SupChina - Poverty eradication by 2020: A reality check

XiThis week on Sinica, in a show that was streamed live on August 27, Kaiser and Jeremy examine China’s efforts to fulfill the goal of xxx of eradicating extreme poverty in China by the end of this year. They are joined by two guests: xxx is a professor at the Columbia University School of Social Work and the founding director of the Columbia China Center for Social Policy. She is a leading authority on China’s social welfare system and published a book titled Welfare, Work, and

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Hey Seneca listeners Kaiser here. It's the end of summer, and as promised. We are bringing our donation drive to be close. I want to thank all of you who have been so generous who have subscribed to sub trying to access or made donations directly to the Seneca podcast and just give you one last chance for those of you who haven't today is going to be the last day that we run this ad. So if you could go to podcast. Sub china.com and give generously either at the $25 level or at the $5,100 level switch get y'all some swag. So, please do what you can do to keep our show going and to allow us to continue to bring you guys quality conversations with people who really know what's happening in China. So head on over to podcast. Sub china.com. Thank you very much.

00:01:01
Welcome to the special live streaming edition of The Seneca podcast who produced in partnership with some China South China is the best way to keep on top of all the news out of China without a daily access email newsletter our website, which is just chock-full of terrific original reporting pieces as well as off Ed's and course through our ever-widening range of videos and podcasts get a feast of business political and cultural news about a nation that is reshaping the world. Are you guys are welcome here today from Chapel Hill North Carolina joining me for Nashville. Tennessee is the man single irresponsible reporting of most of the state's toilet paper and especially paper towels, which is stored in this enormous Warehouse, which services are called Headquarters also for them and leave them there since March. I've told him he should stand inside that room that you recording you to absorb some of that nasty Echo and vastly improved his damn audio, but he just never listens and you never listen to Jeremy Jeremy great breeds of people.

00:01:59
Hello PayPal, I made of all the things that I might hold toilet paper is definitely not one of them, but I'm amazed. I don't know if this is the same around the country. They are still toilet paper and paper towels shortages like a local supermarket is still restricted to buy Ernie to Beijing has set a very ambitious goal for itself of the complete eradication of poverty in China this year 2020 how we thought we do a bit of a reality check and see how the rhetoric and the reality actually compare have the goals been derailed by the covid-19 pad demek has poverty actually been replicated. How how is poverty actually measured how should we think about the successes and the shortfalls in poverty alleviation to date?

00:02:54
Join us to discuss all of this is Gallatin who was on a show a few years ago when we could still record things in person those lovely old days. I have such Nostalgia is a professor at the Columbia University School of Social Work and the founding director of the Columbia China Center for social policy. She's a leading Authority on China's social welfare system. She's also on the faculty of the weather had East Asian Institute of Columbia University and a public intellectual fellow of the National Committee on United States China relations. Last time she was on the show. We talked about her book welfare and poverty social assistance in China, and right now as luck would have it that she is working on a book about all very topic today China's efforts to eradicate rural poverty by 2020. Welcome back to Seneca to be back. It's a nice Gathering and you're welcome to come to New York and hard for the things you want.

00:03:50
We have plenty of Matthew Chitwood Matson at 2 years in a remote Mountain Village in Yunnan province in southwestern China. Where are you observed firsthand the DraStic social and economic change that's taking place in rural China. He's only the back in the US for what a few months now, but he previously taught at some of the better-known study abroad programs in China including the chief ciee. And where there be dragons you also work for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the United States Department of critical language scholarship program where he was secretly embedding chips in in innocent Chinese Rule people, you know, in accordance with build Bill Gates the Sinister plot of the Hopkins school of advanced International Studies size, but also of the Hopkins Nanjing program the excellent Mandarin program there in that she is also currently working on a book based on his Fellowship research in

00:04:50
You're not welcome to Seneca great to have you. Thank you pleasure to be here and I would say welcome to Idaho as well. But if you try to come aboard our toilet paper and you might find your life in danger there, so be careful, you have more guns than New Yorkers have to wait between terrific pair to tackle this particular topic, of course, Wisconsin to give the quantitative the big picture of the sort of national level to you about being a policy development two major approaches to Poverty alleviation while Matt can give us know a real sense of hallways translates into reality on the ground.

00:05:31
So let's start with the big picture on with gauchan. How much of a personal project is this of xxx? Did he significantly prioritize poverty eradication project that is surfing the impression I get from my daily reading of the Chinese State media. It has been one of the major themes associated with C on an almost daily basis, but one thing that you imagine would have been recognized as within reach you as a priority for any Chinese leader. I know something worth investing in himself in 2013 before it became official policy to give a speech about the targeted poverty eradication project in 2013 at the end of the year and then quickly as became policy and a series of policies wrote out. It's in mm.

00:06:31
52 it became the official Chinese garments war on poverty. If you read the official and newspapers for villages one of them so he very much I can see there's this his signature policy and one of the projects I'm working on is to analyze how the official narrative including she's owner. Atif talks about poverty eradication Samara China by the end of this year. I'm staying with you here. She is there to your knowledge any precedent for this or are you or mad at me? Are you either of you aware of any other major nation in the world that has undertaken something as as ambitious as this is audacious is giving itself quite short term deadline for

00:07:31
The total eradication of poverty May conduct the research in both the Chinese historical context and the global context in Chinese contacts. The Chinese leaders have always prioritized poverty eradication of poverty alleviation. So this is unprecedented in China in a global contact. You guys are probably familiar with Lyndon Johnson's war on poverty in the 1960s. That was Grant and achieved a lot but it's not entirely finished. In fact, there's a body of literature looking at the progress and the short force of that can paint in the UK Tony Blair tried to end child poverty government the achieved a lot, but again, not a kind of eradicate.

00:08:31
I just made a group. So let's review the metrics. How how does China Ashley Define puffy? And how does that compare to other countries developing or developed? I remember a cartoon been quite surprised when we last spoke with you on a pod cost at how China actually counts. It's plugged. Could you describe the metrics? Yes. I think Matt has some unground have it is on this but China right now defines poverty based on income poverty line that was set in 2010. It was 2300 exam for person per year and that's for the rural areas. So it's a national income poverty line in this year is about $4,000 per person per year income poverty line as well. But to the calculations are a little bit different.

00:09:31
Do you use a relative? Where is the Chinese and the u.s. Poverty lines are absolute. So it's set at a certain level and that's why you're up and introduced the use of renting property language is the poverty standard using fifty or sixty percent of a society's median income level. So it's tied to the median income level and to some extent the relative income distribution in relative poverty line and Ed assessor that fits a 50% of median income. Would that be significantly above the level that it sets right now at an absolute poverty eradication would be much harder if I can watch both of you to just put this in layperson's terms for Chinese people poorer than poor Europeans and Americans.

00:10:31
Play retro, I think that one of the things that I took away from being in the village and seeing this campaign and action 1 metrics super super important to knowing what you're measuring and how you're how you're making progress on that. And so then you have a standard that you can compare across the country and also to other countries, I would say the other metrics that doctor guy was talking about I was struck by you know, what the campaign sounds large and grandiose right? We're going to eradicate poverty by 2020. Oh my gosh, that's incredible. Only the Communist Party can accomplish something like that right at the same time and I will say yes, it is an incredible feets and when if when they do it by the end of this year at the same time, it's a it's a fairly low bar that they're setting right? So roughly what I saw was about $500 US

00:11:31
Per person per year the other metrics it that I saw them using on the ground. He was a 1 2 3 campaign. So won the the income threshold of about 500 us per person per year to being to no worries. So not having to worry about food or clothing and then three guarantees so safe housing access to healthcare access to education. So this 1 2 3 campaign being kind of the standard of metrics. And in reality when when the bar is when the bar is that low? Yes, they are absolutely still very poor. So I I spoke with I remember sitting down with my neighbor neighborly in the village and going over how his life had changed prior to being officially impoverished two years prior and then being officially lifted out of poverty as I was sitting with him.

00:12:31
DIY he expressed to me is I guess I'm not poor anymore, but I sure feel very poor still so compared to I don't know how that compares to other other countries, but compared to themselves and prior to that campaign after that campaign. There is still very much a sense of being poor. But at the same time you have to start somewhere and I think that's the importance of these metrics at the importance of this very intentional campaign to start somewhere. I think this hopefully builds momentum and hopefully rolls into something that continues into the Future 2 to make the lives of my neighbors better started that it's only real poverty, which is actually considered poverty in the Chinese man. That was one of the surprising things that I took away from our last conversation to and from reading a book do you?

00:13:31
If you have an egg, maybe numbers around if that poverty standard were applied in urban setting would that significantly expand the number of people in poverty in China. Where is that low enough and it doesn't make sense that it does make sense that it not be included in China's measure of poverty.

00:13:53
Thank you Kaiser. This is a important and good question. If we apply the roof original line to urban areas in poverty is extremely low about 2% So Urban poverty by Sunday standard is not an issue. That's partly why the Chinese government decided to concentrate on is the contacts of urban vs. Rural China is so different areas people used to have no social protection very little Healthcare protection pensions of the kind of social protection and at the same time income inequality has been rising so rapidly, so as I just mentioned people even after escaping poverty still feel for ya. They certainly don't feel they're living a good life compared to the well,

00:14:53
Especially those in the Cities Live many who'll live a glamorous life, of course you and that's another issue. I think the Chinese government listen to it to Urban poverty then talked about the 1 2 3 standard the one which is the income standard is easier to be mad at the tuna worries and three assurances are harder areas have gotten could you just explain the two no worries in the three extra standards?

00:15:53
Race is not to worry about food and clothing write the three assurances are to ensure people have access to Education Health Care and housing areas to achieve the to know where he's especially that reassurance. Is that because you require so much infrastructure. Have you everything I know from where I grew up in shaanxi the mountainous areas to have water clean water is no easy feat and if the government wants to deport people that's one major achievement.

00:16:34
So new I think Government website at the URL fpcg. Cpad. Gov. Remember has a countdown clock easy to remember this website has a countdown clock to the end of poverty and it's of course at the end of this year. So we have right now a hundred and twenty-six days and just under fourteen hours to go. So let's not keep out audience in suspense Matthew in Gallatin. Let's do the reality check as promised and put the big question play me is China on track to actually eradicate poverty at least by its own definition of poverty by the end of the year. I put it on me. Okay, so that the easy the quick and easy answers. Absolutely. China is absolutely going to eradicate poverty by the end of this year in full.

00:17:34
Expect to see headlines to that to that effect. I'm coming out this fall in the progress. They've made a huge numbers and poverty is gone. But again what's important to into realizes the contextualization of that what that actually means what the metrics are the that doctor gal was just talking about and the low bar that that is why I say, absolutely. I mean we've seen incredible incredible progress in this so, you know, 2012 about a hundred million people were officially impoverished at the end of last year that was reduced to 5.5 million. And dr. Gail has some great great reports on this with charts that you have the amount of financing that the government has put into this Neil going up exponentially. So if you just look at the amount of money going into this at the end of last year and divide that by 5.5 million people they are all out of poverty and millionaires.

00:18:34
Actually, they're doing quite well with that money if if they were to do that. So absolutely those 5.5 million people are going to be lifted out of poverty by the end of this year, but you port contacts is realizing that's a very low bar. It's only extreme real poverty. We're not talking about Urban poverty at all. And then the questions of your moving forward what happens after they achieve that goal write how sustainable has this effort been how much of it is entrepreneurship and income-generating opportunities that have come to people now and how much is it dependent upon the government to continue to to not be impoverished. Could I ask a question if I like your neighborly sufficient numbers of people read the they watch The Daily News broadcast to read the headlines on their mobile phone.

00:19:34
That says China have eradicated poverty and they are a number of them that filled but I'm still really put is there a danger for the Communist Party of a little too loudly?

00:19:47
So what I heard on the grounds, I think was a balance of two things. Obviously. There's always going to be grumbling right one thing. I heard was Joe Neal WeMo, right? So it like 9001 hair. So what the government is is putting into rural areas or providing people is is just a drop in the bucket compared to what they have or what would be able to do so, there's grumbles about that about local poor implementation grumbles about Corruption, of course, but broadly speaking what I heard was their lives are materially better and they're and they're better off now than they have ever been before. So even my neighbor neighbor leave where he would say, he's still poor comparing comparing to what his life was like, you know, 20 years ago. He's living his best life right now materially far better off and the poverty eradication campaign has contributed.

00:20:47
Does that he does have more money to renovate his house? So that's been a big part of the policy that I saw in the village where I live new houses that went up cuz people got free money from the government. They got low interest loans from the government and they borrowed from family and friends to do it. Right but few know when they're building a house for the first time. So I think their lives are markedly improved they feel that materialistically and so when they when they themselves hear those headlines, I don't think they would be bitter or feel like it's just a lie or propaganda and I thank you see that in in approval rates government approval rates as well. I'd I think some of us are familiar with the ash center at Harvard. They just came out with a report looking at the resilience of the Communist Party in China and how that's that's gone. They started doing surveys in 2003.

00:21:47
And released a report last month saying approval rates of the Communist Party are at an all-time high compared to the the last two decades which is significant and that there was greater satisfaction and these low-income Inland areas in China. So places like this village where I was living compared to city or or areas addressing Urban poverty, which looks at the ash center study critical. I would be a good perspective to have on this as well. We usually talk about it when we look at the dump Double Toil.

00:22:37
We usually think of it is a trio of things food clothing and shelter. You mentioned all this new building of of houses. Why is shelter not included among the three other than the two? No worries. The shelter would be included in the three the three assurances are the three guarantees the area where I live that was a big case to be made for tearing down all the old Earth rammed Earth and wood houses those structures during those down and building up these two three story concrete blocks, right? I think interesting Lisa Maria argument could be made that those aren't necessarily safer in earthquake-prone zones. So what terms of what is safer housing in and motivations for that in terms of stimulating the construction economy or or what not just interesting questions that arise from that and also pee

00:23:37
Now having these big homes non income generating assets that they've borrowed from family and friends through this eradication campaign, but now they have debt. I'm so are they more in debt and more impoverished now or or better I'll certainly they think that they are better off in their new homes and I would agree scene scene the comparison of the homes that lay nowadays, would you agree with Matt that it is soundtrack by its own measure to succeed in eradicating rural poverty.

00:24:17
I think the official Narrative of will be the same. China. We will succeed eradicate poverty extreme poverty by the end of this year and already receive official reports even researchers who claimed that already but I agree with the discussion about this is what happens if researchers are already talking about it's not that no longer exist in the Chinese land exist in Dynamic me a new project looking at multi-dimensional property that is not based on the income or consumption levels, but based on people is material well-being.

00:25:17
A provision in this different dimensions. So those kinds of poverty we're exist and it's a big topic for the garments for Scholars for the public to decide how Chinese people and the Chinese government will consider $500 a year. When we consider that that's less than what the federal government has been giving an additional unemployment subsidies per week to Americans during the covid-19 had them at all. That's apparently not going to be the case any longer but

00:25:57
Although of course if Americans if a chinese can be assured of healthcare that might put them way ahead of America has no matter how much money to have in the bank are Rule and therefore are either themselves engaged in agriculture are very close to it. So let me know this multi-dimensional city to eat in the music. It's going to look at doctor's like caloric intake presumably as well. Right and since you know $500 is Cash those people who are not growing cash crops are growing food crops and presumably don't take it off the market. They actually consume part of that. So maybe that's why you have written the most authoritative book in English on how we roll poverty alleviation actually works in the main tool for addressing World poverty that the Chinese leadership has at its disposal is d-bal. It's a means-tested minimum guaranteed income ski dybala short for 3D shoe holder job at the

00:26:57
I'm guaranteed a minimum. Basically Lively guarantee. Last time you were on the show. You went very deep into how the system works and what it's mean problems are the problem of leakage and the problem of missed targeting system again, and it how it works just who is and isn't eligible how it's funded how the funds are disbursed what its strengths are and then what these too conspicuous weaknesses of it are

00:27:33
Income Source Forest below the local outline. Would you buy online and for each locality? Let's say each province in which county they have a separate Urban and rude about line. So if you are a local resident you apply and your income is subject to that's local I so the lines are very different because they don't live in where they have the recent years. I was meant to be a last resort safety net for the very poor right regardless of how old you are. So it's income-based only recent years, I think.

00:28:31
Play it's about the only 2.5% of the urban population who can get the Depo. It's about 7.5% of the population has declined which means they really concentrate the benefits to the very poor in the urban and rural areas the problem of Miss targeting that is if you want only very few people that was who might qualify to get it could be squeezed out. So miss targeting is continue the challenge. I think the officials are struggling with this as well, but they are also very afraid of the antique Russian campaign to make a mistake to be

00:29:33
I think it needs to be re-emphasized and we looked at to be one of the major policies and programs post-2020. In fact, just two days ago difference. It's yesterday. The Chinese government's just issued a new regulation that is an expert in food about the room of social assistance which centers around the bow going forward and the goal is by 2035 to have a comprehensive Public Assistance system in China That's not only be about 5 surrounded by a network of Public Assistance programs. I think they already planned action to move Beyond 20/20 to really build a long-term system to support those who have low income Orchestra.

00:30:33
List different dimensions must be other tools available. You mention other social assistance programs. These are perhaps not for immediate poverty relief short-term poverty relief, but for longer time assets the kind of teach a man to fish a type of thing, but it was so electrification how much impact do those things have and how important does the government see them as part of poverty eradication efforts?

00:31:08
Maybe you can talk about the infrastructure Beauty Mist Village and then I can talk about the other incredibly important right? So there's there's the phraseology full since he'll do right if you want to prosper first build the road and I saw what I saw, you know, the governor was taking that fully to heart you seen incredible infrastructure development over the last 10 years in Yunnan about 10-15 years ago 40% of people and you did not have access to paved roads. And so when you think of places that are agriculture Division 1 agriculture development Co getting their their products to Market they cannot know if they don't have roads and especially in a place like the village where I lived that has a rainy season for 6 months, so when I move to bundle

00:32:08
They had no Road in the village the first week that I was there. They paved their first Road in the village. So that's that's a game-changer for people being able to get their crops in and out. Right the they're building a highway right by the village. So by the end of this year that's supposed to be completed which instead of the 24-hour overnight bus ride and Minnie van ride and hitchhiking that it took for me to go from Kunming that provincial capital to this Village by the end of this year that supposed to be roughly of a 5-hour smooth sailing Highway drive into the province. So that makes Incredible difference in terms of people's access to markets. Not only for their agriculture cash crops that they're getting into a predominately tea in the village where I live but even access to things like tourism right tourism dollars that are huge have been huge.

00:33:08
Furret the transformation of Yunnan Province specifically and people being to go out being able to go out to work and I think maybe more significantly access to education and hospitals new healthcare that's part of this the three assurances component of the 1 2 3 campaign. So that makes a huge difference and I can't I can't tell you we were vulnerable tea of Life earlier. There were used to social safety nets and insurance schemes and whatnot. That doesn't exist in these rural areas in the way that people make their livelihoods very very vulnerable. So I'm needing access to healthcare Reno hospitals near nearby that infrastructure is is critical to the higher quality of life real quick before you go back to go to talk about these other for the ancillary things to text about how many people what percentage of people in. Bungle was only what three hundred people, right?

00:34:09
350 rough enough to know how many of them how many of the families were do you spell recipients? I don't know offhand. I mean over the course of my time. They're basically everyone everyone was officially lifted out of poverty, but that was that was not standing on their own two feet that was receiving these payments from the government monthly or quarterly and they would know they would post these on the bulletin board at the scene that the activity center in the village of the Communist party activity center. They would post those publicly and actually in a village WeChat group and then there would always be discussion in that group about who is receiving how much and a little bit of back-and-forth about that fits between everyone some some bickering. So I was interesting to see that Dynamic play out as well.

00:35:08
Matthew you mentioned, you know, sorry. She's posting publicly information about the Deep about the social stigma that comes from the very intrusive means-testing of the DVR system. Can you talk briefly about that? And whether the people who administer the system are all trying to address the spin and maybe also ask that earlier question that we had about the other things besides Steve all that. But yeah, that's a great question Jeremy.

00:35:40
Answer the other social assistance programs first person network of other social assistance has such as education Medical in humans are disasters assistance. So it was our cater to those people who are in Desperate needs catering to a very small proportion of the people and future is that the eligibility to those programs are often tied to one step out eligibility. So if you're receiving D ball and you have other needs the government officials will come to you and say okay you need some medical assistance. We can give it to you your kid is going to school we can support your education for those who are not covered by Devo. It's much harder to access these additional Assistance programs. So this is a challenge in the policy designed of the tide eligibility.

00:36:40
The government's recent 2 days ago issued a new policy is trying to break them so that people who have different kinds of meats can get their needs addressed and they leave the ball if they have enough income but can benefit from other support really. So I think that's One Direction in about employment and education support, right? So boosting the human capital of those who are struggling with the poverty. I think that's really important going forward especially rest in the education of the children in this for low-income households are the different ways to promote the employee ability of the people who are suffering from poverty. That's harder.

00:37:32
Many of the people who are in poverty either have physical disability or chronic illness or they have Family Care responsibilities that makes them impossible to seek out of household job. So those are long-term challenges. I think not including the US struggle with this that is human capital investment through Education Works. That's rude job training doesn't always work and that's a shared challenge you to poverty alleviation in many societies talk about

00:38:15
The stigma that's a complicated issue certainly people who receive welfare suffer from the stigma very much. I think.

00:38:29
I was going to say probably more sewing room areas because of the close proximity of people's social networks urban areas. They also suffer from it so I can make that call at 8 in comparison. We just recently published the article looking at how teenagers adolescence Urban and receive Depot rental house is quite effective severely affected. So design t-ball end of poverty eradication. Everything is so public as Matt you mentioned in your previous talks. You come to a household that house has a poor family. You see this family's basic information posted how many people live here how much income they have? Why do they fall into poverty? Do they have somebody who is sick or hazardous?

00:39:29
Partly to ensure there's no is not designated as a family for no good reason, but of course everything we haven't touched the Palm is the mass mobilization of this poverty eradication campaign that it's not president who personally comes to rescue all the families out of poverty. It's or the many many officials or a semi-official some teachers police officers tax managers and lifting these poor people out of each household that's designated as poor has a responsible unit and a responsible person who is personally responsible of making that family leave.

00:40:29
So it's not abstract and to achieve that it becomes personal information is revealed only of The Pour House of the information. But also the response person's information phone number what you can do. So it's it's not the Privacy insurance is is very hard and I don't think the government is trying to move in that direction experience. Did you see this problem with social stimulation of people who where do you buy recipients or recipients of all the social assistance in in bundle over it was actually yeah the conflict over who received what and how much rather than the actual social stigma. I'm so so to dynamics of that so in in the village where I was he was

00:41:29
Just on the cusp of people starting to have some Economic Opportunity, right? So they gotten into cash crop of T5 10 years earlier and some people were actually doing okay with that right and some people were still at that this minimum threshold very very poor. And so the question of that level of inequality even in a small community, what does that look like? How does that affect relationships? I think the other Dynamic was for example with an 1/8 another neighbor of my neighbor Jong who his parents were old and unable to work his his kid had two kids in school. His wife had mental health issues and he himself was an alcoholic and so he did not work and so government government handout to him and his family that was a that was a topic of conversation in the village as to whether

00:42:29
You should receive that we're not or kind of discussed with him in the local government sent sent contractors to come fix up his house for him to come teach him how to sweep his house and maintain his house. Did he follow up on that? Did he continue that maintenance know and so the social unrest but a disagreement in the village about the cases like that. Is that right? Should he receive that consensus was he should receive a little bit so that he's not starving but anything beyond that they would they would be disgusted with cuz he's not working and he doesn't he doesn't deserve that. So you about people working or not working after Andrew Young's presidential campaign where you he talked quite a bit about Universal basic income or are you bi to the exclusion of

00:43:29
Later on, he wrote op-eds about how we Chinese Americans to drape ourselves in the flag. But whatever especially with a stomach here in the US people have begun talking more and more about some form either you bi or a minimum guaranteed income some form of this kind of assistance has this been happening in China to us this conversation but taking place in China to it is is there more discussion about such things and how receptive to such ideas to do China's people in China's leaders appear to be

00:44:07
That's so important topic and I'm very invested in Universal. Basic income in China is being discussed Among Us most Scholars and some International organizations. For example, the undp organize the small group discussion about 2 years ago. So there's some discussions that to the consensus is that the Chinese government will not buy into it. It's time is too big and the fundamental about who is the deserving poor who is the nun deserving for is forever there and that's part of the Chinese culture how people think who would at who could and is entitled to Garmin support. So certainly similar to what we face in the US this deserving versus not deserving.

00:45:07
Debate is ongoing and political. I think China and the US are similar. A lot of people including politicians are against the idea of universal basic income. So I don't see China going in that direction in the short room anytime soon. But China is moving in that direction in some areas of social policy such as education support, right? So the administration eliminated education fees for Rural students and the launch the compulsory education. That's before that one would never imagine that now the government is also moving into investments in Early Education 02302 6 tying back to our discussion about human capital investment. I think that's important.

00:46:07
Universal people don't have controversies about children's bodies and potential contributions to the Future. I'll call you right people look down upon that I think in China going forwards Tuesday's mental house challenges and also family responsibilities are going to be important discussions with the GOP in this this idea that they cling to this meritocratic mythology to this idea. I mean to yeah, they could invest in Early Education because they think that's about getting people to this the starting line or whatever equally but they they are very invested in this idea of sore rugged individual bootstrapping in all that in this belief in America credit competition in a lot of poor Chinese still think of themselves Just As Americans do is just temporarily embarrassed millionaires.

00:47:07
On another subject how has covid-19 impact of China's push to eradicate poverty. You think that's the case both of you?

00:47:22
I'm writing an article about. Based on official newspaper reports in the newspaper narratives know the Chinese government is so determined to achieve this goal. No matter what it could be covered by the flats other kinds of setbacks, but that doesn't stop the Chinese government's reach reaching the poverty eradication go given the limited time we have it's not hard to meet the 1 2 3 standard you just invest money and the Chinese government's in the shorts around house that amount of money.

00:48:03
Yeah, exactly. And I would just add it will not affect their ability to achieve the goal. But it has affected people's lives in rural areas right deeply ask Matthew. If you are still in touch with people in bundle, do you have a sense of how they were affected by the pandemic like that? But Supply chains for Agricultural Supplies right getting at being able to have their seed or fertilizer or whatnot for their livestock and agriculture Cycles, right if that if that's happening in the spring. We haven't even seen the effects of Neo their ability or inability to plan sin and harvest for their agriculture input. So that's very significant. Perhaps more significant is is people's ability to go out and resume their jobs in the factories rights of the migrant workers.

00:49:03
Who is it in a large percentage of rural populations in and where they get their income unable to go out? There are two factories that aren't opened up again and they don't have social in income guarantees or unemployment until they're just out of work and you can't just jump right back into being a farmer in the village. So I think it's study that Stanford Reef did estimated about a hundred billion and a lost wages for those migrant workers who are at home and unemployable and no. No income affect the millions of Migrant workers and the low income and near-poor even middle class is much more.

00:50:03
Tea to go out and make a living and sustain the level of livelihood. It's much harder and that's not discussed in the context of the poverty eradication you spoken before about how outside observers will sometimes romanticize the very things that contribute most directly to poverty and maybe even will room at size property itself. Tell us the story. I've heard you tell it before and I thought it was intriguing about your own Epiphany in this regard about I think his name was older brother. So he was a guy in the village. He became I would say my best friend there 50 year old guys. It's about my shoulder Eric born and raised in in Palmdale, which has always been impoverished Village. He helped me renovate a little old traditional home there in the village, which was my house before.

00:51:03
Two years and yeah one day after working on that house together. We were walking through the village back to his house on the on the single Loop dirt road that goes through the village. And yeah this idea I looked out at the mountains and I had this just spiritual experience of all my gosh. Do you know they just go Fade to Blue into the Horizon in the Nutty Terrace is Right. Amazing teach Harris's just go down to the river in these bamboo France. I mean, I know people who would pay a lot of money to live in a place like that with that view, but you don't so I turned the brother Leo and I say, you know, you were born here like is the beauty of this lost on you or do you still appreciate this you or is it just boring normal to you? And he said you ain't a station. It's because of these mountains that we are poor.

00:52:02
And I was blown away by if I his answer just recognizing Yan and Doctor guy was speaking to this earlier the degree that their lives have been cut off from Economic Opportunity. He was born poor and he still is poor not because of these mountains, so not only that but also

00:52:27
For me personally realizing that something as innocuous as a mountain that we could see it. So differently based on our different life experiences. Let's bring us back to the main question of how China is doing and its overall poverty eradication goals for the leakage and Miss targeting and stigmatization of poverty. But you want to ride quite positively about the overall success that China has had in at least significantly reducing poverty. Can you give us a sense of what she has achieved? I think we need to give the Chinese government to the credit of focusing on poverty eradication or a deviation. If you look around the world, if you pay attention to u.s. Politics, no one is right now talking about poverty and future of the poor families and their children at front and center.

00:53:27
Dialog to Dad and I think the Chinese government is doing good.

00:53:39
So I think China made great progress in reducing poverty not only in the last five years, but over the past 40 years due to economic reforms and opening up. I think that strand will be challenged as China faces economic slowdowns, but I hope it will continue to pay attention to the livelihood of those who suffer lower end of income distribution. I think another Direction China should be going and sound last two days of new policy. I think it's probably is going that way is to build a very comprehensive social insurance and social assistance programs institutionalized those systems and investing money and the u.s. Spend a lot more as a proportion of their GDP of Social Work.

00:54:39
Are social insurance social assistance the US likes someone but still spends more than China China needs to catch at especially to balanced Urban Development those retards lastly. I think China still faces this conundrum of urban growth division. When can we see the abolishment of the hukou system when I first came to this country in 2001 I met with my doctor advisor and that was a scientist similar to a different system. He was shot. He said what is that one sentence definition of the Broncos?

00:55:28
In China is the household registration system. If you are born in the rural areas and you have the room, you cannot move freely, even if you did you cannot go into a public school. You cannot benefit from the urban housing housing programs or any social welfare programs such as Depot. So it's an invisible wall that limits people is human rights entitlement of basic security and I think we need to face that challenge, but Matthew have you got anything to add to that was a pretty good description of a Foucault. You're just seeing that play. I know I mean to the general question. Like how do you write the Chinese government performance in Raticate in poverty?

00:56:28
Batman what will give it will give it an eight and a lot of that is is for effort and intentionality, right? I think here was here is my main takeaway from the village and how everyone talked about it. Thanks be to see as the as the poster child of this effort and you can see him literally on on posters throughout the village right? It's it's a lot less mouth posters in rural areas and Morty posters anymore and it's exactly because of what doctor guy was talking about the very beginning. It was see that first put forth this goal in 2013 that was specific and measurable and time-bound that said, hey we're going to do this by 2020 and no one else had done that before there had been money invested, but not a specific could go like this and sell when people were talking about in Western media complaining that she was going to be new emperor for life and dramatically affecting the

00:57:28
Call system with these constitutional changes instead saying 20 years of sea is better than 10 years of sea. So I would say people in rural areas who are living their best life now materially better off they would they would give it a 8 or 9 or 10. Thanks be to the party.

00:57:52
Well, not something you hear all that often here in the United States. Thank you so much for taking the time to join us and what a delight to speak to both of you. But let's move on the recommendations of at first it is the end of August. Now, we are bringing our donation campaign for Seneca to An Answer here is your last opportunity to help us out with a donation or a subscription just go to podcast. Stop china.com. I want to thank all of you who've been so generous. It's just wonderful that so many of you have been able to help us out. We still need lots more help. So please go to podcast. Sup tena.com recommendation Sherry you first then go out to you and then Matthew and I will back clean up Jeremy what you got for us?

00:58:34
Alright something that doesn't have anything to do with China ready. It's a book called clean the new science of skin by a man named James Hamblin who's a doctor and it looks at the Skin Care industry or perhaps one could call it the skincare confidence trick about the enormous economy skin care that much of it is based on dodgy signs that was first perpetrated by the likes of Proctor Procter & Gamble and Unilever was the Levi brothers who really invented board marketing off of soap and skin care products and it's it's fascinating interesting in some ways controversial because he's kind of a proponent of the idea that you don't really need to wash anything except your hands and your skin has a biome another was an ecosystem of little bugs that live on us and basically the last you mess with it the best but it's not

00:59:34
Doug massick, he doesn't try and convert you to the no bathing Cults and it's It's a Wonderful Life and fascinating read about an industry. I hadn't spoke Gold Card kind of work. I tell you I mean that is like exactly the kind of thing. You would read. I love it. That's that's that's great. Actually. I'm going to read that that sounds perfect cuz I'm a big believer in that too. I don't go so far as to say that I read an article recently. That was when we used to have Life podcast the not born with swiftly more apocrine sweat glands than the other kind cuz we're East Asian and we don't actually have said over we're blessed of the books that the way address of Beard care for covid-19 care. If I see things I can see them right now crawling around in that mess of your so what do you have for us recommendation?

01:00:34
I have my two recent readings what is a book by my car show is called the blaming immigrants and economics of Love movement. She puts the immigration in both his contacts and talks about why it's not an issue, which is May the issue by politicians are the books. I've been reading is artard climates called The Circle of Care Morrow education of a husband and daughter.

01:01:11
You may know Professor climbing as a psychiatrist who has been studying the Chinese societies for many years and you this Memoir he talks about reflects about his life and also providing his wife when she was very real professional and personal perspectives are wonderful. Thank you so much the soul of care. That sounds great and blaming immigrants Matthew. What do you have for us in the middle of a Chinese village socialist State and it's kind of a classic and get came out at least my copy came out early 90s and it's just this longitudinal study by 3 academics of Chinese County in in various villages in this County and looking at how the Communist Revolution and Paula

01:02:11
Cease has affected these Villages and so they did they describe it as the the party will win and winning over these people and then losing the hearts and minds of the people actually over over the course of this study. So what's interesting for me is you and our conversation today and my interactions with a lot of real people that they are very strong support for the Communist party. And so kind of this ebb and flow of support understanding historically how how this has played out the oven in the 70s 80s. Bean bean lost but now perhaps the hearts and Minds being one over again at least some of them and where does this go in the future? So tastic time would run us out with a yet another book recommendation, which will be I guess our r v books of today. It's Tom Levinson's new book money for nothing. I talked about Tom Robinson, and how II

01:03:11
Met him online cuz he's the son of Joseph Levinson who is one of the people who I've idolized for a long time whose ideas about modern China really were so formative and in my thinking Tom's new book is a history of modern money and finance about two-thirds of the way through with it right now and it's so far as your focus is a lot on Great Britain and Sundays in centuries bringing familiar characters like Sir Isaac Newton into the end of the development of of Finance. It's it's really interesting the how do you know our understanding of Apple Blossom of the natural world of of the sort of math math ization of the universe contributed so much to the development of finance and there's a couple of chapters that took some stuff to use bubble of 1720, which was just didn't start anything. I mean, there's so much of this just sounds so much like any of the Contemporary World Finance that we know it's a it's an amazing story.

01:04:11
Expertly told I recommended without reservation. It's just a phenomenal. He's a great writer. I'll read anything that you eat butts out from now on.

01:04:19
So, thank you very much. Talk to you in and Matthew 4:4 participating in this life either. Thank you. As always great to talk to you. Listen to podcast is powered by sub China and is a proud part of the Seneca Network are shows produced by Kaiser gloss and Jeremy goldkorn with editing help by Jason McConnell drop us an email at Seneca except china.com follow us on Twitter or on Facebook at at South China news and make sure and check out all the shows in the Seneca Network. Thanks for listening and we'll see you next week to take Cannon.
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