Sunday, February 21, 2016

China's Rural Areas and America's

FiveThirtyEight  has a post on Monroeville, AL, which has changed since the 1930's.   That reminded me of this NYTimes piece on China's rural areas.  President Xi visited a rural town:

The bucolic scenes, shown on Chinese state television, cast Mr. Xi as a paternal leader in the footsteps of Mao, at home with the rustic virtues that once made this mountainous region of southeast China a birthplace of the Communist Party’s rural revolution.

But those images conflict with contemporary reality here. Within days, this struggling community of 250 souls will be nearly empty.

Like an increasing number of villages across China, most of its people have left to find work or attend school elsewhere, returning to their ancestral home only for the New Year holidays. The rest of the year, only 50 or so people live here, most of them elderly, usually fending for themselves.
 My point?  China's social evolution is similar to the US one, except much faster.  In our case, the rural areas emptied out over decades; in theirs, just years.  (

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