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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>

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Not enough capitalism!

(Next Magazine, 2016/5/5, A002, Second Opinion, Bill Stacey) Not enough capitalism! Hong Kong has many contentious public issues, but the underlying source of our discontent is fifteen years of stagnant real wages. For many in Hong Kong we are simply not progressing and the upward mobility from a dynamic economy seemsContinue reading>

Intervention begets inequality

(Next Magazine, 2016/4/7, A002, Second Opinion, Bill Stacey) Intervention begets inequality Our Chief Executive’s Policy Address trumpeted the news that our poverty rate has plummeted to 14.3%, the lowest since 2009, and credited this to his government’s success in closing the inequality gap. This gap is as vivid as our spectacularContinue reading>

The dark side of localism

(Next Magazine, 2016/3/10, A002, Second Opinion, Bill Stacey) The dark side of localism Localism is on the rise. Edward Leung Tin-kei, a localist candidate, did not win a Legco seat in the New Territories East by-election. However, the more than 66,000 votes he garnered suggest that the sentiment to distance, orContinue reading>

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Safeguard our freedom

(Next Magazine, 2016/2/11, A002, Second Opinion, Bill Stacey) Safeguard our freedom The Heritage Foundation just named Hong Kong, for the 22nd consecutive year, the freest economy in the world. Some people are mystified by this singular recognition. They see instead creeping government intervention, rising vested interests and half the population inContinue reading>

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Universal pension, universal failure

(Next Magazine, 2016/1/14, A002, Second Opinion, Bill Stacey) Universal pension, universal failure Hong Kong became the prosperous success that it is today, precisely because we avoided the depredations of the welfare state established across the western world in the post war period. Without commitments from government to provide universally for theContinue reading>

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Leave the property market alone

(Next Magazine, 2015/12/17, A002, Second Opinion, Bill Stacey) Leave the property market alone CY Leung is half right. It is not the job of the government to guarantee that property prices will not drop. As if on cue, the property market reportedly peaked in September.Yet given our Chief Executive’s uncharacteristic restrainedContinue reading>

Government intervention corrupts

(Next Magazine, 2015/11/19, A002, Second Opinion, Bill Stacey) Government intervention corrupts AS our former Chief Executive Donald Tsang stood trial for misconduct while in office, Legco rejected last week an attempt to extend anticorruption law to cover the head of government. By focusing primarily on taking pecuniary benefits, this narrow viewContinue reading>

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A perfect storm

(Next Magazine, 2015/9/10, A004, Second Opinion, Bill Stacey) A perfect storm There is every chance that Hong Kong’s economy is headed towards a perfect storm, where policies that might once have seemed sensible and affordable, can become a crushing burden. Think about the cumulative economic challenges. We have a symbiotic relationshipContinue reading>