Sunday, April 16, 2017

Book Review: Lee Kuan Yew by Allison and Blackwill

- The Grand Master's Insights on China, the United States, and the World. Interviews and selections by Graham Allison and Robert D.Blackwill with Ali Wyne. Belfer Center Studies in International Security. Published by The MIT Press.

This book focused on international politics and what Lee Kuan Yew's thoughts of the future were. There were a few key ideas which might help the retail investor decide whether to bet for or against the Singapore economy.

Future of welfare states
In general, he believed that welfare states would pass on more and more debt to the next generation just to implement popular policies that win popular votes. For example, the US and most European countries are severely in debt funding welfare. It incentivises the unemployed to remain jobless, and disincentivises the hardworking workers with 40-50% tax on their income. This will only stop when something drastic enough happens, for example, bankruptcy or major government changes.

Future of corrupted states
This is a no-brainer, but these countries will continue to remaining in their third world or developing status until the government puts in proper order and law. He explained it that order had to come before the law is in place to enforce it. India was an example of having the law but no order. Brazil, Russia, China, were other corrupted countries whose growth had been sabotaged by corrupted leaders.

Future of globalisation
He believed that technology and air transport advancements had offered everyone with equal opportunities to sell goods and services. It will continue to change the way businesses operate and how governments manage their countries. Protectionism will be the downfall of a country. Capitalism is necessary to motivate the good to do better and more for the country. Talents will leave their home country if they don't like their government.

China and US
China will have no reason to want to be a superpower. China is just progressing peacefully. China and US relations will had big impact on every economy. The best outcome is to have good trade relations between the two.

Threat of Terrorism
He mentioned that the threat had been seeded since the 1970s and will be difficult to eradicate. The solution he offered was for the Moderate Muslims to counter the extremist Islamist views being taught in schools.

Future of Singapore
Singapore's future depends on its ability to continually retain talent to run the country. The government needs to build an environment where investors and employees want to be in. The innovative spirit needs to be fused into the young, from young, at home and in school. The future workforce is one that continuously learns and adapts.

I am now interested to read the book From Third World to First. This book is not really a propaganda-type of book. It is written objectively, and perfect for anybody interested to learn about international politics. I am still betting my money on Singapore's economy, by buying Singapore stocks, and also choosing companies which have overseas investments. There is definitely a lot of economic potential in China and India after their leaders get their act together.