I am recently reading the book "Crash Proof" which really answers a lot of my questions. I'm here in America for college and staying with my cousins, while working part-time for them on this blog and their other websites. I haven't been in the U.S. for too long but I do realize that things here aren't what I imagined them to be before I came. The first thing I noticed is the big chunk of money that was taken out of my first paycheck by the U.S. and California governments. The second thing I noticed was that everything I bought, I paid about 9.75% sales tax. Then when I got my i-phone bill and utilities bills, I saw a lot of taxes added to each one of them also. Even without counting the taxes on everything I buy or consume, everything is just more expensive than Hong Kong. In here, I've learnt that I have less take home cash (after the governments took away their shares), but I have to pay sales tax with the little cash I have, and then everything is more expensive in the U.S. than Hong Kong even before the taxes. My hair cut and coloring today costs me $132. I get the same hair cut and treatment in Hong Kong for more than 50% less money. Also, I found out that holidays and New Year in the USA are pretty boring. This is why I went back to Hong Kong last Christmas to visit my folks and did the New Year count down there instead. After college, I will definitely return to Hong Kong, for Hong Kong is consistently ranked #1 in the world in terms of economic freedom, which means less government control on my income and property and more money in my purse that can support a higher quality of life. In America, every citizen has the privilege to vote for their president and governors, whereas we can't vote directly for our Chief Executive of Hong Kong. But what good does the freedom to vote do to the citizens when the majority of people consistently vote for government officials who keep digging into my wallets? On the other hand, the Chief Executive in Hong Kong was voted by elite citizens of the city, (yes, only the very accomplished citizens can vote for the chief there) who are usually more educated and more sensible. Singapore works in similar way. To me, I will go for freedom to keep my money instead of the freedom to cast a vote in a voting booth. I highly recommend this book "Crash Proof", because it's very educational and informative about what goes wrong with the economy in America. For every $10K one withdraws from the bank in the USA, there are reports to be filed and the bank has to do extra paper work.... We don't have to do that in Hong Kong, anyone can withdraw as much money as they have in their bank accounts and the government won't ask a question. Now, this is the freedom I want. Property taxes are also way much lower there. With so little taxes, one might think that, "well, there must be a lot of "have-nots" in Hong Kong who have no government help...." Well, unemployment rate is 3.4% there and homeless people are very very rare. Crime rate is very low and there is no ghetto in Hong Kong. The strange thing is, without the government obsessing about uplifting the poor through taxing others, the dynamics of a free economy ends up creating more wealth, saving and employment opportunities for everybody who are productive, which in turn reduces poverty and the "poor class" altogether.
Review: Smugglers & Scones by Morgan C. Talbot
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