Although I have never lived there, one side of my family was from Singapore. At the time of its independence in 1963, Singapore's GDP per capita was US$511, while in the US, it was US$3232 . That's over 6x as much. While people died of malnourishment and developing world illnesses in Singapore, people in the US enjoyed a very high standard of living. A technocrat crafted Singapore over the next 50 years. In 2011, S'pore's GDP per capita was US$49, 270 vs $48,386 in the US; the Singapore economy continues to soar and the gap with the States will rise significantly more by 2050. People there do not die of poverty. Instead, they work, raise families, vacation and buy iPhones. This was only possible through very careful social engineering. No other country in the world has achieved such stellar growth in such a short period of time. Now that Singaporeans are much more educated, reforms are bound to occur. It's not possible to tell people what to do any longer, as it was in the past. It's the crazy laws that made this change in Singapore possible. People who never knew what it was like to live in a humble or meager life-style will always find this difficult to understand.