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PJ ORourke is one of Americas leading political satirists and the best-selling author of ten books After graduating from Miami University in Oxford Ohio and attending the graduate program at Johns Hopkins ORourke began his career of telling it like it is with his razor-sharp one-liners and political humor ORourke has written for The National Lampoon Automobile American Spectator Playboy Esquire Vanity Fair and Harpers He is currently the Foreign Affairs Desk Chief for Rolling Stone Magazine a position he especially enjoys ORourke divides his time between homes in New Hampshire and Washington DC In his book Eat the Rich copyright 1998 ORourke tackles the subject of economics from the standpoint of the person who doesnt have a deep love for the subject ORourke sets out to answer the question he poses on page one of the book Why do some places prosper and thrive while others just suck A good question it grabbed my attention immediately and kept me interested until the last page While this book is set in present day it explores history from the late 1700s through present day and speculates about the future ORourke headed to Hong Kong on his quest for information because of its laissez-faire meaning allow to do approach to government and economy Basically Hong Kong was owned by Great Britain until midnight on June 30 1997 at which time it was given back to Communist China Until that time however the government interfered in peoples lives only to keep the peace ensure legal rights and protect property Beyond that the people of Hong Kong were living without an economic safety net The corporate tax rate was 165 and the individual tax rate was a flat 15 This lead to a permanent budget surplus and the government of Hong Kong consuming only 69 of the Gross Domestic Product compared to the USs consumption of 208 of the GDP Hong Kong had no minimum wage no unemployment benefits
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