Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Beyond Sex in Confined Spaces.

I am late to the game to write about the comments made by Josephine Teo that you do not need a lot of space to have sex. While I think she has probably been quoted out of context, it's refreshing to have politicians being so direct on this topic. Josephine Teo herself is a mother of three making her eminently qualified to discuss this topic.

It's not like our TFR can get any worse so it is an area which we can be more candid about.

Beyond sex in confined spaces, it might be useful to look at social science research on the spending patterns of US families to determine whether Singaporeans are indeed stressed out by the economics of starting families.

Let's look at information on "The Magnitude of Scale Economy in Households Size" table found in the book The Five Life Decisions by R T Michael.

Suppose you are single and live alone, we will normalise your expenditure per unit time as 1x.

A married couple will typically spend 1.62x.

A family of three will spend 2.16x

A family of four will spend 2.64x

A family of five will spend 3.09x

In Western societies, the case for marriage is relatively strong. You can expect a married couple to economise and save about 20% more by division of labor, splitting of rental payments and specialisation. Even better is the possibility of having incomes uncorrelated with each other to survive an economic downturn. As such, the case to start a family is strong as it create a unit which becomes more optimal and efficient as time goes by.

The problem arises when we look at Singapore families.

Most singles already live with their parents in a family of four, so instead of a discount when starting a family, a single person can expect spending about 33% more when he splits off from his parents and starts a new household.

Marriages are, thus, very long term investments where it takes decades to create an efficient economic unit.

Here are some possible conclusions from this data :

a) You really need to learn how to practice sex in confined spaces.

I lived with my parents only when my daughter was three years old. It just made more sense to have more members in a household. Life was much better when I did not have a mortgage and our joint families only paid for one broadband account. If there is a possibility of harmonious existence ( which is rare and this makes my wife even more awesome ), then the first few years of building up a war chest towards your first mortgage makes sense.

But as Chan Chun Sing is not sex police, I am not a sex blogger.

More advice will have to come from some other website ( like Xhamster ).

b) Only conscientious people should ever get married.

Once sociological data confirms that marriage requires such long term planning, it rules out all the flakes and "in the moment" people. People who have problems sticking to plan, showing up on time and seeing themselves as spontaneous unique snowflakes needs to get out of the marriage game or end up at Family Court.

Now the good news is that some folks become more reliable as they get older.

But there's a bigger problem...

c) There is a shelf life for both men and women. 

It's no use knowing that men do not have a real biological clock.

From a purely cold and calculated economic point of view, you need children for a family unit to achieve economic efficiency so the best time to settle down is earlier rather than later.  While there is a biological clock for women and I will not belabor the point here, but as it turns out men have a socio-economic clock as well as they need to be economically vigorous to have the resources to afford and raise children and create productive family units.

I think this reality is truly what gives Josephine Teo nightmares - once men find starting families no longer economic in spite of being biologically viable and that they can't go through the increase or hump in family expenses at the first stage of marriage, they will just stay in Tinder and be fuck-boys forever.

Of course, reader might take offence at such a cold calculated way of looking at formation of families.

If you want a romantic blog that justifies your touchy-feeliess, go read Tree of Sexuality.

Tree of Prosperity is for cold, calculating people.

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