|The upheaval of the past few months in Hong Kong has seen the implosion of this system.
The post-war years have seen spectacular economic development in Hong Kong. However, the fruits of this development have not been evenly distributed. Like most other capitalist economies, extreme inequalities have surfaced and continued to deepen – to the point of tearing society apart.
Hong Kong has for a long time had one of the highest Gini coefficients in the world, rising from 0.533 in 2006 to 0.539 in 2016. The number of poor households reached 530,000, with more than 1.3 million people living in poverty (over 15 per cent of the population).
In May 2018, the total net worth of the wealthiest 21 tycoons amount to HK$1.83 trillion, approximately the same as Hong Kong’s fiscal reserves. But, for low-income workers, real wages have only increased12.3 per cent in the past decade.