At the Occupy London Stock Exchange protest we got a brief opportunity to rehearse libertarian arguments on economics with people who activly disagreed with us. We made some progress in a few cases, and in others we met entrenched resistence, of most interest though are the arguments that didn’t work because we were out-debated at the time. These are the opportunities to improve our debating expertise.
For example, Michael Saxon reports on our escapade to St Paul’s thusly:
We were asked where free markets had been tried so we brought up North vs South Korea and the fact that the North was separated by true communist supporters while the South adopted free markets. The South is obviously more prosperous. For some reason they wouldn’t accept this so we went to Hong Kong which they argued was a regurgitator, not a producer of wealth. This point is arguable but I forgot to mention what would have been a perfect and current example. Estonia
The same group of people argued to me, separately, that Hong Kong is basically a repository of wealth produced in China and elsewhere in the region and owing to Hong Kong’s geography and port status. Michael agreed however, with the protestors and with Wikipedia that:
Hong Kong has a major capitalist service economy characterised by low taxation and free trade.
So, what is really going on here? Is Hong Kong a productive trading and manufacturing centre or is it a service economy wealthy thanks it’s role in managing the productivity of an exploited Chinese population? Has Hong Kong changed over time?
Also, an economics question. Is a financial service company not productive in it’s own way? If so, how exactly?
History lessons (with links) in the comments please.