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Pericles(MBA)

Expatriotism In Asia

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I've been very curious lately about Americans and Britons who choose to live in Asian countries such as Singapore and Taiwan. I've met some Asians from there and also chatted occasionally online with some Expats living there now. The big selling point seems to be the relatively free markets of Taiwan and Singapore, and their British influenced culture. The downside would be that many services that we take for granted in the West are still expensive and scare there. But lack of services has not stopped American companies from continuing to relocate there.

From what people from that area have told me, there is an economic boom taking place along the coastal cities in China, comparable to America in the 1800's. Often companies operate across several nations and cross-investment is big.

Although there is strife between Taiwan and China, Taiwanese companies invest in mainland China, and vice versa. The freer nations in the region benefit from the Chinese growth.

I wonder how far people think the growth in the region will continue, given that China is still technically Communist? Even though there is no Objectivist influence in Asia, that region is still experiencing the Western influence it inherited from Britian. Also the Kantian influence of Judeo-Christian religions is still minimal, and environmentalists have no political clout. As a result there are non-apologetic Meccas in the former colony cities.

As I said before, the only criticism I might have of the area is that certain things like medical care, and higher education, are sometimes more expensive or limited, because Asians have not developed infrastructure as much as Western nations have. But I also understand that the developing cities are working quickly to catch up to us in those areas. One of my co-workers that visited Singapore said that citizens take great pride in how efficiently services operate in their city, and the citizens have the intelligence to want foreign businesses to relocate there. Asians are very good at "getting the word out" that our companies being there is a good thing for them. I think about many American cities with their crime, whiney welfare groups, and labor union workers, and I fail to see how they can compete with Asian cities in that respect.

Edited by Pericles(MBA)

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I've been very curious lately about Americans and Britons who choose to live in Asian countries such as Singapore and Taiwan.  [...]

I wonder how far people think the growth in the region will continue, given that China is still technically Communist?  Even though there is no Objectivist influence in Asia, that region is still experiencing the Western influence it inherited from Britian.  Also the Kantian influence of Judeo-Christian religions is still minimal, and environmentalists have no political clout.  As a result there are non-apologetic Meccas in the former colony cities.

As I said before, the only criticism I might have of the area is that certain things like medical care, and higher education, are sometimes more expensive or limited, [...]

[bold added for emphasis.]

You have summarized the philosophical influences that do not operate in Asia. But, what about the philosophies that have dominated the area for centuries? For example, what is the dominant philosophy of Singapore, for example, or eastern China in general? Are there several competing ones in each area?

Also, I am not sure what you mean by "non-apologetic Meccas." Is this a reference to radical Islam, or is this a metaphor for "conditions that attract businesses"?

Last, have any of the ex-pats spoken of the need for bribes -- baksheesh, mordida, palm-greasing or whatever it is called in each country?

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You have summarized the philosophical influences that do not operate in Asia. But, what about the philosophies that have dominated the area for centuries? For example, what is the dominant philosophy of Singapore, for example, or eastern China in general? Are there several competing ones in each area?

I don't know much about the dominant philosophies, perhaps someone here can help me out with that. I know A. West posted this on Chinese ideas last fall:

Analysis on China

I have heard that Singapore has many competing religious and political groups, but all are held in check by a strict government that operates with a mix of Chinese and English law. I know the Chinese do not have respect for Western court traditions that protect the accused, and I am sure that is an element in Singapore. When I wrote, <i><b> the only criticism </i></b> I should have written that more clearly. I was mainly trying to come up with reasons that <b> I </i> would not choose to live there. I'm sure that the loss of Western legal traditions and corrupt officials would also be a criticism.

The culture itself seems to have a mix of good qualities (admiration of productivity), and bad qualities (acceptance of authority).

Also, I am not sure what you mean by "non-apologetic Meccas." Is this a reference to radical Islam, or is this a metaphor for "conditions that attract businesses"?

Radical Islam? Not at all. I just could not come up with a better way to describe the cities as others have described them to me. A former resident of Taiwan described it as "full of energy and activity that is not in US cities". By that he meant that business was the dominant activity in these cities, and that the energy around these business activities was obvious. For Asians "energy" is an important idea that they translate to mean everything from commerce and productivity, to health and physical exercise. There is a certain level of respect for productivity that is inspiring in what I am hearing.

Last, have any of the ex-pats spoken of the need for bribes -- baksheesh, mordida, palm-greasing or whatever it is called in each country?

Only a little, and it depends on the city. Taiwan has little bribery, but there is some in Singapore and elsewhere. Corruption is more common than bribery, ie money being diverted for personal uses. As far as bribery in Singapore, some have commented that there are bribes that are so established that they function as business tolls or taxes, and are comparable to our taxes here. Although it would concern me to have unwritten taxes, the Expats said that when you become familiar with them they operate as part of the system.

Edited by Pericles(MBA)

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