Saturday, October 18, 2008

Land Reform?

Apparently there is great reform going on in China's countryside.

This is a comical, although very sad, account of the what China hopes to change.

From The New York Times:

There was a landmark decision made at the plenary session of the Party Congress this week: The Chinese government decided to give lease rights on the land to the peasants. No one knows how exactly this act will work; apparently it aims to narrow the income gap between the rich in the cities and the poor in the rural areas. For those of us who have had a little experience with rural land issues, we are a bit skeptical.

Here is my story.

About 10 years ago, we visited a painter friend who moved to the countryside and leased an abandoned schoolyard for 50 years to be his studio and home.

It was a charming residence. He had a vegetable garden and even tried to raise pigs. Compared with the compact living in 100 square meters in the city, his life seemed so much more spacious and connected with nature. My husband and I were immediately attracted to the idea and inquired about whether other lots were available in the village.

Read On
It's amazing to think how much one's life can change in China based upon the whims of your local official. The pay-offs and life-altering discussions taking place over alcohol is insane.

This is different than America, but only to a degree, I think. America's taking of its citizens to the wood shed seems to be more of a top-down, less grass roots, phenomenon.

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