For the Global Thinker

Friday, March 8, 2013

Will the Middle Class Shake China?

Cultivating and satisfying the middle class was now an explicit part of the Party’s recipe for holding onto power.
A decade later, Chinese politics have not achieved that goal. The Chinese middle class— defined by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development as those with the means to make spending decisions beyond just subsistence—is almost certainly growing: it is now about ten per cent of China’s population, and on pace to be forty per cent by 2020. But when it comes to politics, the Chinese government risks losing the support of the middle class...

This year, Bloomberg News reports a sharp increase in what we might call the Oligarch Index: the number of legislators who are on the list of China’s richest people grew seventeen per cent, from seventy-five to ninety—each with an average fortune of $1.1 billion.
The U.S. Congress has its own plutocracy problem, but in this case any equivalence is false. The House, Senate, and upper levels of the U.S. federal government do not boast a single billionaire (the Chinese government has scores of them)...

Read more here...

No comments: