HK Magazine Archive

Hong Kong, Let's Do Some Poor People Math

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 28 April, 2016, 2:57pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 October, 2016, 5:06pm

The government made a U-turn this week on its proposal to revise the city’s poverty line. It had planned to include subsidies given to public housing tenants in its calculations, which would have drastically reduced the number of people classed as living under the poverty line from 960,000 to 640,000—by 33 percent. There might be a future in this kind of poverty-based math, so we’ve set a few problems for you to answer. No cheating, and remember to show your working.

Read More: CY Leung Says a Hong Kong Family of 5 Can Eat on $9,000 a Month and Save Money

1) If Kelvin has $200 in his bank account and his wife Apple has $160 in hers, how many ties from Stanley Market, each worth $30, can they afford to buy?

2) Two MTR trains are traveling in parallel along a stretch of track. Train A is travelling at 80kph but stops at every station, while Train B is travelling at 70kph but only stops at every other station. It takes 2 minutes to travel between stations and you are traveling to a station 12 stops away. Which train should you get on?

3) You host a dinner party at your house. There are six attending guests who all work for the government. How do you divide the cake you baked into proportions that will feed everybody?

4) Alvin is a lawyer making X dollars a month. Darvis is a street sweeper who makes X/20 per month. Under the new metric, what will Darvis live on?

5) Currently, 15 percent of the city lives under the poverty line. The government’s revised system would have altered this to 10 percent of the city’s population instead. Explain how this can be made to happen. You may use long division of the city’s populace or the calculus of fear. You may not use integration.

The Answers

  • 1) None, because all that money has to go on rent and food and the government wants to kick them out of their subsidized housing.
  • 2) Save the money and get the minibus instead.
  • 3) Divide it according to revised socioeconomic status, so everyone else gets one sixth of the cake and you get to lick the crumbs off the plates after they’ve gone home.
  • 4) Almost nothing, but he’ll still be above the poverty line.
  • 5) Submit your completed answer to: CY Leung, Esq., Government House, Upper Albert Road, Central, Hong Kong S.A.R.