[FoRK] choose your tax plan

Joe Barrera j3 at barrera.org
Sat Oct 18 17:03:47 PDT 2008

On Sat, Oct 18, 2008 at 2:05 PM, HK Pang <hkpang at gmail.com> wrote:
> socialism doesn't work..even the chinese learned to get rid of it.

The Chinese are pragmatists who will do whatever it takes to keep social order.

In fact, it looks like they are looking explicitly at "spreading the wealth" to
rural areas, to boost domestic demand to make up for expected reduction
in foreign demands.

(P.S. Note the "additional reporting" credit... same Chris Buckley?)


BEIJING (Reuters) - China's Communist Party vowed on Sunday to double
the income of the country's hundreds of millions of farmers by 2020
and boost their spending, as it looks to home markets as a bulwark
against the global financial crisis.

The country's leaders gathered for a four-day conclave focused on the
farmers who pioneered China's economic reforms 30 years ago but have
since been left behind by booming cities.

China hopes that boosting rural growth will help counter wilting
export demand as the global financial crisis forces foreign consumers
to tighten their belts.

Rural discontent about expensive education, shoddy health care and
corrupt local government is also fuelling unrest that has Beijing's
stability-obsessed cadres worried.

"We must give a new impetus to rural development, in order to give a
new, increased vitality to the entire economy and society," the
official Xinhua agency said in a report on the meeting, strictly
closed to foreign media.

The report gave no details on the new rural regulations agreed at the
conclave, but state media have flagged that they will include land
reforms and rural spending initiatives.

State media are already acclaiming the farm changes as a breakthrough
parallel to reforms pioneered under Deng Xiaoping almost 30 years ago,
when the huge communes that were the jewels of Mao Zedong's communism
began to crumble.

Farmers are hopeful but wary.

Yu Bin, a villager in Anhui province who has protested against the
confiscation of local farmland for development, welcomed the promises
but said enforcing well-intentioned announcements was not always easy.

"Policy enforcement is always a problem at the grassroots," Yu told
Reuters by telephone.

"The key is to give farmers more protection of what rights they are
promised. Only if we can get that will farmers' lives improve. I hope
this will be the start of some real improvement."


Since 1978, farmers' incomes have soared from 134 yuan per year on
average to 4140 yuan ($605.8). The number of people living in poverty
has shrunk from 250 million to just 15 million.

But urban residents' incomes are much higher and until this year were
rising faster than farmers', an imbalance Beijing is now keen to

The leaders plan to entirely eliminate absolute poverty and also
ensure China can feed its vast and growing population, said the
official summary of the meeting.

State media also suggested the world financial crisis might give extra
impetus to efforts to boost domestic development.

"The global credit crisis freezing up the world's finances may be a
blessing in disguise for China as it aims to modify its economic
structure," Xinhua said in a commentary on Sunday.

"The government turned to the vast rural market, which has 55 percent
of the nation's consumers," the report added, before mentioning the
leadership meeting and the reforms it passed.

(Additional reporting by Chris Buckley)

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