Statistics, surveys, indexes… don’t you just love them? While I have neither the time nor expertise to examine the validity of these reports, they do provide us with some interesting talking points.
According to a report conducted by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal, Singapore ranks second in terms of economic freedom. This isn’t very surprising given the government’s emphasis on economic development (ministers’ salaries are also tied to GDP, in case you haven’t noticed) and Singapore’s dependency on trade.
While I agree that pay should always be tied to performance, GDP might not be the best metric to tie a civil servant’s salary to. One of the many criticisms of GDP is that it does not provide a measure of the welfare of society. In fact, Singapore has the second highest Gini coefficient in the world at 42.5. The Gini coefficient is used to measure the inequality of income or wealth – the higher it is, the greater the gap between the rich and poor. The only other country that beat Singapore (in both indexes, actually) is Hong Kong. Here are the rankings for the Index of Economic Freedom.
This does mean that Singapore is one of the best places to conduct business in, as it should be given our particular situation. However, the pace of life is near frenetic, and as you will see next, the quality of life apparently ain’t that great either.