Hong Kong has shown the economic growth potential of a free economy. 2017 Economist [1945থেকে1971সালপর্যন্তব্রিটিশভূখণ্ডপরিচালনাকারীব্রিটিশবেসামরিককর্মচারীজনকাউপার্থওয়েটেরউপরনীলমনারিরএকটিবইয়েরপর্যালোচনাপাঠকরাপ্রয়োজন।পর্যালোচনারশিরোনামএবংউপশিরোনামটিএরবিষয়বস্তুরঅংশঘোষণাকরে:”হংকংয়েরউত্থানেরপিছনেঅদৃশ্যহাতেরসাথেদেখাকরুন-স্যারজনকাউপারথওয়েটইজদ্যাটমোস্টআনলাইকলিঅফথিংস:একজনআমলাতান্ত্রিকহিরোটুলিবার্টারিয়ান”(অক্টোবর52017)।

আমার ভিপিএন পরামর্শ দেয় যে একজন গ্রাহক না হয়েও এই নিবন্ধটিতে অ্যাক্সেস পেতে পারেন। যদি তা না হয়, তবে এটি পেতে আপনার বিশ্ববিদ্যালয় বা স্থানীয় লাইব্রেরিতে দৌড়ানো (বা একটি ইলেকট্রনিক কার্পেটে উড়ে যাওয়া) মূল্যবান। আপনি এই ব্লগ পোস্টে সারাংশ পেতে পারেন:

[Cowperthwaite] A wreckage from a brutal Japanese occupation has arrived in Hong Kong. … He knew that the region’s lack of natural resources meant that post-crisis prosperity depended on entrepreneurship and the ability to attract capital.

This meant that the government’s role was to provide freedom rather than aid.

Cowperthwaite refused regular subsidy requests. He banned the collection of macroeconomic statistics lest they provide a pretext for government control. He said:

Today we suffer greatly from the false certainty and precision of pseudo-science, which includes all social sciences, including economics. I tend to distrust the judgment of anyone not involved in the actual process of taking risks myself.

He was educated in the classics and economics and was influenced by Adam Smith:

This gave him grounds for debate with free-spending peers influenced by John Maynard Keynes.

Hong Kong needed laissez-faire:

As industries such as cotton spinning, enamelware and wigs declined and Cowperthwaite refused to provide aid, businesses turned their attention to promising areas such as toy and electronics manufacturing and then finance. Immigrants found work in expanding industries, working as a productive engine rather than a mere source of consumption.

It is also worth reading Milton Friedman’s short article “The Hong Kong Experiment”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqh0zXSd4vc has some supporting video evidence (video quality not as good as the original Freedom Network TV production). Amy Willis provides some more information, including a link to an interesting EkonTalk conversation between Russ Roberts and Neil Monari. It’s true that under Cowperthwaite, Hong Kong wasn’t entirely benign (see conversation with Monari on this), but its government was certainly the least interventionist of our time when it came to protecting property rights and freedom of contract, with impressive results.

The Madison Project allows us to quantify the consequences of this laissez-faire policy better than Friedman was able to (I’m using the 2020 database). In 1950, according to this data, Hong Kong’s real GDP per capita was 27% of the US level. Until the territory was handed over to the Chinese state in 1997, Hong Kong grew so rapidly that by 1997 this proportion had risen to 80%. Between 1997 and 2018 (latest estimates available), Hong Kong’s economic growth rate declined to 4.7%. 2.1%, but this was still enough for real GDP per capita to reach 92% of the American level. (The Asian financial crisis of 1997 affected Hong Kong’s GDP in 1998, but without changing the general picture.) Since the “one country, two systems” promised by Chinese rulers for 50 years has been fraught with uncertainty, and is beginning to become so. Degraded, post-1997 growth remains an achievement, but is unlikely to continue.

Mainland China itself, with its increasingly planned and regimented economy, will soon, if not already observe, a rapid liberalization and participation in world trade reaching the previously permitted high growth limits. (On China’s current economic woes, see “China Growth to Fall Behind Rest of Asia for First Time Since 1990s,” financial bar(September 26, 2022.)

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