Hopeless Inequality is the Real Issue in Hong Kong and the World

Xi Jinping is going completely to the Chairman Mao playbook. However, China is misunderstanding the Hong Kong issues. The police in Hong Kong and soon the Chinese Army are over-reacting. This article will review the over-reaction and how it goes back to crude responses to perceived threats to stability. The developed countries of the world need to provide a better voice to those who are poor and feel like they and their descendants will remain poor. Their needs to be policies that provide some reasonable level of financial support and provide affordable education and means for people to uplift themselves.

The Ham-handed and Stupid Response

Earlier in August in prior incidents, police admitted using a wide variety of tactics, including officers wearing black clothes to mingle among demonstrators, the objective being to carry out arrests more easily.

In July, 45 triad gangsters were used to attack protesters using batons at other subway stations.

Triad gangsters used in attacks on protestors

Previous incidents of widespread use of tear gas.

This is from David Leans’s Movie Doctor Zhivago. Where the Cossack attacked peaceful protestors

Evolving Protest Issues

In recent days, China’s leadership has stated that Hong Kong’s situation is a national level stability issue.

Better Communication Process and Some Reforms Need Not be Seen as Weakness

Hong Kong has an elite. There are billionaires who became rich in Hong Kong but then make almost all new investments outside of Hong Kong.

Singapore has been trying to give voice to complaints of the poor and middle class with the 2012 Our Singapore Conversation.

In 1994, Singaporean novelist Catherine Lim coined the term ‘Great Affective Divide’ to encapsulate Singaporeans’ growing sense of alienation from the PAP Government’s “uncompromising commitment to economic imperative”. Furthermore, many Singaporeans had expressed unhappiness over government policies in the early 2000s that they felt were misaligned with public sentiment, particularly regarding
issues such as congestion in public transport, Singapore’s heavy reliance on foreign workers and rising home prices.

They attempt to regain Singaporeans’ trust through encouraging civic participation and by building social capital. In the process of conducting public engagement exercises that were different from previous ones, OSC and SGfuture organizers had to negotiate numerous policy dilemmas, the process of which had bearing on bridging the ‘Great Affective Divide’.

The Hong Kong government and the elite need to fund reforms.

Hong Kong’s government can meet all of the first four demands and begin the process of addressing the crushing hopelessness of those who were left behind during British rule and still are getting no hope today.

Hong Kong’s civil unrest is motivated less by democratic dreams than by crushing hopelessness from continuing and growing inequality.

Property continues to be unaffordable and this is getting worse. There is lack of social mobility as well. Professionals from mainland China are jumping into many of the better jobs or getting better access to Hong Kong property. Many in Hongkong feel there is no way out.

There was a short period during British rule where there was relative equality.

These are not just Hong Kong issues. These are global issues in the USA, Europe and other developed nations with high inequality and falling social mobility.

There is the need to find social solutions to the threat of rising inequality from automation and other economic, technological and social forces.

Deng Xiaoping who unleashed China’s growth in wealth.>

To get rich is glorious!
Let some people get rich first.
Now others must get less poor.

China has an advantage in making major progress on these issues.

China can construct massives amounts of housing and then subsidize ownership.

Hong Kong can also relieve a lot of its housing issues.

Existing public housing estates have a lower development intensity and plot ratio than their private sector counterparts. In view of the current average waiting time for general applicants of 5.3 years, the Hong Kong government can raise the development density of new public housing estates, together with related supporting facilities.

There are thousands of hectares that can be developed in the Northern New Territories.

New Territories North – covering the North district and the northern part of Yuen Long district – has ample land for development. Moreover, over 2,400 hectares of the former frontier closed area has been released in the past decade.

The Hong Kong 2030 Plus Plan report released a year ago identified around 1,000 hectares of land for development, along with a technical assessment and implementation strategy for the full 5,300 hectares. Only part of the released land from the former closed frontier area was included in the government study. The plans can be much more aggressive. New Territories North already has good transport infrastructure and facilities, making it score well in any cost-benefit analysis.

China could assist to massively speed up Hong Kong’s development of the new Territories. This would leverage China’s strength in development and construction.

This will be something that all of the developed countries will need to address. The adjustments will need to made to enable the poor and middle class to make progress despite any automation or technology. Houses, education, healthcare, jobs and hope need to be provided. It can be done in an intelligent and sustainable way that makes economic sense and technology can leveraged to make it more affordable.

Online education and healthcare and new sensors can make healthcare and education affordable.

Corruption and regulation that keep prices high for education, medicine and education expensive need to be changed.

SOURCES- South China Morning Post, Wikipedia, Doctor Zhivago
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com