Thursday, June 03, 2010

1031 in China...

With all the development in China, I'd wondered if the displaced farmers and villagers got any compensation when massive housing or business areas were constructed.

It's even better than I imagined.
This nice little suburb, it turned out, had been built in 2006. And like a lot of things in China, it was built all at once, on top of a village that already existed.
The obvious question with this sort of rapid development is what happens to the people who had the shack that sat on the land where the government wanted to put condos? The answer, at least in Dalian, was that they bought the previous inhabitants off. A conversation with some residents revealed that they didn't just get one free apartment in the new building. They got four free apartments, three of which they were now renting out. And medical coverage. And money for furnishings. And a food stipend. And -- I'm not kidding, by the way -- birthday cakes on their birthdays. Sweet deal.
If you've spent any time around local politics, you'll often hear people joke of doing this sort of thing. A massive development that a lot of people are excited about will be blocked by a handful of people who're worried that the traffic will destroy their quality of life. Frustrated reformers often muse about giving each of them a million dollars and sending them on their way. In Dalian, at least, the government is pretty much doing exactly that. [More]
OK - I'll swap 10-1 and throw in a cake...

[Update: Other experiences vary, apparently]

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