Hong Kong’s Government Explains Money Troubles… With Cartoons

In Hong Kong, government-provided public services are considered pretty good. Supposedly, the social welfare net is also pretty good. Technically being part of China but with a passport that is accepted by many western countries, Hong Kong is overall a pretty good place to live.

However, in recent years, the local government’s pockets have been stretched thin with a “booming” population. To explain the hardships of the government and to educate the people, The Principal Offices of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region put out a series of cartoon shorts on YouTube featuring a character named Johnny. The shorts are called Johnny 财政博客, which roughly translates to Johnny Finance Blog.

So far, the four released videos feature Johnny explaining a hypothetical scenario where Johnny has need for more money. Then, after about 30 seconds of Johnny explaining or going through a scenario, like saving his wife or his mother from drowning, the government explains where the government’s finances go and how someone such as Johnny can make more money.

Basically it’s Hong Kong’s government putting out a series of cartoons explaining how hard it is for them. Which is kind of funny, since Hong Kong’s government regularly boasts a yearly surplus in funding. Despite claiming to be stretched thin in terms of social welfare, the HKSAR posted nearly $US8 billion in surplus funding in 2012. This surplus has led to some public outcry that the videos themselves acknowledge.

Hong Kong’s expected to post another funding surplus for 2013 through 2014. It’s unclear what Hong Kong will do with the money, whether they will give it back to the people like they did in 2011 or if the money will just be kept by the government and spent on ridiculous cartoons explaining the difficulties of managing the money of a semi-autonomous region.

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