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Old 03-03-2014, 09:57 PM
 
Location: Jersey
2,299 posts, read 3,400,605 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by belmont22 View Post
71.6% earn $5 a day or less, that's far from "middle class". Not to mention cost of living etc is probably higher in 2014 than it was in 1994 or 1984.
You can move the goalposts; but by all quantitative metrics, things have improved for the average person's quality of life in China. I can speak from firsthand information that at least that at least in terms of outlook and to a lesser extent by quantitative metrics that things have improved for the average person in India in the last 20 years.
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Old 03-03-2014, 09:58 PM
 
5,368 posts, read 5,158,224 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by belmont22 View Post
Shanghai isn't China.
You are right. It is just one piece of China. And it is very easy to post 30 other cities in China that have the exact same story as Shanghai. Development across that country is wide spread.
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Old 03-03-2014, 10:03 PM
 
1,099 posts, read 1,671,800 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by belmont22 View Post
That's only one side of things, though. I mean even if only 1 percent of the population was actually wealthy enough to afford such things it would still be quite apparent. I do think China is quite a bit better off now but I have a feeling the progress is overstated as well. It's certainly not a case of people going from making 50 cents a day to 50 dollars, at least not for the overwhelming majority of people.
50 cents a day to 50 dollars is exaggerating it, as that is already 100 times more. In terms of the nominal GDP, in 1990, China was only around $320, while in 2010, it was at $4,400 and increasing very fast from there to $6000 or $7000 now? In 25 years, it's increased 25 times. In terms of PPP considering the increase in cost of living and inflation, it should be much less than that, but it's a HUGE increase that you can notice that most things are new and different in China from 25 years ago the moment you step off the plane. It definitely is not just about 1% of the population. 25 years ago, China even had a different currency for tourists, which effectively charged any foreigner at least 30% more. However, you get the privilege of being able to purchase some imported goods, which I guess made them accessible to only about 1% or less of the population at that time. Even includes something as mundane as M&M's. Nowadays, almost 100% of the people there can certainly get M&M's and there's more than 1% of the population who will get those Belgian luxury chocolates instead. In short, as a foreigner, I felt "rich" being able to afford a lot of things the locals couldn't get 25 years ago. Now, am probably considered "poor" or "cheap" by Chinese standards.
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Old 03-04-2014, 12:28 AM
 
2,096 posts, read 3,854,726 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TylerJAX View Post
You can move the goalposts; but by all quantitative metrics, things have improved for the average person's quality of life in China. I can speak from firsthand information that at least that at least in terms of outlook and to a lesser extent by quantitative metrics that things have improved for the average person in India in the last 20 years.
Indians unhappy, despite fast economic growth : Gallup Poll
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Old 03-04-2014, 12:32 AM
 
Location: Guangzhou, China
9,780 posts, read 13,368,018 times
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I haven't been to India, so I'm not going to comment on their situation when there are other people here who have been and are better suited to do so than me. But, a good summary of the changes that have happened in China in the last twenty years is looking off the balcony of my apartment, which is about 4 years old.

If you look North:


If you look East:


If you haven't been to China, it's difficult to fully comprehend the changes that have taken place. I hadn't been here before I moved here, but it's not hard to understand. Go into the downtown areas, go into the apartment towers, and things are new and either of the same standards as the West, or close enough to them that they may as well be.

As boticelli stated on the first page, if you went back twenty years, you saw 10x as many bikes as cars; now, though bikes are still a common means of transportation, the streets are packed with cars, and the cars in China run the gamut from copies of Japanese microcars and vans, to full-sized American and European brand names. Many more people have cars than they used to; many more people are able to afford to live in larger accommodations than they used to; many more people can afford to travel around the world, buy middle-class or luxury items that were only distant pipe dreams even ten years ago.

Is it overstated? It certainly can be. The average Chinese person, not just in the countryside but also in major metropolitan areas, does not own a car. They don't live in a three-bedroom, two-bath in a modern tower. They've never traveled to Europe or North America. The average person in Shanghai makes 29,000 CNY per year, which breaks down into $4700 USD per year; the average person in rural Gansu makes 11,400 CNY which breaks down to less than $2000 USD per year. So, no, these people aren't buying a ticket to San Francisco (which would take up half to 1/4 their total yearly income). But, that doesn't change the fact that millions of people in China can do just that, and that the aspirations of people in China are much higher than they were because it's now known that yes, you can in fact get to a point where traveling, owning a car, and whatnot are realistic goals for many.

Also, the amount of money that the Chinese government has put back into the public has made cities that are more modern, cleaner, and have greater infrastructure than what most people imagined was possible 20 years ago. When you walk into an older, run-down area, it hits you like a sack of bricks that this was how basically this was the norm in this city just a short time ago.

So, my whole thesis... can it be overstated? Yes. Is it overstated? Not really, no. Even if the average person in China doesn't have the same standard of living you'll find throughout most of the West, the standard of living is light years from what it was 20 years ago and the infrastructure of the cities is as well. Though not everyone in China is middle-class or wealthy, neither is everyone in the US or EU. Plenty of Americans can't afford to travel, plenty of Europeans can't afford a car...
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Old 03-04-2014, 08:40 AM
 
10,847 posts, read 11,276,120 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 415_s2k View Post
. The average person in Shanghai makes 29,000 CNY per year, which breaks down into $4700 USD per year; the average person in rural Gansu makes 11,400 CNY which breaks down to less than $2000 USD per year.
I'd like to add official income statistics may significantly under-estimate real income of Chinese people. For a significant proportion of the population, the unreported income may be larger than the reported taxable income.

For example, a public servant on paper may earn a wage of 4000 CNY a month, but the hidden income through various sources (not bribery or corruption, but in various forms of "benefits") can easily be as big or as much as twice of that.

That applies to employees of state own companies as well. A janitor at a power generation company may have a meagre income of 1200 CNY a month, but the real income he brings home every month can easily exceed 10000 CNY (1 USD = 6 CNY).

In cities like Shanghai, fresh college graduate from a good school makes about US$500-$1000 a month; a mid-career professional with 5-10 years experience makes $1000 - 3000 a month.

Manual workers earn significantly higher wages than say 5 or 10 years ago. In construction, it is normal for a worker to make $1000 a month nowadays. Cleaning ladies probably make $4-$5 an hour (miminum wage in the US is $7.25, but cost of living in Shanghai is much much lower).

Western provinces are admittedly much poor but still way better than 20 years ago. I think the country failed miserably in bringing more income equality to different regions of the country, and most of new wealth happens on the coastal cities. For example, while the GDP per capita of America's richest state (CT for example) is twice of that of the poorest (Alabama etc), the difference in China is something like 10 times.
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Old 03-04-2014, 09:29 AM
 
1,862 posts, read 3,006,319 times
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It is beyond serious debate that, for the vast majority of its citizens, China is much better off than pre-reform days. However, the real question is if it will prove worth the cost. The country is now an ecological basket case. There is no area of the country that is not seriously polluted. Practically ALL water is contaminated, there is NO decent air quality, food and product safety is a joke. The leaders absolutely do not care--they got theirs, and their kids all study abroad and have escape hatches. It is the common people who are screwed. So, short answer: yes, people are better off now. Long answer: they are still f*cked.
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Old 03-04-2014, 11:21 AM
 
4,695 posts, read 3,620,707 times
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All countries are f£€¥caked in one way or another. China has pollution problems. The US did decades ago too, but we cleaned it up. The US has a fiscal time clock that is ticking at 14 trillion, and who is going to deal with it? The important thing is that the people have hope. China has a rapidly growing green movement, and the government is already rolling up its sleeves to the tune of hundreds of billions to tackle the air and water issue. Hopefully it is not too late. Is the US rolling up its sleeve to take down that 14 trillion problem?
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Old 03-04-2014, 12:12 PM
 
268 posts, read 325,176 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stoutboy View Post
It is beyond serious debate that, for the vast majority of its citizens, China is much better off than pre-reform days. However, the real question is if it will prove worth the cost. The country is now an ecological basket case. There is no area of the country that is not seriously polluted. Practically ALL water is contaminated, there is NO decent air quality, food and product safety is a joke. The leaders absolutely do not care--they got theirs, and their kids all study abroad and have escape hatches. It is the common people who are screwed. So, short answer: yes, people are better off now. Long answer: they are still f*cked.
Many countries went through this exact same problem when industrializing. China's might be a bit worse because they've seen massive GDP growth in the past years and are trying to do a lot in very little time. I'm guessing the pollution and bad air quality issues will naturally come down to semi-normal levels at some point in the future. And there are many areas of the country that aren't polluted at all. You just won't see them in the media.

Botticelli is right. The average college grad now makes anywhere from $500-$1000 a month fresh out of college. The amount living in poverty has fallen drastically over the past 20 years, and the amount of people who can afford to buy Apple products, cars, houses, and travel internationally has grown exponentially. Were not just talking about children of government officials here. The highest influx of tourists to Australia are from China.
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Old 03-04-2014, 01:15 PM
 
10,847 posts, read 11,276,120 times
Reputation: 7586
Quote:
Originally Posted by stoutboy View Post
It is beyond serious debate that, for the vast majority of its citizens, China is much better off than pre-reform days. However, the real question is if it will prove worth the cost. The country is now an ecological basket case. There is no area of the country that is not seriously polluted. Practically ALL water is contaminated, there is NO decent air quality, food and product safety is a joke. The leaders absolutely do not care--they got theirs, and their kids all study abroad and have escape hatches. It is the common people who are screwed. So, short answer: yes, people are better off now. Long answer: they are still f*cked.
you are exaggerating. No area in the country that is not seriously polluted?

Right now 3pm, March 4, the Air Quality Index as follows (the lower the better).

New York City: 61
Burbank, Los Angeles: 95

Shanghai: 89
Beijing: 63
Guangzhou 55

Beijing Air Pollution: Real-time PM2.5 Air Quality Index (AQI)
Shanghai Air Pollution: Real-time PM2.5 Air Quality Index (AQI)
Shanghai Air Pollution: Real-time PM2.5 Air Quality Index (AQI)
http://aqicn.org/city/newyork/
Burbank, Los Angeles Air Pollution: Real-time PM2.5 Air Quality Index (AQI)
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