Thursday, September 18, 2008

Of DSLRS, Printers and COEs

The recent edition of Digital Life carried a series of articles about the rapid fall in prices of digital SLR cameras in recent years. As a result sales have gone up tremendously. Whilst these articles loudly extol the wonders of DSLRs, they left out one important detail. Without lenses, the potential of these gadgets are severely limited. Neither did they mention that prices of lenses remain high, often costing more than the camera body and a basic kit lens. The manufacturers certainly know that with more and more photographers switching to DSLR, it is only a matter of time before sales of lenses will rise correspondingly.

Such sales strategy is also adopted by manufacturers of printers, Better and yet cheaper printers are being introduced regularly. But do you see the price of printer cartridges and toners coming down? The answer again of course is no.

Now what has these got to do with car COEs in Singapore you ask?

Don’t you see the car population increasing rapidly in Singapore in recent years. Our government has been so kind to us motorists who simply love to own cars. Instead of reducing the number of cars on the road, they have been releasing more and more COEs causing the prices to come down and Singaporeans rushing to the car show rooms.

Now with so many cars on the road, and complaints of traffic congestion everywhere, the government is justified to increase the number of ERP gantries. Consequently the ERP system is fast living up to its name of making "Every Road Pay". Certainly after forking out thousands of dollars for your precious car you are not going to leave it in your car park are you? So we simply Pay and Pay. Some pay once a day, some twice a day and some even twice within 5 minutes, as I did the other day when I drove into town via the CTE exiting at Merchant Road and then turning into Hill Street as I have been accustomed to doing.

And with more cars on the road, and ever skyrocketing oil prices, do you see the government reducing the fuel taxes? No way! was the reply when some naive Singaporeans actually made the suggestion.

Yes, the prime minister is right. Our government is not stupid.