Poverty in China
by cesarandy1 on November 12, 2014 - 10:00pm
In China’s Economic Review’s article “Poverty in China: Smaller, but tougher” written on October 24,2014, the article starts by stating that just recently it was reported by Xinhua that from 1978-2010 660 million people have been lifted out of poverty, while only 80 million remain impoverished. Ulrich Schmitt, the World Bank’s program leader for sustainability and resilience, states that ever since the revision of the standard of living in late 2011, Beijing has added over 128 million people to the population of China’s officially recognized poor. Schmitt then adds that the struggles that the bank stated that China faced in 2009 are still prevalent today such as poverty becoming dispersed and economic growth not being as effective in reducing poverty. He states that even though China does have a decade-long anti-poverty plan, a lot of people from the countryside still have an uncertain future. Schmitt then says how a lot of these statistic are incorrect because of how much “income is generated in urban and coastal areas and then sent back to members who remain in an area officially classified as poor may not be captured by current collection methods”, as well as migration of workers from provinces and counties. The article then explains how a lot of these people living in urban areas are not comfortable with moving to rural areas in order to get out of poverty. During the 2008 financial crisis, many of these rural Chinese who were laid off moved back to their plots in their countryside when work was scarce. This was the reason why poverty is not as visible even though it created a lot of unrest for the Chinese. The article then proposes that a better solution would be to de-collectivize the land which would help for an easier integration for many of these people into cities. The article states that professional cooperatives could free farmers from their land while also allowing them to enjoy the profit that they get out of their land. Then the article says that they would need some sort of social security to be available for them even though at this point it’s difficult because current policies encourage the most prosperous cities incentive to close their doors once their population has reached a certain size. Is the anti-poverty policy from the Chinese government adopted in 2011 ethical when forcing urbanization? Is it ever ethical for a government to impose policies unto a population for the better good?