Why Singapore Is So Rich 🇸🇬

Dylan Jardon
Dylan Jardon
3 min read

Hey you Singaporean,

It’s 1840.

You’re Queen Victoria of England.

Okay, Vicky.

So what’s the 1 thing you love?


Imperialism with a side of ______.


Vicky loves tea – specifically, Chinese tea.

But that means, she’s gotta go to China.

Which is far…

Ya, that’s what I said.

So she sends others to fetch it.


Who’s that?


The British East India Company (EIC) is a JUGGERNAUT.

Because the crown gave it a 200-year monopoly over all trade in Asia.

So it became one of the biggest companies in history.

Don’t believe me?

Peep these insane EIC facts:

  • Biggest army in the world – 260,000 soldiers
  • 2x the profit of all Britain
  • ⅕ of world lives on its private land

Today, EIC would be worth more than Apple – over $3 trillion.

Okay, cool.

So let’s look at how you get to China.

You want to go from point A to B.

But wait.

To get China to give you tea, you need to give them something — it’s called trade.

What’s a good, healthy thing to trade?

Yes! Great idea, your majesty.

(Great = great at destroying a country. England’s illegal import of opium led to 2 wars and 20% of the Chinese zooted in opium dens like this👇)

So…let’s trade opium ;)

But we don’t have any.

So let’s pick some up here:


That’s where they grow, boil, and dry poppy into our addictive sticky resin.

Basically it’s just this:


Now let’s plan out our route.

Take out your crayons.

How do you get from point A to point B?

No, Vicky.

That’s the Silk Road.

Land is expensive – because you use freakin’ camels. Plus each country charges you troll tolls. So we limit land to luxury goods.

Water is cheap – you can ship tons of big, heavy cargo.

So wanna try again?


Now how about B to C?


You just designed your first trade route :)

Now let’s zoom in on B to C.

Now as you’re traveling through, you’ll wanna make a pitstop.

Here are your options:

So just stop at any random port?


Batavia (aka Jakarta, Indonesia today) is annoyingly far.

So maybe Malacca or Penang?

But see, ports wanna make a buck – so they charge a fee.

For example, Malacca charges you 15% of all your goods to stay – regardless of if you’re even selling them there. Meaning if you have $10,000 of opium, they charge you $1,500.

Fuck that.

So you get fed up and open your own EIC port.



But you don’t wanna be the only one using the port.

So you give a killer offer to other boats:

Singapore was a FREE PORT – meaning no troll tolls & taxes on businesses.

Suddenly 80% of boats stop in Singapore.

Which becomes a BIG deal in 1869.


Because a crazy shortcut opens:


Now your trade route looks like this:

It’s super fast.

You save 4,500 miles and 3 months of travel.

Or 30% off your journey…and tea.

And people love a deal.

So overnight, trade between Europe and Asia skyrockets 500%.

Which means for 100+ years, Singapore makes BANK.

But then, something happens.

The Japanese.

See in WWII, the Japanese are on a sneak attack spree.

But wait…that’s Peal Harbor.

Their sneak attack in Singapore looks like this:


Instead of 330mph Mitsubishi Zero fighter planes, they have…bikes.

23,000 bikes.

Which scared the shit out of the Brits – so for 3 years, the Japanese occupy Singapore.

And they trash it.

So Singapore is screwed:

  • Poor – 70% of the country lives in shacks with no plumbing
  • Resourceless – No natural resources like oil, metal, or even water
  • Small – It’s an island the size of NYC

But then its friendly neighbors come to help.

Ya, they give Singapore the boot.

Because it's 60% Chinese – and Malaysians just want Malays.

Now Singapore’s screwed…again.

But one man comes to save the day – Lee Kuan Yew.

Prime Minister Yew had enough of this shit.

He makes himself DICTATOR…but a good one.

He basically treats Singapore like a giant company.

Kinda like if Elon Musk and Kim Jong-un had a baby.

Now Singapore has no natural resources. But what does it have?


They’re the most valuable resource.

So he invests in 3 areas:

  1. Homes
  2. Hospitals
  3. Schools

This makes for a safe, healthy, and smart workforce.

But its still not enough to draw in foreign investment.

So he returns to Singapore’s roots…

Yes, no troll toll – aka LOW TAXES.

So Singapore goes hyper capitalistic. Right when China does the opposite…COMMIES!

Plus Lee ends corruption.


He pays government officials fat stacks – so there’s little incentive to be naughty.

Just look at their politician pay today:


Which attracts good politicians – who run their state-owned companies (e.g. airlines, steel, and chemicals) like good businesses.

Good = profitable.

Now Singapore is a financial superpower.

Just peep their GDP per capita:

  • Singapore – $81k
  • United States – $72k
  • England – $46k
  • China – $16k

(Qatar is #1 with $128k – but they cheat because oil is $110k of this.)

Today, Singapore looks like this:

Or with sexy models:

Sometimes dictatorships are good, I guess.

Crush Ass,
Dylan & Henry 🌈

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