Excellent commenter Creaders writes about Singapore, begging to differ that Lee Kuan Yew is some sort of a Marxist.
Hi Robert, I am a Singaporean. I think the world needs to study this Lee Kuan Yew carefully. He is being championed by the capitalists not without good reasons. Singaporean workers are being exploited. Singapore is the only first world country without any forms of social security and government medical insurance.
Our public housing system is not due to any charity from Lee Kuan Yew. The subsidy came from the political enemies of PAP government as well as subsistence farmers. The land was expropriated from those landlords.
After PAP government took all our land, the sold to the highest bidder. The PAP government is extremely rent seeking. It jacks up property prices crazily such that our fertility rate is now about 1.1 kids per woman, the lowest in the whole world. Our property prices are one of the highest in the world now, just 20% behind Hong Kong.
Lee Kuan Yew’s greed knows no bounds. Despite of all these social ills, he has continued till this day to import foreigners massively, further pushing up our property prices and reducing our birthrate.
Lee Kuan Yew succeeded in Singapore not because he is smart but more because Singaporeans, the majority of whom are Chinese, are able to take his abuse and turn bad things into good.
Today, Lee Kuan Yew has run out of ideas. Singapore being the first to industrialize in the third world has seen all our industries hollow out due to high property prices. Lee now pursues the financialization of our economy. Singapore is now a money laundering and tax-evasion haven, that allows the rich all over the world to avoid paying taxes and hoard all their wealth in Singapore.
Tax havens like Singapore, Luxembourg, Switzerland need to be destroyed. The western countries already achieved 100% employment and utopia in 1960s. Their problem now is due to parasitic tax haven states as well as capitalists shipping jobs to India and China.
This is an excellent analysis. My view as a socialist is that we should support pro-worker states. The states that do the greatest good for the greatest number of workers are the best states on Earth. By this argument, North Korea is failing badly because they are not creating a good society for the working people of North Korea.
As a pro-workerist, I really don’t care whether a state is good for business. Who cares! Good for business tends to be in direct opposition to good for workers. The more a state is good for business, the less it is good for workers. Though many pro-worker states try to accommodate business, it is true that they do tend to limit them and hamper them in various ways, which I feel is proper.
As a pro-workerist, why should I care which nations are best for the rich? If a nation is ruled only by the rich and exists and only to benefit the rich (as is true of many nations) why should working people support this? What’s in it for them?
The ideal state is pro-worker, allows the rich to nevertheless keep a lot of their cash and puts reasonable limits on business in terms of regulation and taxation while nevertheless using the market as a tool to create wealth which can then be rationally distributed to society as a whole.
There is nothing whatsoever good about a wealthy state that won’t even provide national health care or Social Security for its people. And as the commenter points out, the state housing was created in a very sleazy way, by stealing the land of the rivals of Lee’s party. In addition, the lands of subsistence farmers were also confiscated.
I had a discussion about Singapore with a friend of mine. The Right likes to claim that the rightwing more or less neoliberal society of Singapore can be repeated elsewhere on a global scale as some sort of a model.
My friend pointed out that Singapore is a very rich country that exists simply due to the very low wages paid to the workers from surrounding lands who commute into Singapore every day to work. It’s based on exploitation of the poor. How can the whole world become “rich” like Singapore? It’s not possible, and it cannot be duplicated.
Presently the housing prices are so insanely high that most Singaporeans cannot even afford a home. This results in children living at home far into their 20′s and 30′s and not marrying and starting families. Because housing and the cost of living is so expensive, most of the young have decided that it makes no sense at all to have kids.
Lee has created a rich people’s paradise in Singapore, a nearly feudal state where the workers are so priced out of the economy that they are refusing to breed and have no roofs over their heads.
Lee has apparently adopted the traditional neoliberal model of continuous importation of cheap labor from abroad to be exploited by rich Singaporeans. Well, that is quite progressive.
Now that the productive economy is hollowing out because property prices are so high that few businesses even want to pay the rent necessary to do business there, Singapore is turning to a financialized and parasitic economy like New York City’s. Singapore will become a giant casino and tax haven for the rich. Some model!