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Labor in China

The Chinese government goes overboard making sure that everyone has a job. Seriously. They create jobs by making some work manual labor when it could be completed much quicker with some machinery. Check out this field across the street from our school.

Over the past two days there has been six men mowing the field down using string trimmers. Today is day three. At their current pace I think this will take them four days to complete the job. You can see their progress in the different colors of the field above. In the states this would be considered madness. A single person on a tractor with a brush hog could do this by themselves in less than a day. It's not like they don't have the technology. They have the equipment, it's just a different set of priorities. Making sure people have work is more important than efficiency for them.

Here's another example. There are men and women sweeping sidewalks all over the city of Hangzhou. I've yet to travel anywhere in the city and not see them during the daytime hours. They use large hand brooms that look like they're made of sticks and the workers are always in a blue or orange uniform.

This is on top of large street sweepers that clean the roads. Hangzhou is a very clean city. I rarely see litter of any kind.

I'm not sure how I feel about this. It's sort of surreal seeing it I person. They are artificially creating jobs. There are over a billion people here. They have many cities with more than 10 million people. I don't know what to think. Part of me thinks I'm glad they have jobs for people, but at the same time it seems pretty nuts.

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