Sunday, July 01, 2007

Global Inequity

"In a gesture apparently growing out of concern for this disparity, the Beijing city government recently banned billboard advertising for luxury apartments. No more of those huge depictions of appliance-rich, marbled residential compounds complete with nursery schools, underground parking garages and health clubs that seemed to rub the migrant workers noses in their conspicuously less advantaged state.

Still, the low wages of the migrant workers illustrate something else: that if China learned nothing else from its Maoist experiment, it learned that requiring everybody to be more or less the same economically no matter what their work kept everybody poor.

And that, fundamentally, is why things are the way they are in China now, because Chinese leaders, no doubt fully aware of the utopian ideals of Communism, believe that there is no other way. And probably nobody is going to change their minds, not the underpaid workers and not the new middle class, even if they are kept up at night by the noise being made by the workers outside."

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