Sounds like you haven't got a clue what libertarianism means. FDI is about as libertarian as it can get. What have abundant natural resources got to do with libertarianism?
FDI means we're an open
economy. It doesn't make us a libertarian country; it doesn't mean our government is a libertarian one. That's simply laughable. I made the point about natural resources to explain why our economy is so open to FDI and foreigners. It's certainly not because the government is interested in upholding libertarian principles.
Sorry to have to tell you this but rising prices are a side effect of a booming economy. Either accept high prices or accept a shit economy. That's just the reality of the world we live in. If you want low prices, move to Zimbabwe where you can buy 10 acres of land for $10. You'll have no clean food or water but at least your land is cheap. That's all that matters to you obviously.
1. If I accept what you're saying, it means my country's economy has been "booming" for the past 30-40 years.
2. You have no idea what you're saying, so let me tell you what it's like in Singapore because I actually live here. Housing prices have escalated astronomically over the past 5 years (again, this is a rough estimate) for various reasons, one of which is the government's various pro-foreigners policies that directly or indirectly have encouraged cash-rich foreigners, mainly people from China and Indonesia, to come in here and drive up property prices. This is a fact, easily attested to by the government's recent measures introduced to cool property prices in Singapore (which include, among other things, higher stamp duty rates for foreigners who buy private properties).
3. I find it absolutely laughable that you seem to be insinuating that "cheap land" is something that I shouldn't care about. Another fact for you: one of the policies that the Singapore government has promoted since independence in 1965 is home ownership. It's a bedrock of Singaporean existence. There is nothing trivial about my concern about whether land is cheap here if I cannot afford a home for myself. It's pointless bringing up Zimbabwe - we're obviously way ahead of them in terms of development. There is also no logical trade-off between clean water and "cheap land" as you put it. It is perfectly reasonable for a citizen of any country to expect to be able to afford his own home. I'm not even talking about buying a huge bungalow in Nassim Road or a serviced apartment in town for S$23 million. I'm talking about how the average price of private property is easily over S$1.2 million and before the government stepped in, public housing (public housing
) wasn't that far behind. We're not all millionaires here. I earn more than the average Singaporean but I still can't afford private property. In fact, my salary works against me too with regard to public housing (short version: income cap for married couples; preference given to married couples).
4. FYI, I'm not the only Singaporean complaining about rising cost of living and rising housing prices. It was a hot topic of contention during the May general elections and contributed to the least resounding victory for the PAP in the elections. You can look this up - the Economist did a pretty solid piece on it.
Financial freedom is one of several factors which determine a country's overall freedom. Yes it's far from perfect but Singapore's business, trade, property, monetary and labor laws are among the most libertarian in the world. Not to mention one of the lowest tax rates.
If you don't think these demonstrate libertarianism then you're still clueless. Better check the definition before making these comments.
Please, stop trying to educate me on my own country's "overall freedom". We're not North Korea but we're not exactly Taiwan either. FYI, there is no minimum wage in Singapore and there is no culture of trade unionism because it has been discouraged by the PAP government post-independence in order to reduce the frequency of strikes and attract MNCs to set up shop here. Not to mention income inequality has increased over the past few years (fuzzy on the exact stats but it's somewhere out there). It's also funny that you should mention property laws - we cannot have libertarian property laws because everything ultimately belongs to the government due to scarcity of land.
Is this what you mean by "libertarian"? Yes, we have an open economy that promotes free trade and FDI and second-rate foreigners coming in here and making it as CEOs. Sure, we are a democracy in name and we hold free and fair (this is debatable but for the purpose of this post let's just let it slide) elections once every five years. But that's about as far as it goes, and I sincerely hope you weren't arguing that Singapore is libertarian politically
because it would show that you know absolutely nothing about my country.
Like I said in my previous post, whatever policies that the government has instituted to date to promote economic freedom isn't so much because they give a shit about individual liberty. It's all done in the name of pragmatism. Singapore, a small country with no natural resources, needed to find a way to survive in the world after we were kicked out of Malaysia in 1965. I definitely think it's great that my government has gotten it right so far, minus the past 5 years or so, because it means that I'm not living in poverty and we're better than Malaysia. But to use the word "libertarian" to describe my country is absolutely, absolutely laughable; to lump my country in the same category as Australia and Switzerland is just...let me put it kindly: you are being very kind to us. In fact, I find it cute that you seem convinced of your opinion. Tell that to any Singaporean with a working brain between his ears who doesn't blindly support the ruling party and he'd probably laugh in your face.
Lastly, unless you are a PAP mole, there was no need to get defensive and rude. My original post was really just me ranting about my government. Maybe I shouldn't have used the
smiley but I honestly find it hilarious whenever a foreigner tries to argue that Singapore is more liberal or libertarian than it really is (when in fact it is not at all). Then again, I guess it's true for them - Singapore is a great country to live in if you're a foreigner. Just don't vandalise any MRT trains or try to bring in drugs.