When Singapore’s success first attracted notice, American and British economists scrambled to claim it as a victory for textbook laissez-faire. Supposedly if only the United States and the United Kingdom would let markets rip, they too could enjoy Singapore-like growth.
[ by Eamonn Fingelton / March 23, 2015 / Forbes ]
This could hardly have been more wrong. In common with virtually ever other economy, Singapore is a mix: yes, in some ways it is a free market, but in others — many, many others — it is planned. Planning has driven Singapore’s spectacular growth. Contrary to all Anglophone nostrums about the salience of free markets, the state can be spectacularly successful in outthinking the market. Had this been understood earlier, successive U.S. presidential administrations might have offered fewer hostages to fortune in China policy – and the U.S. Treasury might not have become so deeply reliant on Beijing to fund U.S. budget deficits.