Tuesday, March 21, 2017

From the Inside: Lessons from Singapore | Daily Maverick

From the Inside: Lessons from Singapore | Daily Maverick: I was blown away by the boldness of its vision, but most of all by the fact that a small country with no natural resources had in a single generation moved from extreme poverty to the cutting edge of modernity, and is determined to remain there, constantly re-inventing itself in a changing global economy.

When the young presenter (who looked in her 30s) asked if we had any questions, I asked hesitantly: “Will this plan actually get implemented?” Behind her immaculate poise I could see she thought it was the dumbest she had ever been asked.

“Of course”, she answered, before explaining how the country implemented a new plan every five years. This is how Singapore became one of the world’s leading ports, developed a powerful manufacturing sector, attracted investment across the globe, and became the springboard for exports across Asia. Good planning and implementation was how Singapore moved from mass unemployment to a labour-intensive manufacturing export economy, then to a high-skills, capital-intensive economy, and then a digital economy. And now they are positioning themselves at the cutting edge of the future super-smart economy.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Are Liberals on the Wrong Side of History? - The New Yorker

Are Liberals on the Wrong Side of History? - The New Yorker: Of all the prejudices of pundits, presentism is the strongest. It is the assumption that what is happening now is going to keep on happening, without anything happening to stop it. If the West has broken down the Berlin Wall and McDonald’s opens in St. Petersburg, then history is over and Thomas Friedman is content. If, by a margin so small that in a voice vote you would have no idea who won, Brexit happens; or if, by a trick of an antique electoral system designed to give country people more power than city people, a Donald Trump is elected, then pluralist constitutional democracy is finished. The liberal millennium was upon us as the year 2000 dawned; fifteen years later, the autocratic apocalypse is at hand. Thomas Friedman is concerned.

What is the Labour Party for? On the mystery of Jeremy Corbyn

What is the Labour Party for? On the mystery of Jeremy Corbyn:

There is a preference in the media’s political coverage – and in political campaigning altogether – for symbol and personality over policy and fact. The media coverage of Corbyn, who despite being an MP and unusually active campaigner for over thirty years had not much figured in the press until the leadership contest, has been by any measure persistently negative.