Blog visitor Danny Kua shares with us an anecdote about the higher cost of living and how it could affect the lower income group.
He was sick and went to clinic. The doctor prescribed him down fever and pain-killer tablets. Total cost RM35 (may be RM30 for consultation and RM5 for medicines).
My son works part time 5-hour shift at one fast food outlet earning RM30 (RM6/hour). So yesterday i got to top up RM5 to pay for his bill.
This reminds me of the higher cost of living. Daily earnings may not cover daily expenses anymore.
Sorry doctors, we now go to pharmacy to buy panadols and save for potential 30 per cent hike.
Blog visitor Keith Rozario adds:
The rising cost of living is a problem nearly everywhere in the developing and developed world, what’s important is the income inequality that is becoming more pervasive in Malaysian society.
When I was young, I barely remember seeing a Ferrari or Porsche in my hometown, now you see them everyday on the highway. Yet, most Malaysians struggle to pay their car instalments for their Kancil, let alone dream of owning a car that costs more than most people’s houses.
The ‘dilution’ of the middle class and the creation of the ultra-rich all lead into a death spiral. Rich people, at some point, stop spending money on ‘consumables’ and start investing in ‘assets’. These assets are usually houses and condos that are deemed assets because they rise in price. Hence the creation of the term ‘speculator’.
A speculator isn’t a middle class person; middle class people don’t have money to ‘invest’ in houses. (He or she is more part) of a new class called the rich, and if you’re not in the rich category these days, that just means you’ll be in the poor. Unfortunately, it’s the speculator that’s driving up the cost of living for the poor.
There really are Two Malaysias at the moment.
One group has private security in their G & G homes, goes to private hospitals, sends their children to private schools, and has never set foot onto public transport of any kind.
The other group relies on an overstretched police force for security, can only afford public health care, sends their children to public schools and relies almost exclusively on government infrastructure.
The government isn’t helping; (instead) with its policies that favour employers and corporations, and even reducing the income tax for the richest Malaysians, (that) only serve to widen an already big gap. The reality is that trickle-down economics does not work, and if we intend to close the gap, we’ll need to start taxing the rich more, like introducing na income tax tier of 30-50 per cent.
To what extent are rising property prices and property-led development contributing to the higher cost of living and income inequality?
And to what extent are local wages being suppressed by the policy of taking in cheap and easily exploited migrant workers?
Share with us your own anecdotes.