Al Jazeera special: Hong Kong – bridging the wealth gap

HK, where property prices are quoted in the HK’millions, has the highest ratio of LV, Prada and Gucci per capita, and countless other awards to be proud of.  One statistic that it isn’t proud of is the fact that 18% of its population is living below the poverty line.  In this capitalistic nation, the poor are mostly left to fend for themselves.  The Government is taking steps to address this wide wealth gap because it realises that this gap is a recipe for social unrest.  One such action is the introduction of the minimum wage legislation.  This legislation has been debated publicly and privately with capitalist and socialist on opposite sides.  How to strike a balance between the wants of both sides?  Or maybe the question should be – is there such a thing as balance?
Especially in HK, a legislation on minimum wage is necessary because most business owners have no sense of fair pay, prefering to exploit those who have no other alternatives. It is disgusting to listen to business owners lament that they will be forced to close their restaurants if they are forced to pay HK$33/hour.  Unfortunately in a market based economy, demand is met with supply.  There will be people who have little choice but to accept the pittance that they are offered, as it means some form of income. 

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