A thread I often see (or hear) is how oppressed Chinese people are, or how totalitarian the government is.
An American economist, who lives and works in China, to whom I refer as Scott In China, chatted to me about various freedoms (or lack thereof) in the country.
For example, in China, one enjoys a significant level of freedom from crime, making it a relatively safe place to live. Statistics suggest that you are 70 times more likely to be a victim of violent crime in the United States than in China. Meanwhile, I live in South Africa, one of the most dangerous countries in the world, and we are officially a democracy.
Financial stability is another area where China outperforms many Western countries.
The average Chinese citizen saves about 30-40% of their income. In contrast, up to 60% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, often relying on credit cards to make ends meet. The majority of Chinese families have some savings, and over 90% are homeowners, providing them with a financial cushion.
However, China does have limitations when it comes to freedom of expression and political dissent.
Protests against the government are not tolerated, although the penalties for such actions are generally lighter than in Western countries. Consider the Canadian truckers and how they became an enemy of the state.
That said, the freedom to publicly criticise the Chinese government has declined in recent years, but the punishments for violating these restrictions are not as severe as one might expect.
Despite these limitations, there is a general sense of hope and optimism among the Chinese population.
The significant improvement in living standards over the past two decades has instilled a sense of hope for a better future. Additionally, the Chinese government is less intrusive in the financial affairs of its citizens, with no general capital gains taxes and minimal reporting requirements, which has led to a society where people don’t heavily rely on the government for income, as there is no real welfare state aside from old age pensions.
- China offers a high level of freedom from crime.
- The country has a lower rate of imprisonment compared to the United States.
- Chinese citizens generally have better financial stability, with high savings rates.
- Protests and political dissent are not tolerated in China.
- Freedom of public speech has declined in recent years.
- Despite political restrictions, there is a sense of hope and optimism among the population.
- The government doesn’t really intrude in private financial matters.
- China lacks a welfare state, making citizens less dependent on the government.
- The country offers some level of freedom from government surveillance, and there is no social credit system like Western media would have us believe.
- Traditional values are not threatened by woke culture in China.
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