OPINION: Joseph Stiglitz’s Singapore is hardly the one I grew up in - Kirsten Han

QZ.com, 20 Mar 2013
Joseph E. Stiglitz may be a brilliant economist, but familiar with Singapore he is not.
This fact could not be more glaring than in his piece in the New York Times urging the United States to emulate the tiny city-state. His description paints Singapore as practically utopian: the rich willingly contribute to help the poor, everyone puts money aside to pay for healthcare and retirement, and the government makes sure that workers are not disadvantaged by cunning employers.
The policies and measures praised sound good in theory, but don’t actually work that way in reality. As a matter of fact, the issues singled out by Stiglitz—wages, the Central Provident Fund (CPF), housing and labour relations—are the very things keeping Singaporeans up at night.
Singapore is far from being an equal society. When considered in the global context, Singapore cannot be considered a society with “fewer economic disparities.” Its Gini coefficient, which measures inequality, is the second highest among developed countries. Full story

Related:
Singapore’s Lessons for an Unequal America - The New York Times
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