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View Diary: Hong Kong: The not-so-free market darling of conservatives (HK port workers strike, win pay raise) (25 comments)

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  •  some combination (6+ / 0-)

    i believe:

    http://www.housingauthority.gov.hk/

    Mathematically and practically, it makes little difference if the government owns and operates the scheme (and forces poor tenants to pay whatever they can) or if they subsidize whatever a poor tenant can pay to get involved in some private scheme.

    The non-governmental public support also goes through: http://www.hkhs.com/...

    The provision is vast though. The 50% figure doesn't come from a loose interpretation of a tax deduction or something, if that's what you're wondering.

    Deficits don't matter, jobs do.

    by aguadito on Tue May 07, 2013 at 04:51:12 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks for the link (0+ / 0-)

      From the link you provide, there appears to be several assistance mechanisms available, making this statement not entirely accurate:

      Mathematically and practically, it makes little difference if the government owns and operates the scheme (and forces poor tenants to pay whatever they can) or if they subsidize whatever a poor tenant can pay to get involved in some private scheme.
      Practically, if $$s are given directly to a person to help out with renting housing (owed privately) that could be a rather temporary arrangement, whereas if the same amount of $$s was invested in public housing (i.e., construction of physical buildings, etc) that would tend to be a tad more permanent.

      There's also a link for assistance towards "home ownership" - again, this would be transient, since presumably the person receiving the aid would eventually own their home and no longer need the government largess.    

      In a way, the interest mortgage deduction in the USA fits into the latter category, making statements like "50% of Americans are provided with public housing" roughly as correct as the headline you linked to . .. .  Yes, I realize that that is stretching things a bit, maybe swinging to the opposite extreme as that headline, but still - it * was * unnecessarily misleading.

      •  I think... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NYFM, MrJayTee, Laconic Lib, caul

        you're casting unfair doubt on a figure/statement that comes from the BBC's Katie Hunt (who is based in Hong Kong) in a story that involves harmonized data from Hong Kong experts they interviewed--if there was any doubt to the validity of such a number, there would have certainly been an objection.

        Here's the comparison of the data in the story:

        It is a far higher proportion than in the UK where less than 10% live in subsidised housing, but is beaten by Singapore, another supposed bastion of economic liberty, where about 85% of people live in public housing.
        So, you're making a lot of assumptions and engage in speculation without any actual deeper knowledge of the comparative data presented.

        The 50% figure even came with more data that shined light on it:

        More than half of the population earn less than HK$11,000 ($1,400; £920) a month and household incomes have barely increased over the past 10 years despite a booming economy.
        So it's not difficult to see that as a viable statistic. It's not in any way misleading, it's right there in the story with a comparison to another country (and my statement was merely a quote from the story, I didn't even re-word it to change the meaning at all).

        Deficits don't matter, jobs do.

        by aguadito on Tue May 07, 2013 at 05:18:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  My "assumptions" are based on the link (0+ / 0-)

          you provided, namely, the Hong Kong public housing website - where there turned out to be all kinds of shades of gray in what is meant by "public housing" - you provide information and then dis me for using it? Strange!!

          Anyways, what else I am supposed to do?  Just blindly accept a black and white scenario as painted in the headline w/o attempting to make sense out of it?

          In any event, that's not a major point because whatever they're doing, they're clearly not doing enough to make much of an impact on income equality.

          In fact from the Wikipedia page giving the GINI index rankings, sorting on the World Bank ratings puts Hong Kong near the bottom of the list of most inequitable societies (getting worse going down):

           
          (many countries omitted)
          Suriname
          Belize  
          Hong Kong
           Zambia  
           Brazil
           Colombia  
           Guatemala  
           Bolivia
           Central African Republic
           Honduras
           Angola  
           Haiti
           Botswana
           South Africa  
           Namibia
           Comoros
           Seychelles

          Really, Brazil is the only other country close to first world status in the neighborhood of where Hong Kong ranks.

          I suspect that this is the type of thing that conservatives value when compiling their "free economy" lists - i.e., the ability for the wealthy to pad their pockets at every else's expense.  

          Hong Kong is still doing very well in that regard, thank you very much.

          •  heh (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Roadbed Guy, leema, MrJayTee, Laconic Lib, caul

            I wasn't trying to diss you, sorry if it came off that way :)

            I'm not suggesting you "blindly accept" the BBC-mentioned data, part of citing a reputable source is that it makes it not "blind" (and their story is rather well-cited with Hong Kong sources too).  It's fair to question the number of course though, as you wish.

            The inequality is a major issue there. It seems the rich don't mind to be super rich and fund a large public housing scheme for the working class. Which is actually a somewhat progressive compromise to what right-wingers seem to propose, which is imprison the poor and leave them on the streets helpless and without healthcare :P

            Deficits don't matter, jobs do.

            by aguadito on Tue May 07, 2013 at 06:59:18 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  In all fairness, that GINI data (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              aguadito

              doesn't really reflect HK's recent attempts (e.g., the minimum wage thing you document and the more recent increase in dockworker's pay) that you mention.

              I'll be interested to see a couple years down the road when the data comes in if this has had a measurable effect or not.  I'm skeptical but I suppose it is possible.

          •  I'm wondering if some of your (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            caul

            "shades of gray" about "public housing" stem, not from the data provided, but from culturally specific assumptions about what constitutes "public", based on the very slim and narrow US model?

            Just a thought.

            Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

            by a gilas girl on Tue May 07, 2013 at 08:32:19 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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