Populist card

First, a proposal for a new public transportation company designated only for holders of a Macau ID. Then, a total cut of subsidies intended for non-resident workers so that Macau ID holders continue to fully benefit from the subsidies.
So said legislators Zheng Anting and Mak Soi Kun, and the Macau People Power.
These ideas present unwelcoming messages to foreigners; it is time to do the math.
Imagine a scenario in which Macau had no foreign workers, mainland Chinese or others - Filipinos, Indonesians, Americans, Portuguese - employed in security work, menial activities, casinos, hotels, universities and restaurants.
Now let’s refresh dormant brains by drawing a simple economic scheme.
Macau’s consumption-based economy obliges, government coffers are filled mostly with taxes, mostly corporate. The biggest companies in this city are casinos. Real estate, another important sector, does not pay taxes as high as gambling operators do.
Once collected, those monies are generously reallocated by the Macau SAR Government through direct subsidies, funds, or wealth partaking schemes, which for the most part benefit residents – non-residents would rather benefit from indirect allocations, such as bus tariffs and lower taxes levied on income.
To go back to our hypothetical case, imagine all those people are sent away, lowering the city’s main source of income (gambling) and available labour force. Try then to figure out where subsidies would be drawn from. Who is going to provide security at banks, welcome visitors, and clean your house?
Moreover, mind you, being a ‘non-resident’ forcibly implies that such a person works in Macau. In basic economic terms, again, this means that this person spends at least part of his or her income here: buying food, clothes, paying for medical services, rent, perhaps even buying a house. That legal alien person is, hence, reverting wages, paltry or high, in revenue for other businesses in the city.
That government representatives are not knowledgeable about the rudiments of economics is puzzling. But, truth be told, politics is one of those lines of work in which proof of intelligence is not sine qua non. A person with no brains cannot be a scientist, but can become president. It’s been proven in other parts of the world.
That said, it is still amusing that politicians continue to believe that hoeing segmentation between locals and foreigners is an efficient way of governing.
Populism is hot currency these days. Unfortunately, reason is not.