Thursday, July 16, 2009

Exploitation, Minimum Wage, Hong Kong

Hong Kong is contemplating to introduce minimum wage, see here.

Now, Hong Kong's economy has consistently been ranked as one of the freest economies, if not the freest economy in the world.

Economic theory tells us that the presence of competition renders it impossible for exploitation to occur. As Professor Steven N S Cheung said in his latest column:

七十多年前英国的鲁宾逊夫人(Mrs. Joan Robinson)推出雇主剥削劳工的可能性,但只可以在缺乏雇主竞争的情况下出现。 (Gary's translation: Seven decades ago, Mrs J Robinson pointed out the possibility of labor exploitation in the absence of competition among employers)

Intense competition among firms should be one of the main characteristics of a Hong Kong's free market economy. If that is the case, there should not be exploitation. And if there is no exploitation, why the government is rushing to introduce minimum wage? Something is seriously wrong here.

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