Monday, January 05, 2009

No Money

Well, the year 2009 is upon us and I am here in the land of minus teperatures trying to bash out a blog entry that is somewhat intelligent. Being a being of limited intelligence, I suppose I have to stick to a topic that is on everyone elses mind - how the hell am I going to find any money to survive on in the year 2009.

Money, as every talking head pointed out in 2008, is going to become a very scarce comodity. The American consumer, who financed global economic growth for the past century no longer has the capital to buy products the rest of us made nor do they have the capital to repay the loans we gave them to buy the goods we made. At the time of bashing out this blog entry, several big American banks have gone belly-up and the American auto-industry which once dominated is going cap in hand to Washington to ask for a bail out from the American government, which financed by borrowing from China and the Arabian Gulf.

Intellectually, its sorely tempting to tell the Americans to let their banks and auto industry go bankrupt. It's the advice that American and European money men gave to Asia in 1997 - 'bankruptcy good - bailout bad,' was their message. Now that American and Europe are in deepest dog poo, I don't see them applying their own medicine. If the US has no money, the world may even be a safer place. America will no longer have money to fight wars or pay for Israel's and we may actually see a solution in the Middle East.

But I shouldn't join the temptation to gloat because I opperate from a nation that makes its living selling things to America and Europe. Broke Americans and Europeans will mean that there will be less cash floating around tinny little Singapore (I don't see our well paid ministers rushing to spend us out of recession,) and even tinnier me is left with fewer options on how to raise cash.

One option for me could be to start running scams. Since I don't have the anatomy to sell my body, I need to get creative and scam artist, say what you like of them, are inevitably creative people. Futurama did a paradoy of 'scamming aliens' who take over the world and the Nigerians seem to do quite well. I like to think that I am creative enough to run a decent scam.

Unfortunately for me, the market for scam artist is getting a bit crowded and being Asian, I automatically lose out to the con artist from the West who move to Asia and the Arab world. Asians and Arabs love to lose their money to Caucacians - its almost a badge of honour amongst these communities to see who can hand over cash to the guys from the West. OK, let me fair, Caucasians in Asia also get conned by Caucasian con jobs.

So if I cannot run scams, am I stuck with having to make a living honestly? The problem with trying to make an honest living these days is of course, the fact that much of the honest living is honestly dishonest and if you don't have the brains to do something like that, making an honest living could be pretty darn difficult.

Take working in the civil service. OK, I live in Singapore where the civil service is unbribable, in fact its so much so that Singaporeans love to cross the causeway in the hope that they'll be able to bribe a government official. But even if the civil service does not take bribes, is it necessarily a scam-free environment? Sure, the civil service is necessary to the functioning of government. The elected ministers can make all sorts of wonderful plans but without civil servants to carry them out, those plans will be useless. However, do we need so many civil servants? How many of the civil servants in the world actually do something that fulfils and creates an economic value for the rest of us?

Anyway, I am probably just being sour. I rejected being part of the scam oooopppps, I mean civil service when I resigned as a teacher after 3 months. The idea of doing a parents job didn't appeal to me and even though the money was pretty good, I had better things to do with my life. Then of course, in those days I was married to a Gremlin.

So what can I do with myself other than to meditate, look at the stars and thank God that I am free of Gremlins and even though I'm usually broke, I should have problems that most ordinary people have.

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