Thursday, January 05, 2006

A Bridge Too Many!

Today's edition of The Hong Kong Standard has a story on an economist's forecast of Hong Kong's economic growth this year.

"As exports and consumer demand weaken in the latter part of this year, future growth momentum needs to come from increased land and construction investments, which have lagged the rest of the economy in the past few years," said Alan Siu, associate professor at the university's school of economics and finance.

What should then be done to prop up growth?

"Siu said the government needs to approve big-ticket infrastructure projects such as the West Kowloon Cultural District and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge."

So professor Siu thinks that prime-pumping is the way to go in order for Hong Kong to maintain its growth momentum. Hmmm, if promoting growth is indeed so easy, Japan's economy should have recoverd long ago after so many years of massive government spending.

Guess professor Siu has never read stuff written by Frederic Bastiat, who in 1848 wrote:

"[P]ublic spending is always a substitute for private spending, and that consequently it may well support one worker in place of another but adds nothing to the lot of the working class taken as a whole." (Italics in Original)

That is from Bastiat's What is Seen and What is Not Seen.

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