Monday, May 30, 2011

Singapore Sling

On a recent podcast (and I cannot recall which), the person interviewed was discussing the reasons why the Western Anglosphere (those countries originally influenced by England) would always be pre-eminent, in the world of politics and business, to the Eastern sphere of influence in regard to societal and business dealings.

Now, the observation is open to debate, but also open to be abused.

The basic premise is that 'law and contract', in the Anglo-sphere, is superior to that of cultural 'kinship and custom' in the East.

This is to say, that when doing business between parties, the West will look first to honouring a contract under law before being influenced by cultural norms of kinship (familial ties) and custom (cultural norms).

Contract and Law, as a way of ordering society and business, is thus said to be able to provide the best environment with which to prosper.

There's definitely some credibility in the view. Look at the history of the Anglosphere. The Western Anglosphere, in a few hundred years, has become the most properous group of nations in history. The East has not progressed as far.

In small city states like Singapore (and also Hong Kong) in the East, business is fair booming.

The state of the economy here in Singapore is positive. The trappings of wealth are everywhere, even down to the curse of prosperity; high prices. I just paid twice the amount for chocolate here than in New Zealand. Gas is the same price, but housing is in a boom. Rental apartments are nearby impossible to come by.

So the question I pose, is this sort of prosperity created and sustained because of good stable laws which exist above the attitudes of kinship and custom, or is it some fluke of history?

Gold in New Zealand dollars: $1880.97 per oz
Previous all time high: $1955.10 per oz

Silver in New Zealand dollars: $46.53 per oz
Previous all time high: $48.58
per oz
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The Anglo-Far East Company
The Original Private Bullion Custodian
Your reference: an-001
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