prostitutes that are defunct coz it is more hygenic to be jerked off thru virtual reality or some other mechanical device.

    I think, we need a deep cultural shift in the way our society works. Example, a Statboard wants to implement some rules for hygiene. But these new guys were from police etc, scholars with no practical experience, the ‘old birds’, industry players insist on representation.

    Secondly, because we are externally directed, we dont give our young time and space to find their mojo, in fact, we discouraged it. We end up copying but never creating a uniqueness, a Singaporean zeitgeist.

    People find Singapore safe, but relatively forgettable. If we get the basic right, if we have confidence in the way we teach and love the kids. They will be resilient. Let them face the world.

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  • SojoüRner:

    BK:
    I think we are entering into an era of chaos. U have technological shift, climate change, pandemics and global powers struggle. U may say a perfect storm.

    Yes. As technology shifts, the possibly of unemployment, under employment will increase, we need to have basic needs provided.

    Externally, there will be massive civil unrest. Domestic politics are now defining foreign relations, wont end well.

    Thank you for highlighting what will prove to be one of three or so critical crises of the 21st century.

    Any economic system that does not adequately value and preserve its human capital is bound for either misery or failure, or both. A healthy society will adjust as technology evolves, to preserve its human capital. The role of government in a capitalist society is to step in, when necessary, if the “free market” fails to do so.

    But the next technological advance may have little or nothing to do with the Internet. And we’ll never see it coming until it arrives.

    Putting together a building still requires humans. And answering
    questions in the field requires an architect. At best, computers can help in AI conceptualizations, keep track of paperwork during construction – but not much else.

    5G do not read medical results, edit, or especially interact with customers better than humans; they mostly do these things demonstrably worse; but they do them in the short run more cheaply for the corporate/private owners. In the long run, they destroy the social fabric and the individual lives they are supposed to be bettering.

    All you really need to operate a small hotel, then, are one or two people to supervise the machines, and some people to make beds and operate the laundry–not much more. However, all the savings in labor will go to the owners, not the remaining workers. Which leads to the question, who will have enough money to stay at this hotel, beside a handful of capitalists?

    Regarding technological innovation, a map is needed showing how new technology fits into the context of where our country is headed and more importantly, where do we want to go.

    I would presume it’s the same in many fields, manufacturing notwithstanding. Humans are still an absolutely integral part of it.

    Karl Marx already predicted that technological advancements would eventually allow machines to do the necessary works for human survival…and so it will be. In the long run there will have to be methods for the distribution of commodities and services that are not based on wages.

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  • Prof Wei Shin YU:

    Dear BK
    I vaguely remember LKY saying:
    1. if Filipino ladies with Masters degree work as FDW in SG,will the same fate befall Singaporeans one day?
    2. During the war, many Singaporeans sought refuge in Peninsular Malaysia, and this could happen again, with SG rejoining Malaysis?

    What might be the doomsday scenario,over time:
    1. Many highly skilled and capable Singaporeans migrate to resources rich countries,leaving the old and sick behind?
    2. As there will be little or no manufacturing industry left, SG relies entirely on “services”, such as the islands in the Caribbean Seas, and become a nation of …?

    Is this what we should prepare our young for???
    Or is there a better way out, such as the Swiss model?

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  • oxygen:

    @ BK

    INDEED OUR ECONOMY is parasitic of origin and Covid-19 corroded the value and relevance of our so-called “strategic location” as long as resurgence of its eruptions persist through the decade.

    BK: The globalization that allowed Spore to prosper is gone. The pragmatism that arose from globalization which is to “make us useful” to the world was externally directed

    A real vaccine cure is 10 years away according to UK’s Chief Science Adviser.Patrick Vallance, told the National Security Strategy Committee in London earlier this week this

    Patrick Vallance : that creating a vaccine from scratch took 10 years on average. The fastest vaccine ever developed was for mumps, and it took more than four years.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2020/10/22/coronavirus-physicians-warn-virus-may-become-endemic-despite-vaccine.html

    PAPpypolitic/PAPpynomics brave talk of “re-incarnation” of Changi Jewel and T5 are fantasy dreams even if SIA might still fly with a much slimmer operation with far more intense competition within shrunken global demand for air travel and loss of strategic location value.

    We are, as you correctly put it.

    BK: To be blunt, with Covid, we are economic prostitutes

    “Geylang” red light must have gone online in the digital age, so is our prostitute economic will vaporize with 5G and Covid corrosive tearing.

    and this is spot on.

    BK: I think, we need a deep cultural shift in the way our society works

    But we are hanging desperately to the past of authoritarianism rigidities and all its archaic rigidities incomprehensible – POFMA, POHA came to mind. There is only one way – PAPpypolitics “Fixing of critics” and its ghosts of PAPpynomics accompanying – impliedly there is only one truth of political convenience and imperative, a monopoly of wisdom/information and luck.

    And a stubborn refusal to consider any other options. LEE-jiapore is trapped in a silo of “path dependency” even if the past no longer works. The “sunken cost” mentality never leaves us, the establishment or deep state can’t change because it means admission of a long history of “wrong” past.

    A lot of our institutions are dinosaurs – HDB/CPF/Population Recycling economics have to go, but intractable of political persuasion in the deep state of iconic legacy.

    CPF is no retirement nest for us now. In 20 years time, HOW ARH? We need

    BK: a Singaporean zeitgeist.

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  • oxygen:

    @ BK

    Continuiing from my preceding post a moment ago, I often think of this -

    WHAT WILL HAPPEN to the generations after we (mostly the baby boomers) are all gone.

    The next two decades will be a lot harder than ours. We have no (hijacked) CPF for our retiremment subsistence and for some a lot of this “savings” for the future is just “imagery” of construction, trapped in fake “ownership” of air-bubble-pricing of public housing leasing deception of falling values as we age (and healthcare costs escalating in contrast)

    LEGACY HAS NO ECONOMIC VALUE, but deep state won’t change so that future generations have a fighting chance – however slim and challenging that may be – going forward.

    POFMA AND OUR NATIONAL INSTITUTIONS ARE AFRAID OF TRUTH-FACING.

    How can?

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  • BK:

    Morning gentlemen, whats breakfast without coffee and mind chewing questions from such esteemed company (:

    If u asked me what Spore innate strength is, in this region, our rule of law for investors. We are a natural magnet for safe haven money from Asean. Our low tax regime. Our geographic location as air and shipping hub.

    I can understand the rationale for keeping tax low. Money coming in, stabilizes SGD. Currency in Spore context is our blood, it needs a good circulation. But inflates our asset classes in particular HDB flats.

    How much of our savings are tied to HDB? Without savings and easy access to capital, it inhibits entrepreneurship; this must become more impt as MNCs,SMEs digitized.

    Entrepreneurship first mentors are parents, and most parents are managerial or working class, so this generation of gig and freelancers are the mass inchoate of entrepreneurship. Many will fail, but their experiences will benefit their children.

    An adequate support for this gig economy, especially with funds when out of job is crucial. Insurance etc can be part funded by govt. And perhaps even a portion of money earned by Singapore Land Authority should be dedicated to supporting this group.

    Another problem with foreign workers are a lacked of an empathetic class of mentors toward young Singaporeans. U may get lipped service from foreigners mentoring Sporeans, but neither the Indians or Chinese have the natural or national bonding to do so.

    Im not sure how the industries will be, but we first need a strong social cohesiveness sorely lacking. But im seeing the ‘old birds’
    waking up.

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  • BK:

    Evening gentlemen,thought I sent one in the morning during coffee. Guess I have to send one with evening coffee.

    IMHO, this gig economy is permanent. It takes away the corporation rice bowl to one of personal creations. The gig economy represents the prosumer ascent, transforming society economically and politically.

    The other problem of foreign workers are that they pay lip service to mentoring young Singaporeans, their natural and national bonds are instead to bring more foreign youths here. They rather mentor their own.

    The first mentors for entrepreneurs are parents. But for this generation of entrepreneurs they are the first movers, their parents are managerial or working class. Many will fail, but they will level up their kids.

    And in Spore context, as a safe haven, money will pour into SGD, raising asset prices. This results in HDB prices sucking up our savings. In a gig economy, savings and capital play a crucial role to the success of the entrepreneurs.

    Hence, an insurance for the gig economy partly paid by govt , will provide better legs for the future of prosumers. In fact, a certain % of the revenue taken by Spore Land Authority should be set aside for this insurance.

    Im not sure that preparing workers for industry is the way to go, which govt has been consistent in this respect?

    I think an individual sufficiently educated, in a polity of freedom possibly knows better than govt how to eke out his living.

    Cheers guys, thank you for a lively exchange, gratitude for such formidable opinions.

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  • oxygen:

    @ BK

    YES, YES and yes on these, agreed with you.

    BK: Spore innate strength is, in this region, our rule of law for investors. We are a natural magnet for safe haven money from Asean. Our low tax regime.

    But with lesser and lesser of this “strategic location” value with de-globalisation, OBOR and Covid-19 not extinguished.

    BK: Our geographic location as air and shipping hub.

    I believe this one is past its use-by date.

    BK: Money coming in, stabilizes SGD. Currency in Spore context is our blood, it needs a good circulation. But inflates our asset classes in particular HDB flats.

    How much of our savings are tied to HDB? Without savings and easy access to capital, it inhibits entrepreneurship

    Australia is cracking down on tax haven as so is Indonesia. Hot money is hot in circulation, not invested in entrepreneurial activities.

    Hot money spurring our property market is a DEFINITE NO NO of advantage. Housing is CONSUMPTION, housing bubble bursting wreck economies in EU, and US in the GFC after Japan got crushed. Housing consumption costs travels to all other sectors of the economy – mainly UNPRODUCTIVE CORROSIVE of final outcome impact.

    Rising HDB and property sector did supply capital for some entrepreneurial adventure BUT THAT IS PAST TENSE. From this point, HDB resale price will, most likely, fall, mostly due to physical aging and fast aging population profile. It is UNSUSTAINABLE of weaker economic outlook for the coming two decades.

    Costs of accommodation will be a draining factor – deleterious of capital accumulation to supply seed entrepreneurial adventure.

    As fr this one, I worry for LEE-jiapore.

    BK: Im not sure how the industries will be,

    We are in the forefront of oil refining and related marine services such as tanker repair etc etc. If there is a quantum leap in HYDROGEN ENERGY in future green economy i.e. eliminating all fossil fuel and even nuclear energy industries, I see a large chunk of our GLCs (strongly oriented in oil and gas/marine sector) completely wiped out.

    BK: But im seeing the ‘old birds’ waking up.

    Old birds waking up is good, but they have to wake up the maid-cared generation to wake up faster, to live their lives like everyday is a crisis.

    We, with exceptions of course, are digitally behind, playing catch up.

    HOW TO HELP OUR YOUNG IN THE TECHNOLOGICAL DISRUPTED WORLD??

    PAPpypolitics sleeping, I worry.

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