Animal Farm | Writing in water, again?

Albano Martins

1. I wrote in one of the local newspapers late January that lower economic growth, as measured by GDP growth, was usually a sign that inflation could be reduced if the indicators worked well. That is not always the case in Macau; just look at the evolution of the rent component in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which for years was stubbornly negative while in fact real estate went up and everyone felt the rents increasing!

As is well known, last year Macau’s official inflation rate was 3.01 percent and by 2019 it is expected to be 2.93 percentage points – my forecast.

A local university indicates 3.9 percent for 2019. It had indicated 3.3 percent for 2018. But I think some ivory-tower theorists do badly, which is not, as you know, the first time we are caught up in these writing exercises in the sky.

I wrote at the end of January that “for me, the CPI [in 2019] will grow less, but I don’t believe that this will happen in the first months of the year. No, in those first months we should still see an increase in inflation (measured by the average variation of the last twelve months) and only after May will we begin to see inflation begin to fall.” This results from the process of calculating inflation, not from a special forecast of this retired economist!

I said, “For now, January should close at 3.11 percentage points and the maximum should be only one hundredth more, to 3.12 percent”! Inflation was in January 3.11 percentage points! Good shot!

For the months that followed, February and March, the greyhounds did not give me time enough to play with simulators. Official statistics do however point to a February and March inflation in Macau (measured by the average variation of the last twelve months) of 3.09 and 3.10 percent.

This is more or less a confirmation of what I was saying, that inflation would still grow from December 2018, although I predicted it would fall somewhere up to the end of the year.

For April, whose values ​​will only be known officially on May 21 or 22, I predict that inflation will reach 3.08 or 3.09 percentage points, already going down! Who wants to bet?

2. It makes no sense at all that the labor relations law does not allow for long fixed-term employment contracts. Why should teachers in private schools have precarious contracts?

What kind of territory is this?

Above all, private schools are heavily subsidized by education services. Being naturally typical of that class intelligentsia, the teachers would even say that it is fine, because it seems that they do not have capacity to fight for their own interests, even when the labor law itself clearly states in article 19 that term contracts can only be concluded “to satisfy the temporary needs of a company”.

Now, how can something that extends for years be temporary?

Even with the many exceptions the law may allow, common sense must always prevail. The law must be the same for all, and a constant violation of this principle only hurts the entire society for whom the law applies!

Humanity is lacking in these labor relations: As in many other situations. There is no justice or truth. This kind of values does not honor employers or employees, let alone our Government, nor is it the way forward towards any form of progress.

Precariousness is morally inadmissible in a modern, civilized world. With these types of relationships, education only loses. Everyone loses just for a few to put more money in their pockets!

The future of this land is where the loss is greatest.

Categories Opinion