Monday, May 09, 2016

Hong Kong Families

Government reports can be interesting.  The 2014/15 Household Expenditure Survey reports that the average Hong Kong household has 3 persons, and it has barely changed in the past 10 years.  This matches the common perception that, for a long time, a couple typically has one child.  
Those of us who like fish know that fresh-water fish is generally less expensive than salt-water fish.  Lo and behold, the poor eat more fresh-water fish than the rich (109 : 81).  But they eat less salt-water fish than the rich (167 : 298).  

A poor family spends $2,430 on rent each month.  The rich?  $18,107, 7.5 times more.  That’s a big discrepancy in the living environment. 

The poor spends $128 each month on seeing the doctor, while the rich spends $1,796, 14 times more.  That certainly does not mean that the poor are healthier.  If anything, they are probably in worse health.  But they simply cannot afford to spend much to take care of their health.  

Even more worrying is education.  A poor family spends $165 per month on school fees.  A rich family spends $2,822, 17.1 times more.   It is easy to project whose children gets a better education, and a better prospect in life.   That’s part of the reason that the rich gets richer, and the poor remains poor.  

Is this the kind of society we want?

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