Thursday, June 19, 2008

Hope in the Midst of Galloping Inflation

Young coconut costs RM2.50 instead of RM2.30. A bowl of noodles has gone up from RM0.30 - 0.50. Of course petrol too. I used to pumped RM70.00+ each time. Now it exceeds RM100.00. For vendors that maintain their prices it comes off worse in size and quality. Stuffed crust pizza doesn't have the crust stuffed full with cream cheese anymore. It appears to have 1/2 to 2/3 of what it used to be.

Papas and mamas have to take on a 2nd jobs. Some rushed off from their office at 5:00pm to put in time at their second job. It is indeed saddening for me to see the man/woman on the street is struggling to survive. It is dire straits for the wage earners. But how long and far can they stretch the ringgit to make ends meet and protect their standard of living.

In Britain inflation is the highest since 11 years ago and in Vietnam the bubble has burst. Stock has gone down 75%. Watch these videos from CNN.

Those who have long memories remember the 70's oil crisis. It was a terrible time as there was not that many opportunities for a second job. Most would have to hang tight literally, i.e. tightening their belt. I remembered a homemaker requesting a sundry shop owner to give her the oil in cans that were used to preserve wax duck (a Chinese New Year delicacy). The oil was definitely not usable as it stunk and it is stale. Many families just have rice and some oil with soya sauce for their main meals.

Lest I paint a gloomy and dreary picture, it is believed that the situation is a short-term one. In fact it is a cycle that repeats itself every ten years. A homemaker go even further by saying she has hope in God. It makes the recent price increases bearable. I have gone through 2 of these as a working adult. The first was in the 80's property crash. I just entered the job market. Then there was the '98 economic meltdown due to the Asian financial crisis.

During the '98 crisis I asked my younger brother who is a home renovator how he is going to handle the economic difficulties. He told me that he has experienced the crisis in the '80's and he has the confidence to overcome. In that crisis he and my father put food on the table for 7 and supported me in my studies.

This is the third he is experiencing and needless to say I will not ask my brother the same question. We shall overcome. As we have done so every decade.

No comments: