Friday, October 01, 2010

Lim Swee Say : Minimum wage can cause unemployment....

Yes, and if you can pay people $100 or nothing, unemployment drops to zero but what is the point of keeping people in low wage work to keep unemployment low? So they can work their whole lives, collect workfare and live out a life just above subsistence. Not very Swiss standard of living right?

With a worldclass govt paid the highest salaries in the world, we would like to have our cake and eat it = low unemployment and decent wages....at least we want leaders who will try to achieve this as a goal otherwise how else do we narrow the income gap and inequalities in our society. Why is the PAP govt insistent that it is not do-able when so many other countries have done it. In fact all developed countries have minimum wage policies and even our neighbor, Malaysia, is seriously considering it.


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Minimum wage an 'easy solution', says Swee Say

But doing so would lead to firms moving to places with cheaper labour, he says
By Kor Kian Beng
http://www.straitstimes.com/STI/STIMEDIA/image/20101001/ST_17708565.jpg

LOW WAGE OR NO WAGE
LABOUR chief Lim Swee Say said yesterday that advocates who want a minimum wage as a way to improve the lot of low-paid workers were opting for an 'easy solution'.

Taking such an step would, instead, lead to higher unemployment rates as companies start moving to more cost-competitive locations, he argued.

'Yes, we can try to reduce the number of low-wage workers by having a minimum wage, but the number of workers with no wage will go up and unemployment will go up,' he said during a panel discussion at a conference to explore ways Asian companies can better attract and groom talent.

It would be more effective to introduce a 'minimum skills' system for jobs and raise the skills level over time through education and training, said Mr Lim, who is also Minister in the Prime Minister's Office. 'That way, lower-wage workers of today will become better-skilled workers and earn better wages of tomorrow.'

Mr Lim's first public comments on the issue follow a debate last month on the effectiveness of a minimum wage as a way to protect low-wage workers here and boost their incomes.

Making a case for such a move were National University of Singapore labour economist Hui Weng Tat and Ambassador-at-Large Tommy Koh.

Dr Hui argued that an influx of low-skilled and low-cost foreign labour keeps the wages of lower-skilled workers here stagnant. He believed a minimum wage would encourage bosses to invest more in technology so as to raise productivity.

Professor Koh noted the Government's argument to let the market regulate wages, but said the state should intervene to 'make the world a fairer one' when there is a market failure.

Yesterday, Mr Lim noted that some economies went for easy solutions such as a minimum wage and the restriction of foreign labour supply - thus forcing firms to take on local workers even though there may be a mismatch in the skills level for jobs.

'We can force the mismatch onto companies and force them to pay higher wages,' he said. 'But you can't stop the globalisation of jobs (and) the harder you push, eventually the jobs will go away because if a location is not competitive, they can always go (elsewhere).'

Mr Lim spoke on the issue at the Singapore Human Capital Summit during a panel discussion on the human capital challenges facing Asia in 2020.

Challenges he named include a widening income gap, keener competition for top talent, and a growing mismatch between jobs and skills.

Countries should focus on developing their prime asset - their people - and use this to attract investments and jobs, Mr Lim said. They could do so by beefing up the education and skills upgrading system, keeping foreign manpower supply open, and maintaining social stability by looking at narrowing the income gap.

On the issue of social stability, panellist Lynda Gratton, a London Business School professor, said companies had to stop paying top executives '500 times' more than their lowest-paid employees. This would build fairer societies.

Citing the example of a firm that pays its top management 20 per cent more than its lowest-paid workers, she asked Mr Lim if more companies would do so in future.

Mr Lim's response was that in the real world, top dollar would have to be paid for top talent.

The labour movement does not object to people getting higher pay, he said. But it expects bosses to be more responsible to their rank-and-file workers by ensuring that they too receive a fair wage for the work they put in.

kianbeng@sph.com.sg

77 comments:

john said...

Low wage equals opting for an easy solution? Come, come, isn't it the PAP that is opting for easy solutions by bringing in cheap foreigners into the labour market? Aren't they the ones who has run out of ideas and decided to rely on gambling to create jobs for more cheap foreigners under the guise of boosting the economy? Unable to facfe the results of their economic policies, the PAP is desperately attempting to postpone the inevitable. This facade will begin to crumble when the old man dies. And that day is not too far away.

Anonymous said...

they want cheaper better faster. but what they got was cheapest, worst, and slow and they come in a truckload.. that just does not make sense.

Anonymous said...

The arguments for minimum wage are more convincing. Some jobs are localised and cannot go to other countries. Like cleaning tables at Boon Lay hawker centre. But at $850pm, I cannot even support my 3 childrens' education. I suggest these cleaners be paid a minimum wage and also refrain from allowing FTs to do this job. dt

Anonymous said...

The PAPies are totally out of ideas. That's why they keep harping on cheaper and faster --- attributes most suitable for factory assembly lines. And that's why PAPies keep importing cheaper and younger foreigners into Singapore to work.

Under the PAPies, we are in a death spiral competing with 3rd world countries in Asia for low value-add industries and jobs. In PAP Singapore, only the elites, owners of capital and business owners truly benefit; the rest suffers. That's why you see the income-gap getting wider & wider year by year between the bottom 20% and the top 20%.

Those in the middle just sort of muddle along, with sufferings to various degrees. Probably those in the 70th to 80th percentile still happy, looking forward to upgrade to condo or buy investment property. But even if you are higher-income, it doesn't take much in Singapore to get yourself thrown down to the depths e.g. retrenchment in your 40s or even 50s, overleveraging in investments/property, major medical crisis etc. You will be surprised to know how easy it is for even a high-flier to suddenly slide down the path to below subsistence survival in this "you die your business" country.

Anonymous said...

Is LSS speaking in his role as the Head of the Labor Union, a PAP politician or as a cabinet minister?

The interests of workers, party politician and government are often conflicting.

So before LSS addresses any issue, he needs to clarify which hat he has on.

Otherwise, the workers will ALWAYS get the shorter end of the stick.

http://vonhayek.blogspot.com/ said...

He thinks everyone in Singapore works in MNC. In fact, most Singaporean works in SME.

What about asking the GLCs to implement miniumum wages? Fair!!

We should even go further. What about mandating that the CEO of GLCs must not be paid more than 20 times the wages of the lowest operator in the company.

GLC wont go unless PAP give green light.

Anonymous said...

"every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business and turns into a racket." - eric hoffer

The ruling government has lost its way.

IT'S TIME FOR A CHANGE!

Anonymous said...

PAP is just like Communist China. Form over substance. As long as the statitics look good, high GDP growth, zero unemployment, etc., it doesn't matter if people are really suffering. This will be the case as long as there is a dynastic one party rule.

geelo said...

Low wage is always good as long as it applies to someone else.

Anonymous said...

Lim Swee Say is probably the one and only freaking Labor Union head in the Universe that is against Minimum wage! KNN really don't know what to say. wtf!

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

It is market forces that decides wages.

Just like it is market forces that decides product prices. When the product is scarce and many people want it, then of course the price will go up.

It is also market forces that decides who is the government.
For instance, if the market has very weak opposition or the majority in the market likes the government, then the government of course will have a solid mandate, right or not?

And if the government has a solid mandate, then it means they can do what they like because there is not much or no one to challenge them, right or not?

So it all boils down to market forces, whether in politics, business or any other areas.

Minimum wage by law will not work because there will be less or no jobs for the minimum wage and many will have no wage.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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patriot Singaporean said...

can we also outsource our leadership to the global market ?

let the market forces decide what they ought to be paid.

Anonymous said...

outsource lucky's small dick for minimum wage lah..HAHAHAHAHA

Anonymous said...

hehehe...the fucking pimp must have some whores working for him, complaining about being under paid...hehehe

Anonymous said...

I agree with Minister Lim Swee Say. Wages should be decided by the market. To raise the wages of the lowest paid Singaporeans, it is better to tighten the supply of cheap labour from overseas than to impose a minimum wage.

I'd rather that the poorest Singaporean have some low income than no income. It is irresponsible to have Singaporeans demand a minimum wage thinking about the job losses. Are you going to share your income with the unemployed?

Anonymous said...

Excuse me...

Is Mr LSS working for the people of Singapore...

Or working for somebody "else"...

And who is exactly paying "his" salary plus bonus plus benefits plus pension plus so many stuff...

Seems it is ok for someone to have "welfare" and "minimum" income for themselves but not for others...

It speaks volumes of those who are willing to expend/sacrifice many to allow the few to "benefit"...

It is all "blood" money in the end.

Anonymous said...

Mother fucker lucky likes to exploit the plight of the unfortunate in society for his personal gain. This mother fucker lucky must be exposed. His mother fucking lickers must be under paid working for him that's why all these minimum wage nonsense. Time to have this mother fucker arrested and thrown into the zoo for threatening the prosperity of SIN.

Anonymous said...

i like this - no minimum wages for the under class, and no maximum wages for the ruling elites.

damn obvious - pap does not give a hoot about income inequality. sky is the limit, so are the pits.

Anonymous said...

show your prick lucky or burn in hell.

Anonymous said...

If PAP removes Lim Swee Say and Goh Chok Tong, I may still vote for PAP in the next GE.

I would place Lim Swee Say, Seng Han Tong, Goh Chok Tong at the bottom of PAP MPs. But just not sure who should be at the lowest.

Anonymous said...

Mr Dunb Frog should perhaps back up his claim by providing statistics as to how many Singaporeans are hired by companies which can easily pack up and move. Last I knew, we were not moved away from labour intensive plants. So what is he talking about. The biggest employers as I know are the GLC. Are they going to pack up and move elsewhere. Speak Mr dumb frog

Anonymous said...

Market forces to decide wages, my ass. This is never possible as long as the government makes cheap labour from overseas available. Did market forces decide the MFs salary. Vote them out

Anonymous said...

Jesus loves you. Tithe to my church and you will have more than minimum wage to meet all your gambling problems.

Anonymous said...

My brother was a welder in Singapore. Now he lives and work in Australia. Pay is several times more. Owns a detached house, raised a kid, pay taxes and he considers it a more decent living than in Singapore. Why is it his employer dun hire sgd 21 a day Blangalas or Indians or Thai welders? Why is he still in competitive business?

Anonymous said...

lucky, we see you have a lot of fans . you must have hit the jackpot. garmen is afraid of all your gripings and had sent monkeys to harress you. be strong my friend. we shall taste victory soon when our master return from his grave.
salamat hari raya

Anonymous said...

Lucky, when you visiting my fucking hole? Give you discount. Call me.

Anonymous said...

work for lucky, no wage proplem in sin. but must blow baton well.
ok, customer calling for job. seeya

Anonymous said...

Bosses will always like to hire capable ppl who are cheaper, better and faster. Who doesn't? it's best if all our graduates cost no more than SGD1000 per month with no benefits. and if all bosses are agreeable they can come together to set a maximum wage for all employees. this will prevent ppl from leaving the company. cos it will b just one shit hole to another shit hole.
why should boss change luxury cars/houses/women once a year when they can save $$$ by hiring foreign workers and change car/houses/women every few months?

Anonymous said...

well, i wonder cheaper, better, faster applies to every sg or just low educated sg??? if it is for everyone, then maybe it is time for govt ppl to also stick to cheaper, better, faster.
funny that the govt ppl are increasing their wages faster than the private sector... maybe it is only my industry is no upping the pay.... funny??? i thnk govt is faster in pay increment....

Towkay said...

It is only right that PAP looks after Towkays as we are the pillars of this country. Singaporeans are dispensable which can be replaced by cheaper and younger FTs.

Companies are preparing to go full steam ahead of replacing ageing (35 years old) Singaporean workforce with FTs after PAP gets its mandate at the next elections.

Some of my more savvy Towkay buddies had already formed 100% FTs companies. Smart bastards :) The rest of us have to wait till after next elections before we can replace Singaporeans.

Towkay said...

Singaporeans need not worry. There will still be jobs for you. You can take jobs that FTs refuse to do, like security guards, taxi drivers, cleaners, gardeners.

Singaporeans better act fast and get a foothold into these industries before hungrier FTs decide that they also want these jobs.

Anonymous said...

lol

so many fans reading trash.

Anonymous said...

It is pretty frustrating to see that PAP stooges are trying to even disrupt morsels of content that is not in their favour.

Strangely, the amount of 'rubbish' posts from these idiots are rising and more prevalent than in the past.

Lucky, any way to keep them out? They are really disturbing the peace.

Anonymous said...

Even in poor countries like Bangladesh, factory workers and unions are clamouring for minimum wages.

They all are saying the same thing as Lucky; what's the point of doing the job if the monthly salary is below survival-level?

It is sad that big MNCs are concerned about paying US$100 a month to factory workers, while indifferent to their CEOs $1 million a year.

Is this market-force, or just runaway greed?

FUCK YOUR MOTHER CHOW CHEEBYE said...

disturbing the peace? why? should the few religious pedophiles who peppered their speeches with a RESPECTABLE theological expletives cloak have all the say?

FUCK YOU!

let the bengs in and FUCK YOU MOTHER ASSES for FUCKING WITH THEIR LIVES!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lucky be strong. I know that a lot of good Singaporeans are behind you.

Once old man kicks the bucket, high probability of infighting and leadership vacuum.

A new vibrant democratic Singapore will be borne!

Cheers
Economist with a heart :)

Anonymous said...

yes lucky, be strong. the lord shall return soon and we can drink olong char together in heaven on earth. hehehe

Anonymous said...

Amen. Praise Jesus. Looks like I have made one convert(thank you father god).

Jesus shall return indeed and rid all these cockroaches indiscretionary excretion on lucky's holy site.

So low class.

Nevertheless, Praise Jesus and grace grace and more grace to water your watering hole.

Remember to tithe for maximum wages in your life.

Far better than hoping for minimum wages right?

Amen

Anonymous said...

LOL

hey, more chow chee byes pls lah. LOL

Anonymous said...

Jobs is not the problem. The problem is good paying jobs. So many foreigners have to be imported because businessmen cannot get enough Singaporeans to work like dog at shit pay.

Wee said...

Hi Lucky, "MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU"

Anonymous said...

dont belive in heros. may the fuck be with you.

Anonymous said...

after a while, this fucker,like all fuckers, becomes the sandpiper on the basis of his researched material, the supposedly credible aspect, but most are not too clever to understand how he, like most journalists, controls the script and fuck with minds.

an insidious fucker.

Anonymous said...

Lucky, your blog comments are usually spot-on in highlighting the important issues affecting our countrymen. Those who have been fed a steady diet of controlled mainstreammedia fodder for decades, should now sit-up and take notice. The fact that certain vocal detractors are showing up in force here now could probably be indicative that you have come uncomfortably close to the barriers put up so assiduously by those who would prefer us the citizenry, to remain in ignorance.

Anonymous said...

i stop listening and reading his nonsense long time ago

Anonymous said...

Like most "scholars", they r only interested in "scores" to glorify themselves, but not the substance.

As long as the "Umemploymt rate" is low, "people" will "praise" them sky-high. and all are happy except those who are suffering.

Anonymous said...

has this mother fucker comes to his senses why he shldnt anyhow delete?
mother fuckers never learn. watch.

Anonymous said...

fcking hell. was none of his business and was fcking in context, wtf?
get danielxx in and lets fcuk man
hey, wanna spread your legs, dun choose your customers lah.you want get paid right? a fcuk is a fcuk.

Anonymous said...

Let me pay all the PAP ministers $550 a month, then ask them again if they agree with Mr Lim Shit Say.

Anonymous said...

PAPies are running out of ideas by sending idiots to attempt to spoil the forum.
Lets just ignore them...it is so obvious with the expletives they post, totally irrelevant.

So low, they stooped, and we will just ignore them...

Lucky, you have my support (and many others)...the vote will decide the outcome, regardless what the clowns were doing to distract.

Take care.

Anonymous said...

Aiyoyo. I agree with the above Anon. Lucky, no need to tolerate these imbeciles and low lives.

Put up a CHURCH SIGN in YOUR HOLY DOMAIN and restrict only the dignified, the RICH, the well dressed, behaved and WELL SPOKEN - proper english please(according to your holy sacraments) who would kiss the feet of your GOD and you will be freed from these USELESS LOW LIVES who live in HDBs SLUMS.

We support you lucky. Put up your CHURCH SIGN like most other bloggers and MODERATE to your HEART CONTEND - your HOLY rights Mr Lucky.

We acknowledge your PRIESTLY MINISTRY in your HOLY DOMAIN. Please make it YOUR OWN and for YOUR KIND to worship.

We await your HOLY MAJESTY just like we worship LKY.

Anonymous said...

Praise Jesus. Salvation shall come to this house.

Amen

Anonymous said...

having minimum wages will mean the firms will be force to raise the efficiency level of their workers/ human capital which will be good for the overall sg people in long term. LSS cannot think long term. only short term and CBF and betterest that kind of nonsense.

Anonymous said...

LOL

Anonymous said...

wow, so many morons posting stupid remarks!u must have touch on some people's nerve!Gd article.

Anonymous said...

Lord Jesus, thank You for loving me and dying for me on the cross. Your precious blood washes me clean of every sin. I confess that You are my Lord, my Saviour and my God now and forever. I believe that You rose from the dead, and that You are alive today. God, You are my Father and I am Your child because of Jesus. Thank You for filling my heart with Your love, joy and peace. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Anonymous said...

yes, my cheebay has been touched. can you cum and stratch it for me?

Anonymous said...

Be careful on your words. It's common trick for Government to provoke other so as to pick on the wrong word during reply.

Anonymous said...

So w/o minimum wage, will there be full employment ?

If you artificially bring in cheap foreign workers to compete, why can't there be an delibrate raising of the wage (min wage) to moderate the balance.

Anonymous said...

We should not rejoice when the old man is gone and the pap loses power; that is not the end, it is only a beginning of a new era - a chaotic and maybe dark times for Singapore. s

Anonymous said...

#It's common trick for Government to provoke other so as to pick on the wrong word during reply.

2/10/10 18:54#

Who cares ? You decide on what affects you and is hitting your pocket. Not on some clever play of words which only serves the satisfaction of verbal masturbation.

Anonymous said...

you mean blow your own cock is it?

wee said...

Yes, by setting a minimum wage too high will bring up unemployment rate but this is healthy for future Singaporean. As you can see for yourself the minimum survival cost in Singapore is way higher then the wages of low pay worker.

Free market is to let the market adjust itself and import a lot of FW is call manipulate market which cause the wage to be stagnate and inflation still growing.

Anonymous said...

Jobs is not the problem. The problem is good paying jobs. So many foreigners have to be imported because businessmen cannot get enough Singaporeans to work like dog at shit pay.

Anonymous said...

Low wage equals opting for an easy solution? Come, come, isn't it the PAP that is opting for easy solutions by bringing in cheap foreigners into the labour market? Aren't they the ones who has run out of ideas and decided to rely on gambling to create jobs for more cheap foreigners under the guise of boosting the economy? Unable to facfe the results of their economic policies, the PAP is desperately attempting to postpone the inevitable. This facade will begin to crumble when the old man dies. And that day is not too far away.

Anonymous said...

The arguments for minimum wage are more convincing. Some jobs are localised and cannot go to other countries. Like cleaning tables at Boon Lay hawker centre. But at $850pm, I cannot even support my 3 childrens' education. I suggest these cleaners be paid a minimum wage and also refrain from allowing FTs to do this job. dt

Anonymous said...

10% of the women had sex within the first hour of their first date.
20% of the men had sex in a non-traditional place.
36% of the women favour nudity.
45% of the women prefer dark men with blue eyes.
46% of the women experienced anal sex.
70% of the women prefer sex in the morning.
80% of the men have never experienced homosexual relations.
90% of the women would like to have sex in the forest.
99% of the women have never experienced sex in the office.

Conclusion:

Statistically speaking, you have a better chance of having anal sex in the morning with a strange woman in the forest than to have sex in the office at the end of the day.

Moral:

Do not stay late in the office. Nothing good will ever come of it!

Anonymous said...

It's common trick for Government to provoke other so as to pick on the wrong word during reply.

Another trick is to flood the forum with junk so as to make the topic fill with nonsense people and the focus will not be in the serious topic.

Anonymous said...

so true

Anonymous said...

Can we ask LSS to accept LW or NW? Crazy for him to sprout something that he himself cannot accept. The people need Cheaper, Better, Faster ministers as well.

Anonymous said...

i want cheaper, better and faster sex and in that order.

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