An Iron Bowl: What Happiness Means in China
What’s the Latest Development?
As China continues to grow as a world economic power, how is the concept of happiness changing among the country’s population? Security is perhaps the most sought-after commodity with most people of working age competing for a limited number of government positions. Although occupying a government position in a mighty state bureaucracy could sound a bit dull, it does promise a career of stability and promotions. Those on the outside of government have come to envy pubic servants and their “iron bowl”, a term which refers to the perceived stability and relatively high welfare afforded by government posts.
What’s the Big Idea?
As wealth rises in China, so does its number of emigrants. It is estimated that nearly two-thirds of the country’s nouveau riche use their funds to leave the country, with the remaining third investing heavily in overseas markets. “Ultimately, rich people choose to emigrate because they feel unhappy living in China. There are too many things that money can’t buy, such as good education, clean air, safe food and an investment environment protected by a legal system.” What frustrates many in the new China is the concentration of wealth in the hands of a small circle of elites. It’s a concern the American society shares with it.
Photo credit: Shutterstock.com