Friday, January 29, 2016

Chinese Inequality

Some unrepentant Maoists would have us believe that despite of the glaring obvious, the Chinese model, although not perfect is, nevertheless, progressive and perhaps even a still a step towards socialism.

China’s widening wealth gap is one of the country’s fastest growing social concerns, according to the recently released 2015 China Livelihood Development Report. At the center of this year’s report is an investigation into the growing national income distribution gap. More than a third of China’s property and wealth is concentrated in the hands of the country’s top 1 percent; the bottom 25 percent of all families control only 1 percent of China’s wealth.

During the past three decades, China’s income Gini index soared from around 0.3 in the 1980s to 0.45 now – well above the warning level of 0.4.

Unchangeable factors such as hukou and one’s parents’ educational background dramatically affect children’s education opportunities. The public healthcare system, which should play a leading a role in shrinking the differences cause by the income gap, has been turned upside down to apply intense financial pressure to vulnerable families. 

“No matter whether we look at social structure, class or a trans-regional picture, all evidence shows that inequality is growing,” said LiJianxin, the report’s director and a professor at Peking University. 

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