Technically speaking, it's not wrong to say that it's a good thing to “disbelieve” the government. That however, is only half the answer. It is incomplete and unsatisfactory, because it assumes that the government is trying to lie to you (they are not), and it provides no actual guidance to answering the question.
When the government makes faulty predictions for the future, it does not mean that they are lying to you. It simply illustrates the truism that the minutiae of a capitalist economy is beyond the control of any individual or group of individuals, no matter how intelligent.
Here is an example. Last night I was watching TV. An ad came on. It was one of those pro-family, it's-fun-to-have-babies advertisements from the government. It showed cute, smiley babies. Happy, joyful parents. Kids doing fun things like camping with Daddy and in-line skating with Mummy. All is light and joy and happiness.
As we all know, birth rates in Singapore have been falling steadily over the years. The ageing population has been identified as one of the biggest challenges for Singapore. For quite some time now, the government has been hard at work trying to convince more Singaporeans to have children. Pumping the media with happy, ideal images of family life is one of the government's methods.
The income of the bottom 30 percent of the population has fallen. What is more worrying is the fact that the majority of Singaporeans in the middle class has only seen about a one percent increase in their nominal income in the last 5 years.
All this could actually be quite okay, if your income also grows steadily to match your increasing expenditure. However, for the bottom 30 percent of the population, and the majority of middle-class Singaporeans, this simply isn't happening. It hasn't been happening for the past five years.
So when you watch TV, just remember this - it's like the movies. Most of it isn't real.