Why we need a vote?

Why we need a vote?

Mainland China is on a strong anti-corruption, anti-monopoly, and equal opportunity drive, yet it reverses its course with Hong Kong. Perhaps this is because the political fight has overshadowed the economic argument.

Why are thousands of young protesters taking to the streets, resisting tear gas and pepper spray, to fight the government of a global superpower in Beijing? Our alienated next generation is demanding the right to use the vote to reverse a long-hidden deterioration of Hong Kong’s free market.

They want to stop local crony capitalism – the worst in the world according to The Economistthat is not only morally wrong, but also worse for development.

As real wages in Hong Kong stagnate, the cost of living has skyrocketed. This has increased poverty, and widened the rich-poor divide - the worst inequality gap in the developed world.

A lack of reform to equalise access to education, housing, and healthcare has stopped equal opportunity and labor mobility. Moreover, limited welfare and retirement protection leaves many feeling that they have been left behind in old age. Because of these limitations, booms in finance, trade, retail and real estate do not trickle down from the rich. This will eventually stunt local consumption and in turn investment, harming long-term growth.

There is resistance to these economic ideals from rich, elite tycoons. As they are aided by Beijing’s policies, they normally support them. Hence, the closed door meeting between Xi Jinping and Hong Kong’s tycoons last month.

These tycoons become super-rich thanks to artificial barriers to competition in utilities, transportation, shipping, supermarkets and real estate. It gives tycoons no incentive to innovate to beat competitors, which inevitably leads to low environmental and quality standards.

This power concentration provides pricing power to exploit consumers and workers. It also reduces fair competition, which is worse for growth than any short-term investment reduction from restructuring these cartels. To top it off, they take the majority of their earnings through tax-free dividends, increasing the tax burden on the middle class.

Government priorities seem to cater more to tycoons than to the average consumer, who represents Hong Kong’s best interests at this moment. For example, the government is slow to reduce land prices that are so high that only the wealthiest developers can afford to bid. Land revenue is automatically invested in infrastructure that is increasingly turning into ‘white elephants’, great novelties to have, but too expensive to upkeep.

All these new high-speed rail links, runways and flyovers ignore massive structural problems of poverty and inequality. And as Spain’s current stagnation shows, a lack of consumption caused by poverty can do more damage than reduced infrastructure spending.

A vote is a right to voice an opinion to correct ineffective government policy. The emotional and logical argument is there, but the character argument is missing because of the lack of public leadership.

Mainland China has begun a strong anti-corruption, anti-monopoly, and equal opportunity drive, yet reverses course with Hong Kong. Perhaps this is because the political fight has overshadowed the economic argument.

Of course, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying believes that giving each and every person deciding power is not the best thing for our economy and here's why.

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24 Comments

Lori

22:06pm

The Tory are in a definitely wniinng scenario. If the referendum is defeated, they'll be credited for keeping the United Kingdom united. If the referendum is carried, they'll be a lot closer to an outright majority since many of Labour's and Libdems' safe seats are in Scotland. What I found difficult to understand is the position of the LibDems (their Michael Moore is the Secretary of State for Scotland). They got nothing to win in this deal, although it's in line with their core value to maximise civil rights and liberties.

Nursyiah

10:33am

Hi Annie --"Love to see the evidence of cows in the Big Lychee."Hope you cliekcd on the links to blog entries featuring cows then! :)Hi ewok1993 --There definitely are areas in Hong Kong where cows do seem to be happy to be in. :)Hi jmb --Yup, just one this week -- makes quite the change, huh? ;bHi magiceye --Thanks! :)Hi Anneke --Heheh... I think you mistook the nail on the sign for a cow's shoe! (If you click on the photo, it'll be enlarged and you'll be able to see better :D)Hi EastCoastLife --Strange but true: there are a lot of feral cows in Hong Kong -- descendants of cows from farms that were abandoned some years back. Re penalties: don't know about that as I don't drive... but would think that the damage to one's vehicle would be pretty hefty in and of itself!Hi Colin --Welcome back to Photo Hunting. In Malaysia, I've seen a similar sign for elephants... and in Tanzania, for zebras! ;bHi Mar --You're right, cows can often behave in a way that suggest placidity. :) http://ljcjmwlcycp.com [url=http://wvmmhgnre.com]wvmmhgnre[/url] [link=http://acqtjineskg.com]acqtjineskg[/link]

Zaiyah

02:45am

Taron

03:25am

Jalia

04:28am

Mena

05:24am

Destry

06:53am

Nyanna

07:10am

Carley

09:29am

Bubba

11:40am

Luella

12:20pm

Luella

12:21pm

Destrie

13:16pm

Frenchy

20:10pm