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COVID-19 is only making Hong Kong's inequality worse

Low taxes and poor safety net need to change to help working and middle classes

| Hong Kong
An empty restaurant with social distancing screens displayed on the tables in Hong Kong, pictured on July 16: job losses are acute among lower-paid services workers.   © Sipa/AP

William Pesek is an award-winning Tokyo-based journalist and author of "Japanization: What the World Can Learn from Japan's Lost Decades."

For decades, Hong Kong was a laboratory for the laissez-faire crowd keen to prove the wonders of low taxes, free trade and minimal government intervention. It reveled in being the freest economy anywhere and at times even thrived as a result.

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