My take on why Singapore works so well

That is the topic of my new Bloomberg column, of course I am considering only one small piece of a larger puzzle.  Here is one bit:

I view the development of Singaporean civil service culture as one of the world’s great managerial and political success stories of the last 50 years, though it remains understudied and underdiscussed in the West.

Singapore also mixes many of the virtues of both small and big government. The high quality of the civil service means the country gets “good government,” which pleases many liberals and progressives. The high quality of the decision-making means Singapore often looks to market incentives – congestion pricing for the roads is one example of many – which pleases conservatives and libertarians…

Is Singapore a small government or a big government country? The correct answer is both. Government spending is about 17 percent of GDP, which makes it look small and helps hold down taxes, which is good for business and productivity. (And there are no additional state and local governments.) But if you look at stocks rather than flows, the government owns shares in many critical Singapore businesses, plus it de facto controls lucrative sovereign wealth funds. The government claims ownership of the land, although it allows for active markets for transferring rights of use. All of these resources give the government the ability and credibility to get things done.

I even take on the chewing gum caricature…do read the whole thing.

Comments

well... city-states.

I would bet good money that if Singapore's population looked like St. Louis's population that Singapore wouldn't work.

The population of Singapore citizens is around 5.7 million, around 19 times that of St. Louis. The population, including transients, is close to 7 million. That comparison does not make sense.

But even if we discount the number comparison, Singapore is MUCH more diverse that St. Louis in terms of ethnicity, national origin and religion, and they STILL GET ALONG!!!

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+1 Tim.

These days, it appears that governance and innovation at the city level has significant benefits - big enough to drive investment, density, small enough to be actually governed effectively. Singapore also benefits from relatively unique status (trade-wise, geopolitically compared to Hong Kong/Macau).

I for one would welcome extensive experimentation in a city-state/charter city model, and think it would drive some really interesting acceleration of investment if adopted in key South American and African jurisdictions.

Just come right out and say it: a lot of these incompetent, pseudo-countries would do better under colonialism.

Kim Jong Un is going to meet Trump in Sentosa's Capella Hotel. That's like Mao and Nixon having a summit in the Disneyland Hotel.

It's an Asian country. Asians are high IQ, low time preference. It takes a lot (corruption, no private property rights, closed markets etc.) to screw that up.

*Northeast Asians* and Singapore is Chinese majority anyway

To me, the reason why SIngapore works well is because its people are virtuous.

The country is run by hard working Chinese and Tamils, who are humble, enterprising, austere, and conscientious.

Replace the Singaporean Tamils and Chinese with Malays and Indonesians. You won't get as good a result.

"The country is run by hard working Chinese and Tamils, who are humble, enterprising, austere, and conscientious."

There are 1.5 times as many Malays as there are Indians of any kind in Singapore, which kind of helps to explain Singapore's success. Malays represent as big a share of Singapore's populace as Blacks represent of America's. Mandarin, Cantonese and Min, all them Chinese languages, are more widely spoken than Tamil. There are three times as much Atheists and four times as much Christians as there are Hinduists in Singapore. Not to mention Buddhists, Taoists and Muslims, all more numerous than Hinduists. Which again goes to explain why Singapore is not India.

Mr. Lee's genius stroke was understanding the moral superiority of Civilization and British colonization over whatever else Asians, left to their own devices, would rather have come up with. Despite Nehru's ("the last English to rule India") best efforts, Indians never really understood how lucky they were being given Civilization on a silver platter by a superior, Christian people. Yet, all honest observers, including a Brazilian ambassador, made it clear Indians were not ready for self-rule. When those warnings were not heeded, voilà: Asia's own Congo. As a Brazilian anthem wisely points out: a people with no virtue ends up enslaved.

Some notes on Indian Singaporeans (about half of them are Tamil, half are not) -

In 2005, both the average and median monthly income for Indian Residents (S$3,660 and $2,480 respectively) exceeded those for all Residents (S$3,500 and S$2,410 respectively). In the same year, 25% of Indian Residents had a university degree as their highest qualification attained. In contrast the national average was only 17%

By the way, there was a time when Singapore was part of Greater India. The very word "SIngapore" is not malay. It is an adaptation of the Sanskrit word - Simhapura (the city of the Lion).

Prior to the incursion of Islam, Singapore / Indonesia / Malaysia were all a part of Indian civilization (though not technically India). This is not an overstatement at all.

Also astonishing is that in the latest census, Indians actually had higher median incomes than the majority Chinese!

How is this impressive? Small non-native populations should out perform larger native populations. What do you think the educational attainments and median incomes are of Western Europeans or Chinese in India? I bet they demolish native Indian standards.

There is no parallel between Western Europeans in India and Indians in Singapore.

Singapore has had Indians living there for centuries. They are not recent immigrants. Many of them are older natives than several Chinese.

Also it's not a small section of the population. It's over 10%. The Western European population in India is not even 0.5% let alone 10%.

And Tamils occupy several important positions in the government.

Again, the demographics of the country is pretty clear. Malays do not seem to have been a problem in Singapore, but Indians seem to be a problem for India. Why?

But that isn't at all what you claimed. I can understand how as an ethnic chauvinist you are eager to search for examples of Indian/Hindu competence outside the subcontinent (were it is sadly lacking). However, you tried to claim Signapore's success for your co-ethnics. Thiago (of all people yikes) forcefully and correctly smacked you down and revealed your habitually fast and looseness with facts for all to see. I bet the numbers for Americans in Singapore are off the charts after all non-natives in city-states generally only show up there when they are providing well compensated skills. But Singapore's long-term success has almost nothing to do with how many Tamils showed up.

My post was not about Indians at all.

My post was to emphasize the virtue of the Singaporean citizenry. Particularly the Chinese and Indians - who constitute together 85% of the population, and who form the two richest and most influential ethnic groups. I hardly emphasized Indians in my comment.

It is Mr Ribiero's Indo-phobia which made him pick on my mention of Tamils, overlooking that I had mentioned the Chinese even before Tamils in my original comment.

What this reveals is basically the Indophobia of both Mr Ribiero and yourself, which makes you pick on every stray reference to Indians. My comment was about Singapore. Not about Indians.

"My post was to emphasize the virtue of the Singaporean citizenry. Particularly the Chinese and Indians - who constitute together 85%."

Almost ALL Chinese. The key word here is Chinese.
Hey, most Americans are White, Asians or Eskimos. Go Eskimos!!

What about if you replace them with North Indian-heritage Sinhalese? Marathi? Gujarati? Punjabi?

Would depend on caste. As value systems and work ethic vary greatly across castes in India.

Politically incorrect. But a fact that has to be faced.

"Would depend on caste."
Why am I not surprised? It is like reading an issue from the
Völkischer Beobachter.

By the way, don't get me wrong. By caste, I don't mean the traditional hierarchy per se.

I'd bet a Nair settler from Kerala or an Agarwal from Rajasthan to do better in Singapore than maybe a brahmin from Gaya perhaps.

So it's not about ritual hierarchy. Some castes have the work ethic to do well in an urban set up. Some don't. And those who don't are not always low caste. They can be from across the spectrum. There is an interplay of caste and geography that is ignored.

Genetics as well. See the recent article on this site about Indian population bottlenecks:
https://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2018/04/indian-population-bottlenecks.html

Shrikant,,

I've lived in Singapore in the recent past, and my impression was that Tamils (and other "South Asians", mainly from B'desh and SL I believe) form the blue-collar working class in the country. (There are a lot of Indians in the professional and managerial class as well, but the vast majority seem to be temporary expats.)

To cut to the chase, yes, there are Indians in governmental positions, but my impression was that the Chinese run the country. At all levels. And the local Indians looked like an underclass for the most part; making up most of the support and janitorial staff too. They also exhibit symptoms I've seen in underclasses in the US; high obesity rates and a certain prickliness in attitude that comes with the consciousness of being part of an underclass and a minority.

(Caveat: I didn't live in Singapore very long, so I'm willing to admit my observations could be inaccurate.)

@Kris, at least you actually lived in Singapore. Unlike many if not most of these commenters whose only experience of the city-state is google and wikipedia yet feel the need and ability to argue over the city.

Kris - I did quote actual per-capita incomes from the public domain - which is higher for Indians than the national average. Here are the actual names of the ministers. I see that over 10 of the 50 odd names are Tamil names - that's 20%, well in excess of their share in the population (which is 4-5%, with Indians as a whole being 9%).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_of_Singapore#Ministries_and_responsibilities_of_Ministers

You counter me by telling how people "looked" :) That seems like a somewhat racist way of arguing for me :) The largely non brahmin tamils of Singapore with their dark skin probably didn't seem very attractive and impressive to you. Haha.

That seems like a somewhat racist way of arguing for me :) The largely non brahmin tamils of Singapore with their dark skin probably didn't seem very attractive and impressive to you.

I'll just respond politely by saying that obesity has nothing to do with skin color. I'd make similar observations about people in parts of the US (a country I explored a lot of.)

The success of Indians in southeast Asia (and in most other places) follow a kind of bimodal distribution -- the majority are represented on the lower and middle parts of the spectrum but the ones who succeed do extremely well.

This is unlike most East Asians where the success distribution is more or less a bell-curve that is maybe skewed left.

So yes, most Indians aren't in the elite classes, but the ones who are are at the extreme ends. Case in point: most Asian CEOs in America are Indians, not East Asians.

+1 True, and insightful

But not quite true about the majority being in the lower and middle part of the spectrum, atleast in Singapore. As I said even median Indian income in Singapore is higher than the median national income.

Singapore's miracle coincides with the China miracle. Here's a graph of Singapore GNP: https://tradingeconomics.com/singapore/gross-national-product Singapore's success can't be attributed entirely to the China miracle; it can also be attributed to leadership that understood its place.

You have been told before that this is not true. It is not. Singapore grew from 1964 to 1979 perfectly well. Without any Chinese economic growth at all.

It is true that Singapore has done well out of China but the influence is the other way around - China copied Singapore's success.

Many of the billions that flowed into Singapore flowed right back to China via the Singapore sovereign funds. Trade (reciprocity) works!

Deng Xiaoping visited Singapore (among other places) to figure out what works. He met Lee Kuan Yew. He started a moderate shift toward rule of law in China. Now however ...

the government owns shares in many critical Singapore businesses, plus it de facto controls lucrative sovereign wealth funds.

And this is the point. Singaporeans have to save something like 40% of their income. This is not called a tax because it is savings. On the other hand they have to save with the government-run Central Provident Fund. Or more accurately they have to save with the Lee Family-run CPF.

The Lee family is not all that accountable with what they do with that money either. Whether or not the stock market would provide a better rate of return, it is impossible to say. But certainly many members of the Lee family have got rich running it.

Is there any country where the stock market gets 40% of a people's income? Singaporeans need to save money. The money needs to be invested. Where?

Thats what savings rates should look like for demographic stability. Maybe a bit lower but surely at least 25 pct.

Sure but you miss my point. They do not allow a market return on those savings. All those savings are moved to a mutual fund which was controlled by the Lee family. Who earn money managing that money.

In a sense it was a type of tax with people being forced to hand over their money to the ruling family for less than the market rate.

It's the system/institutions, not the people. The very same Singaporeans would not produce the same results under Cuban regime.

And Somalia would still be Somalia if it was run by Lee Kwan-yew.

It is a complex mixture of people and institutions.

Benevolent dictatorship for the win!

Trump feels at home with both Singapore and Kim: Trump's kind of people. Trump feels uncomfortable with democracies, including our own. Trump negotiating with Kim is equivalent to Brutus negotiating with Judas Escariot.

You forgot to mention Singapore's remarkably low fertility rate-- far below replacement-- of 0.83 TFR (source https://www.indexmundi.com/singapore/total_fertility_rate.html ), which indicates that Singapore is actually a terrible place, since its inhabitants will be extinct in a few years.

Singapore is an example of Mancur Olson's stationary bandit with an unusually-clever bandit (LKW) in charge. An interesting place, but ultimately a terrible model for a human community.

Communists get dozens of chances at nation-building and run literally all of them into the ground.

Neoreactionaries get one chance and turn it into the best-run government in the history of the world.

The predictable comments about fertility rate are tiring. Singapore's TFR is on par (if not higher) than western cities with similar density and female education. Lee Kuan Yew is also the only leader in the history of the world to repeatedly ring the warning bell about the dysgenic effects of low fertility among the highly educated (LKY regularly quoted Lynn!).

The pragmatic approach to immigration (entirely focused on skimming highly skilled from China, India and the West keeping low-skill as only temporary workers) means Singapore certainly won't be "extinct'.

I'm not sure how neo-reactionary Singapore really is. It's way too advance on material progress and technological development for any reactionary I know. But I do think it speaks to the common reactionary argument that monarchy or family rule does promote and genuine interest of leaders in the success or failure of their countries. After all the country is basically the rulers patrimony. Now this probally worked better in an age where a much large percentage of a nation's productivity was tied to the land, but nonetheless there might be a kernel of truth there.

Singapore owns "many other sectors of the economy, including banking, subway, airline, consumer/lifestyle, commodities trading, oil and gas engineering, postal services, infrastructure, and real estate. " Wow. Plus 70% of the land is also owned by the state. The government is the nation's top landlord. The next time someone says socialism/communism/collective ownership doesn't work, point them to Singapore, China, or Scandinavia no matter how hard they try to change the topic to Venezuela/USSR. Those people are intellectually dishonest.

The government claims ownership of the land

All governments claim ownership of the land, as the individual who thinks that he owns land will discover if he fails to make his tax payments. Ergo a deed is actually a rental agreement.

The point is that the government is who you pay rent to. This doesn't exist in the West. Out here, we pay rent to a privileged third party known as a landlord. Out there, they skip that entirely and pay the govt. Note the efficiency one gains by removing that the middleman. Also your other point is wrong, land ownership is land ownership, yes you lose it if don't pay the tax man, but in SGP it explicitly says its a multiyear lease and no pretense otherwise.

Stop paying your property taxes and you'll find out who really owns the land.

Actually, what you will find out is who is legally entitled to sell your land to pay the incurred cost. And normally, the amount of money received above the accrued taxes (if any) is given to the former property owner.

The same thing applies when a home owner stops paying their mortgage and then finds out who really owns the land.

You can't take credit for this, buddy. Tax rate is in the teens. The only reason the government has such great "ownership" in those industries is because the money from the budget surplus has to be invested *somewhere* and it's politically expedient to invest domestically (they've begun to invest heavily into Vietnam now that the domestic low hanging fruit is gone FWIW). I've worked w/ folks at the Singaporean sovereign wealth funds; they act entirely like private equity shops, not at all like socialist-style government entities.

Wow. For an economics blog, the commenters are remarkably economically illiterate. For those of you playing at home, government ownership is known as socialism/communism/collective ownership/ownership by and of the people. Singapore owns its own airlines, owns its own construction companies, its own oil refineries, etc. Therefore Singapore has socialism, lots and lots of it, China levels of it. Management style has nothing to do with it, ownership has everything to do with it. Its funny to hear capitalists try to take credit away from the hard work of sympathisers of Communism like Lee Kuan Yew. Then again thats what the managerial class of capitalist societies do. Take credit from people who do the work.

Nice troll, but just for the sake of other readers who may believe you, LKY was an ardent anti-socialist. Read any of his books; he goes well into his disillusion with socialism and fighting the socialists in the early years of Singapore.

Again, Singapore only has ownership stakes due to its high budget surpluses. What a bizarre definition of socialism with 15% marginal tax rates. If that's socialism then sign me up.

Well, not always, at least according to his wikipedia article - 'Lee Kuan Yew’s opportunity to formally enter politics came when members of the Singapore Chinese Middle Schools Union launched anti-colonial, non-violent protests against the enactment of the national service ordinance law on 13 May 1954. Forty-six to sixty students were arrested after an initial use of violence by members of the police riot squad. The student arrests gave rise to Lee's reputation as a "left-wing lawyer" which provided a path for Lee into Singaporean politics through the Communist Party of Malaya.

Coincidentally on 12 November 1954, the People's Action Party (PAP) was officially inaugurated. Lee, together with a group of fellow English-educated middle-class men whom he described as "beer-swilling bourgeois", formed the "socialist" PAP in an expedient alliance with the pro-communist trade unionists. This alliance was described by Lee as a marriage of convenience, since his English-speaking group needed the Chinese-speaking majority's mass support base. Their common aim was to struggle for self-government and put an end to British colonial rule.

An inaugural conference was held at the Victoria Memorial Hall, attended by over 1,500 supporters and trade unionists. Lee became secretary-general, a post he held until 1992, save for a brief period in 1957.'

He may have fought the communists - it seems as if he did not fight the 'socialist' PAP.

Lee Kuan Yew was a clever man. He didn't give the people the policies they wanted, but instead gave them what they actually wanted.

Actually, he gave them whatever he wanted to - he was the closest thing you will find to an absolute ruler in a state where you could not say that legally.

That he was notably competent at playing that role is beyond question, of course.

Yes we should definitely focus on small slivers of the world with tiny populations. I get that you are trolling but cmon man. Venezula by itself has more population than all of Scandinavia.

Wrong. It also worked for 1.5 billion people. That's larger than the entire west. Let that sink in .....

Yeah, it "worked" for them by killing millions of them and slowing their growth down to a crawl for decades so that they remain poorer than Mexico.

Go home Freddie, you're drunk

Singapore is a socialist/Communist society? Not really. We have seen this sort of system before - it is a Company Town. With the company being the Lee family.

I was born one mornin' when the sun didn't shine
I picked up my shovel and i walked to the mine
I loaded sixteen tons of number nine coal
and the straw boss said "well, a-bless my soul"
you load sixteen tons, what do you get?
another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store

Although I suppose Communism is like that. So you may be on to something.

I have been to Singapore. I liked it a lot. I guess it might fit as an example of balance between government and private sectors.

We have to judge whether signs that say "$50 fine for no flushing" on public toilets, or blue lights on taxis that flash when they speed, are authoritarian or merely practical.

Should we require Ubers to carry modules that detect traffic violations?

If we say Uber should be allowed to break the law if they can get away with it, maybe this is very non-Singaporean, and part of our problem.

Singapore has the toughest guns laws in the world. Death for even attempting any gun related crime. They also have next to no gun crime so once again gun control has proven to work . We should do that here in the USA. Time to grab some guns and if we must "pry it out of your cold dying hands" then double yes! America will be great again.

That might be another example where a fear of rules is self-harming.

Sounds like capital punishment works. Let’s do that 1st.

Its...almost as if the size of government has nothing to do with outcomes.

This a great post and article. Thank you. How can they find an equilibrium in the middle? Are they less religious or ideological?

how's the democracy going over there Tyler?

If Prof. Cowen were to give an answer that the appropriate Singapore authorities do not agree with, well, officially, that opinion will not be available in Singapore.

So clearly, the proper answer is 'Great!'

Surely Singapore has done many things right, but plenty cannot be transferred outside of a city-state. In particular government spending numbers to GDP are surely much lower with a denser development of infrastructure.

But you really take the cake here (not excerpted):

"The most significant barrier to entry probably is that the dominant political party, the People’s Action Party, has amassed so much talent, and is such a vehicle for career advancement, that potential competitors find it hard to mount serious challenges. There are also plenty of American states and cities where a single party has a dominant, persistent advantage."

We have a word for that, gerrymandering. It happens there too, but with only one party only ever really in charge. This is not democracy.

Do conservatives and libertarians prefer congestion pricing on roads?

You can appreciate that Singapore is rich, safe and pleasant for tourists without also having to apologize for its human rights abuses and authoritarianism.

Here is what Human Rights Watch has to say about Singapore:

"Singapore’s political environment is stifling. Citizens face severe restrictions on their basic rights to freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly through overly broad criminal laws and regulations. In 2017, the country tightened the already strict limits on public assemblies contained in the Public Order Act, which requires police permits for any 'cause-related' assembly outside the closely monitored 'Speakers’ Corner.' The rights of the LGBT community are severely curtailed: sexual relations between men remains a criminal offense, and there are no legal protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity."

And its not just Human Rights Watch. Freedom House lists Singapore as only "partly free" country (it scores worse than Albania, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Lesotho, Liberia, Moldova, Mongolia, Nepal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Ukraine, and Zambia). Reporters Without Borders ranks Singapore 151 out of 180 countries with respect to Freedom of the Press (which is worse than Russia).

So don't live there. Last time I checked Singaporeans were free and wealthy enough to migrate to the USA, UK, Europe, or even North Korea if they wanted to. People are always trying to get into Singapore - go figure.

The point is to be honest about Singapore. It is both a rich, clean, safe place and an authoritarian state that jails people for blog posts. Singapore’s defenders should acknowledge and own that fact rather than waive it away with BS, unsupported assertions. And you may think that it was sensible for Singapore to deny its people their freedom of speech and assembly trade given their troubled relationship with Malaysia. I think thats wrong. It’s how cowards, communists and other authoritarians think. I suggest you grow a pair and stand up for the values that this country was founded on.

"It is both a rich, clean, safe place and an authoritarian state that jails people for blog posts." Sounds like the EU. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/20/world/europe/germany-36-accused-of-hateful-postings-over-social-media.html

When Singapore engages in genocide, let us know. Because Germans feel that punishing anyone advocating a return to the previous practice of exterminating those considered defective/inferior/etc. is worth punishing.

No slippery slopes in Germany when it comes to such things, after all. And oddly, the only sort of people who seem to care that advocating genocide in the one country that practiced it on an industrial scale is illegal are those that seemingly have no problem with genocide on an industrial scale - or, of course, deny that it ever happened.

"the only sort of people who seem to care that advocating genocide in the one country that practiced it on an industrial scale is illegal are those that seemingly have no problem with genocide on an industrial scale - or, of course, deny that it ever happened."

Wrong. And it goes far beyond punishment only for advocating genocide

Nice try Clockwork. Germany's laws go a "tad" farther than quenching the fire, apparently just itching to burst out, of genocide in Germany. https://law.yale.edu/mfia/case-disclosed/germanys-netzdg-and-threat-online-free-speech

By the way. I once thought just like you. A westerner born in a rich safe country with a big ocean protecting me from unfriendly neighbors. Till many years later when I learned what is like to live in countries that are not big, rich and safe.

It is all the Versailles Diktat, I am sure. Apologists will always craft an excuse for totalitarism. It is what they are paid for.

Singapore is authoritarian, not totalitarian. You don't know the difference?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_of_Singapore#Newspapers

So the answer is no. Thanks anyway.

I see. It just looks like a totalitarian regime.

Every country is "authoritarian" to some extent. That's what the law is: an authority.

But people can always accept and internalize restrictions on their behavior. If they pass that attitude down the the next generation, laws that originally seemed restrictive would become second nature to the common person.

Speaking of Singapore, Trump is ready to bring world peace. Are you neverTrumpers at MR ready to kiss the ring or do you want the USA to fail? Trump will go down in history as the greatest president in US history. Good thing we still have 6 1/2 more years of MAGA

Singapore is run well because the Yew family are smart and had good instincts on the economy (LKY was originally a communist but didn't actually implement very much communism - he realised it wouldn't work). As a small place the leader could be well aware of what is really going on, so they knowledge problem was less or small. Consequently it is very difficult to generalise from Singapores success to give a formula for other countries to follow - other countries nearby also got authoritarian communists as leaders after decolonisation and it didn't turn out nearly so well.

Singapore is run well because the Yew family......

I believe it's the Lee family.

Any recommended reading on Singapore's move from "from being relatively corrupt to having one of the best ratings on transparency indexes."

Read Lee Kuan Yew's two volume autobiography

Anyone who has pent time in SIng has to be impressed with it. It is about the same size as NYC but compare the incompetent, corrupt and buffoonish NYC government with Sing's. Compare public transport and infrastructure in NYC with Sing's. But yes we have a free press to keep us entertained and can chew gum wherever we want.

And you do not have to fear being sent to jail by Bill de Blaiso for saying that (or being ruined by his suits).

People do not go to jail for criticising the government. If you had bothered to see what Singaporeans have to say about their own ministers, that is obviously nonsense. If we had to jail every person who criticised the government, half the population would be in.

Singaporeans are known for complaining, and being demanding. if the metro train is late for a minute, it blows up on social media, and the Minister of Transport has to apologise.

That all aside, any unfounded allegations of corruption, race baiting, racism and threats to racial and religious harmony are severely punished. These laws are not only strict, but supported. The last thing we want is to become like Malaysia, and its Malay-centric apartheid system.

People do not go to jail for chewing gum. Contrary to what is often said, consumption of chewing gum is no illegal. Importing and selling it is, and there is a hefty fine, not jail.

the singaporean government also owns almost all the housing stock

So government can be effective and work well. Has anyone at GMU read this column?

An authoritarian city-state with government contiguous with ownership.

The Alt-Right is right, and the Age of Ideology is over.

It socializes healthcare in order to enable a better healthcare system AND free up the market economy from a big albatross.

Can't argue with full coverage of population at %3 of GNP, versus, in the USA, %80 coverage (really given the costs that households put up with: %50 coverage) at nearly %20 GNP.

The worst thing in human history--almost as bad as Nazi death camps and Stalinism--is the US healthcare non system.

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