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China Change Chinese graduates hate their low paying jobs, but are hopeful about the future
Yesterday I shared the answers my former students gave to a short survey I sent them. Today we’re going to look more closely at the data, and try to get a better understanding of the lives these recent graduates are facing. As I am currently living in Nanjing, where salaries have been moving steadily upward for my friends graduating from one [...] Keep reading »
China Change China’s well educated garbage men – Sorting through the waste of superfluous degrees
When you hear the words “migrant worker,” what kind of person comes to mind? Are they young or middle age? Are they poor? Are they educated? While “migrant worker” seems at first to describe a fairly uniform group of lowly occupations – factory and construction workers, aiyis, taxi drivers, etc. Their backgrounds are a [...] Keep reading »
China Change Preaching nationalism in an age of global citizens
China’s foreign policy of non-involvement seems to stem from the Confucian teaching to “Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself.” For the Party, this means avoiding situations like what is currently happening in Syria, which if the UN had its way would see the ouster of a gov’t for slaughtering its own [...] Keep reading »
China Change Poor Economics and China’s 128 million people living in poverty- part 2
This post is continued from yesterday. The book Poor Economics is the source for these general ideas, I’m simply discussing how they would apply to China’s context. Culture shifts, not culture shift Cultures often create systems of reciprocity that create some kind of “fairness” within the family. However, as the authors p [...] Keep reading »
China Change Poor Economics and China’s 128 million people living in poverty
While China has raised hundreds of millions of people out of desperate poverty in the last 60 years, there are still 128 million people living on less that $1 per day (World Bank defines poverty as less than $1.25/day). This is actually 100 million more people than 2010, because the gov’t radically revised the definition of poverty which was [...] Keep reading »
China Change “We can’t accept the fact that the trees will disappear” – the intangible costs of development
One of the first things that a person notices when they arrive in Nanjing, is that unlike other Chinese cities, many of the main streets are lined with mature trees. Some of these trees were planted over 60 years ago, and in some ways are the symbol of Nanjing. The trees are so loved, that around this time last year, when the local gov’t plan [...] Keep reading »
China Change China should be aiming lower, not higher
Recently I had the chance to discuss the fascinating article, “The Sick Man of Asia” with the doctors at my hospital. The author, Huang Yanzhong, argues that despite China’s seemingly impressive gains in health over the past 60 years, they are lagging behind its economic growth. Furthermore, the author seems to argue that the aver [...] Keep reading »
China Change An irrational fear of crossing an invisible line
A recurring topic on the blog is that in China many things are sensitive, but nobody is actually certain what is on that list (as we saw yesterday). For instance, due to a strange turn of events, “Ferrari” was blocked on Weibo, while rumors of a coup in Beijing remained intact. This lack of clarity on what can and can’t be discuss [...] Keep reading »
China Change China isn’t ready for democracy – Vote buying, low quality people, and other excuses
The idea that democracy doesn’t fit China’s national condition seems to be a weekly feature in the Global Times (like today’s article). The arguments provided in these pieces not only show a disgusting contempt for the common Chinese person (we’ll call them “laobaixing (老百姓) from here on), but also expose the dee [...] Keep reading »
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