Sunday, December 18, 2022

Monetizing the Loneliness Epidemic


As we arrive at year-end, discussions on voluntary CPF contributions and SRS will increase. A friend wanted to see whether it is feasible to put more funds into CPF even though he has fully maxed out his RSTU and SRS contributions, I'm not a big fan of contributing to CPF without a corresponding tax deductible, so I concluded that his solution cannot be found with CPF board. So I suggested he find a girlfriend because he has been saving too much yearly. The logic is buying one Hermes scarf would solve his problem immediately.

I was greeted with silence. 

This is not the only time I witnessed young people making it clear that they are not ready to pair up. Earlier this week, another young professional said, with quite firm conviction, that marriage is out of the question. 

It's one thing to argue that the economy is not doing well, so folks are not putting pairing up and marriage as the number one priority. It is another when singlehood becomes so compelling when guys who are highly educated, highly paid, and flexibly religious refuse to settle down. For one thing, it leaves women with a weaker gene pool - they may settle and compromise on these three significant conditions. 

Women, in response, will also choose to remain single because they are even choosier than men. If the only guys available on Tinder are deadbeats, why even bother?

What does this all mean?

The next epidemic may be one of loneliness. 

The case of Yang Yin is instructive. He was a tour guide who befriended a wealthy childless widow hoping to inherit her money. Sometimes, because we catch one Yang Yin, how many Yang Yins get away with inheriting money from lonely people in Singapore?

But on the other hand, we can't argue that folks like Yang Yin do not perform a proper function - they help the elderly cope with loneliness.

With a sheer number of lonely singles in one of the wealthiest countries in the world in the future, it's probably more ethical for a legitimate business to arise to monetise the loneliness of singles. A company can properly deploy befrienders and social workers to keep wealthy seniors company, run errands for them for a small monthly fee and a promise to let the firm inherit all their wealth after they pass on. The firm should be audited by another third party to ensure that the interests of the lonely seniors are not compromised. 

Having a private company perform this befriender service for a fee for wealthy but lonely seniors would allow the public sector to find some tax-payer subsidised solution for the more significant population. 

No comments:

Post a Comment