In a few of my classes on business modelling (system science which I no longer teach), I told my students the following predictions which are coming true now (I predicted it 6 years ago).
1) Foodcourt food would increase in price. Today I ate at a food court at Central. The minimum food price is about S$ 18.00. It is comparable to the price that you would pay at a restaurant.
The food court is quite crowded given that Central is not really a major mall I am rather impressed. The market is willing to accept this price at a food court.
Eventually, these pricings would become commonplace. The hawker centre would reduce in numbers slowing in the coming decade. Either that, they would be converted to aircon food centres to justify their increase of price.
2) Traditional foods that are dying in hawker centres because they won’t survive on per bowl of S$ 5.00 (or rather, even if they can survive, that is not the point – everyone desires to better their lives and that is beyond survival).
Eventually, a big enough business player would see a business opportunity to relaunch some of singapore’s best kept traditional food. Maybe purchasing over the food recipe and relaunch in expensive food centres to resell lormees at S$ 15.00, chicken rice at S$ 15.00.
Also for this reason, I am diametrically opposed to any potential socialist activity of giving handouts to the poor. By giving out money to the poor, the business sector would respond by increasing their price and everything is back to square 1.
What is a sustainable way you may ask. The only sustainable way is for everyone to increase and improve their capacity to earn money to be more productive.
While government money can be deployed to better the productivity of the people, it should not be deployed to give handouts to the poor.
Nobody, not even the government, can go against what must economically happen.