04 October 2011

Does media pessimism on migration and urbanisation get any worse than this?

China's rural poor left stranded as urbanites race ahead 
As workers leave the countryside in the hope of better pay, the communities they leave behind face increasing poverty
Wang Fang and her husband, Chen Shuangfu, arrived in the provincial capital, Guiyang, 10 years ago, with just 10 yuan in their pockets. Their hard, unappealing work – collecting and sorting rubbish for recycling – earns them as much as 20,000 yuan a year, compared with their 1,000 yuan income back home. But their rural hukou means they are not entitled to many services – and, since the hukou is inherited, neither are their sons. (The Guardian)
So,  a couple living in rural poverty increase their income by a factor of TWENTY, from about £100 a year (at market exchange rates) to £2,000 a year, JUST BY MOVING TO THE PROVINCIAL CAPITAL, and you still want to find GRIPES!? Are you INSANE? Totally innumerate?!! Or know of some other secret government policy that nobody else has heard of that can increase the incomes of those living in rural poverty by MORE than 2000%?!! Get a grip!

Not for a second to deny that there are challenges to be overcome in the process of urbanisation. But writing long miserable articles about the woes of rural poverty without for a second stopping to celebrate the absolute wondrous miracle that is overnight 2000% pay increases for the poor, is insane. I would sort rubbish for recycling in a hovel for a 2000% pay raise. Wouldn't you?

That is the real story here. Not the fact that some poor rural people are still poor and rural.

1 comment:

texasinafrica said...

It's a ltitle more serious than that. Yeah, they have more cash, but the hukou thing is a big deal - their kids can't take national exams to get into universities. The services you can't access when you aren't where you're registered are huge and significant in China.

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