Thomas Friedman, whose book The World is Flat is a must-read, has a great article in today’s New York Times entitled Singapore and Katrina. He says if you wanted to be somewhere when a Typhoon hit it would be Singapore. Why? Because in Singapore they are serious about putting the most qualified people into government:
"Singapore believes so strongly that you have to get the best-qualified and least-corruptible people you can into senior positions in the government, judiciary and civil service that its pays its prime minister a salary of $1.1 million a year. It pays its cabinet ministers and Supreme Court justices just under $1 million a year, and pays judges and senior civil servants handsomely down the line."
As the world becomes more of a global village it’s harder for the United States to view itself as the de facto world leader in many areas. Even in the increasingly undesirable area of military mobilization we get inconsistent results. Or, to put it in the parlance of sports, we’re a better ‘away team’ than a ‘home team.’ And I’m not getting the sense that the fans in the places we send our military to really are all that excited to have our presence.