Freedom Folks

Monday, January 15, 2007

I Keep Finding Backup In The Oddest Places

Source: nytimes

Such as China...
GUANGZHOU, China, Jan. 11 — Guangzhou, the chaotic export capital in southern China, appeared to hit a major Chinese milestone this month, becoming the country’s first city to reach a per capita income of $10,000 — more than five times the nationwide figure and a rough threshold for becoming a “developed” country.

But in a measure of just how problematic prosperity can be here, the city will institute a ban on motorcycles and motorized bicycles on Monday, hoping to quell a crime wave that has been building to more than 100,000 offenses a year.
And blah, blah, blah I had the bisque! What's this have to do with the Freedom Folks point of view? Read on Grasshopper, read on...
The Communist Party is forever trying to focus the expectations of the Chinese people on a better, if distant, future where everyone is more affluent and where China is a true modern nation. Yet cities like Guangzhou and nearby Shenzhen, which have already begun to taste real prosperity, are learning how new wealth can bring new problems and not always solve the old ones. As incomes have risen in Guangzhou, so have crime, traffic and inequality.

Inequality here is unquestionably stark between the 7.5 million registered residents and the estimated 3.7 million migrants. This week, Guangzhou had to lower its per capita income figure to $7,800; the $10,000 level had been calculated without including migrants, whose wages are notoriously low.

But public sympathy has limits, particularly since studies show that migrants are responsible for much of the city’s street crime. Most major Chinese cities feel very safe by American standards. Still, in Guangzhou, thefts, purse snatching, robberies and muggings have become common. One 2006 poll found that only 20 percent of residents felt safe. Hawkers at one pedestrian overpass in Tianhe District were selling switchblades and collapsible metal rods as self-defense weapons.
Oh but Jake it's different here, it just has to be!

Heh, we are amused!

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