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    The big gag: Hong Kong’s crackdown on freedom

    enJune 04, 2024

    Podcast Summary

    • Benefits 2.0Benefits play a crucial role in attracting and retaining employees, and employers must adapt to diverse priorities. Empowering individuals and building a competitive advantage through effective benefits strategies.

      Benefits play a crucial role in attracting and retaining employees, and employers must adapt to diverse priorities across industries and demographics. This is explored in "Benefits 2.0" by Economist Impact, supported by Nuveen, a TIAA company. Meanwhile, in Hong Kong, political freedom is under threat, as evidenced by the recent banning of the annual Tiananmen Square vigil and the conviction of prominent pro-democracy activists under the National Security Law. These events represent a larger trend of suppressing dissent and restricting civil rights in the territory. In the business world, employers can learn from the importance of empowering individuals and building a competitive advantage through effective benefits strategies. For more insights, visit Economist Impact Benefits 2.0.

    • Hong Kong's political landscapeThe enactment of national security laws and arrests related to Tiananmen Square remembrances indicate a continued crackdown on freedoms in Hong Kong, bringing it closer to mainland China's political landscape.

      Hong Kong's political landscape is rapidly changing, with the national security laws bringing it closer to mainland China. The recent acquittals in national security cases may suggest some independence, but the enactment of article 23 and the arrests related to Tiananmen Square remembrances indicate a continued crackdown on freedoms. The atmosphere in Hong Kong ahead of the Tiananmen anniversary is one of quiet resignation, as people grapple with the loss of political and judicial independence. The situation is bringing Hong Kong increasingly closer to the mainland, where political freedom is limited. This trend is significant, as Hong Kong was once seen as a clear example of the way in which it was more independent than the mainland. The snuffing out of memories of Tiananmen and the arrests related to its remembrance are further evidence of this trend.

    • Entrepreneurship resurgence in AmericaSince the pandemic, America has seen an estimated 5.5 million new companies formed annually, with a diverse range of startups emerging from various regions and industries, driven by remote work and a tight job market.

      America is experiencing a significant resurgence of entrepreneurship, particularly in the tech sector, with an estimated 5.5 million new companies being formed annually since the pandemic. This trend is more broadly based than previous tech booms, with startups emerging from various regions and industries, including small businesses and niche consumer platforms. The rise of remote work and the tight job market have given people the confidence to start their own companies, even if they don't succeed initially. While there are challenges, such as the return to office culture and funding, the sheer number and diversity of new startups suggest that this boom is sustainable and could lead to the next wave of innovative companies.

    • Venture Capital FundingThe recent increase in interest rates has made it more challenging for startups to secure venture capital funding, but established VC firms continue to aggressively fundraise, offering promising startups potential investment opportunities.

      The recent increase in interest rates has led to a decline in venture capital funding for startups, making it a bit more challenging for new companies, particularly in the tech sector, to secure funding. However, established VC firms have been aggressively fundraising during the past few years, so promising startups may still be able to find investors. This trend could ultimately lead to economic growth and new job creation, although the positive impact on the economy at large may not be immediately apparent. Meanwhile, artist June Mendoza's career was marked by her ability to capture fascinating faces, from royalty to random strangers, often discovered in unexpected places. Born with a natural gift for likenesses, Mendoza's childhood was spent sketching performers backstage during her parents' theater productions. Despite her formal artistic training being minimal, she became renowned for her portraits of the great and good, as well as her ability to capture the essence of her subjects in their most relaxed moments.

    • Mendoza's Success JourneyDetermination, resilience, and intimate connections led Mendoza to success as a painter despite little formal education, bartering, and challenging sitters.

      Australian artist June Mendoza's journey to becoming a successful painter was filled with determination, resilience, and the ability to connect intimately with her subjects. Despite not learning much in art college, she found success through painting and bartering in London. Her energy and focus on capturing the essence of ordinary people led to a reputation for making great paintings. Though she found some sitters more challenging than others, like Margaret Thatcher, she continued to strive for a balance between creating a good likeness and making a great painting. Mendoza's ability to form deep connections with her subjects and the intimacy of the painting process led to wonderful friendships and a unique body of work. Her dedication and passion for her craft resulted in a long and fruitful career, with her work celebrated alongside that of other artists in prestigious exhibitions.

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