The future of Hong Kong: Reduced Upward Mobility and Generation War2 November, 2010, 14:45. Posted by Zarathustra
Tags: Economy, Hong Kong, Politics, Society
Complacent chaps are clinging on to power, and younger people suffered.
As mentioned in the last article in this series, Hong Kong is ruled by a group of complacent chaps who are clinging on to power without realising that past track record does not guarantee future performance.
Because they rose to power from those years when the economy was booming, their formula for success was simple and effective: study hard, get into a university, and you will get rich. They rose to the top when they were relatively young, and they are still in their late 40s and 50s, nowhere near retirement. No doubt, these chaps are stumbling blocks for younger generations’ quest for upward mobility.
For those people in their 20s, or so-called post-80s generation (who were born in 1980s), they came out of universities at the time when the baby boomers are still clinging on to power, and those in their 30s or early 40s are still hoping that those baby boomers will retire sooner. For people in their 20s, they grew up in a period of economic prosperity, so they faced little economic hardship. They are the best educated, probably the smartest, but they are the least advantaged group of people because there are so many people in the pervious generations ahead of them. Quite simply, the old tale of Hong Kong success stories will not be repeated. The success formula failed. Ironically, despite being the best educated, complacent chaps often complained about their abilities.
The old Hong Kong success stories of hard-work pays off have fooled young people. True, 30 years ago, you could be a young university graduate growing up in a poor neighbourhood. But you worked hard, and studied well, so you got into a big multinational company, and quite quickly climbed up the ladder. Now, hard-work has been replaced by relationship. If your father is not a rich entrepreneur, you better do not hope to get into an investment bank and work as an M&A banker. In short, family connection replaced hard-work and ability. The success formula failed.
Complacent chaps have difficulties understanding the youngster. Of course, there is always a tendency for every generation to think that the next generation is inherently worse than themselves. Unfortunately, that is not the case. These chaps time and again show that they have no idea how much luckier they were compared to their younger generation. They do not realise that the success formula they used has quite simply failed in 21st century.
It is not hard to understand why young people became the angry protestors. Not only are they hugely disadvantaged in such society, they also grew up from more affluent background so that money is not their sole concern. They are less concerned with economic development, but more interested in things like fairness, or environmental problems. No wonder that these generations do not understand each other. With misunderstanding, there are bound to be conflicts.
The future of Hong Kong Series: