In the wake of the tragic death of George Floyd at the hands of American police, street protests have broken out in multiple countries, calling attention to deeper issues of systemic racism. While this is a praiseworthy development, vandalism of public property has occurred, with protestors defacing, destroying and knocking down statues of historical figures…

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The Adam Smith Center is a proud partner of the Geneva Network, an international organisation researching innovation, trade and development issues. We have just signed onto a great new report that they have released titled “Joint Declaration on the Importance of Collaboration, Open Trade and Innovation in Tackling Covid-19”. We are an international coalition of public…

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In fact, many blame unregulated markets for the most recent financial crisis in 2008. While free markets are generally considered the most efficient system of economic organisation, however begrudgingly, many feel that it is at best a necessary evil, and at worse, a system of exploitation of the poor. Thus, the efficiency of capitalism is…

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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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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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Significantly, Lee was a strong supporter of the Nobel-prize winning, classical liberal political economist Friedrich Hayek. He had read Hayek’s famous book Road to Serfdom and declared: I believe Hayek was a very clear thinker and that he hit upon the eternal truth, explaining that the free market is necessary to get the economy right. This is an…

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The World Economic Forum identifies rising inequality as a big threat against the world economy. In Singapore, there is a growing chorus of economists and observers also pointing attention to inequality, and they include individuals like Donald Low and Yeoh Lam Keong from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. Of course, some opposition leaders have also called for more…

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One key problem is that contemporary discussions of inequality have often conflated it with poverty. Not only are inequality and poverty conceptually distinct, a failure to distinguish between them can lead to problematic policy conclusions. Additionally, when market advocates criticise redistributive policies and government welfare programs, they are seen as anti-poor. Thus, separating these two concepts can…

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