Friday, March 27, 2015

Lee Kwan Yew was a capitalist who talked like a socialist. Most American politicians are socialists who talk like capitalists.

John Fund describes how Singapore went from $500 per capita to $52000 per capita in 50 years while providing security without crooked Ponzi schemes. I lived there from 1970 to 73 and nearby until 1977. I believe Americans of all stripes could learn much from Singapore.

However, Singapore has two glaring failings that it could learn much from (parts) of the US about:

First it is a very authoritarian and controlling place that is increasingly unattractive to the young and creative. It needs to loosen up the Disney world levels of social control and allow a little mess around the edges.

Second (and related to the first), its real estate prices are insane due to excessive control by the state. It should tolerate a lot more mess and allow the market to meet demand as it chooses.  Failure to solve these problems is creating a political and demographic time bomb as the middle class - facing narrowing horizons - flee or fail to reproduce themselves .

Sadly, Mr. Lee's heirs aren't the ones to do this. Others need to win power which means PAP needs to lose. Gracefully, please.

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