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robert237 Post time: 2011-12-1 00:43
Unregulated capitalism concentrates more and more wealth to fewer and fewer people over time.
Its bo ...
There must be certain criteria to define poverty. In the U.S., a family of four whose annual income is below $21,954 or an individual whose annual income is below $10,959 is considered to be living below the national poverty line. Back in China, the national poverty line is 785 RMB per capita. Please notice that $1 is equal to 6.72 RMB, so $21,954 can be converted into some 140,000 RMB. That means the annual income of an American pauper is 180 times as much as their Chinese counterparts! The gap would be even greater if not for the fact that the Yuan has been pushed up recently.
According to a report released by the World Bank last April, the national poverty line set by the Chinese government is far below the international standard. The poverty line recommended by the World Bank is $1.50 per capita daily; however, an annual income of 785 RMB only amounts to 2.15 RMB per capita daily [$0.32]. China still has 254 million people living below the international poverty line. That is, undoubtedly, far above the 15 million rural poor estimated by the Chinese government.
Furthermore, TV sets and air conditioners and perhaps one or two old cars have found their way into the homes of the American poor. This kind of life is affordable for a family with an annual income of some $20,000. In America, obesity might be associated with poverty because the poor people there never have to worry about where their next meal will come from; what they do need to care about is the amount of fat and sugar they take in — they consider it to be more economical to be couch potatoes than to send their money to gym owners.
The poor people in China, however, can be described as “empty nesters” who are suffering from extreme poverty. In some poverty stricken areas, growing children often suffer from hunger; a meal with pickles and plain rice would be a treat for them. A few years ago, some volunteers organized a trip for a group of poor children living in the mountains to visit Tiananmen Square. There was a girl in the group who, for the first time in her life, had a taste of meat during the trip. Isn’t that enough to drive anyone to tears?
The fact is that there exists a huge gap between the American poor and the Chinese one; it would be absurd even to mention the idea of comparing the two groups since they are not standing at the same starting line. To put it bluntly, the American poor live a far better life than the “ant tribes” in Beijing and in Shanghai. Those who claim that China has fewer poor people than the U.S. is either ignorant or spiteful. As Premier Wen once said: “I have always encouraged journalists to visit China’s rural areas and China’s central and western regions. I believe if you visit those places, you will understand for yourselves that the development in Shangai and Beijing can in no way represent the entire situation in China...”