Thursday, March 01, 2007

Media Face Off: China's Stock Market vs. Migrant Workers in the News

China migrant 'underclass' emerging
According to Amnesty International "China's millions of migrant workers are denied access to healthcare, education and good working conditions and are fast becoming an 'urban underclass'".

But all we hear about is the freakin' stock market crash. Search for China Stock Market in Google News today, and you get over ten thousand results:

Now, search for china migrant workers. Under 600 results.

It's even worse if you search for china underclass: 107 results.

Just a simple example of how capital gets far more coverage than labour. china business gets 32,766 results today while china labour gets 1,710.

Ever notice there's a business section in all newspapers, but no labour section? This makes no sense when you think about the proportion of people who work for wage or salary, compared to those who own a business or live off of investments. Somehow the interests of capital and those who own it have become paramount, overshadowing the interests of everyone else.


Anonymous said...

What is really interesting is that China's government has displayed some interest in the issue of the spreading underclass...

I've seen no analyst actually go out and say it, but I don't think it's too presumptuous to suggest that the Chinese government's awakening concern for social issues is what triggered this latest round of profit-taking, triggering the market reduction.

If so, it's a curious scenario... the totalitarian state conceding market concerns for social welfare and damaging the markets of "free" societies abroad.

Red Jenny said...

To me, what the economic "success" of China shows is (free trade, shmee shmade) that clearly protectionism and planning makes an economic juggernaut.

I put success in quotations because although the country is indeed a powerful economic force and generates lotsa money for foreign investment, its economy is not necessarily successful at meeting the needs of its people.