Finance – Fleeing Hong Kong


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October 11, 2021 by Scott Crosby - Views: 106

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Finance – Fleeing Hong Kong

Those who pervert the economy of any country, disrupt and destroy that economy, and with it, disrupt and destroy peoples’ lives.  

S180-1.jpgAfter all, what is “the economy”?  It is not some amorphous detached cloud, into which we all have to somehow fit ourselves.  The “economy” is simply the composite actions and combined activities of each and every individual person, in pursuit of their own livelihood, and their lives.  Forcibly “changing the economy” is only a euphemism for forcibly changing peoples’ lives.

You can have Freedom, or Socialism; not both.  Each one precludes the other.  Freedom is taking the actions that are best for you; Socialism is being forced to take certain actions against your better judgement.  Freedom is “the Pursuit of Happiness” – working to increase your well-being; your standard of living.  Socialism is the government’s legitimized use of force to take what is yours; it is called “redistribution of wealth”, but whatever it is called, it reduces your “Pursuit of Happiness”, and your incentive to work for your own livelihood.  As has made clear since President Johnson’s “Great Society” establishment of Welfare, and as even made more clear during the COVID pandemic, if the government is giving out free money, there are those people who will refuse to work.

Capitalism – selling what you want, to a customer who wants to buy it – is “the Pursuit of Happiness” part of the phrase that sums up America’s existence:  “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”.  

Capitalism is a part of Freedom.  Your life – and the lives of your children, your family, and their children – depend on you knowing it, and voting accordingly.  

China is making an example of that in Hong Kong, while we watch.

The headline says it all, if you consider the implications:  “Activists, Families, and Young People Flee Hong Kong”.  In other words, the best minds, and the minds that would continue Hong Kong’s ongoing success and help build its future, are leaving Hong Kong:  they are “young professionals who can quickly secure employment, or families whose parents want to provide education that prioritizes independent critical thinking.”  

Simply put, the smartest and brightest are leaving Hong Kong for greener pastures.  They will not tolerate oppression, much like America’s colonists, who fled British and European oppression in the 1600s and 1700s to build a new life in the North American wilderness.

Hong Kong does not show the effects as yet, but anyone who has learned the lessons which history has to offer knows the city’s fate is crystal clear:  Hong Kong is in decline.  The Golden Age of Hong Kong – the great, economic skyrocket of one of the freest economies that the world has ever seen, is over.  Hong Kong’s very existence is doomed.

But if Hong Kong is in decline, the departure of the best and the brightest will be accompanied by the second part of a one-two punch: a financial departure … and sure enough, a few paragraphs below, that fact is reported:  “The money leaving Hong Kong also signals the urgency with which people are fleeing. More than $1.9 billion has been pulled out of pension funds from the first quarter of 2019 to the second quarter of 2021.”  

The money is leaving Hong Kong, and will be invested in safer and more lucrative environments; i.e., where freedom can be found, and where those investments can meet with success.

What is Hong Kong’s problem?  

 

People are “afraid that they're going to be arrested or they're going to be questioned about something they did,” says one, “or said.”  

The Chinese have made it a crime to criticize the government.  And the Chinese are notorious for casting a wide net:  not only you but your family might be arrested.  U.S. News and World Report reports that “The legislation makes any act or spoken word in Hong Kong that Beijing regards as subversion, secession, terrorism or collusion with foreign forces punishable by up to life in prison.”  

China is not known for making exceptions for cases where an innocent remark is taken the wrong way.  As with any dictatorship, for those running the country suspicion and paranoia run deep.  

In the U.S., you are innocent until proven guilty, and you live your life with the confidence that fact allows.  

In China, as in most of the rest of the world, you are guilty unless you can prove yourself innocent.  Like any tyranny, in China proving your innocence can be essentially impossible when the prosecutors want to find you guilty – that is, assuming they do not summarily send you to prison without even the façade of a trial at all.

It is hard for Americans to understand why it is the norm in other countries to “keep your head down” and stay out of sight of the government.  

In America, speaking out against the government, or criticizing the government’s actions is the norm.  People do so without worry or fear.  And the same was true in Hong Kong under British rule.  But doing those things in China will not only get you thrown into prison, but will destroy lives of the members of your family as well.  That threat is one means China uses to maintain control over its populace.

Very little of the rest of the world, most particularly in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, employ or even understand the American or even European concepts of “justice” or “civilized behavior”.  In most of the world, primitive, punitive savagery is still the norm.  

The end of freedom of the press is also occurring in Hong 

Kong.  The city’s last remaining pro-democracy newspaper recently shut down, due to pressure from the government – and the arrest of its owner.

Hong Kong was a civilized outpost in the primitive Asian world when the British ruled it.  On its return to China, it was supposed that there would be one set of rules for China, and a more civilized set of rules for Hong Kong.  It was supposed that China would not want to ruin the tremendous economic value of Hong Kong to China.  That value was widely and undisputedly acknowledged in China.  

But China’s rulers do not understand “civilized rule” and the implicit connection of freedom and a prosperous economy.  With its return to China, Hong Kong is now forced to sink into the uncivilized quagmire of governmental barbarity that is the norm for the rest of China.  

And so the best and the brightest flee Hong Kong, taking their money with them.  

As one emigrant put it, the extradition bill “just let me know that the government isn't really listening to the people.  And even though we did (speak) out, our voice doesn't matter to them.  So that's the first point (that) I realized that Hong Kong's not going where I think it would be going."

Speaking out has become illegal, and with it, freedom and a prosperous economy have become illegal as well.

Freedom and a free economy are not separate.  As some in America try to place limits on one, they are  implicitly trying to place limits on both.  And they depend on you not knowing the connection.  

Freedom – “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” – brings with it the responsibility to know what would-be tyrants are trying to do, however subtle – and stopping their efforts from getting a toehold in the U.S.■

 

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