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Economy & Development
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 »
China Change The water is clean but the pipes are dirty – The puzzling state of China’s “potable” water
Last night a new arrival to the middle kingdom asked me whether or not the water was safe to drink. “It’s safe as long as I boil it, right?” she said with a worrying tone. The answer is yes, for the short term. A thorough boiling of water is enough to kill the things that cause unpleasant stomach situations. For as long as Chine [...] Keep reading »
China Change China’s Silent Spring
It would be easy to write a post about the difference between Malaysia and China and point to the joys of multiculturalism and  democracy. However it wasn’t these things that jumped out most at me during my travels, instead it was the simple joy of being reminded of the abundance of life outside of the human race. Even though Malaysian Borne [...] Keep reading »
China Change The next step for China’s economy
Last week I briefly showed how if-then rewards are more likely to cause a search for loopholes than actual results. Today I want to explore a second idea from Pink’s book “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us;” that relying solely on extrinsic motivation doesn’t promote the kind of business/thinking that China [...] Keep reading »
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