High income alone couldn’t guarantee happiness anymore in modern China as other elements such as decent year-end bonuses and respectable job prospects are increasingly being sought after by new generation of Chinese workers which is an inevitable trend as many move up the value chains over the decades of robust economic growth.
A 2012 survey on the best possible jobs in China had not surprisingly ranked civil servant, teacher, artist, high ranking officer, free lance contractor as the top 5 preferred career of choice, followed closely by actor/actress, pilot, entrepreneur and high income individual probably due to its relative job stability and admirable financial remunerations. Meanwhile, deliveryman, property agent, chauffeur, nanny and miners are the least desirable jobs given a choice.
As China is rising up the global ranks as attractive outsourcing, manufacturing and financial service destinations, new job opportunities had been introduced and presented an alternative avenue for the city folks and many had shunned away from the bottom laborious profession and city had to rely on the huge domestic migrant workers to keep the wheel turning creating a rivalry tensions between them. From the ranking, one can catch a glimpse of the shifting social values in China; 1. Inherent lack of faith in the administrative and hard currencies remains the all time classic bargaining power. 2. Growing emergence of grey market for the one in power. 3. New bottlenecks in the social mobility push.
After years of contentious economic and political hardship in the 60s, most modern Chinese become non nonsense economical beings, matters not relevant for further prosperity are simply neglected, one assume one will be taken advantaged of should the opportunities present itself and this include the governing authorities. Securing jobs in the career of choice in a bid to overtake others in the accumulation of wealth had become the top priorities for million of graduates entering the labor market every year. Other perks like bonuses and good prospects simply become the icing of the cake although it’s gaining momentum with the younger generation. Wealth including assets, equities and cash are the only proven keys opening the doors in life.
Rapid economical progress had produced an even bigger secondary grey market where influences and connections loom. Civil servant of all grades faces relatively lesser check and balance in the growing grey segment where favors are traded and exchanged. With the dizzying array of opportunities for additional supplementary grey incomes to gain, not surprisingly, everyone who worth its salt is gunning for a spot in the Government positions and this had become the latest symbol of guaranteed financial achievement. Due to the nature of massive aggressive competition in China, from admittance to premium schools, getting the official papers, securing a job in the Government, relevant palms had to be greased for priority handling and approval, being in the position of authority putting one right in the sweet spot of granting “good will” in returns of financial gifts undeclared and tax free.
Although a tiny fraction of rural folks or their children had made inroads into the higher social mobility through higher education. Many still are deprived of the opportunity to move up the ladders. The trend of dwindling number of enrollment of rural offspring in the Top 3 China University reflected the added resources allocated in grooming the city kids by their resourceful urban families had tilted the balance of meritocracy, a system in which advancement is based on individual ability or achievement and of which had outlive its intended objective as now it’s more on the competition of overall family supporting structures and rural folks are simply no match to their counterparts in affording the additional tuition to enhance their children’s odds in doing well in the Unified college entrance examination.
The administrator had to pursue reforms to keep full of vigour as the demographic dividend is dwindling sharply. The extensive media reports on the pledge of the rural poor put the spotlight on the deteriorating inclusiveness for all which led to growing social in-equality between the have and have not as once respectable decent jobs of deliveryman, chauffeur, shop assistance, nanny and miners where one can raise a family with fair opportunities for their bright and hardworking next generation to move up the social status based on their own merits are no longer valid.
In summary, Chinese bid for solely on prosperity are pushing the capacity of empathy away, highlighting the risk tied to the country boom in increasingly segmented society. Fundamental changes needed to be made to build a harmonious, progressive and inclusive society as damaging inequality level are gaining momentum which led to costly instability and unrest. In addition, the Global financial crisis has put into focus the dangers of unfettered capitalism and spiraling wealth inequality, with more urgency for the need for redistribution and fairer, higher quality growth. In other words, all different category of jobs had to be respected with decent wages for a reasonable lifestyle and recognition for their contribution with fair opportunity given to all, state mandated affirmative deployments are one of the ways to balance out the increasing skewed situations.