Saturday, August 24, 2019

China does not rely on soybeans from US

Quora: If the USA is such a large producer of soybeans and China is such a large consumer of the same product, how could China possibly move to another supplier that is not the USA without facing shortages and higher prices?

Ridzwan Abdul Rahman, Self employed (2000-present) 

China is reducing the amount of soybean in animal feed from 18% to 12%. This cuts their requirements for soybean in animal feed by 33%

Russia has made available about 2.5 million acres of land for China to grow soybean. In addition, China is developing a soybean that can grow in warmer weather. This will enable China to grow more soybean in Southern China and further reduce the need to import from other countries.

Swine fever is killing a large number of pigs in China, significantly reducing China's immediate needs for soybean.

The above, taken together, means that China does not need any soybean from the US.

WOTC - China's response to the Hong Kong protests

Wisdom of the Crowd: 65% of the respondents in this survey had a positive view of China's response to the Hong Kong protests. 35% had a negative view.

See the breakdown of the votes in

Friday, August 23, 2019

Electric cars are about lifestyle

I am confused with the statement by the environment minister that electric cars are about "lifestyle" and does not help to combat climate change. Read the article here.

Let me deal with the points raised by the minister.

Wisdom of the crowd

1. Should the salary of the CEO of a state owned company be disclosed?
2. How can the judiciary be independent of the government?

Give your vote in

Erratic bus schedules

Some of my fans would have noticed that I report regularly on erratic bus arrivals, and add the cheeky comment - Tell KBW (KBW is the initial of our transport minister),

Here are my reasons.

Alternative solutions to the problems faced by the people

The PAP supporters' most common argument is besides Singapore, where in the world can you get a
Home Improvement / Upgrading in which government pays 90% and residents just 10%?

Other than that, they said past and present opposition only know how to complain but don't know how to find and present solutions.

If you want to look for alternative solutions from the non PAP parties, here is a place you can look.

The SDP provides alternative solutions for housing, education, healthcare and many other areas.

Huawei and Americ's trade war

Hi Kin Lian,

Consider this video report from RT America on Huawei and Amerika's trade war. IMO, this is why Huawei will overcome and Amerika will face long term issues. This is also why Socialism with Chinese characteristics works, even for a multinational corporation like Huawei. 100,000 employees who are part-owners of the company and other points.

WOTC: Protest in HK

Wisdom of the Crowd: 27% of the participants in this survey said that the protesters are brave in fighting for changes to their government. The other participants have other views.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC: Should females do national service?

Wisdom of the Crowd: 27% of the participants in this survey said that females should be required to do national service but given the option of non combat duties. The other participants opted for other options.

See the detailed results in

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Wisdom of the Crowd

New issues for voting:

1. Should the govt provide pneumococcal vaccination free to citizens?
2. What are your views about the People's Voice Party (under Lim Tean)?

Give your vote in

How will the HDB home improvement program affect the general election?

Mr Tan,

What are your thoughts on PAP's Home Improvement Programme?

Here is an article for your better understanding:

This is also an explanation on what Lee Hsien Loong talks of VERS, HIP1 and HIP2 in last year's National Day Rally.

About 2-3 weeks ago, Dr Chee and his SDP went to my Jurong East or Yuhua constituency in reaching out, networking and connecting with my residents.

I don't mean to be negative but while I appreciated their efforts, I don't think they will win.

Reason is because we have had a Home Improvement Polling Day last Sunday in my area by my MP Grace Fu. Most residents supported the programme wholeheartedly. After all, the government pays 3/4 of the costs or over $15000 while the residents pay the rest.

The Hip Improvement Program is attractive to the HDB residents, as a large part of the cost is paid by the government.

When it comes to voting at the general election, the voters have to consider many other issues, such as cost of living, jobs, CPF, health care cost, etc. I think they will not be voting based on the benefit that they get from the upgrading program only.

Quora: Will China make concessions on the US trade deal or will the US and Trump have to back down?

Ridzwan Abdul Rahman, Self employed (2000-present)
Answered Aug 8

China is not about to give any more concessions. In fact, it appears that they don’t even care anymore whether there is a trade deal or not.

They have stopped completely buying agricultural products from the US and have allowed the value of their currency to be determined by market forces.

Despite the tariffs, China’s exports are increasing. Worldwide export was worth $2.26 trillion in 2017. It increased to $2.48 trillion in 2018, despite the US tariffs. The US tariffs did not stop China from growing. This means that China has found new markets to more than make up for the drop in US purchases.

This puts the pressure on Trump. With China having stopped completely from buying US agricultural products, Trump will be under pressure to regain the support of the agricultural community who have now lost a good customer!

But that’s not all.

Boeing has built a manufacturing facility in China, hoping to win some of the 7,240 new planes that China will need over the next 20 years. The trade war may well work against them.

There are several US car manufacturers in China. Among them are Tesla, Ford and General Motors. The Chinese might ignore them and buy European cars instead.

There are many US technology companies in China. Among them are Apple and Dell. China has been a huge market for them. But they too might face a Chinese boycott.

Trump is wrong in considering only China’s imports from the US, because the bulk of US products that are bought by the Chinese are actually made in China! If the Chinese were to stop buying, then the US companies’ profits would drop significantly.

WOTC - Females vote for PAP?

Wisdom of the Crowd: 66% of the participants in this survey said that females are more likely to vote for the PAP.

See the breakdown of the votes and their reasons

WOTC - US presidential election 2020

Wisdom of the Crowd: 33% of the participants who voted in this survey prefer Donald Trump to be re-elected as the president of the United States. the other 67% chose one of the three Democratic candidates.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Quora: Is Trump correct to say the longer the trade war goes on, the weaker China gets?

Mike Madore Answered

If you take the time of following this simple reasoning, you will be stunned when you realize what is really happening.

If China builds a bicycle to export to the US, it is because their cheaper labor cost makes it economically feasible. And if the US president impose a tariff on those bicycles, an importer, who is a business man doing business in the US, will have to pay the original price to the Chinese manufacturer, and also the Tariff to the US government, and those tariffs will then be included in the purchase prices to the American consumers. So what is true is that the Chinese are not paying those tariffs, the Us consumers is who is paying those tariffs.

It also is that the Chinese are not much concern about buying manufactured goods from the US, and it is because cheaper labor in China, makes manufacturing all their goods cheaper in their own country.

It also is that the Chinese manufacturer might find a partner in France who is in the export business, and ship him those same bicycles with a tag on them that says “Made In France”, and voila, these same Chinese bicycles are back entering in the US as French Manufactured goods, and the tariffs imposed by the US president becomes a laughing matter.

But what they needed to import was farm product from the US, and we are all aware that American farmers are now paying an awful price after having lost the Chinese market, and it is going to be much too easy for the Chinese to buy their farm products from other countries in the world, and I am sure that these other countries will not miss the opportunity to secure and keep their Chinese customers.

So what is true is that the longer the trade war goes on, it is the US who is being driven to become weaker, and the damage after Trump, might not even be repairable,

After all, if you got a bad deal from a place you do business with, like where you buy your car, is there a strong chance you might never go back there to buy another car.

So you might now understand that it is absolutely stunning to hear Trump, repeatedly claim that the Chinese are pouring billions of dollars into the US.

WOTC - National Day Parade

Wisdom of the Crowd: 88% of the participants in this survey were not impressed with the National Day Parade. 12% were positive about it.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - Reform the education system

Wisdom of the Crowd: 75% of the participants in this survey said, if they were the education minister, they would take the bold steps to reform the education system instead of making minor changes.

See the breakdown of the votes in

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Firms look to govt to help meet higher CPF contribution for older workers

I read a report that the firms are looking towards the govt to help meet higher CPF contribution for older workers. The govt announced that they will phase out the increase over 10 years.

I suggest the following approach:

Trump imposed tariff on addition $300 billion of imports from China

Quora: Is President Trump's announcement of adding an additional $300 billion in tariffs on China starting September 1, 2019 mean that China is not backing down in trade talks?

Richard Haywood, An American who has lived in China since 2012 Answered

Wait a minute…he is NOT adding an additional $300 billion in tariffs (read taxes on the poor and the middle class). He is adding taxes to $300 billion of goods imported from China. Huge difference.

The actual taxes raised by the Treasury are $30 billion. CHINA PAYS ZERO DOLLARS IT IS THE USA THAT PAYS either importers or consumers and it is paid to the USA treasury.

It is a way of rising taxes on the middle class and the poor without calling it that while still allowing massive tax cuts to the rich and corporations.

Maybe China will loss some business (huh??? imports from China are up since the Trump taxes, exports are down) or bottom line it is hurting the USA consumers and employees not Chinese.

Many companies are not paying any taxes now so they can easily absorb the taxes Trumps has levied (it is a business cost deduction after all) or they just pass it on to the consumer who pays the tax (like a value dded tax but gets no deduction).

The $1,000 TV is NOT going up $100. Remember it is a tax levied on the imported price. Maybe the wholesale price is $500 so it is a $50 tax to the importer and they pay it to the US treasury to be lost in the $trillion deficit Trump admires so much and the GOP is so proud of that they have encouraged for over 40 years.

Or they absorb all or part of it but pass the rest on to the retailer who absorbs all or part and passes the rest on. Maybe you, the consumer will see no difference or maybe the price will go up by $20.

Chinese economic woes are self inflicted as it cuts infrastructure growth, and tries to promote consumer spending. Chinese GDP growth is 6%, inflation 2.6% for real growth of over 3% the USA inflation of about 1.6% and GDP growth of 2.1% or real growth of less than .5%.

China growth is much stronger than USA’s, it exports worldwide are up, it exports to the USA are up, its imports from the USA are down. So far the only impact is in farm goods and the Chinese have increased imports of soybeans from South American and locally grown as their needs have plummeted because of the Asian swine flue has killed off 25% of its pig herds which are the primary consumers of soybean imports. 25% of their herd represents a loss GREATER than the combined herds of North America and Europe so pork prices are up in China.

China does not rely on America for much of its critical needs wheres the USA does rely on China for much of its consumer driven market. Bottom line, the USA has shot itself in the foot, China may stumble but quickly regain its footing.

China looks 30–50 years into the future, the USA at the next quarter ot next year, Business investment in the USA has plummeted, even foreign business investment has plunged, economic growth is based on flooding the market with cheap money in the USA not strong business fundamentals. In China foreign business investment continue to grow at 3 to 7% unchanged, tech investments are up 40% in 2019.

China is eating the USA’s lunch. Guess who the smart money is on?

Troublesome to make a payment at the polyclinic

After my vaccination, the nurse asked me to go to make a payment for the treatment.

It was really troublesome and unproductive. It has been like that for decades.

Pneumococcal vaccination

I received an advisory from the ministry of health last year to have a pneumococcal vaccination. I carried out the follow up vaccination today.

The total cost for 2 jabs was about $200. It was expensive. There was no government subsidy.

I am not complaining for myself. I can afford it. But what are low income people?

New issues for voting

Vote on these issues in the Wisdom of the Crowd.

1. Does the PAP really care for the welfare of the people?
2. Should we spend $100 billion to protect Singapore from rising sea levels?
3. How do you find the SDP's response to PM Lee's rally speech?

Click here

WOTC - Will you vote for Li Hongyi?

Wisdom of the Crowd: 85% of the participants in this survey will not vote for Li Hong yi (LHL's son) in the general election. The other 15% are neutral or supportive.
see the breakdown of the votes in

Monday, August 19, 2019

Spend $100 billion to deal with climate change?

I agree that we need to deal with climate change. I am not sure if we need to spend $100 billion to achieve this goal.

What I know is that we have another goal that is more urgent and more immediate. We need to bring down our cost of living. We can bring it down by more than 7%, if we abolish our GST immediately.

How does a streamlined bus system look like?

I advocated that our current network of over 300 bus services be streamlined to a few number of local services and express services (that run on expressways to other towns).

This is how the streamlined bus system will look like.

Wisdom of the Crowd

New issues for voting in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

1. How do you find PM Lee's speech at the National Day Rally?
2. Will PM Lee's speech at the Rally win more votes for PAP?
3. Should voting be compulsory?

Give your vote in

WOTC - Preferred political system

Wisdom of the Crowd: 38% of the participants in this survey preferred to follow the Swiss system of democracy (direct democracy), 24% the UK system (single member constituency) and 22% the German system (proportional representation).

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - Who manipulates the value of a currency

Wisdom of the Crowd: 67% of the participants in this survey said that the government manipulates the value of the currency in a country. The remaining 33% said that other parties are responsible.

see the breakdown of the votes in

Secret of Xiaomi battery algorithm

I wore the Xiaomi smart band for one night and observed that it consumed only 1% of the battery. How was it possible for the band to be monitoring my heart for one night on only 1% of the small battery (90 mAh)?

Here is my hypothesis.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Wisdom of the Crowd

Should Singapore release its stimulus package now?
Give your vote in

We Have Ruined Childhood

New York Times:

For youngsters these days, an hour of free play is like a drop of water in the desert. Of course they’re miserable.

By Kim Brooks

How to control wasteful expenditure by bureaucracy

There was some consternation in social media about the $170 spent on a toilet tap in Woodlands Police Station. Why does the Police spend so much on a tap? Click here.

I recalled that the Pentagon (defense department of USA) also had a bad reputation for excessive spending. I found this article. It spent $640 on a toilet seat.

We are catching up with America on the wasteful spending.

Quora: What has China underestimated about the US?

Peter Talbot, Worked 30 years as a trade specialist in marine logistics answered.

China has never underestimated the size of the US markets, nor the effectiveness of the dollar as the world’s settlement currency. China has never underestimated US technical development (and have copied and tried to surpass the US in many respects). In balance, the Central Committee has also never underestimated the short-sightedness and racism of much US foreign policy due to the USA’s need to sound “populist” to motivate some voting blocs in elections.

China has occasionally underestimated the capacity of the US to be self-destructive and violent without any clear strategy or tactic for their military bluster. Given the familiarity of the CCP leadership with US academia and intelligentsia, and the multi-lingual nature of their internal debate, the only thing that China sometimes underestimates regarding the USA is its stupidity and unwillingness to learn from experience. The current illiterate and moronic administration of the USA and even its Democratic “populist” progressive opponents are very depressing to the Chinese, because they see America clearly sliding toward a shooting war just in order to prevent dealing with the consequences of the USA’s own policies regarding trade, Taiwan and energy.

WOTC - University places for international students

Wisdom of the Crowd: 49% of the participants in this survey said that 10% of the places in the university should be given to international students who meet the academic standards. 33% opted to allow 20% of the places to be given to international students who pay full fees.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - University places for locals

Wisdom of the Crowd: 55% of the participants in this survey said that students who meet the academic standard should be given a place in the university. 30% said that the university places should be increased to meet the local demand.

See the breakdown of the votes in

My experience with a smart watch and smart band

I wish to share my experience with a smart watch and a smart band. I know that my experience may be different from other users, so they are free to share their experience separately.

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