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HONG KONG (AP) -- For many of the richest people in Hong Kong, one of Asia's wealthiest cities, home is a mansion with an expansive view from the heights of Victoria Peak. For some of the poorest, like Leung Cho-yin, home is a metal cage. The 67-year-old former butcher pays 1,300 Hong Kong dollars ($167) a month for one of about a dozen wire mesh cages resembling rabbit hutches crammed into a dilapidated apartment in a gritty, working-class West Kowloon neighborhood.
Originally posted by lampsalot
You ready to live in a cage? Hong Kong has been capitalist for years and has very little of a middle class. Real estate costs a fortune and the free market is ruthless and there's little of a safety net.
Without a form of support for middle class and lower class people, soon we will be living literally like pet rats.edit on 8-2-2013 by lampsalot because: (no reason given)
Originally posted by Maslo
Correction: this is what pure capitalism with no social net offfers us. Fight against capitalism itself is futile, it is the natural state of human condition and the only system proven to work. Hong Kong is still one of the wealthiest nations after all. But it needs a little augmentation, in the form of social capitalism
His only income is HK$4,000 ($515) in government assistance each month. After paying his rent, he's left with $2,700 ($350), or about HK$90 ($11.60) a day.
Originally posted by vor78
I doubt it has anything to do with 'capitalism' or any other political philosophy.
This is what happens when you have too many people vying for too little space. Hong Kong has a population density of almost 17,000 people per square mile. Compare that to the United States with 89. Even on the Chinese mainland, its only 365. You're going to have people living like rats under those conditions, unfortunately.
"How the Other Half Lives"
The existence of tenement legislation did not guarantee its enforcement, however, and conditions were little improved by 1889, when the Danish-born author and photographer Jacob Riis was researching the series of newspaper articles that would become his seminal book "How the Other Half Lives." Riis had experienced firsthand the hardship of immigrant life in New York City, and as a police reporter for newspapers, including The Evening Sun, he had gotten a unique view into the grimy, crime-infested world of the Lower East Side. Seeking to draw attention to the horrible conditions in which many urban Americans were living, Riis photographed what he saw in the tenements and used these vivid photos to accompany the text of "How the Other Half Lives," published in 1890.
The hard facts included in Riis' book--such as the fact that 12 adults slept in a room some 13 feet across, and that the infant death rate in the tenements was as high as 1 in 10--stunned many in America and around the world and led to a renewed call for reform. Two major studies of tenements were completed in the 1890s, and in 1901 city officials passed the Tenement House Law, which effectively outlawed the construction of new tenements on 25-foot lots and mandated improved sanitary conditions, fire escapes and access to light. Under the new law--which in contrast to past legislation would actually be enforced--pre-existing tenement structures were updated, and more than 200,000 new apartments were built over the next 15 years, supervised by city authorities.