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Wealthy young Chinese enjoy a classless society
August 29, 2010 4:12 AM   Subscribe

The “Rich Second Generation” (富二代) refers to people who mostly were born after 1980s, Children of early China’s first generation of private entrepreneurs “Rich first Generation” after China’s “opening door policy”. Now they are wealthy because of the inheritance. They enjoy roses, wine tasting, marriage opportunities, studying abroad, 43 luxury vehicles, and legal privileges.
posted by twoleftfeet (16 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
Can't have a communist party without a party.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:40 AM on August 29, 2010


However, Liu’s action did not immediately win Lie Ying over. Lie chose to leave in silence, but left her cell phone number with Liu Hang. At noon, Liu Hang still stood in front the department store, feeling kind of down. “I will not give up, I will think of ways to pursue, I will give up everything to live an ordinary life with her.”

I find this kind of gesture quite misguided and creepy, considering that he's pursuing a girl he saw on TV. Evidently the girl thought so too...
posted by monocot at 4:54 AM on August 29, 2010


Still, public fury was reignited in mid-July after a court sentenced Mr. Hu to three years in prison, widely considered a lenient punishment. In an unusual twist, Mr. Hu appeared much heavier at his sentencing than in photos from the accident scene, prompting Internet rumors that Mr. Hu's family had paid for a stand-in. Chinese authorities have strongly denied this.

The victim's father, Tan Yue, has been outspoken in his criticism of the court's sentencing. He is among those who doubt whether the convicted felon now serving jail time is really Mr. Hu. Mr. Hu's family, through an attorney, declined to comment.


That last story is pretty odd and unpleasant although not all that out of line with the previous 3000 years of Chinese history. It kind of looks like China is getting a Gilded Age rather than an age of general economic development.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:20 AM on August 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


It kind of looks like China is getting a Gilded Age rather than an age of general economic development.

It's how we've balanced the trade disparity between us; they send us endless cheap consumer goods, we send them the know-how on supporting an ultra-wealthy elite at the expense of the average citizen.
posted by maxwelton at 6:04 AM on August 29, 2010 [7 favorites]


when i was in china (more than a decade ago), i saw a bit of what i think of as white trash winning the lottery. my hosts were ... probably not rich, but certainly privileged. they rented a van to drive us around for the 10 days we were there, took us out to eat at some of the finest restaurants in the city (and insisted on paying), and were happy to show us their acquisitions. in contrast, i'd walk through the city and see people living in small garage-like structures with dirt floors. on a bike day-trip through the country, my american friend & i saw a mother with a young son. it was chinese new year, and my friend gifted the young boy with a money bag containing one american dollar. the look of gratitude on the mother's face was indescribable.

i've been like white trash winning the lottery, too; going from barely being able to pay the rent to *finally* understanding the meaning of the term 'disposable income.' i've never exactly been drunk with the power of money, but i get tipsy with it. a lot.

the psychology of money is complicated. i don't begrudge these folks anything but the ability to use money to buy legal protections & political favors. god knows, that isn't unique to the chinese by a long shot.
posted by msconduct at 6:59 AM on August 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Has anyone said "bubble" yet? How is this growth sustainable? Do the Chinese (do the citizens, business class, administators, rulers, etc) seriously think the Chinese economy will explode forever?
posted by fuq at 7:22 AM on August 29, 2010


Does anyone ever listen to people who say that bubbles do not expand forever, while the bubble's expanding? How many bears did you hear and read in the newspaper in 2005? How many bears were in the newspapers in 1925, both cases in America? How many people said in the 80's in Japan that this growth couldn't last forever?

It's not specific to the Chinese.
posted by curuinor at 7:47 AM on August 29, 2010


China experienced several rounds of speculative bubbles immediately after market reforms began. Farmers and village enterprises which did well had extremely limited avenues to invest their profits. Too much money (with no investing experience) chasing few opportunities gives you bubbles. The leadership there is very familiar, which is why so much has been poured into real economic growth in the manufacturing and farming sectors.

The CPC has switched from nominally being a workers' party into an almost explicit ruling capitalist party. I wouldn't be surprised as the chaos of the cultural revolution gets more forgotten over coming years if we see repeats of 86 and 89; the CPC has no real justification for its monopoly if it ever had one.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 8:20 AM on August 29, 2010


Look, everybody loves tulips. This can't possibly fail.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:52 AM on August 29, 2010 [7 favorites]


Well I don't think the counterargument is that it won't fail, I think it is more that it will inevitably fail, so laissez faire and laissez les bons temps rouler are joined at the hip. If you have no choice but to suffer the burst, why not enjoy the bubble? It seems like the only choice that you have.

People are individually helpless to truly turn either situation around no?
posted by SomeOneElse at 1:30 PM on August 29, 2010


The problem isn't not knowing it's a bubble (lots of people in Japan in the 80s knew it). The problem is knowing when to get out of the market and sit tight, waiting for the pop.

That said, if you think that China's inevitable downswing will be allowed to negatively impact the lifestyle of its rich... That might have been the case once upon a time, but not in the New China, no more than here in our 1st-world democracies.
posted by No-sword at 2:07 PM on August 29, 2010


If the rich are gaining political power to be unaffected by inevitable recession, then that is them prudently preparing is it not? I mean it isn't ethical but they are planning ahead. So the Cassandras can be overjoyed, because their voices are finally being heard.
posted by SomeOneElse at 4:20 PM on August 29, 2010


Look, everybody loves tulips. This can't possibly fail.

Well, that's just facetious. China's newfound prosperity is driven in part by a housing boom - with maybe as many as 65 million apartment units built and bought on spec now sitting empty - and real estate, unlike flowers, never loses its value.

Right?
posted by gompa at 4:34 PM on August 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's how we've balanced the trade disparity between us; they send us endless cheap consumer goods, we send them the know-how on supporting an ultra-wealthy elite at the expense of the average citizen.

We need to wrest back from China opportunities for American workers to enjoy a fulfilling and lucrative career creating an endless amount of cheap consumer goods.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:48 PM on August 29, 2010


The CPC has switched from nominally being a workers' party into an almost explicit ruling capitalist party.

Per the old high-school political horseshoe, they've jumped from communism to fascism without visiting points in between.
posted by rodgerd at 3:51 AM on August 30, 2010


This seems unsurprising. Basically, they're transitioning to capitalism but without democracy. Even _with_ democracy, the rich are good at getting and maintaining wealth. When they don't even have to bother with real elections? Seems ideal (for the rich / in charge, and from what I understand all the rich people would be involved in the Party in China).
posted by wildcrdj at 2:24 PM on August 30, 2010


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