Monday, September 7, 2009

Cities of dreams or nightmares?

Did Hong Kong benefit from colonial government?

Click here and then Boston Globe for full article and comments.


  1. This model may not work in black ghettos. We have many miserable failures in US. Throwing money does not fix the basic problems. I describe in my humble opinion why it works in HK but not in some US ghettos.

    * Confucianism. Orientals have high family value and pay attention to child education. Most black are not (politically incorrect but statistics never lie). Too many single parents, teenager mothers… Our generous welfare makes it worse for them.

    * Close to China. An entire shirt for export was pretty much made in China except the button and the label of Made in HK. Ever the button, material for the label and the thread were probably made in China. US did not allow Chinese products, but HK was the back door to US.

    Taiwanese needed to go to HK before they could fly to China while there are so much investments to China from Taiwanese.

    * The laborers were desperate. If they did not work hard, they did not eat – no welfare at the time.

    * The kids studied hard. Most US college graduates cannot do better in math. in our Grade 6 certificate exam in HK. Very sad but true.

    * Chinese in HK work smart and efficient (some exceptions). They know China and the west, use the best of each for its benefits. When US recognized China and legalized the trade, HK factory towns became ghost towns. However, very efficiently they moved them to S. China and became factory managers/owners. One of the many examples HKers adopt to new challenges/changes.

  2. It is a culture difference for different races. It could be the background or environment, so we cannot say just just race. Here comes my coconut theory:

    If you’re in some tropical island, you sleep all day. When you’re hungry, you just climb up the tree you’re under to get the coconut, you do not need to think much but how to open the coconut.

    In the extreme case, the coconut falls, breaks open when it hits your head, so you do not really have to think at all. :)

    Chinese do not have a coconut tree, so they’ve to work hard and think. After many years, they could be smarter and work harder as the environment forces them to adept. My stupid theory and nothing to do with racism.

    With that in mind, I do not think the black or any race that leads a easy life would succeed if they were inhabitants of HK instead of Chinese.

    If every Chinese had a coconut tree under them, HK would not be successful for the same reason. :)

  3. srenscense says:

    Agree with TonyP4 who probably knows more about economics and history than Stanford professor Paul Romer. TonyP4: hope I got the same pay as Paul, haha.

    Hong Kong succeeded mostly because of its location as a great harbor to a strategic part of the world, Asia, investment by emigre Shanghai businesspeople, and cheap labor by desperate, hardworking refugees. The British provided only basic governance and laissez-faire as they collected their profits. They did provide opium which impaired many in that generation which to their credit (in all fairness), Mao and the Communist did eradicate and reformed.