Thursday, June 15, 2017


Singapore: A Fascinating Alternative To The Welfare State. By John C. Goodman
Excerpt: radical transition his leadership heralded. As John Fund wrote at National Review: By embracing free trade, capital formation, vigorous meritocratic education, low taxes, and a reliable judicial system, Lee raised the per capita income of his country from $500 a year to some $52,000 a year today. That’s 50 percent higher than that of Britain, the colonial power that ruled Singapore for 150 years. Its average annual growth rate has averaged 7 percent since the 1970s. Part of the reason for Singapore’s remarkable climb up the international income ladder is bread and butter capitalism. The Fraser nstitute’s Freedom of the World report lists Singapore as the second freest economy in the world -- right behind Hong Kong. As Frasier scholars have demonstrated year after year, economic growth and free markets go hand and hand. But Singapore has done something even more remarkable than its economic accomplishments. It has built an alternative to the European style welfare state. Think of all the reasons why people turn to government in other developed countries: retirement income, housing, education, medical care etc. In Singapore people are required to save to take care of these needs themselves. At times the forced saving rate has been as high as 50% of income. Today, employees under 50 years of age must set aside 20% of their wages and employers must contribute another 16%. These funds go into accounts where they grow through time until specific needs arise. For example, one of the uses for these savings is housing. About 90% of Singapore households are home owners – the highest rate of home ownership in the world. (The most efficient form of government is a benevolent dictatorship, or at least that's what many have said and written over centuries. Singapore is actually an example of that. It has all the basic freedoms, but in fact was ruled with a very firm hand by Yew for several decades, and when he retired, by chance only his eldest son was found to be the right person to succeed him. We lived there for a while, and there's a great deal to be said about so many of their institutions. Criminal justice is swift, appeals are limited, and there are no super long legal games to play. The government is not perfect, they can be heavy-handed at times in telling people what they can and cannot do, where they must live, etc. But it's a very safe and secure society, not to mention prosperous. the article below points out how extremely well important aspects of it work out. It'd be a wonderful idea if we could institute such ideas here, but chances of that run slim to none......Del)

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