Enter Hong Kong's Dark World Of Coffin Living

Submitted by: fancylad 1 week ago in Lifestyle


A grim look at the squalid living conditions of Hong Kong's poor population and their coffin-like cages.
There are 27 comments:
Male 1,470
Reminds me of Shadowrun, Stoker's Coffin Motel.
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Male 591
Wait, I have a great idea! Everybody puts everything they have into a big pot and then we divide everything equally among the entire population!!!! Do you know what we'd have if we did that!!???   That's right, Venezuela. 
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Female 845
Shelworth No one wants that, Shelworth. You can do redistribution in moderation.
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Male 4,664
Shelworth And I bet most of the same people with all the money now would end up with it all again.
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Male 269
I was just talking to someone about the difference in poverty between the U.S. and many other countries. The U.S. has a substantial multi-layered safety net that will protect your life, give you training, and can really lift you up IF you’re able and willing to take advantage of it. It’s hard work to carve out a good living, but even a minimal effort goes a long way in the U.S. 
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Male 1,638
Yeah, but don't call it a shithole...the liberals will get their panties in a bunch
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Male 15,659
spanz It's a deliberate shithole. The government does it on purpose.

Why? The people you see are immigrants from the mainland and the government wants to discourage them because there are a billion poor in China and we have welfare and free healthcare and subsidised housing and they don't. Wait, "subsidised housing"? Yep, a 1,200sqft apartment for I guess... about US$200 per month. Ah, but the trick is to make the wait list long, so the mainlanders don't survive the 20 years it takes to wait for housing.

The government wants the poor to live on the other side of the border and the rich to come here.

It's cruel.
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Male 4,664
Draculya "It's a deliberate shithole. The government does it on purpose."

That describes every shithole country on Earth.
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Male 15,659
trimble the difference is in Hong Kong is possible to lift yourself out of the shithole standard of living quickly. I know someone who was able to go from this level of poverty to a business co-owner and middle class income level within six months.

Poverty is OK as long as it is a brief period of your life. A government is OK as long as the economy and social structure allows poverty to be brief, few are poor at any one time, and people can't die from poverty.
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Male 4,664
Draculya Sounds like Hong Kong is the place. Great statement on poverty Drac.
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Male 15,659
trimble thanks! It is actually the classical "American dream". Regardless of which side of politics we are on, and how to go about changing things, I hope we all agree on the same goal: to reduce poverty and encourage upward mobility. My definition of a "shit hole country" is one that exacerbates the wealth gap by keeping the poor poor.
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Male 4,583
Starting to see a lot more of this in the USA
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Male 269
dm2754 I’m not sure I agree, but you may know something I don’t. Poverty levels have been in sharp decline since 2014. There is probably more opportunity in the U.S. than anywhere else in the world. Any able-bodied person can get a job in the U.S. if they don’t give up.  
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Male 4,583
johndplorable that is far from true. There's a large number of Able Body people that are on eligible for hire due to companies hiring preferences. It is very difficult for homeless people to get a job.
In America the unemployment rate is only measured by how many people are collecting unemployment benefits. And not by any other Matrix. Once a person benefits expire they have no longer counted as unemployed.
Living inside storage lockers as well as tent cities is actually on the rise. Cities routinely tear down these tent cities in claim the problem solved
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Male 269
dm2754 I see your point. I suppose not having an address to enter on an application is a rough starting point. And I do think the way poverty is measured and, equally important, the level at which poverty is measured is inaccurate. 

I came from nothing, so I know how hard it is to scrape out a living. Sometimes it feels impossible and I understand why people give up--I wanted to many times and went through periods where I barely got by because I didn't have the energy to push through. 

But I still hold that it is very possible to improve economically in the U.S. if you never give up completely. Again, taking the mentally and physically unable out of the equation, every city has public outreach, charities, churches, and any number of places to go for help and start the climb out of poverty. But you have to want help and you have to want to improve your situation.  
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Male 282
johndplorable you sound like a pretty cogent person, possibly above average,  intelligence-wise. Imagine for a second another person with your same starting circumstances but not as intelligent. Or someone like yourself but with harder beginnings. Your success story is more anecdotal than not, I chance. The phenomenon of "luck" (simple way of summarizing that there is a probabilistic spread that will allow each one's sum of circumstances to work out for some and not for others, with all people given the same set of skills and potential) is uncomfortable because it devalues the feeling of accomplishment. It should and it shouldn't. Someone does win the lottery, but not because they wished it more than others. It's all statistics. 
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Male 269
bearbear01 Thanks for your comment. I don't disagree and wouldn't present my personal story as applying to anyone but myself. Circumstances, surroundings, influences, role models--there are any number of factors that lead to success or failure. All these things greatly influence one's direction in life, but they do not determine outcome.

I have often thought that it should not have taken everything I had in me just to survive week to week. I believe life could be easier and more fair in America and wish it were. But I have also observed many different kinds of people in my life and found those who want more for themselves and never give up always "make it" in however they define the term for themselves. Giving up is internal. It can't be forced upon you. I find no shame in living in a tent. There is no shame in failing. I personally have no time for those who choose to be failures. 
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Male 282
johndplorable you're welcome. I'm going to take your words literally and take this bit "it should not have taken everything I had...", and offer a thought: it seems you were on the verge of not making it. On top of all that you had to deal with, would you have landed where you are now if circumstances had been twice as hard? Maybe you would be fine but not as fine? Would you have needed an extra break here or there? How about if you never give up, but circumstances keep piling up faster than you can solve them? Even if you never give up, could you see that it is possible to still end up failing despite all efforts?
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Male 269
bearbear01 Well presented.

Allow me to agree with your literal premise: that one can still fail because circumstances and misfortune pile faster than one's ability to escape them, while simultaneously disagreeing with any implication or presumption that this scenario applies to most able-bodied poor in America and adding that the kind of chronic, lifelong misfortune we are describing would likely take our hypothetical subject out of the able-bodied/minded category. 

I submit that poor choices will sink one's life faster than circumstance. I will assist your counter by conceding that circumstances can influence one's upbringing, which can influence the way one makes choices. However, as a society, I believe we must insist on personal responsibility from each individual: help those who help themselves and refrain from policies that systematically condemn people to a lifetime of welfare. 

I grew up with a single mom who worked three jobs. It was a matter of personal integrity that she refused to go on welfare, though she had friends who encouraged her to do so and that it probably would have made life easier for her. She chose not to. I felt miserable as a teenager, watching how she struggled, but without knowing it, I inherited an incredible work ethic from her and that shaped my future more than anything else.

Systematic government dependency for the able-bodied/minded, in my opinion, only serves to condemn the next generation to the same fate.  
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Male 282
johndplorable good points.

I agree that the majority of people who (to simplify) fail to succeed, do not as a result of a race between effort and misfortune. But it seems we also agree that it is a possibility, even if this may happen to a small or very small portion of people. But then the big question comes up, which is how did we end up with so many people who do not succeed? What circumstances and decisions, including inaction, cause this? If you ask sociologists or anthropologists, they will list a number of systemic reasons, not excluding inaction, but understanding its causes. 
Here is my bias: I believe that problems that have simple solutions have been resolved already. As I don't think that's a terribly unreasonable assumption, I'll elaborate on top of it.
The thing is, you are not wrong in that the one element that is absolutely necessary to succeed from the bottom is to try hard. The thing is, that's not enough. Sooner or later, you'll need a break. Life, unfortunately, is not fair and sometimes you won't be rewarded for your effort. Say, you can be the best candidate for a job or a promotion and they still give it to someone else who is less deserving.
I also agree (I think you imply this) that too much government help will make you complacent.
So then, like with everything, where do we set the balance between creating opportunity and risking paternalism? One could say that we live this balance already, but then we still have this huge number of people who are failing to succeed. I personally cannot tag all these cases with laziness. So, to me, it seems that whatever balance we have in place needs tweaking. And much like a lot of things, it needs both a conservative and a liberal sitting at the table not to defend their ideology but to try to fix the problem. 
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Male 269
bearbear01 A fine exchange of ideas. Thank you. 

...it needs both a conservative and a liberal sitting at the table not to defend their ideology but to try to fix the problem.
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Male 85
johndplorable they might be able to find a job sure, but minimum wage doesnt even cover rent, forget anything else. If they sold smaller appartments like iin japan it might be affordable.
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Male 1,680
aegis1294 
High rent is a result of high property taxes. 

Low wages are a result of high income taxes.

High prices of goods and services is a result of high sales taxes.

Hmm.. there's a pattern here, but I just can't seem to put my finger on it.

Smaller living space can actually be clean and livable if people take care of it. So yea, those would be useful here. But only if they are affordable.
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Male 269
squidbush I hate to be one of those people constantly ringing the bell against over taxation (not really)...but I LOVE when I hear someone else ring it...
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Male 85
squidbush The US has some of the lowest taxes in the developed world (and that's before Trumps new plan). The capitalist economy has just evolved to the point where the cost of living keeps rising for no reason and the wages aren't increasing. Corporate taxes literally just got cut 15% and only a select few companies have actually increased wages.

Why would you as a company lower your prices, when people have to buy your product anyway? and why would you pay your employees more when there only other option is to starve?

*edit, also sales tax is payed by the consumer not the business.
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Male 15,659
squidbush not trying to argue against you in the context of your own economy, but there is hardly any property or income tax in Hong Kong.

I pay all income tax I can without deductions or tax planning. My income tax is much less than my cigar budget. I spend more in cigars in a day than my quarterly rates and government rent on my $6m condo.
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Male 269
aegis1294 No disagreement here. 

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