Steve Kelman on Politics, Culture, and Life

I am Steve Kelman, Harvard Kennedy School professor. I do research on improving government performance and am interested in China. This blog will reprint many of my Facebook posts in these areas.

10.12.2021

Hong Kong “Election”

There is an article in the new issue of Beijing Review on the Hong Kong “election” which would be humorous were it not so sad. The article uses the title “The People’s Will” to refer to an “election” where only 4000 (!!!) of Hong Kong’s 6.5 million residents had the right to vote as individuals – fewer than the number of police assigned to watch over the event. The article notes that a new fifth “sector” was represented on the election committee, under Hong Kong’s existing system of fascist-like “functional representation” of groups such as business and professions, “epitomizing the impartiality and openness” of the Hong Kong system – without mentioning that this new “sector” was Hong Kongers living in China.

International agreement on minimum corporate tax

An international agreement has been reached for a global minimum 15% corporate tax. Good news. Bad news: Republicans have threatened to block US signing deal, though this is mainly to benefit us. Are they are the party of tax evaders?

Population growth in Texas mostly among non-whites

An op-ed in The Times today notes that Texas is growing twice as fast as the rest of the country, but that 95% of that growth in the last decade has been people of color.

More German aid for Holocaust survivors

Germany is expanding its existing program to provide pensions to Holocaust survivors. Thank you Germany for your humanity.

Texas minority population growing

An op-ed in The Times today notes that Texas is growing twice as fast as the rest of the country, but that 95% of that growth in the last decade has been people of color.

China former journalist jailed for criticizing movie about Korean War

A former (now banned) Chinese journalist has been arrested for questioning on social media a new heroic movie about a battle during the Korean War. The arrest was considered important enough to be featured on the Chinese nightly TV news. He is accused of violating a new law making “defamation” of “political martyrs” illegal.

Swedish government bans travel by Americans to Sweden

I have learned that Sweden has reinstated an earlier ban on Americans entering Sweden. Ugh, I have been planning to go there for a few days in December. Doesn’t apply if you transit through another country, need to learn what “transit” means.

Hong Kong student union disbands

The student union of the Chinese University of Hong Kong has disbanded, according to the South China Morning Post, “under pressure.”

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