Report: Most Beijing residents pessimistic about wealth gap

15:06, October 12, 2010      

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Housing prices, health care and old age support have become the three most important sources of living stress for Beijing residents, according to survey results released in the current 2010 Beijing Social Blue Book.

Roughly 90 percent of respondents believe there is still a huge gap between the rich and poor in China, and "the rich profiting by improper means" was selected as the most popular reason for the continued widening of the gap.

Housing prices biggest source of stress for Beijing residents

The blue book pointed out that 70 percent of respondents feel that the pressure of living is increasing. Nearly 72 percent of respondents expressed their worries over rising house prices. Nearly 58 percent of respondents said they were concerned about medical costs and more than 48 percent of respondents are stressed about pension security.

In regards to their approval of government work, respondents are most dissatisfied with the government in "controlling real estate prices" and in "education reform." Currently, rising housing prices, social security and public order are the most worrisome social problems facing Beijing residents.

In regards to education, the blue book suggests that existing school selection policies, such as enrolling excellent students or students that have specialties and enrolling students ahead of schedule, have caused inequalities in education.

Path to riches questionable

Nearly 70 percent of respondents take a dim view of the future prospects of the gap between the rich and poor. In regards to how the rich make their wealth, nearly 20 percent of respondents believe most rich people profit mainly by improper means, and most respondents take a suspicious and disdainful attitude toward the means by which most rich people accumulate wealth.

The Blue Book Editorial Committee further analyzed the survey data and found that currently, a certain range of the public has a "hatred of the rich." This reflects the great public concern over the widening gap between the rich and poor and the social justice issues as a result of the gap to a certain degree.

By People's Daily Online


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