Singapore

I spent the last week in Singapore. A few observations from my trip there:

1. Singapore has a pervasive STEM culture. #

2. The Government is heavily involved in everything. #

One example of this is vehicle ownership.

Another example of this is that the government is heavily involved in housing.

The government is heavily involved in the financial system in Singapore.

3. Singapore is a very global city. #

Overall, I was very impressed by how Singapore has been able to legislate away a lot of issues that exist in the United States. Compared to Singapore, the USA is obviously very libertarian. I would say that vs. the USA, Singapore values harmony significantly more. The government puts much more work into putting in a social safety net for the lower class and putting some limits on abuse of power by the elite class.

So at the end of the day, is life in Singapore “better” than life in the USA? I am not so sure. If anything, visiting Singapore has made me realize how much my life has been enriched by a rich cultural history and my own freedom of speech. Incidentally, it’s exactly this freedom of speech that’s prompted me to write this blog post. Being able to “speak” is a gift that many in the world do not have.

For example, I learned that the Prime Minister’s own nephew was put into jail for a private email that he sent to some friends expressing resentment about the Singaporean government. Unfortunately, the email was leaked publicly and the young man was summarily brought back home for trial and sentenced. I cannot imagine this happening in America.

My only hope is that American can start executing better as a political system because countries like Singapore and China are out executing the USA handily. Their governments have so far been much better at lifting up the bottom 50 percent. Freedom doesn’t sound quite as good if it means that the bottom 50 percent of your population are living in poverty. We can and should be doing much better.

 
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