Date
22 September 2017
People's Daily normally carries negative reports about the US and other western countries, but this one about the US wealth gap appears to have backfired. Photo: People's Daily
People's Daily normally carries negative reports about the US and other western countries, but this one about the US wealth gap appears to have backfired. Photo: People's Daily

People’s Daily report on US wealth gap backfires

Chinese netizens had a field day heaping criticism on a news report in the Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Daily about the widening income disparity in the United States.

The report, filed by the newspaper’s US correspondent, said 1 percent of Americans own up to 40 percent of the nation’s wealth while 80 percent of their compatriots own a paltry 7 percent.

The report also cites a survey showing that up to 63 percent of young Americans believe the American Dream “may never come true” for them. “When everyone is struggling to make both ends meet, the American Dream is nothing but an illusory concept,” says the report.

It concludes the widening gap between the rich and the poor is a “grave” issue in the world’s largest economy.

The article has been widely shared on Chinese social media platforms, not because Weibo users agree with its conclusions but to make fun of the report.

“How about China?” one blogger asks. Another joked that the American problem is due to the staggering amount of wealth being stashed by corrupt Chinese cadres in the US.

Data on wealth distribution in China varies substantially, depending on the source. But some independent studies show that less than 0.02 percent of the most affluent Chinese own 80 percent of the nation’s combined bank deposits.

Most of the discussions center on the “Chinese Dream”, a slogan coined by President Xi Jinping, to encapsulate the collective aspirations and ideals of the Chinese people.

“Where now goes the Chinese Dream?” asks one netizen.

– Contact the writer at [email protected]

CG

On China’s Twitter-like Weibo platform, many make fun of the People’s Daily report. One asks the newspaper to write something about China’s real Gini coefficient while others say brainwashing is doomed in the era of information. Photo: Sina


EJ Insight writer

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