Is there a choice between smaller and bigger population?
“If Singapore depends on the talent it can produce out of three million people, it’s not going to punch above its weight. Lee Kuan Yew
We were 1m, then 2m, then 3m before we added all the foreigners to 5.6m. When we were 1m and 2m, we were already producing the talents that built the foundation for our economic miracles. We were producing talented Singaporeans even then. Unless those were not talents, then we are just slapping our own stupid face.
Now we are more than 5m. Did the increased population with foreign talents, throw out any great talents? The only foreign talent that is worth mentioning is Olivia Lum of Hyflux. The rest were plain employees, sitting on their fat asses and getting fat pay which any Singaporeans can also do so given the chance. Many of the CEO positions can easily be filled by Singaporeans and you will not see any difference in performance, maybe even better.
The three local banks were built by Singaporean talents. Without local talents there would not be any big local banks to think of. SIA, SMRT, Creative, Singtel were also locals. Not sure about Temasek and GIC but their startup fund is definitely local. The hospitals with their specialists and state of the art equipments were mainly run by Singaporeans and Malaysians. By the way, I think Singaporeans have never regarded the Malaysians as foreigners historically.
Did we produce lesser talents when we were 1m and 2m than we are now? There are some great talents in R and D. But these are instant trees. Would their offsprings be more talented than the offsprings of coolies and labourers, washerwomen and salesmen? What about the risk of offsprings from fake papers and fake talents?
If we have not over aspired to go for 6m and more, we would not be pressurised to create more jobs and ended with the two casinos. We would not be so desperate in our need for water and power and flirting with the risks of a nuclear solution to our ever growing need for more and cheaper source of energy. No need to talk about hyper inflation, high cost of living, high property prices, congestion, inability to own a car etc etc. All these problems are the negative effects of high population. Growth is good but not by increasing population indefinitely. It is a time bomb that must blow up if we don’t stop the population growth. It is not only a time bomb for this little rock but for Gaia, if population growth is not stopped.
What is so bad about a smaller population with lower growth, but real productivity growth, and a better quality of life, with more space for everyone and a lower cost of living?