According to a recent New York Times’ article, the American dream is alive – in China. The article noted how not only are incomes drastically rising within families, but sons are outearning their fathers. For example:
“It feels like there are no limits to how far you can go,” said Wu Haifeng, 37, a financial analyst who was born to a family of corn farmers in northern China and now earns more than $78,000 a year. “It feels like China will always be strong.”
Xu Liya, 49, once tilled wheat fields in Zhejiang, a rural province along China’s east coast. Her family ate meat only once a week, and each night she crammed into a bedroom with seven relatives.
Then she attended university on a scholarship and started a clothing store. Now she owns two cars and an apartment valued at more than $300,000. Her daughter attends college in Beijing.
However, the article warned that of the risks faced by China. There are no guarantees that China’s rise will continue indefinitely while prolonged economic slump could inflict major damage. China could also fall into the middle-income trap if it fails to address high corporate debt levels or doesn’t do more to encourage innovation while demography is a ticking bomb.
Nevertheless, China has made significant progress towards lifting most Chinese out of severe poverty and towards building a professional middle class.