Lee Kuan Yew (1923-2015)

Great Thomas Sowell writes on another great, Lee of Singapore, and illustrates how a Free Market economy does wonders to a place.


“Today Singapore has a per capita Gross Domestic Product more than 50 percent higher than that of the United Kingdom and a crime rate a small fraction of that in England. A 2010 study showed more patents and patent applications from the small city-state of Singapore than from Russia. Few places in the world can match Singapore for cleanliness and orderliness.

This remarkable transformation of Singapore took place under the authoritarian rule of Lee Kuan Yew for two decades as prime minister. And it happened despite some very serious handicaps that led to chaos and self-destruction in other countries.

Singapore had little in the way of natural resources. It even had to import drinking water from neighboring Malaysia. Its population consisted of people of different races, languages and religions — the Chinese majority and the sizable Malay and Indian minorities.

At a time when other Third World countries were setting up government-controlled economies and blaming their poverty on “exploitation” by more advanced industrial nations, Lee Kuan Yew promoted a market economy, welcomed foreign investments, and made Singapore’s children learn English, to maximize the benefits from Singapore’s position as a major port for international commerce.” (from the article)



Read the whole article here.