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Poverty in the Midst of AffluenceHow Hong Kong Mismanaged Its Prosperity$
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Leo F. Goodstadt

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9789888208210

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888208210.001.0001

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The Business of Government: Less Politics, No Welfare

The Business of Government: Less Politics, No Welfare

(p.57) 2 The Business of Government: Less Politics, No Welfare
Poverty in the Midst of Affluence

Leo F. Goodstadt

Hong Kong University Press

When a political system is as dominated by business interests as it is in Hong Kong and where social expenditure is not permitted to hinder the pursuit of profits, the credibility of both the policy makers and their decisions must always be in danger. However, this chapter shows that the community does not judge the government and its merits by the social benefits which it provides. Income inequality does not provoke unrest, and the affluent do not arouse envy, however unfairly the workforce is rewarded for its sustained high productivity and its resilience. Incompetence is criticised, but is not politically fatal. The real test of Chief Executives and their ministers turns out to be mostly about their ethics.

Keywords:   Hong Kong, Poverty, Social welfare, Comprehensive Social Security Assistance, Healthcare, Education, Housing, Government policy, Legislation, Social inequality, Ethics

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