Friday, July 16, 2010

Hong Kong's economy: End of an experiment

Tom Easton (The Economist, 16 July 2010)
The introduction of a minimum wage marks the further erosion of Hong Kong’s free-market ways.

...The struggle over the minimum wage reflects a gradual shift, not a sudden one. Legislation giving the colony’s governor the right (but not the obligation) to impose a minimum wage was enacted in 1932, augmented in 1940 and considered again in 1999. A voluntary plan for a minimum wage was proposed in 2006. Only now is a pay floor becoming law. Lee Cheuk-yan, a union leader and member of the legislature, says this has occurred despite the private opposition of Donald Tsang, Hong Kong’s chief executive, and many business groups. But with the notable exception of the Lion Rock Institute, a free-market think-tank, public comment has been minimal. The few groups to raise objections, such as caterers and restaurateurs, have been criticised in the press and have retreated...

Read the full article at: http://www.economist.com/node/16591088?story_id=16591088

No comments: