Sunday, June 13, 2010


In China, we read , an increasing number of people who cannot afford the high cost of housing survive by sleeping in some of the fast food restaurants that operate around the clock. It is this homeless that gave rise to the word "McRefugee" in China. Originally, the word was used to describe the new, homeless generation in Japan and Korea. Due to the high unemployment rate, exorbitant rent and steep transportation costs in these countries, many people turned to relying on McDonald's for shelter at the end of the day.People have to pay at least a few hundred yuan for a bare room in suburban Beijing. In contrast, in around-the-clock restaurants, they may need to spend just about 100 yuan a month on drinks.Beijing has over 5 million migrants, which is one third of the city's population according to a last census in 2007. In this city teeming with migrants, there wasn't even a shelter until 2003.

"The gap between the rich and the poor is becoming wider. There are at least a 100 million people in China who get less than $2 per day, which is the standard international poverty line," said Li Shi, the director of Income Distribution and Poverty Research Center of Beijing Normal University "The widening income gap could cause social problems and deepen contradictions, because the poor would feel left behind and treated unfairly. The rapid economic growth also worsened the gap and the contradictions,"

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