Friday, August 10, 2007

Rich-Poor Gap Growing in China at Quite a Clip

The gap between the rich and poor seems to be growing in China and other Asian countries, according to this story. For China, this is likely more meaningful, since there is already a significant anti-government reform movement in place.

A quote:

China has had Asia's second-biggest and second-fastest-growing wealth gap since the 1990s, exceeded only by war-wracked Nepal on both counts, the bank said in an annual survey.

China has seen thousands of protests in recent years, some of them violent, over land seizures and other economic grievances blamed on the growing gap. The communist government has made improving incomes for the poor a priority, warning last year that inequality has reached "alarming and unacceptable" levels.

"High inequality, particularly high absolute levels of inequality, leads to a disruption in social cohesion. You could have street demonstrations which could lead to violent civil wars," Ifzal Ali, the bank's chief economist, said at a news conference.

This will be worth watching.

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