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Don't Rely On Government, Help Yourselves - Hong Kong Anti-Poverty Campaign Chief Tells Poor

Tyler Durden's picture


In what would likely get her a daily (armed) drone surveillance package with blanket NSA supervision, if not outright burned at the stake in the US, Leonie Ki - who is the new head of Hong Kong's government campaign to alleviate poverty - dared to suggest what is the absolute anathema to any nanny state such as the US: instead of relying on the government for everything, people should achieve prosperity by their own hard work. Surely in the US words such as these would result in her being tar and feathered by at least half the population for daring to suggest something so loathsome to a nation which is increasingly convinced personal prosperity comes courtesy of government handouts of everything: from Obamaphones to Obamacare and, coming soon, Obamafood.

SCMP reports:

An advertising-industry veteran who rose to become an executive director of property giant New World Development, Ki has always believed the people of Hong Kong - a city she describes as a "blessed land" - must achieve prosperity by their own hard work, rather than by the government's help.


"The reason I'm willing to [take up Bless Hong Kong] is because I'm worried about Hong Kong," Ki says. "I believe Hong Kong has reached a critical point."

Alas, most "developed" nations have reached a critical point, but very few are willing to diagnose the ills correctly and to fix them appropriately.

A curious tangent here emerges in her relationship with communism - a topic getting increased attention, and traction, in some of the world's most formerly capitalist nations:

Her attitude to the Communist Party - she encourages friends and young people she mentors to visit revolutionary sites - comes despite a youthful antipathy for the party.


One of her proudest achievements is helping create an exchange programme, set up with New World's sponsorship in 1998, under which mainland officials attend Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. Vice-President Li Yuanchao was among the beneficiaries of the programme.


"Before 1992, I was another typical Hongkonger with a phobia of communism," she once wrote. "From fear of having to adapt to acceptance ... I have been dedicated to understanding and communicating with [mainlanders] patiently."

Said view has changed, but her clarity of vision in what is needed to fix social ills remains.

Now, aged in her sixties, she believes that the mainland's miraculous economic development deserves wider recognition among Hong Kong's young people.


She also believes the next generation needs to strengthen their resolve.


"When we were young, we never waited for the government to do anything. We did it ourselves. What's gone wrong nowadays is that there are people who only wait for the government to rescue them."

Well, times have changed. However, what really earns Ki brownie points is the following anecdote:

She recounted in one of her books how Richard Boucher, the United States consul general in Hong Kong and now the deputy secretary general of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, repeatedly asked for a meeting at her office.


"I strongly resisted, as it [the request] was against protocol," said Ki. But in the end she gave in and hosted a 90-minute visit from the US representatives.


"Soon after they left, I was on the alert and asked my colleagues to check if there were any bugs under the tables or attached to the carpet."

Smart woman. Perhaps after the inevitable collapse of the US insolvent crony capitofascist, wannabe socialist, totalitarian state in which only the 0.01% are "rewarded" while the middle class is butchered and everyone else is forced to habituate to Big Brother's ubiquotous presence in exchange for daily scraps, she can be one of the people tasked with remodeling the next iteration of US society into something that actually works.

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Mon, 04/07/2014 - 13:05 | 4632730 MagicMoney
MagicMoney's picture

LOL the opposite of what our politicians tell us.

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 13:10 | 4632759 ZeroPoint
ZeroPoint's picture

We are also told that 'rich' people living in the suburbs with a health plan and savings account need to pay more because they are 'rich'.


Mon, 04/07/2014 - 13:21 | 4632794 ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

So poor people should become like more the rich and just "Help themselves"...

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 14:07 | 4632966 Son of Loki
Son of Loki's picture

No country except for us has a massive FSA. We're #1 and that's why we are deluged by the flood of immigrants every day from every direction.

We're #1 !

#1 !


Mon, 04/07/2014 - 15:07 | 4633131 Pool Shark
Pool Shark's picture



"Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."

Yeah, he got assassinated too...



Mon, 04/07/2014 - 15:30 | 4633209 Save_America1st
Save_America1st's picture

She'll probably get "suicided" by nail-gun soon enough.  After that she'll throw herself off a building...bounce...land in a wood chipper, and then she'll wash herself down the sewer into the river of floating pigs.  Simple suicide...happens all the time with corrupt banksters who know too much, too.

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 13:22 | 4632801 Babaloo
Babaloo's picture

Does she also promote public healthcare like she has in Hong Kong?

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 13:21 | 4632738 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

Sink or swim serfs.  We 'merikans are exceptional because we're on the goobermint dole.


EDIT: I see we have at least 2 entitled exceptional 'murikans who don't like the truth.

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 13:29 | 4632818 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

Don't over celebrate this, Tyler.

Hong Kong has no social security for old folks, and more particularly they have no medicaid to fund nursing home patients with Alzheimers.

Tue, 04/08/2014 - 07:42 | 4635030 N2OJoe
N2OJoe's picture

So they don't hold a gun to your head and say "give me your money for the next 30ish yrs, and maybe later we'll give some back if we feel like it"

With such a strong aversion to freedom, and faith in your own complete lack of ability to make sound financial decisions, I wonder which Utopia you would prefer to live under? I'm guessing the Venezuelan or Cuban versions.


Tue, 04/08/2014 - 16:37 | 4636840 Glasnost
Glasnost's picture


It's not my fucking responsibility to make sure you save for your retirement.  IT'S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.  It's called making projections.  Do a little work so you can see what exactly you need to do for your retirement.  

Harsh?  Yes.  THE WORLD IS HARSH.  So, fight.  Innovate, find a niche.  Create value, make what you do wanted and needed.

It also isn't my responsibility to make sure someone's rotting brain is financed to be kept in a nursing home where it can fester for a few more years.  It is that person and their family's and maybe their friend's responsibility.  Nothing further outside of that.  Not the entire fucking country.

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 13:06 | 4632740 The man with po...
The man with pointy horns's picture

I for one welcome our Chinese...


Mon, 04/07/2014 - 16:23 | 4633390 MillionDollarBoner_
MillionDollarBoner_'s picture

Staff at (UK) cereal firm Weetabix are being consulted over possible cuts to pay and working hours, the BBC has been told.

An employee said the plans could see a 10% wage cut for production workers and a wage freeze for other staff.

Weetabix said staff and unions were discussing potential changes to both pay and shifts but refused to discuss specific details.

The company said it needed to be able to "adapt to meet the changing needs of today's modern families".

The company, which also owns the Alpen, Ready Brek and Weetos brands, employs 1,800 workers in Burton Latimer and Corby in Northamptonshire.

Chinese-owned Bright Food bought a 60% stake in the firm in 2012 from Lion Capital in a £1.2bn deal.


Mon, 04/07/2014 - 13:07 | 4632751 Herd Redirectio...
Herd Redirection Committee's picture

The government is nothing but one gigantic graft distribution scheme, combined with providing an impenetrable barrier to entry for their fascist overlords..

Believe me, its not 'kids today' that are the problem.  Its a rigged game, and when kids don't want to play, we blame them.

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 13:10 | 4632763 alangreedspank
alangreedspank's picture

Huh huh. We make them sit at gunpoint in boring classrooms that teach team nothing for almost two decades and then people wonder why they're not enthusiastic about the system.

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 13:13 | 4632774 edotabin
edotabin's picture

Aren't they learning that new fuzzy math stuff?

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 13:16 | 4632778 alangreedspank
alangreedspank's picture

Yeah, the kind of maths that allows you to reach the conclusion that raising the debt ceiling does not raise the deficit.

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 13:33 | 4632833 BlindMonkey
BlindMonkey's picture

<Alex Trabek> It is to you BlindMonkey.

<BlindMonkey> Shit Barry said for $400 Alex....

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 13:38 | 4632849 alangreedspank
alangreedspank's picture


Mon, 04/07/2014 - 17:02 | 4633520 Smegley Wanxalot
Smegley Wanxalot's picture

Raising the debt ceiling DOES NOT raise the deficit because uhhhhhh "we owe it to ourselves" ... which is all well and good but then if we owe it to ourselves why are we paying the interest to a bank somewhere?

Mrs. Landers didn't teach us that chapter.

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 13:20 | 4632787 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

What she meant to say was, "you can rely on the government to do its goddamnedest to make sure you stay in perpetual poverty", or "we really really need you to work hard so we can tax your stupid ignorant ass, pleb".

When a politician or bureaucrat (by definition, unless we're talking about Imperial Rome, these people live on taxes - your taxes) extolls the importance of work and industry, you can be absolutely certain that you're being taken for a fool.

Edit: She's friendly with the Communist Party? Oh oh oh, wow, gee, you don't ****ing say! What a surprise! A tax-parasite holds a favorable view of the grandest labor cult and wealth redistribution scheme ever devised. Only now she's revealed that the "redistribution" part ... well, it didn't mean what you thought it meant, sucker.

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 13:39 | 4632825 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

Normally I would agree about bureaucratic  tax parasitism.

However, Hong Kong has one of the least oppresive tax systems in the world and few if any people here complain about the services they get from their government.

They certainly don't sit around on their fat asses watching porn, that is for sure.

Consequently, government service in Hong Kong is not looked upon as an embarassment.

HK does have another problem, billionaire cronyism.

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 14:25 | 4633024 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

bwhahahahaha. that's the biggest real estate bubble in history "made possible by a debt monetization scheme" courtesy of Ben Bernanke.

HK has kept that peg to the dollar...so far...but I do find the scandals of "cross shareholding" in Singapore more than informative..let alone the massive capital flight out of the Mainland.

At some point there will no longer be any capital to flee, yes, yes?

I mean we are talking just a bunch of tall buildings here. (and there.)
Sure...bring in the Peasants from the farm.

And then what?

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 14:58 | 4633109 chinoslims
chinoslims's picture

"They certainly don't sit around on their fat asses watching porn, that is for sure."

You said it like if there was something wrong with that.

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 16:41 | 4633452 NihilistZero
NihilistZero's picture

HK does have another problem, billionaire cronyism.

And this is not a for of taxation for the proles how???

Fact is ther are no true Laissez-faire zones in this world.  The moment an ensconced power is in danger of taking losses the rules are changed or broken to protect them.  The FSA exists to keep this corrupt system intact.

Blaming the poor is total cognitive dissonace because if TPTB allowed the true power of an industrialized free market system to flourish the lowliest frycook could have a life of abundance.

And before CrashisOptomistic chimes in about oil and joules I will say this... If this corrupt system is able to conspire to deprive freedom from 99.% of the populace could they also not be barring us from energy technologies that would make hydrocarbons and the wars for them obsolete?

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 13:08 | 4632753 Rising Sun
Rising Sun's picture

Leonie Ki - you are my hero!!!!!!!!!!!!


FUCK YOU BARRY!!!!!!!!!!!

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 13:08 | 4632754 Silverhog
Silverhog's picture

So then why do they need a anti-poverty chief?

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 13:41 | 4632861 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

Because there is a huge underclass in Hong Kong that live no better than dogs and their children have little/no chance of upward mobility.  Certainly won't be able to afford a house or access to higher education unless their parents have money to send them abroad to US, UK, or Australia for college. 

If you are trapped at the bottom in Hong Kong, you'll stay there. 

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 13:54 | 4632920 scraping_by
scraping_by's picture

The underclass is cheap labor. No matter how automated or information-based economies are, human labor is still necessary and always will be. Our government official is complaining the undeserving poor won't work for close to nothing so they'll be the deserving poor. Same as it ever was.

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 14:58 | 4633104 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

Its different and the last several years now the 'working poor' (I would define as 2+ part-time jobs and/or working at least 30+ hours/week) and say are eligible for a portion of the EITC and/or other gov't programs because their annual income isn't enough to live on are now lumped in with the 'takers.'

Been a subtle and creeping vocabulary change that really started in earnest in'10.  It infuriates me to no degree that someone who is 'working poor' (a bucket that has really become enlarged since '08) is lumped in with 'takers' now yet there is little/no focus on the employers that have unorganized labor and use the public till as a way to keep their employee expenses down. 

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 15:07 | 4633132 scraping_by
scraping_by's picture

There's a certain generational bias at work, too. For us boomers, the phrase 'the working poor' was a contradiction in terms. Now, it's our neighbors. And our kids.

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 13:11 | 4632758 magpie
magpie's picture

If Taipei can do it, you can do it too...


Yesterday i spent several hours awake in bed asking why Singapore and Malaysia were not as decripit as the Philippines and Malaysia...a completly unrelated subject.

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 13:31 | 4632826 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

Geography and Geology.

Singapore has been a fuel / rest stop for shipping for 100s of years.

The Philippines has been a rest stop for earthquakes for millions of years and has no oil.

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 13:38 | 4632848 magpie
magpie's picture

In one of those languages the word earthquake and typhoon should be identical.

Perhaps a similar phenomen can be established on the other side of the Pacific.

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 14:59 | 4633111 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

Also forgot banking/insurance which Singapore has played in a key role in for a long-time too.  Now it is just the Chinese who dominate things there and not the British. 

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 15:31 | 4633212 carbon
carbon's picture


Mon, 04/07/2014 - 13:10 | 4632760 Cacete de Ouro
Cacete de Ouro's picture

Coming soon, obamasoup (kitchens)

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 13:14 | 4632775 TeamDepends
TeamDepends's picture

Soon?  It's here!  See EBT, SNAP, food stamps, etc.....

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 13:10 | 4632761 tvdog
tvdog's picture

Well, it is somewhat hard work to hunt down bankers and politicians and kill them.

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 13:15 | 4632777 Polymarkos
Polymarkos's picture

I ain't skeered o' hard work! Lemme do it! I'll bring my own weapons!

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 13:12 | 4632769 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

I had a better feeling about self-sufficiency before the bailouts of banks/insurers/corporations.

If they don't have to pay their debts, why should I?

$1 Billion to Ukraine?  Why not EBT for me?

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 13:22 | 4632798 Obama_4_Dictator
Obama_4_Dictator's picture

+10000 - Crash the system from within just like the libtards like to do.  

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 13:27 | 4632811 EconomicGenocide
EconomicGenocide's picture

Spot on!! I asked a few of my repub arz hole friends if they were a Congress person would they spend 5 billion on SNAP or on the over throw of Ukraine. Typical response, neither,,,,,,,,,,,,,,yeah right! Almost all of the Repubs voted to cut 4 billion from SNAP and yet all of them voted for 6 billion to Ukraine.


I'm sorry I hate both the blue and red and give neither any legitamacy, but if your going to give TRILLIONS to the banks, don't be screaming at the poor who are asking for handouts.


Of course, 80% of all the ZH posters are nothing but a bunch of hypocrites who have benefited from QE and ZIRP yet downplay it as their own personal EARNED wealth gain!!



Mon, 04/07/2014 - 13:38 | 4632852 Bangin7GramRocks
Bangin7GramRocks's picture

That's right! The place is loaded with "free market capitalists" who would be broke dick poor if the nasty gubmint didn't fix the markets in 2008. It's all fake and not like capitalism at all, but it doesn't stop them from referring to themselves as the "productive class". Making money shuffling paper in a rigged market does not make one productive. Just a different breed of taker!

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 13:49 | 4632895 EconomicGenocide
EconomicGenocide's picture

Again,,,Spot On!! It is amazing how many people i know who scream at the government and the hand outs to the poor who have literally profited to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars in increased equity in their home or investments.


And they think they DESERVE it because they EARNED it. Give me a faqing break, these parasites make the poor and bankers look good. Bottom line, if your home, business or investments have gone up in value in the last 5 years,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,you are nothing but a welfare recieving UnAmerican POS who stole that money via inflation on the POOR and from future generations.

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 14:29 | 4633037 Herd Redirectio...
Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Inflaton doesn't make anything 'go up in value'.

Nominal price, yes.

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 14:36 | 4633053 IronShield
IronShield's picture

Guess you haven't gotten the memo that life is a game and you have to learn how to play it?

In other words; if you are in a poker game and you can't figure out who the fish is, then that be you.  Sheesh...

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 15:09 | 4633135 Bangin7GramRocks
Bangin7GramRocks's picture

That's cool. Play the game, but don't shit on others for doing real work and not earning a living wage. And don't say things like "we rich work harder than they do". Because any feces flinging monkey could've made money in the last 5 years with access to free capital and Fed fueled markets.

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 13:13 | 4632771 tvdog
tvdog's picture

In Hong Kong, there are jobs to work at.

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 14:48 | 4633079 IronShield
IronShield's picture

I get it; so we're waiting on jobs to knock on our door?  What happened to creating your own destiny?  Oh that's right, it requires sacrifice; blood, sweat, tears...  You know, the America of yesteryear.

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