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Spare us the auction on stolen goods

(Next Magazine, 2016/12/30, A002, Second Opinion, Bill Stacey) As our next Chief Executive “horse race” starts, we should heed the American critic HL Mencken’s warning that “every election is a sort of advanced auction on stolen goods”,  and remain vigilant against unrealistic promises from candidates that reach into our pockets orContinue reading>

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Government is the problem, not the solution

(Next Magazine, 2016/10/6, A002, Second Opinion, Bill Stacey) Political debate in Hong Kong is almost invariably trapped in the “nirvana fallacy”, which according to economist Harold Demsetz, “implicitly presents the relevant choice as between an ideal norm and an existing imperfect institutional arrangement.” This leads to bad decision-making and bad arguments,Continue reading>

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Assaulting our competitive edge

(Next Magazine, 2016/7/21, A002, Second Opinion, Bill Stacey) Assaulting our competitive edge Pride comes before the fall according the Book of Proverbs. One Hong Kong achievement worth being proud of was our world beating Octopus card. Whilst cities around the world from London and New York to Melbourne were struggling withContinue reading>

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Targeting Link

(Next Magazine, 2016/6/23, A002, Second Opinion, Bill Stacey) Targeting Link A powerful US political aspirant does not like reports about him in the Washington Post. He threatens its proprietor’s separately listed company, Amazon Inc., with antitrust action and official scrutiny. Many will think Donald Trump to be out of line, butContinue reading>

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The war against work

(Next Magazine, 2016/6/2, A002, Second Opinion, Bill Stacey) The war against work When I first arrived in Hong Kong in 1989, I had the impression of an incredibly dynamic work environment. Unemployment was negligible and workers of all kinds were in demand. Employers constantly complained that they could not keep staffContinue reading>