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If I read one more article on how we should model our government / public services on Hong Kong or Singapore I think I might just scream.

There are 3 major differences:

(1) They are tiny city states operating 1 party politics.

(2) Their infrastructure is brand new and heavily centrally planned

(3) The small government actually provides low cost state owned housing to 85% (Singapore) and 55% (Hong Kong) of the populations

Why are all these right wing bloggers and reporters always going on about how we should be more like them when they claim to love liberty, democracy and the free market?

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If I read one more article on how we should model our government / public services on Hong Kong or Singapore I think I might just scream.

There are 3 major differences:

(1) They are tiny city states operating 1 party politics.

(2) Their infrastructure is brand new and heavily centrally planned

(3) The small government actually provides low cost state owned housing to 85% (Singapore) and 55% (Hong Kong) of the populations

Why are all these right wing bloggers and reporters always going on about how we should be more like them when they claim to love liberty, democracy and the free market?

You forgot that they lack free speech, a free press and are one-party states.

Try having opposition views in Singapore and see how far it gets you. :)

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Its because they look at one aspect only the tax rates and how much they can exploit the locals, the locals are extremely well educated, will take tons of abuse are scared for their jobs and 110 hour weeks where only 35 hours is paid is normal.

Hong Kong AND Singapore are pretty much hell holes IF you are the ordinary average person there. In HK I am not the ordinary average person there though which is why it is a viable option for me. And this is why so many white people go there because they can earn considerably more than the locals.

If you move there NEVER ever ever compete with the locals.

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If I read one more article on how we should model our government / public services on Hong Kong or Singapore I think I might just scream.

There are 3 major differences:

(1) They are tiny city states operating 1 party politics.

(2) Their infrastructure is brand new and heavily centrally planned

(3) The small government actually provides low cost state owned housing to 85% (Singapore) and 55% (Hong Kong) of the populations

Why are all these right wing bloggers and reporters always going on about how we should be more like them when they claim to love liberty, democracy and the free market?

the old one party system eh - just like the one we used when they were under british rule...

how do you define free speech? people are allowed to say what they want - but saying things in the media is a different issue, its regulated.

now im not syaing thats a good thing but consider what is the media? - it is not the voice of the people - it is an industry designed to make money just like the car industry or retail industry, or travel industry. it is ultimately an industry

the problem is that they procalim to be the voice of the people and unfortunately like sheep , the public go along with it. if the media think somethings a big issue, the public go along with it. if the media create an issue out of nothing, the public go along with it.

politics in this country is controlled by the media. everything is designed not to appease the people, but to appease the media because its the media that influence the mass public.

how can in the united states. a country supposedly the free world, and with 300 million citizens, have a father and son combination as presidents, and a husband and wife conbination almost make it as presidents. that almost 20 years of governance by 2 families. the bush family are governors in many different states. thats nepotism and effectively corruption but we dont acknowlegde it because its done in a supposed free system.

and thats all down to the media and how people are influenced by it.

Edited by mfp123

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I'd note Singapore the whole idea of the place is HORRENDOUS.

It is often slated for lots of strict laws.

But guess how these laws are enforced? They are an entire nation of curtain twitchers.

Gibson wrote this in 1993.

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/1.04/gibson.html

Little has changed.

But the women in Orchard Road have to be the most beautiful in the world

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If I read one more article on how we should model our government / public services on Hong Kong or Singapore I think I might just scream.

There are 3 major differences:

(1) They are tiny city states operating 1 party politics.

(2) Their infrastructure is brand new and heavily centrally planned

(3) The small government actually provides low cost state owned housing to 85% (Singapore) and 55% (Hong Kong) of the populations

Why are all these right wing bloggers and reporters always going on about how we should be more like them when they claim to love liberty, democracy and the free market?

OK.

1) Is irrelevant the USA is much richer than us and is larger.

2) yes but it is a very small part of overall government spending

3) not sure of the impact of this - the main point is that TOTAL govt expenditure is much lower than here (UK).

The main reason they like hong kong and singapore is that they have gone from 3rd word to 1st world levels of affluence in the 20th century. This is because they have a very business friendly environment to work in.

which means - rule of law, stable governmental regimes and simple, low taxes.

Africa - languishing under massive corruption, overbearing governments and war has gone virtually nowhere in the same time.

no-one is suggesting we copy singapore or Hong-Kong in their entirety, simply that their business and regulatory environment leads to much quicker economic growth than we have had and they are now better off than us and still growing faster.

despite their problems - most people in the world would count themselves lucky if they could move to Singapore or Hong-Kong the opportunities for most people there are far far better than the majority of the world enjoys.

that does not mean they are perfect - just that they are better than most of the rest of the world.

In terms of Healthcare Singapore has a very interesting model of universal healthcare that harnesses a bit of market power to raise quality, but keeps a safety net in place for those who cannot afford to pay.

The pensions system is not so good - Chile has a better model.

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The pensions system is not so good - Chile has a better model.

Ah let me guess how it works:

Private savings funds with no/minimal state support (unless it goes wrong when the state suddenly has enough money to cover 100% of liabilities and no-one responsible for losses gets in trouble)

The tiny sliver of the population who has all the money get decent pensions.

Everybody else gets naff all because they have lived on subsistence wages all their working lives and haven't been able to contribute despite a productive lifetime of work because any excess value they have produced has gone to the richest 10%?

Quick Google - yep that looks about right.

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Ah let me guess how it works:

Private savings funds with no/minimal state support (unless it goes wrong when the state suddenly has enough money to cover 100% of liabilities and no-one responsible for losses gets in trouble)

The tiny sliver of the population who has all the money get decent pensions.

Everybody else gets naff all because they have lived on subsistence wages all their working lives and haven't been able to contribute despite a productive lifetime of work because any excess value they have produced has gone to the richest 10%?

Quick Google - yep that looks about right.

well actually no, they have the best and most sustainably funded pensions in south america, Singapore operates a system of enforced saving and investing in low yield accounts with the government - which is not so good for people in terms of the amount they get out after retirement.

You don't think our model of pensions is sustainable in the long run do you?

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But the women in Orchard Road have to be the most beautiful in the world

+1

Came through there last weekend. (No pun intended!).

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One of the long serving British governors of Hong Kong described himself as a Libertarian and that was the ideology he tried to build in Hong Kong. Worked amazingly well. Would it work as well in the year 2011, with different, more advanced technology.. I'm not sure.

One party states are better imo, democracy is just a fail ideology. Name me a democracy that isn't owned 100% by bankers.

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I'd note Singapore the whole idea of the place is HORRENDOUS.

It is often slated for lots of strict laws.

But guess how these laws are enforced? They are an entire nation of curtain twitchers.

Gibson wrote this in 1993.

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/1.04/gibson.html

Little has changed.

A lot has changed. Singapore has taken giant strides towards becoming the first Matrix nation. The Bruce Willis movie Surrogates is not so far from the truth in Singapore.

Today's Singaporeans are obsessed with technology. With their eyes glued to a screen somewhere they often obstruct your path with their dawdling. The young in particular are dangerously preoccupied. Yesterday in Orchard Central I saw a young woman hobbling along with her eyes down focussed on her smart phone. Why was she hobbling? Her foot was in plaster. I wonder how she got that? :)

Try walking at a decent pace through Raffles Place station of a morning rush hour. Its not the volume of people that's the problem, its the number of them dawdling along preoccupied with their smart phones and tablets.

One thing outsiders might not know about Singapore is the nationwide outbreak of hair loss. Huge numbers of Singaporeans are suffering alopecia. I am not quite sure what's causing it but baldness is an epidemic here and a hair loss industry has sprung up offering quack solutions. Constipation is a major problem here too, no surprise with rice, noodles and eggs being the staple diet. Good luck walking into a food court to buy a potato, tomato or bread based dish.

Huge numbers of young Singaporean men spend their free time internet gaming at dimly-lit smoky gaming cafes. Others are preoccupied with image and expend a great deal of effort on grooming their effiminate hairstyles. Either way young Singaporean men have largely been stripped of their masculinity and in a war would prove to be a useful as chocolate fireguards..

Young Singaporean women are equally obsessed with image. Many look very smart and brandish Prada, Gucci and Cartier to satisfy their egos, but others dress in such risque way as to look like cheap tarts. Many young Singaporean women crave the Western look. They bleach their skin white. They sport coloured contact lenses. They look both anemic and possessed.

The older generation enjoy telling you your own business. I have never met such a bunch of self-satisfied, finger-wagging, officious intermeddlers.

On politics, the PAP won the general election on Saturday. No surprise there. What might surprise you were comments made by Minister Mentor Lee Kwan Yew regarding the hotly contested constituency of Aljunied. Two weeks ago at a polictical rally he menacingly warned it's voters that if they did not vote for the ruling PAP "they will regret it."

Aljunied's voters chose not to heed his warning and duly vote in the Worker's Party instead. Foreign Minister George Yeo, darling of the PAP, lost his seat ending a 23 year political career. I expect to see tanks rolling into Aljunied any day now.

Edited by nmarks

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But the women in Orchard Road have to be the most beautiful in the world

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Orchard Road is a melting pot, many of the women you will have ogled will be Thai, Filipinos, Indonesians and Malaysians.

When I look up on fancily dressed young Singaporean women I am minded of the Filipino domestic workers they beat up, intimidate and otherwise abuse at home.

If you want to see beautiful asian women look no further than the Filipino TV show Wow Wow Wow starring the breathtaking Valerie Concepcion.

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Its because they look at one aspect only the tax rates and how much they can exploit the locals, the locals are extremely well educated, will take tons of abuse are scared for their jobs and 110 hour weeks where only 35 hours is paid is normal.

Hong Kong AND Singapore are pretty much hell holes IF you are the ordinary average person there. In HK I am not the ordinary average person there though which is why it is a viable option for me. And this is why so many white people go there because they can earn considerably more than the locals.

If you move there NEVER ever ever compete with the locals.

Ive always considered HK like a capitalists end game. The value of labour vs capital is driven down so far the majority of people have to beg to government/capitalists for a shoe box of 300 sq ft. The fiasco over the minimum wage is a case in point with minimal labour laws enabling firms to avoid paying a measly 2.50 pounds an hour. Dont be fooled, being AVERAGE in HK is a much worse deal than being AVERAGE in the UK. As always with capitalism though it is the best place for the elite.

Edited by desertorchid

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Ive always considered HK like a capitalists end game. The value of labour vs capital is driven down so far the majority of people have to beg to government/capitalists for a shoe box of 300 sq ft. The fiasco over the minimum wage is a case in point with minimal labour laws enabling firms to avoid paying a measly 2.50 pounds an hour. Dont be fooled, being AVERAGE in HK is a much worse deal than being AVERAGE in the UK. As always with capitalism though it is the best place for the elite.

I'm not so sure about that, as some posters have said HK is quite odd in that it has quite a few socialist things, universal basic healthcare exists. More than 50% of the population live in council housing which is massively subsidised. Education is highly subsidised. Transport has price controls.

Also the average here might be better off than there, but for how long will this remain the case? The credit card life style the UK citizenry have been living has to end one day.

Edited by ken_ichikawa

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Ive always considered HK like a capitalists end game. The value of labour vs capital is driven down so far the majority of people have to beg to government/capitalists for a shoe box of 300 sq ft. The fiasco over the minimum wage is a case in point with minimal labour laws enabling firms to avoid paying a measly 2.50 pounds an hour. Dont be fooled, being AVERAGE in HK is a much worse deal than being AVERAGE in the UK. As always with capitalism though it is the best place for the elite.

Not sure about that if you take a 20 years view.

UK standard of living haven't increase much in the past 20 years while HK people standard of living have more than double in that period (although with some people badly disadvantaged).

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Not sure about that if you take a 20 years view.

UK standard of living haven't increase much in the past 20 years while HK people standard of living have more than double in that period (although with some people badly disadvantaged).

When i go to Singapore the 'Quality of Life' doesnt exactly hit you :rolleyes:

It may be wealthy but it still has that Police State feel about it. People are very guarded in what they say - what are they worried about?

Freedom of expression is suppressed

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If I read one more article on how we should model our government / public services on Hong Kong or Singapore I think I might just scream.

There are 3 major differences:

(1) They are tiny city states operating 1 party politics.

(2) Their infrastructure is brand new and heavily centrally planned

(3) The small government actually provides low cost state owned housing to 85% (Singapore) and 55% (Hong Kong) of the populations

Why are all these right wing bloggers and reporters always going on about how we should be more like them when they claim to love liberty, democracy and the free market?

Confusion with positive and negative liberty?!?

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Not sure about that if you take a 20 years view.

UK standard of living haven't increase much in the past 20 years while HK people standard of living have more than double in that period (although with some people badly disadvantaged).

The price of capital in HK today is astronomical. Any opprtunity to use land or resources for any productive purpose is hugely prohibitive and only accessible to a handful of companies (SHK, Hutchison, etc) Meanwhile wages have only moved up moderately , many people will probably be earning similar to what they were in 1997. It takes time, but opportunities are narrowing with only small improvement in public services.

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The price of capital in HK today is astronomical. Any opprtunity to use land or resources for any productive purpose is hugely prohibitive and only accessible to a handful of companies (SHK, Hutchison, etc) Meanwhile wages have only moved up moderately , many people will probably be earning similar to what they were in 1997. It takes time, but opportunities are narrowing with only small improvement in public services.

Yes - HK does have this oligopoly issue but that is not hugely different from the UK where the large track of land are controlled by some

number of people, utilities are controlled by the big 6, mobile by the 4 (how on earth did UK Gov allowed TMobile to merge with Orange...),

Telephone lines by 3 companies, and banking by the big 3..

Comparing the HDI..

http://hdrstats.undp.org/en/countries/profiles/HKG.html

HK HDI went from 0.69 to 0.86 during 1980- 2010 (+17 points)

http://hdrstats.undp.org/en/countries/profiles/GBR.html

UK HDI went from 0.72 to 0.85 (+13 point)

Certainly not 'going no where...'

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