Playing The Card We Are ‘Caste’ In Life

 

How does one play this little game called life

Can we compete with the cards we have been dealt

Or do we barter or mark them to increase our wealth

Hoping for better, serfdom, such a hard hand to play

Has life dealt us a hand full of aces, a life so gay

Or maybe life dealt us kings with a mansion on a hill

Maybe we are blessed with queen’s smiling as the kill

Or maybe a lady with a dagger so don’t ask, don’t tell

Young man, do you wear purple, a crown of the jack

Sowing your oats where you please in your life of glee

A princess has no card, life dictated by the crown of a king

For is it because even a princess is to be not heard only seen

Even a princess is nothing until a queen’s crown she does fulfill

Or, are we just a numbered card, a cast, lower than the dirt

Are we and our lives nothing, discarded without a second thought

Raised to serve the aristocracy, bent backs crawling on our knees

This world’s self proclaimed royalty, their noses high in the breeze

Walking upon the heads and backs of those cast nothing but little cards

After all aren’t the elite is entitled never to give a damn about the working class

China Has Decided To End “Cast/Hukou” System

(This article is courtesy of the Shanghai Daily News)

Beijing to abolish divide between urban and rural

BEIJING is set to abolish its rural hukou, or residence permit, ending the divide between rural and urban residents.

The term “city” in China is usually applied to an urban center with a sometimes vast, rural hinterland often including farmland, mountains and forests. Even metropolises such as Shanghai and Beijing have residents considered “rural.”

According to a new guideline, Beijing’s government will no longer distinguish between urban and rural residents, but establish a unified permit system. Education, health, employment, social welfare, and housing will thus be the same for all Beijing residents.

Among the 31 provincial regions of the Chinese mainland, Beijing is the 30th to announce a plan to terminate the hukou divide. Only the Tibet Autonomous Region maintains the distinction.

The reform is set to affect hundreds of millions of people. By 2015, the mainland urban population — with or without residence permits — was 767.5 million, or 55.9 percent of the total, while the population categorized as rural was 606 million, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

The hukou has a significant bearing on the lives of Chinese citizens. For decades the dualistic structure has meant better services for urban people, while preventing rural people from upping sticks and moving freely into cities to enjoy the good life.

Since the 1950s, where food and other material supplies were limited, China has divided people into urban or rural and used the hukou system to control the population flow and to plan supplies.

As a traditionally agrarian society, at that time most people lived in the countryside and were not allowed to move to cities. They had to support themselves — and the urban population — with the yields of their farming.

Rural people rarely got the chance to move to cities, except by going to university, joining the army, or by finding jobs in state-owned industries.

Zhang Ping, 59, still remembers the admiration of his fellow villagers when he became a railway worker and converted his rural hukou to an urban one in 1976. His family still hold rural hukou in Beijing’s Daxing District.

“Urban hukou meant never needing to toil in the fields again,” Zhang said.

Great disparities

For the past half century or so, great disparities have existed and grown between urban and rural populations in terms of welfare and rights. Urban workers have their medical expenses reimbursed and are granted pensions, but farmers are entitled to no such “luxuries.”

Decades later, when simply feeding the country’s 1.3 billion people with very limited land resources became a central political issue, farmers with land have felt more privileged and often have little interest in becoming urbanites.

Zhang’s son, Zhang Hongliang, 34, feels lucky to hold a rural hukou. According to a 30-year agreement between his family and the village, they are granted 25,000 yuan (US$3,700) per person per year for leasing their farmland for commercial exploitation. His father, with his urban hukou, receives nothing.

Hukou reform will bring social equality and justice by breaking the barriers that defined the divide, said Zhu Lijia of the Chinese Academy of Governance.

By establishing a unified hukou system, public services will be equal for all, urban and rural residents alike, greatly assisting the free flow of labor and urbanization, Zhu said.

Playing The Card We’re Cast In Life

 

How does one play this little game called life

Can we compete with the cards we have been dealt

Or do we barter or mark them to increase our wealth

Hoping for better, serfdom, such a hard hand to play

Has life dealt us a hand full of aces, a life so gay

Or maybe life dealt us kings with a mansion on a hill

Maybe we are blessed with queen’s smiling as the kill

Or maybe a lady with a dagger so don’t ask, don’t tell

Young man, do you wear purple, a crown of the jack

Sowing your oats where you please in your life of glee

A princess has no card, life dictated by the crown of a king

For is it because even a princess is to be not heard only seen

Even a princess is nothing until a queen’s crown she does fulfill

Or, are we just a numbered card, a cast, lower than the dirt

Are we and our lives nothing, discarded without a second thought

Raised to serve the aristocracy, bent backs crawling on our knees

This world’s self proclaimed royalty, their noses high in the breeze

Walking upon the heads and backs of those cast nothing but little cards

After all aren’t the elite is entitled never to give a damn about the working class!