Many experienced employees who witnessed the economic boom of Hong Kong in the 80s and 90s believe that the city’s best days are behind it. The sky-rocketing cost of living, spearheaded by raging property prices and rents, along with the slow growth in salary seems to have created a highly undesirable situation for young people.
In a recent post on Hong Kong Discussion Group, a netizen compared the situation of people born in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. The comparison sparked a discussion on whether Hongkongers born in the 90s are doomed.
According to the post, people born in the 70s currently don’t have the burden of buying a flat. Most of them own a flat and have already paid off the mortgage because housing was way more affordable back when they bought a home. In short, they lived in an age when everything was affordable.
For people born in the 80s it’s still possible to save enough for a first installment for a flat if they work hard. Life goals like getting married and starting a family are still achievable for this generation.
Life for those born in the 90s is the worst according to the topic starter, as they have to deal with low wages and insanely high cost of living.
He said his uncle who entered the job market in 1995 paid around HK$30,000 to study a master’s degree, made a little less than HK$10,000 a month, and his first flat cost one million.
For people born in the 90s who are entering the job market it takes hundreds of thousands of dollars to study a master’s degree, starting salary is a little more than HK$10,000, and people are paying millions for a flat.
His conclusion: facing low pay and high cost of living, Hongkongers born in the 90s are doomed.
While the writer of the post does have a point, many commenters said he is comparing apples and oranges.
In response to the post, one netizen wrote that every generation has their challenges. There are people who succeed and those who fail, so stop complaining and work hard towards your goals, they advised.
Another reader of the post agreed that Hong Kong’s best days are behind it and pointed out a worrying trend. He said the fact that young people would rather work for the government than serve in the private sector means Hong Kong’s business environment is getting worse.
One respondent who said he was born in the 80s thinks those born in the 90s are not in a position to say they are doomed, because they did not experience the financial crises in 1998 and 2008, or the SARS epidemic in 2003.
It is fair to say that every generation faces different challenges and it is always difficult to make a fair comparison. However, it seems a tough task lies ahead for human resources departments in trying to inspire these young workers who think they are doomed.
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