Author Topic: CNN Piece: "Meet China's Middle Class"  (Read 4215 times)

ivyhedge

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CNN Piece: "Meet China's Middle Class"
« on: June 26, 2012, 08:37:22 PM »
This article was posted today, 26 June. While many of the participants show an affectation toward reasonable growth, oft overcoming serious hardship to build a new life, this profile of a 50yr old doctor just blew the rest out of the water: whoa, Nelly! (Page reference: http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2012/news/economy/1205/gallery.china-middle-class/9.html)

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Chen Zhi-Heng, 50
Changsha, Hunan
Doctor

I entered my 40's in 2002. I was at a middle-level position in a hospital, my income was only around $300 a month. Ten years later, the hospital has been growing rapidly. Although my position hasn't changed much, my income has gone up to over $3,000 a month. I never considered myself as middle class, which in my opinion is at least $70,000. But if I take my husband's income into account, our family living standard is well above the average in China.

My whole family -- my husband, son and parents -- were living in a 1,300-square-foot apartment ten years ago. Now we own three apartments altogether.

We bought an imported car in 2008, which cost us $38,000. Before that, we'd been using my husband's company car for years since we couldn't afford it. Meanwhile, we sent our son to the United Kingdom for college and graduate school, and he now works in Beijing.

I'm now familiar with most of the world's famous brands and able to buy them: I wear a $4,700 Gucci watch, a $1,600 Burberry coat and a $320 Hermes silk scarf. I'm also able to spend $800 every month just for recreation.

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Thoughts?

Filsilva

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Re: CNN Piece: "Meet China's Middle Class"
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2012, 10:39:40 AM »
"$4,700 Gucci watch, a $1,600 Burberry coat and a $320 Hermes silk scarf."

I hope you both absolutely LOVE your jobs because with spending like this, and the attitude that goes with it, you will work until you die.

Jamesqf

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Re: CNN Piece: "Meet China's Middle Class"
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2012, 01:44:17 PM »
"$4,700 Gucci watch"

Yeah.  I've never really understood the expensive watch thing.  For one thing, a darned-near-free digital watch will keep far better time.  (Not to mention that the same accurate time functions are built into cell phones, music players, et cetera, so who needs a watch?)  Beyond that, I think my greatest moment of success/self-liberation came a couple of decades ago, when I realized that I didn't NEED to wear a watch, because I could set my own hours.

mechanic baird

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Re: CNN Piece: "Meet China's Middle Class"
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2012, 03:53:41 PM »
It's a culture thing. The Chinese are brand snobs because that's how they can build necessary networks to gain more access to opportunities. You go to a business meeting and if you don't wear a $4K watch or $2K handbag, the ppl sitting across the table may not want to sign contract with you. The doctors get a lot of "red bags" (cash given by the patients) if they are good enough or have a good name around. If a government official name you the "good doc" and refer other heavy hitters to come and see you, you are set for life.

Although the watch and stuff are expensive, they do pay cash for everything, including the apartments.

Jamesqf

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Re: CNN Piece: "Meet China's Middle Class"
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2012, 12:41:50 AM »
But the watch thing is hardly exclusive to China, and seems to affect/infect people other than the deal-making types.

ivyhedge

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Re: CNN Piece: "Meet China's Middle Class"
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2012, 01:57:43 PM »
Hey, jamesqf,

There are definitely several camps on the watch issue. Although I do not routinely buy ultra expensive models, several automatics have been gifts and each loses a nominal amount over a month - perhaps a minute or two. And generally it's because they exhaust their power store (anywhere from 24_96 hours), not because of their mechanisms.

I find it far easier to move my wrist than to pull out my phone, awaken it, note the time, and then reverse those steps. Sure, it's merely a few actions more, but if we're looking to extract maximum efficiency (and perhaps be a little OCD in so doing) I'd rather just look at my watch.

That said, a friend of mine routinely maneuvers through the whole ritual and could care less.

Good hunting,
Ivy

quote author=Jamesqf link=topic=1085.msg15793#msg15793 date=1340826257]
"$4,700 Gucci watch"

Yeah.  I've never really understood the expensive watch thing.  For one thing, a darned-near-free digital watch will keep far better time.  (Not to mention that the same accurate time functions are built into cell phones, music players, et cetera, so who needs a watch?)  Beyond that, I think my greatest moment of success/self-liberation came a couple of decades ago, when I realized that I didn't NEED to wear a watch, because I could set my own hours.
[/quote]

Jamesqf

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Re: CNN Piece: "Meet China's Middle Class"
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2012, 01:30:22 PM »
I find it far easier to move my wrist than to pull out my phone, awaken it, note the time, and then reverse those steps. Sure, it's merely a few actions more, but if we're looking to extract maximum efficiency (and perhaps be a little OCD in so doing) I'd rather just look at my watch.

Well, ok, but why do you need to know the time that frequently?  Maybe it's a different lifestyle thing (and one that I appreciate), but I'm far more attuned to sun time, and usually can tell clock time with in 10-15 minutes or so without looking, which is as precise as I usually need.

And spending multiple thousands of dollars on devices which save a few seconds in getting an inaccurate* time value?  Very unmustachian, I think.

*A minute or two a month, and how accurately can you set it by hand, anyway?  Versus a few tens of milliseconds for typical network time, or ~10 nanoseconds for anything connected to GPS.

strider3700

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Re: CNN Piece: "Meet China's Middle Class"
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2012, 11:03:25 PM »
I was thinking about the watch thing yesterday.  My first "big" purchase from my first real paycheque after finishing university was a $500 citizen titanium solar  ecodrive and a nice suit to go to a buddies wedding.  10 years later the watch's internal battery/capacitor is failing so it stops about 30 minutes after it is in the dark.  It's cost me $50/year of use but now requires some specialized work.  I seriously doubt it's going to be a $5 battery replacement.   If I had bought a $50 timex back then I'd have gone through probably 3 or 4 $5 batteries and the watch would cost me about $5 or $6/year of use.    My wife sells avon and got me another watch for $4 after her discounts.   If it lasts 2 years I'll be laughing.

Still I really do like the look and feel of the titanium on my wrist.  I will be getting the watch fixed unless it's stupid expensive. 

Jamesqf

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Re: CNN Piece: "Meet China's Middle Class"
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2012, 12:52:08 AM »
Shouldn't be all that hard to replace the guts of that titanium watch with a cheap digital.