Hong Kong Standard of Living Far Better Than Resource Rich India’s

Reddit

We put before you two countries:

Both are Asian. One has little land, most of it eroded hillsides. Its population density, already the highest in the world, is exacerbated by heavy immigration. It has to import all its raw materials, water, and oil. It receives no foreign aid whatsoever and until recently was still a Western colony. It has an authoritarian government.

The other is also densely populated, but it has lots of arable land and natural resources. Free from colonial rule, it has also been the recipient of about US$55 billion in aid over the past 40 years. It is a functioning democracy and the World Bank’s pet project.

Which do you bet would be better off? It seems to be a no-brainer – the second one, of course.

But wait – the country without resources is Hong Kong, today routinely at the top of lists of the best Asian cities in which to live and do business; and the well-endowed one is India, after 60 years of independence still one of the poorest countries in the world.

“The standard of living in Hong Kong had multiplied more than tenfold in forty years, while the standard of living in Calcutta has improved hardly at all,” says John Templeton.

After nearly half a century of centrally planned economic development, India’s annual per capita income remains somewhere between US$500 and US$3,400 a year, depending on the type of calculation you use and whom you are talking to.

A per capita income of around US$750 puts India – the fourth largest economy in the world – in the company of sub-Saharan Africa. Meanwhile, Hong Kong has a per capita income of over US$20,000 a year, on par with first world countries.

What on earth is wrong here?

Bill Bonner
The Daily Reckoning Australia

Bill Bonner

Bill Bonner

Best-selling investment author Bill Bonner is the founder and president of Agora Publishing, one of the world's most successful consumer newsletter companies. Owner of both Fleet Street Publications and MoneyWeek magazine in the UK, he is also author of the free daily e-mail The Daily Reckoning.
Reddit

Leave a Reply

3 Comments on "Hong Kong Standard of Living Far Better Than Resource Rich India’s"

Notify of
avatar
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Mukul Dhankhar
Guest

One key difference is size. Its much much easier to lift the standard of living of a single city( especially under authoritarian rule) than for a big country housing a fifth of world population and where farthest distance between two points is over 3000Kms! I’m not saying Indians did everything they could to help raise their standard, but even if they tried to act in the best way possible to lift poverty, it’d still take a long time before things are realized.

Ken
Guest

I am amazing to know that in the eyes of foreigners HK is under authoriarian rule. Although our Chief Executive is not elected by universal franchise, our legislative counselors are elected by citizens. The CE can in no way rule in authoriarian. Western prejudice on Eastern world is horrible.

Ken

laisee
Guest

also helps to be sitting next to the largest growth in trading by any nation in history over last 30 years or so …

wpDiscuz
Letters will be edited for clarity, punctuation, spelling and length. Abusive or off-topic comments will not be posted. We will not post all comments.
If you would prefer to email the editor, you can do so by sending an email to letters@dailyreckoning.com.au