Political Economy Essay #1
I attended Brian Jennings’ video and discussion regarding “Young and Restless in China: Striving to succeed in a New China” on Wednesday, April 25th. This event was about changes in China’s economy since 1976. China went from a successful communist economy under Mao Zedong to major economic and industrial reforms under Deng Xiaoping following the death of Mao Zedong. The video depicts the lives of many Chinese people and how they are trying to make a living and get by today. Examples include an idealistic businessman struggling with everyday corruption, a family girl who defies her family and marries for love, and many other stories of what it is like to be young and restless in China today. China is a country of young people. It is a country of conflict, love, and confusion. It is transforming and growing. New China is an unforgiving place. There is a lot of discrimination. If you do not have money you are looked down on. You are based on your social status. Although China is expanding it is still very hard to merge old traditions with new expectations. A girl left her home at 15 to move to the city and get a job as a factory worker so that her brother could continue school. She made .40 cents an hour. Her parents lived in the country and had very little money. Another woman made it as a manager in a factory. She had a stroke one day and lost her insurance. Her kids have been paying for her care. 70% of the economy has no medical insurance. If patients cannot afford treatment and are in mid-late disease they consider saving the family’s resources and not continue treatments. There are many more examples given during the video but overall my experience of this event was awakening. I felt more appreciative of whom I am and where I am from and the possibilities I can do here in the United States. I did not realize that even as the second largest economy to the U.S. that it is still very difficult for the newer...
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