By Leo Goodstadt
Hong Kong is without doubt one of the richest towns on the earth. but over the last 15 years, residing stipulations for the common relations have deteriorated regardless of a strong financial system, abundant finances surpluses, and checklist labour productiveness. Successive governments were reluctant to take a position in providers for the aged, the disabled, the long term in poor health, and the negative, whereas schooling has develop into extra elitist. The political procedure has helped to entrench a improper consensus that social spending is a risk to monetary balance and financial prosperity. during this trenchant assault on govt mismanagement, Leo Goodstadt strains how officers have created a ‘new poverty’ in Hong Kong and argues that their faulty rules are either a legacy of the colonial period and a planned selection by means of glossy governments, and never the results of monetary crises. This provocative publication could be crucial studying for a person wishing to appreciate why poverty again to Hong Kong during this century.The ebook has been completely revised and up to date for this new, paperback edition.‘Leo Goodstadt has pointed out the hot negative as these made weak via diminishing entry to crucial companies and possibilities. The culprits are inaccurate regulations, and the callous and uncaring judgements of these in strength. This compelling critique incorporates weight and calls for a response.’—Christine Fang, Former leader government of The Hong Kong Council of Social Service‘This is a serious mirrored image on Hong Kong’s direction of social improvement and a so much discerning research of the 3rd global mentality espoused by way of the govt. and the enterprise group within the region of social welfare.’—Lui Tai-lok, Chair Professor of Hong Kong reviews, The Hong Kong Institute of Education‘Welfare spending used to be like “pouring sand into the ocean to reclaim land”, inspiration one leader government. Governments restricted social spending in keeping with that skewed view . . . This e-book is meticulously researched and painfully insightful. it's a masterly chronicle of Hong Kong’s social welfare policy.’—Anna Wu, Non-Official Member of the administrative Council, HKSAR
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Extra resources for Poverty in the Midst of Affluence: How Hong Kong Mismanaged Its Prosperity
Above all, there were ample work opportunities, and employment was indeed the best form of welfare. Even the older worker and individuals with disabilities had a reasonable chance of finding paid employment, such was the chronic labour shortage. There had seemed every chance that this happy state of affairs would continue, especially since China’s leaders had promised to leave Hong Kong’s systems unchanged after 1997. With its long record of prosperity and abundant jobs, there seemed no reason to complain that the Basic Law — China’s constitutional blueprint for the new Special Administrative Region — had made the welfare of society so subordinate to business interests.
The government’s efforts to limit Hospital Authority spending and to push patients towards the private sector meant that for families with a seriously ill relative, there was an agonising dilemma. Even a comfortably-off family could be driven heavily into debt in a bid to ensure immediate diagnosis and care for a relative in a private hospital rather than queuing in the public sector when a life-threatening illness was suspected. A family could also impoverish itself through buying the drugs of choice for cancer and other illnesses when these were rationed by price in the public sector.
This, the final book in the trilogy, presents a very different experience of Hong Kong’s prosperity. Research into housing conditions was what brought me to the University of Hong Kong. When I first arrived in 1962, most families had to make their homes in housing that was barely fit for human habitation in both the public and the private sectors. I quickly discovered that despite the squalor and lack of amenities, people were unfailingly positive, pleasant and helpful, even in the worst tenement slums.