Professor Sam Crane writes on casinos in Singapore.

There used to be a time, not too long ago, when the Lees of Singapore tried to position themselves as morally superior to decadent, overly liberal American culture. That was the whole “Asian Values” thing of the 1990s, something that does not seem to get talked about anymore in Singapore, or just about anywhere else for that matter. I was always deeply skeptical of these claims, seeing them as a thin excuse for continued autocratic rule. Now, it seems, the Lees themselves have pretty much given up trying to distinguish a morally righteous Singapore from a hopelessly debauched America.

I do not want to be a scold here. Although I have never been to a casino, I imagine it might be fun. And I enjoy a bit of hedonism as much as the next guy. My only question here is: what happened to Lee’s vaunted Confucian righteousness?

Read the whole thing. Some of Sam’s economic analysis is probably, uh, debatable, but no Eph has more interesting things to say about Asia.

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