The following is an excerpt of an article first posted on Diary of a Singaporean Mind
The real reason for the large influx, I believe, is to expand the workforce rapidly so that we can show very fast GDP growth – more input more growth. It panders to business demand for cheaper labor and benefits GLCs that are service providers as the aggregate demand expands due to population expansion. This generally works against the ordinary workers and in particular lower wage workers. Singapore has a very high rental to wage ratio due to high concentration of people+business. High rentals forces businesses to seek cheaper labor to stay competitive and it is a vicious cycle. Our labor chief Lim Swee Say tells workers to be cheaper but never says that rentals should go down to make Singapore more competitive. By growing the economy through workforce expansion rather than productivity growth, we are seeing very poor outcomes for ordianry Singapores – high cost of housing, overcrowded public transport, and stagnant wages. These are also the causes of low fertility among Singaporeans. The worse part is the govt turns around and blame all this problems on Singaporeans’ themselves for having low fertility.
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