By David Crary
In September 2014, pro-democracy activists gathered outside of Hong Kong's government headquarters to protest the proposed electoral reform in what became known as the Umbrella Revolution. The proposed electoral reform established that a nominating committee would elect three electoral candidates before the public was allowed to vote on them. The protesters completely blocked several major intersections for full days. Government officers began a civil disobedience campaign shortly after by using tear gas, but the police efforts against them only encouraged more people to join the protest. Neither party was going to budge. The United Nations Human rights committee said, "the need to ensure universal suffrage means both the right to be elected and the right to vote."
There is not any place in the world that is further away from us than China. It is easy for us to disregard China as half a globe away with completely different ideals than we have. However, China has been growing economically, and some economists speculate that it may beat out the U.S. and become the largest world power. It is very concerning to think that the most powerful country in the world could be one that does not allow equal suffrage and could use tear gas to fight protesters among many other horrible tactics. What would this mean for the world? On the other hand, these protests reveal a side of China that we can cheer for. They are people that are fighting for the freedoms that Americans take for granted everyday. They also teach us lessons about how business works in the free market. Here is what pro-democracy Hong Kong can teach us about business: