A giant bureaucracy in the making?

The Greater Bay Area mustn’t become a giant bureaucracy (Next Magazine, 2017/8/10, Second Opinion, Bill Stacey) Integrating the Pearl River Delta to form a Greater Bay Area conurbation is founded on the compelling logic that the largest urban area in the world, with high incomes, leading manufacturing and education facilities,Continue reading>

One policy error away from fiscal disaster

(Next Magazine, 2017/7/13, A002, Second Opinion, Bill Stacey) One policy error away from fiscal disaster In the west, country after country, government budgets have spiraled out of control, creating persistent deficits and leading to rapidly rising debt. The United States is not known internationally for its extensive welfare state, although thatContinue reading>

MPF stifles competition and breeds complacency

(Next Magazine, 2017/5/11, A002, Second Opinion, Bill Stacey) MPF stifles competition and breeds complacency In an earlier column I mentioned the MPF as an example of the risk of a complacent government. The diligent team at the MPF Authority wrote back, objecting to that characterization and citing the default investment schemeContinue reading>

Hong Kong’s descent into complacency

(Next Magazine, 2017/04/29, A002, Second Opinion, Bill Stacey) Hong Kong’s descent into complacency Some translations of the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy say that complacency leads to idolatry and brings destruction on the land. We are becoming complacent. As the seasons turn, we move through the last of the spring festivalsContinue reading>

Set our “automatic adjustment mechanism” free

(Next Magazine, 2017/03/23, A002, Second Opinion, Bill Stacey) Set our “automatic adjustment mechanism” free Through the campaigns for Chief Executive, candidates rolled out their plans, policies and visions for the future. They talk about livelihood, the economy, youth and public services. Yet we know and indeed hope that little of thisContinue reading>

The tragedy that is West Kowloon

(Next Magazine, 2017/01/26, A002, Second Opinion, Bill Stacey) Is there a good solution to the Palace Museum controversy? How should we decide the right use of valuable land? Who should decide who builds and designs the monuments? These are questions calling for an answer. Now most of the great historic monumentsContinue reading>

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>