Here are the comments I posted at Space's September 05, 2010 blog article entitled "不幸而言中：開倉派米換取選票？？？"
I actually read your long articles several times last week. But, there are so many intertwining social, economic, fiscal, regional, national, global issues that I didn't even know where to start!! I bet you one can write a master degree thesis based on all these :O
So, let me just provide some short comments in point form.
* Finance departments in many countries have also been using the under-estimate/over-achieve approach in reporting their budget balance sheets.
* There are no fixed rules in terms of how much reserve a country should have. There are just too many controllable and uncontrollable variables in the equations (including systemic failures and random fluctuations of market and emotions, natural and technology disasters, party politics, geo-political crisis, etc) that will allow the formulation of any accurate long-term risk management model. I mean look at Prez Obama's optimistic Recovery Summer predictions six months ago and the US economic growth stats now.
* Thus the distribution of any so-called surplus by a govt is a calculated risk.
* In the decision-making process, policy-makers should expect everyone will want a piece of the pie. So they should start with the 5Ws: Who? What? Why? When? How? But that's just a start.
* There are also other "winning/losing conditions" that must be identified and analyzed. For example: Investment in education by itself without considering job prospect for graduates down the road will only create a group of highly educated, but unhappy and unemployed youths/adults. Another example: There are groups that will never be happy no matter what the govt's fiscal policies and actions are. So, is the govt going to fund only 'friends' but not 'foes'?
* In distributing money, the idea is to get the biggest bang for the govt/tax payer bucks.
* Did I say govt/tax payer bucks? So, whose money is it? Govt's or tax payers'? In HK's case, does the national govt have a say over the SAR govt?
* The roles and responsibilities of govt, industry, public, and other sectors of the society in managing a country's future must be agreed upon. This is not the case in the US right now (think The Tea Party). In Hong Kong, the public has been entrapped into a blame game, accusing the big companies of taking their money and run. As well, the perception of merchants sitting in legislature and protecting their own business interest is not sitting well with the public.
* Do companies in HK have a reputation of being good corporate citizens and taking on social responsibilities, apart from raking in profits (or losing their shirts whichever the case may be)? Without trust, it's difficult to improve communications.
* From a policy-making perspective, the claim of "entitlement" to something by a group is very difficult to deal with. Why would a group want to negotiate and compromise on something that they should already have in the first place? "Give the money back to the citizens 還富於民" seems to imply just that.
* Lastly, the solution to solving the poverty problem is not by handling out money left right and centre. The focus should be on sustainability, multiplying effect, and measurable results.
So much for now !!
Here is his response, posted Tuesday, September 07, 2010 12:01:00 AM
The Inner Space said...
Big Brother Haricot，thank you very much for your hardship reading my extensive lengthy blog and posting your precious comments.
Comparing with the world history of Governing and Politics，HK is just at her infant stage， we are still learning how to governing ourselves under China's One Country Two Systems environment 一國兩制 for the last 13 years.
Before 1997 HK was a British colony ruled by the governor appointed by LONDON. Since then our local government is governing HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION 香港特別行政區 under the storng influence from beijing.
Why Beijing granted HK such Special Admin Region status，and promised it shall continue for 50 years 五十年不變呢？
The "Taiwan Unity" 台灣因素 is the main concern，and since KMT 馬英九 returned as the ruling party，more and more economical communication has started between the two shores though they both carefully avoiding any political issues yet.
However, HK has begun to change more and more like a Chinese City 特區不特。The contribution of HK towards Beijing China has lessened and will become useless and a burden really soon IF this trend does not change.
Save from the fact that Beijing did not levy any tax from HK citizens. Furthermore the People's Liberation Army Hong Kong Garrison 駐港解放軍部隊軍費 our citizens do not need to pay single penny.
Cautious and Wise usage and spending of our reserves 外匯儲備和財政儲備 is imperative to keep HK from requesting more and more aids from the Central Beijing Govt. of China.