Hey you Singaporean,
You’re Queen Victoria of England.
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.
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.
So let’s look at how you get to China.
You want to go from point A to B.
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?
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.
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:
THE SUEZ CANAL.
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.
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.
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:
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.
Dylan & Henry 🌈
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