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  1. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    28 Mar '11 08:45 / 1 edit
    There's a very interesting Special Report (a collection of 10 or so articles) on 'The Future Of The State' in last week's The Economist.

    http://www.economist.com/node/18359852?story_id=18359852

    Go East, young bureaucrat - Emerging Asia can teach the West a lot about government

    Here is a summary of a few points so you can decide whether it's worth a read...

    Singapore provides better schools and hospitals and safer streets than most Western countries—and all with a state that consumes only 19% of GDP. There is an emerging theory about a superior Asian model of government, put forward by both despairing Western businesspeople and hubristic Asian chroniclers. The Singaporeans argue that they have the perfect compromise between accountability and efficiency. “Our strength is that we are able to think strategically and look ahead,” says the prime minister. “If the government changed every five years it would be harder.” There is more truth in this than Western liberals would like to admit. Not many people in Washington are thinking beyond the 2012 presidential election. It is sometimes argued that an American administration operates strategically for only around six months, at the beginning of its second year—after it has got its staff confirmed by the Senate and before the mid-terms campaign begins. etc.
  2. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    28 Mar '11 10:22
    The post that was quoted here has been removed
    The other articles in the Special Report are:

    Taming Leviathan - the size of government/future of the state

    California Reelin' - lessons from a place that combines most of the shortcomings of the modern state.

    Enemies of progress - the biggest barriers to reform of the public sector are the unions.

    Go East_ young bureaucrat - Singapore (see OP)

    Favelous - Sometimes the best ideas for government are the simplest

    A work in progress - China's government is much less impressive than many westerners believe

    The gods that have failed - so far - Could technology bring the public sector up to scratch

    Patient_ heal thyself - A bottom up approach to the biggest problem in government (health care)

    Big society - radical ideas from a fusty old island

    Seize the moment - the prospects for reforming that state have improved but it will be a long haul
  3. 28 Mar '11 10:52
    Originally posted by FMF
    There's a very interesting Special Report (a collection of 10 or so articles) on 'The Future Of The State' in last week's The Economist.

    http://www.economist.com/node/18359852?story_id=18359852

    [b]Go East, young bureaucrat - Emerging Asia can teach the West a lot about government


    Here is a summary of a few points so you can decide whether it's wort ...[text shortened]... it has got its staff confirmed by the Senate and before the mid-terms campaign begins. etc.[/b]
    Longer terms is the answer? I know, why not ask the citizens of Egypt about longer terms.
  4. 28 Mar '11 10:54
    The post that was quoted here has been removed
    Here in the states it is one of the most dysfunctional systems in the world. Essentially you have people running to one party, hating it, and then running to the other party, hating it, and then running back to the other party, stop, rinse, and repeat.
  5. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    28 Mar '11 10:59
    Originally posted by whodey
    Here in the states it is one of the most dysfunctional systems in the world. Essentially you have people running to one party, hating it, and then running to the other party, hating it, and then running back to the other party, stop, rinse, and repeat.
    I only hate one party, although I have nothing but disgust for the other.
  6. Subscriber kmax87
    You've got Kevin
    28 Mar '11 11:16
    Originally posted by FMF
    Singapore provides better schools and hospitals and safer streets than most Western countries—and all with a state that consumes only 19% of GDP. There is an emerging theory about a superior Asian model of government, put forward by both despairing Western businesspeople and hubristic Asian chroniclers.
    I suppose when the west re-embraces the culture of the cane, we will also be ready to see the virtue of a tightly controlled, highly censored, corporate state...
  7. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    28 Mar '11 11:29 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by FMF
    There's a very interesting Special Report (a collection of 10 or so articles) on 'The Future Of The State' in last week's The Economist.

    http://www.economist.com/node/18359852?story_id=18359852

    [b]Go East, young bureaucrat - Emerging Asia can teach the West a lot about government


    Here is a summary of a few points so you can decide whether it's wort ...[text shortened]... it has got its staff confirmed by the Senate and before the mid-terms campaign begins. etc.[/b]
    From what I've read, the safer streets seem to be a product of somewhat reduced attention to its citizens' human rights. So, as anything else, it's a trade off.
  8. 28 Mar '11 11:41
    Originally posted by sh76
    From what I've read, the safer streets seem to be a product of somewhat reduced attention to its citizens' human rights. So, as anything else, it's a trade off.
    Not wanting to detract from the ecenomic issues, this is a very valid point indeed, as a Jehovahs Witness i could and would be jailed for practising my religion there. I have met not a few Witnesses from Singapore who tell me that you can be arrested for meeting in your own home with other witnesses.
  9. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    28 Mar '11 11:51
    Originally posted by sh76
    From what I've read, the safer streets seem to be a product of somewhat reduced attention to its citizens' human rights. So, as anything else, it's a trade off.
    Are the less safe streets of the U.S. due to enhanced attention to its citizens' human rights? If so how exactly?
  10. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    28 Mar '11 11:57
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    Not wanting to detract from the ecenomic issues, this is a very valid point indeed, as a Jehovahs Witness i could and would be jailed for practising my religion there. I have met not a few Witnesses from Singapore who tell me that you can be arrested for meeting in your own home with other witnesses.
    Well of course, such clearly outrageous restrictions do detract from any evaluation of the success of Singapore's economy. Surely the economic success - the 'trade off' as sh76 put it - simply is not worth it?
  11. 28 Mar '11 12:07
    Originally posted by FMF
    Well of course, such clearly outrageous restrictions do detract from any evaluation of the success of Singapore's economy. Surely the economic success - the 'trade off' as sh76 put it - simply is not worth it?
    I dont see how one has a bearing upon another, i mean, we are hardly likely to foment rebellion, stop paying taxes etc. I did make the point that i did not wish to detract from the economic arguments, but if, as the article from the economist you cited points out, Singapore has a 'good government', then clearly human rights abuses have some bearing upon that statement.
  12. Standard member Palynka
    Upward Spiral
    28 Mar '11 12:10
    If Singapore had a banking crisis like Ireland or Iceland, I suspect it would be in as much trouble as them. I'm not particularly informed on it, so I fully admit I may be way off the mark, but the model seems to me to pretty much to hinge on leeching off the economic activity from the region.

    A small country that sets low taxes so that a lot more businesses set HQ there instead of elsewhere is bound to be rich on average.
  13. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    28 Mar '11 12:12
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    I dont see how one has a bearing upon another, i mean, we are hardly likely to foment rebellion, stop paying taxes etc.
    You make the mistake of assuming that JWs are being picked on specifically. They are just part of the mish mash consisting of 'the opposition, the different, the uncooperative' whose repression is part and parcel of creating 'stability' and an 'investor friendly environment'. Frankly I am a little surprised you do not wish "to detract from the economic arguments".
  14. 28 Mar '11 12:56 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by FMF
    You make the mistake of assuming that JWs are being picked on specifically. They are just part of the mish mash consisting of 'the opposition, the different, the uncooperative' whose repression is part and parcel of creating 'stability' and an 'investor friendly environment'. Frankly I am a little surprised you do not wish "to detract from the economic arguments".
    I have assumed nothing FMF, i have no idea if others are subject to the same restrictions that we are. I find it immensely entertaining that you think that a little group of law abiding tax paying citizens could possibly jeopardise 'investor friendly environment', and thus justify repression and quite serious human rights abuses, if anything quite the opposite should be true, i mean, what dangers to economic stability and investor confidence do we represent?
  15. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    28 Mar '11 13:12 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by FMF
    Are the less safe streets of the U.S. due to enhanced attention to its citizens' human rights? If so how exactly?
    The streets would be safer if vandals got caned and if we had the death penalty for drug possession, but I'm not sure it's worth it.

    Edit: Let me rephrase. I'm pretty sure it's not worth it.