The Asian miracle refers to the relatively rapid industrialisation and development of previously-backward Asian nations into developed and sophisticated societies. Signs of the growth included domination of key industries by companies based in Asia, as well as high employment rates alongside explosive economic growth rates.
Economists and others vary as to what were the ingredients that enabled the Asian economic miracle to achieve what it has achieved. Liberals and Conservatives tend to agree on certain elements, notably that East Asia demonstrates in several countries that state planning, and specifically top down forms of socialism where economists plan the economies of countries without such Liberal niceties as freedom and democracy, have been spectacularly discredited by experiments as diverse as Cambodia under Pol Pot, China under Mao and modern day North Korea.
Other broadly agreed elements of the Asian miracle were a clear open and uncorrupt legal environment that was permissive of free enterprise.
Liberal theores of growthEdit
The Asian economic miracle needed an educated population and the security of a low crime society with tight gun laws and consequently few murders.
Spectacular falls in the death rate that come with basic sanitation and other staples of public healthcare will eventually lead to a corresponding fall in the birth rate. Over a few generations that will transform a society from a predominately young community with a high proportion of children and very few old people to a grey society with a low proportion of children but a very large proportion of pensioners. During the transition there is a phase where a society has a small proportion of children as the birth rate has fallen, but very few pensioners. It is during this transitional phase where a high proportion of a societies population are of working age that "economic miracles" such as the asian one are most likely to happen.
Conservative theories of growthEdit
Smash the unions, pay your workers a pittance and you can get rich. Employing children enables you to make even more profit as you can get several workers for the pay needed to support one family.
Lax environmental regulations mean you can offload some of your production costs onto the wider community.
When you've fouled your nest in one place you need to remember to move on to the next poor country before you get caught with the liabilities of fixing the mess you've just caused.
The Singapore storyEdit