Successful Capitalist Welfare State Singapore Plans Tomorrow’s Benefits For All

Apartment building with balconies in multiple colours
Tampines neighbourhood in Singapore, which the government is planning to make more neighbourly, perhaps by adding a community centre or park space. Residents will be consulted to help decide what "more neighbourly" will look like. For migrant workers, it is another story.

Perhaps you’re a go-along-to-get-along free market apologist for the poor treatment that your nation metes out to the elderly, the poor and the unwell.

Possibly you’ve drunk the koolaid about squandering ill-deserved money on the country’s underclasses, money earmarked as essential for guiding a national alpine adventure — that endless uphill climb towards riches for all (excepting of course, many elderly, poor and unwell.)

No doubt, in this time of pandemic, you’re prepared to double down on the numbers of surplus-to-necessity citizens who must be thrown under the bus — an act to preserve the nation’s wealth (which some think is most suitably stored as collections of shiny new warships and military aircraft).

And were you to meet a fellow citizen who questioned why so many of your society’s most vulnerable citizens needed to be sacrificed to the “common good,” you might well be inclined to spit the word “commie” between clenched teeth.

It goes without saying that you won’t be terribly anxious to read about how one tiny, wealthy, uber-capitalist state manages to house the vast bulk of its population in social housing. Nor how it currently plans for a future in which its growing population of vulnerable citizens will not be short-changed by the nation’s capitalist success, but will indeed become the beneficiaries of new initiatives to ensure their health and welfare.1

If the above characterizations apply to you, it’s probably best not to bother reading about Singapore’s ambitions for extending its social housing for its aging citizens in the following article from the Straits Times: Future of HDB living will be smart and sustainable: DPM


  1. It should be noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has unveiled a dark corner of Singapore’s housing policies which, while they do not infringe upon the privileges and protections of its citizenry, have had a dismaying impact upon the nation’s guest workers. Try Covid-19 Singapore: A ‘pandemic of inequality’ exposed