We are Free Market

Humanitarians

An

Illustrious

intellectual
tradition

Adam Smith

The Scottish moral philosopher and political economist Adam Smith changed the course of history by arguing that open and free societies naturally generate human prosperity and economic growth. His market-liberal ideas have enriched nations whenever they have been tried, and are the bedrock of the modern world we live in today.

Stamford Raffles

Stamford Raffles is not only the founder of modern Singapore in 1819, of which he is most well-known. Raffles was also a strong proponent of free trade, setting Singapore on a path to becoming an open and prosperous hub of trade and immigration.

Friedrich Hayek

Friedrich Hayek is a well known political economist and social theorist in the 20th century and who won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1974. He is known for his warnings against excessive government intrusion into the market economy and how it would lead to tyranny. Hayek’s also influenced Singapore history though its first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, who regarded him as a “very clear thinker” who “hit upon the eternal truth...that the free market is necessary to get the economy right.”

Build

THE FUTURE WITH US

The Adam Smith Center is the first and only independent organisation in Singapore dedicated to promoting pro-market principles in academia, public policy and wider society. Our mission is to inspire and build a new generation of free market humanitarians.

 

We believe that tomorrow's leaders should be grounded on the principles of individualism, free exchange, limited government & rule of law, and permissionless innovation, which are the driving forces for human welfare

Articles

AND
EVENTS

The Morality of Capitalism

Free market capitalism has a bad rap today. This is despite its global spread, especially since the end of the Cold War and the fall of socialist states within the iron curtain. In fact, many blame unregulated markets for the most recent financial crisis in 2008. While free markets are generally considered the most efficient…
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How Politicians Divide People For Their Own Ends

The concept of the Other The concept of the “Other” has existed since the very dawn of human civilisation. Although the specific semantics can vary widely, the concept always involves a sense of exclusion of a group due to a perception of difference in identities, however that “identity” is defined. This divisive concept serves to…
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Why Be Sceptical of Big Government?

Sometime back, I spoke in a talk about the politics & economics of climate change. When I brought up the dishonesty of Climategate (surprisingly, only 1 out of an audience of 30-40 heard of it), the impression that some got was that I was attempting a broad-sweeping smear of the progressive environmentalist agenda by the…
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A Historical Impact of the Internet on Democracy

There is no rest for the Big Tech corporations of today. A growing animosity toward Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon has gained mainstream traction, seen by increasingly louder calls by activists and politicians from across the political spectrum to regulate tech markets. This phenomenon – commonly referred to as “techlash” – is a bipartisan policy…
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A Peculiar History of Coffee And Sex

New technologies and inventions are often met by the public with great distrust. It’s not hard to see why. Humans have a natural propensity to fear treading new and unknown terrain. We fear the perennial gale of Schumpeterian creative destruction; the disruption to existing market structures, displacement of existing jobs, or the potential hazards it…
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Income Inequality and Luck

In January 2018 the very famous Oprah Winfrey received the very prestigious Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes. To a standing ovation of who-is-who she gave a rousing speech. The video of that rousing speech went around the world and created another standing – virtual – ovation. Let’s face it. It was a…
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What Makes Singapore’s Healthcare System Successful?

Since 2012, the UN has touted the lofty policy goal of universally accessible, high-quality and affordable healthcare to nations everywhere. Three years later, the UN put in place a finish line for this goal in the year 2030, and in 2017 continued to urge the pursuit of this goal for governments everywhere. As the annual…
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Can Markets Bring Relief From Disasters?

As hurricanes have hit the US, a debate has been raging over the role of markets and governments in disaster prevention and post-disaster relief. Only this week, the Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz pointed out what he described as an “obvious lesson”, which was that “markets alone won’t protect you” from natural disasters. This, he explains, is…
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What About Monopolies?

One of the main criticisms levelled against the free market is the concept of market dominance, or market power. Free markets are great, but they often lead to the accumulation of power by certain firms, who end up as monopolies, or so the argument goes. One firm may eventually end up gobbling other smaller ones,…
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Lee Kuan Yew liked Fredrich Hayek. Do you?

Former Prime Minister and Founding Father of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew, we can all agree, was an intelligent, well-read man who saw Singapore through its turbulent years. It would be interesting to explore some of his intellectual influences and whether they hold any relevance for us today. Significantly, Lee was a strong supporter of the…
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Why Lee Hsien Loong Is Absolutely Right On Inequality

Income and wealth inequality is recognised as a big problem around the world today. It is perceived to have contributed to the backlash against globalisation in Western countries, the rise of populism amongst the electorate. The World Economic Forum identifies rising inequality as a big threat against the world economy. In Singapore, there is a growing chorus of economists…
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