Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

China and Inflation and Change

Posted by w_thames_the_d on February 27, 2011

You hear a lot about the inflation rate in China and how if the chicoms dont take care of it, there is a potential for change….
I really don’t know how tight of a grip they have on things here, to me it feels eerily similar to places I have been in the past where the term ‘change’ was not met with as much fanfare as it was when BO uttered the phrase. The problem, it is said, is inflation and hungry people with no money is a scary prospect, it is a recipe for dissension.
This makes sense to me as it would appear that the communists have always flirted with disaster. They opened up in ’78 and then got very nervous in ’89 and shut down with a vengeance. The action taken in that year let the common man know just where they stood in the eyes of the communist party and what they party would do to keep its power.
Then, the Olympics came to China, and around the early 2000’s there was money for all. As the rest of the world was struggling, in the later 07, 08, China was buoyed by the cash from foreign banks and construction projects and all was relatively ok.
The problem was that at that time, although the greed of the party was crazy bad, it was tolerable because Charlie Chinese had enough rice to eat and wasn’t getting his teeth kicked in as often as he had in the previous ten years and Chinese, being Chinese love cash , so most of them tolerated the obnoxious behaviors of the governing body and filled their gullets with rice as they had never done before.
Nowadays, however, with the economy not gliding along effortlessly as it once did, charlie chinaman is pissed. He is thinking, ‘hey wait a minute I cant even buy a house in bejing nor shanghai and supposedly we are communist and the land belongs to the people and i am a person but they took my land then built a house upon it and here i am with a cell phone from 2002 and a hot of rancid rice and my kid is crying due to the blood in his urine and then i am told that we are a peaceful and harmonious society and yet when i try to petition , my lawful right as a citizen, i can be thrown in a black jail and held indefinitely and yet i hear we are the second largest economy yet i sleep on a straw mat in a cave and have no health care’. Then the guy looks at his weekly expenditures in fruits and veggies and sees that he has lost about 15% of his purchase power and housing has gone up 30-40% and yet the chicoms tell him that the inflation rate is 4% and he shakes his head. But being Chinese he is lucky enought to get a passport let alone a visa and can never dream of traveling.
one of the biggest things you hear chinese complaining about is how prices in civilization (anywhere but china) are much lower than here. For instance, luxury items and clothes in the US are much cheaper than you would find in China. so the typical Chinese thinks, ‘hey this sucks. it was ok to live in China when 400 rmb or 60U$ was a ton of cash, but today, i have to pay 3000rmb U$400 per month to live in a flea bag of a place in Beijing (this is the average rent here) in a place that although 4 years old has leaky walls and toilets that stink of piss and fear that any day it may fall down due to its crappy construction. On top of that I live in a place where due to the nature of the chinese businesses, cancer is the leading cause of death and i have no rights, I cannot blog as I wish cannot say what I wish and the guys who potentially can help me, lawyers are disappearing like the farmland in china. So wtf good is this place?”
I as a foreigner shake my head in agreement. It is a great plan ‘B;’ for us foreigners. If and when we wish, we take off and return to lands where the milk is a fortifying agent for your body and you can breathe the air. But when one has to pay western prices to live in a dungeon, one has to reconsider one’s reasons for being here….

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