Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Overlooking the Obvious

Ten facts that should be obvious to any reasonably intelligent person here, but apparently not to the Hong Kong government:
  1. Hong Kong is already grossly overpopulated and doesn't have room for more people.
  2. A growing population will need more green space for relaxation and recreation, not less, so we should stop eating away at it for other purposes.
  3. Pushing through the government's blatantly undemocratic political reform proposal is more likely to exacerbate discontent in Hong Kong than to eliminate it.
  4. With more and more people and a finite supply of land, the village house policy is clearly unsustainable (apart from being a scam whereby "New Territories villagers" who don't even live in Hong Kong any more come back to grab their piece of subsidised land).
  5. There is a limit to the number of tourists Hong Kong can accept without straining its infrastructure to breaking point.
  6. The bridge to Macau will never be economically viable or environmentally sensible.
  7. If you're going to build a high speed railway between two cities (not a bad ideas in itself), the termini should be at major transport intersections to facilitate onward travel, not stuck in the middle of nowhere.
  8. As one of the richest cities in the world (in terms of GDP per capita), Hong Kong could easily afford to eliminate poverty and give all its citizens a decent standard of living - there is absolutely no reason why 80-year-old ladies should be reduced to scavenging cardboard boxes to survive.
  9. When small businesses complain that they can't afford to give their workers a better deal, it's not because wages are too high, but a) because too much of their revenue goes to paying inflated commercial rents, and/or b) they're greedy (pick one or both).
  10. When the mainland insists on selling us more water than we need at a price much higher than other cities in China pay, it's time to look again at the economics of desalination, not just meekly accept whatever non-negotiable deal is on the table.

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