Africans in Guangzhou – ‘Chocolate City’

africans in guangzhou

 

Migration has been a continuous trait in human journeys across the world, one continent and beyond. Globalization, in fact, makes it even more intensive, and more complicating than ever; as many as 250 million people over the planet – that’s a quarter billion – are now living outside their home countries, and it is rapidly increasing higher than ever.

Global migration changes the demographic faces of countries, cities, and societies; they also transform how people perceive of social and cultural fabric within their neighborhood, forcing them to rethink about ‘durability’. As changes are always constant and imminent, people, like it or not, must be prepared for changes.

Guangzhou, one of China’s largest cities, is one example. Populated by over 10 million people, this city, once nearly homogenously Chinese, has seen a drastic influx of African migrants, all of whom are in search of better life. Between 20,000 and 200,000 Africans, scattered across dozens of countries over the continent, are now calling this metropolis ‘their second home’. They don’t simply set up businesses, earn money, and leave it; they are meant to inhabit it. Some marry local women, and now, a whole new generation of ‘Afro-Chinese’ children are now growing up in Guangzhou. It’s something no one had imagined three decades earlier, when everyone was busy about market reforms.

 

View the whole slides in Al Jazeera to understand better about this brand-new community.

Extreme Wealth Is Bad for Everyone—Especially the Wealthy

wealthy not happy

 

The addendum of conventional success we have mostly adhered to sounds like this: “the more you achieve, the more dissatisfied you must be to continually perpetuate your success.” As creatures induced by desires and wants, it is inevitable for us to crave for some things, and try to do something, or anything, to get what we look out for. This applies for all the history, and it is also a driving force that makes our society advance.

But does ‘the more, the merrier’ rule apply indefinitely? If everything were left unconstrained, you would definitely encounter a perfect inequality. A ‘winner-takes-all’ situation where, in a realm of limited resources, people are racing savagely to gain something, like a zero-sum competition. And here, inequality has become one issue. It is not that competition is bad; we are, instead, being faced with ‘free-for-all’ mindset. And too much of it is increasingly a bad thing, not a good thing after all.

Read the full article in New Republic about the growing inequality in United States, and what should, ideally, be done about it.

 

Excerpt:

 

Billionaires seems to have been sparked by West’s belief that rich people, newly empowered to use their money in politics, are now more likely than usual to determine political outcomes. This may be true, but so far the evidenceand evidence here is really just a handful of anecdotessuggests that rich people, when they seek to influence political outcomes, often are wasting their money. Michael Bloomberg was able to use his billions to make himself mayor of New York City (which seems to have worked out pretty well for New York City), but Meg Whitman piled $144 million of her own money in the streets of California and set it on fire in her failed attempt to become governor. Mitt Romney might actually have been a stronger candidate if he had less money, or at least had been less completely defined by his money. For all the angst caused by the Koch Brothers and Sheldon Adelson and their efforts to unseat Barack Obama, they only demonstrated how much money could be spent on a political campaign while exerting no meaningful effect upon it.

As West points out, many rich people are more interested in having their way with specific issues than with candidates, but even here their record is spotty. Perhaps they are having their way in arguments about raising federal estate tax; but the states with the most billionaires in them, California and New York, have among the highest tax rates on income and capital gains. If these billionaires are seeking, as a class, to minimize the sums they return to society, they are not doing a very good job of it. But of course they aren’t seeking anything, as a class: it’s not even clear they can agree on what their collective interests are. The second richest American billionaire, Warren Buffett, has been quite vocal about his desire for higher tax rates on the rich. The single biggest donor to political campaigns just now is Tom Steyer, a Democrat with a passion for climate change. And for every rich person who sets off on a jag to carve California into seven states, or to defeat Barack Obama, there are many more who have no interest in politics at all except perhaps, in a general way, to prevent them from touching their lives. Rich people, in my experience, don’t want to change the world. The world as it is suits them nicely.