Off topic: China's High Saving Rate
Thread poster: isahuang
isahuang
Local time: 14:54
English to Chinese
+ ...
Oct 7, 2005

Recently in my ICP course, I noticed an interesting misinformation about a very important Chinese tradition: saving money. Many people, especially some economists, believe that China has a high saving rate because the Chinese are worried about their government's ability to provide/supply, so the Chinese are reluctant to spend money.

I don't agree on this shallow explanation at all. I think saving is a habbit from thousands of years ago. It has nothing to do with the chinese government's ability to supply. However, I would like to hear what others think of Chinese people's saving habbit. Input from both Chinese and non-Chinese will be greatly appreciated.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jianjun Zhang  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:54
English to Chinese
+ ...
Successful robbery Oct 8, 2005

Tingting Huang wrote:

Recently in my ICP course, I noticed an interesting misinformation about a very important Chinese tradition: saving money. Many people, especially some economists, believe that China has a high saving rate because the Chinese are worried about their government's ability to provide/supply, so the Chinese are reluctant to spend money.

I don't agree on this shallow explanation at all. I think saving is a habbit from thousands of years ago. It has nothing to do with the chinese government's ability to supply. However, I would like to hear what others think of Chinese people's saving habbit. Input from both Chinese and non-Chinese will be greatly appreciated.


I think we have been very successful in getting people to spend every bit of bread money they may have.

Education expenses and housing are the most outrageous economic support this country has to rely on. Since I had been in teaching sector for 7 years, I know how turning schools into money making machines would destroy the education system and the rational of teachers and students. I averaged 1,000 Yuan/month income through normal teaching. But my colleagues buy luxuray cars priced at 200,000 Yuan. They charge 100-150 Yuan/hour teaching English to a small circle of willing students. Excuse me for the little deviation, but for schools, they are the same - money crazy. Everything teachers do outside normal teaching classes require extra payment. And if you don't want to pay, OK. In parent meetings, we will lecture the parents to tell them how dangerous the students are if they don't have extra teaching. I worked at a 市级重点校。

The parents have to pay for children's education, whatevery it'll cost. For sure! They have to pay for the housing, because we are pulling down old buildings.

But I don't think this is a good policy in the long run.

[Edited at 2005-10-08 20:18]

[Edited at 2005-10-08 20:20]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Wenjer Leuschel  Identity Verified
Taiwan
Local time: 02:54
English to Chinese
+ ...
人民樂於存錢,正是人民對政府信任的表現。 Oct 8, 2005

Tingting,

請原諒我大體上是以中文做思想,所以無法用英文回應你這一帖。

節儉和存錢,在我看來是兩碼子事。如果中國目前真的有高存款率,而且說是由於人民不信任政府的照顧能力,所以人民不願意花錢,那在我看來是有點奇怪。我覺得奇怪的原因很簡單:在台灣,人民也普遍不信任政府有能力照顧人民,但人民卻因此更願意舉債花錢!這背後的邏輯是:你花到的錢才是你的錢,存款和利息都會讓通貨膨脹吃掉,怎麼存都抵不過通貨膨脹,而舉債的是大爺,討債的是龜孫子。因此,在台灣只有極少數的人會存錢,聰明的台灣人不是 "錢進大陸、債留台灣",就是有錢就享受,再不就是享受剩下的投資到比較不會貶值的財貨上。在台灣,如果你的理財方式只是把錢存到銀行去,十個台灣人會有九個笑你傻 (這是我隨便說說的,因為我沒有統計數字,不過道理很容易明白,人人都曉得:存錢本來就是最笨的理財方式!)。

話雖如此,所有的財物都必須經由通貨計價,所以要有財可理,當然得先乖乖存錢。節儉的美德從何而來?古人的節儉為的是要在晴天積蓄雨天的糧食;今日的節儉積蓄的大多不是糧食而是可以化做糧食的多樣財貨。比較缺乏想像力的普羅大眾,首先想到的當然是 "存錢"。人民愛存錢又怎能歸因於對政府的不信任呢?如前所述,台灣人越是不信任政府則越愛花錢或者把錢化成其它財貨。現今的普羅大眾比起以前聰明多了,幾乎大家都曉得政府要奪取人民的積蓄,最簡單的方法是通貨膨脹;這麼說來,人民還樂於存錢,那不正是人民對政府信任的表現嗎?(當然,這要看中國人民普遍對通貨的概念如何,才能做出正確的評估和判斷。)

Wenjer


Direct link Reply with quote
 
isahuang
Local time: 14:54
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
very informative Oct 8, 2005

Wenjer Leuschel wrote:

Tingting,

請原諒我大體上是以中文做思想,所以無法用英文回應你這一帖。

節儉和存錢,在我看來是兩碼子事。如果中國目前真的有高存款率,而且說是由於人民不信任政府的照顧能力,所以人民不願意花錢,那在我看來是有點奇怪。我覺得奇怪的原因很簡單:在台灣,人民也普遍不信任政府有能力照顧人民,但人民卻因此更願意舉債花錢!這背後的邏輯是:你花到的錢才是你的錢,存款和利息都會讓通貨膨脹吃掉,怎麼存都抵不過通貨膨脹,而舉債的是大爺,討債的是龜孫子。因此,在台灣只有極少數的人會存錢,聰明的台灣人不是 "錢進大陸、債留台灣",就是有錢就享受,再不就是享受剩下的投資到比較不會貶值的財貨上。在台灣,如果你的理財方式只是把錢存到銀行去,十個台灣人會有九個笑你傻 (這是我隨便說說的,因為我沒有統計數字,不過道理很容易明白,人人都曉得:存錢本來就是最笨的理財方式!)。

話雖如此,所有的財物都必須經由通貨計價,所以要有財可理,當然得先乖乖存錢。節儉的美德從何而來?古人的節儉為的是要在晴天積蓄雨天的糧食;今日的節儉積蓄的大多不是糧食而是可以化做糧食的多樣財貨。比較缺乏想像力的普羅大眾,首先想到的當然是 "存錢"。人民愛存錢又怎能歸因於對政府的不信任呢?如前所述,台灣人越是不信任政府則越愛花錢或者把錢化成其它財貨。現今的普羅大眾比起以前聰明多了,幾乎大家都曉得政府要奪取人民的積蓄,最簡單的方法是通貨膨脹;這麼說來,人民還樂於存錢,那不正是人民對政府信任的表現嗎?(當然,這要看中國人民普遍對通貨的概念如何,才能做出正確的評估和判斷。)

Wenjer


Thank you, Wenjer, what you wrote is very informative. I never thougth about inflation as one of the factors influencing people's saving habbit or spending pattern. You raised a very interesting point when you mentioned "現今的普羅大眾比起以前聰明多了,最簡單的方法是通貨膨脹;這麼說來,人民還樂於存錢,那不正是人民對政府信任的表現嗎?"On the other hand, China's high saving rate exposed another problem in China, that is China doesn't have a favorable environment for people to establish small business. That's probably why people don't want to spend or start their own small business, instead they just put their money in the bank.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Shang
China
Local time: 02:54
English to Chinese
关键在于没有建立有效的社会保障制度 Oct 8, 2005

除了传统的存钱养老这一观念之外,中国高储蓄率的关键在于政府没有建立起完善的社会保障制度。原先由企业提供的保障没有了,而新的社会保障制度漏洞百出,有的地方连退休工资都不能按时支付。在这样的情况下,你不存点钱救急怎么行?

同时,社会保障也摆脱不了普遍存在的社会不公平(严格地说是政策不公平或政策歧视)这一痼疾。虽然现在你可以到任何一个地方工作生活,似乎“五十年不变”的户口制度形同虚设,但它背后的魔力依然很强大。如果你没有当地户口,对不起了,社会保障不管门诊看病,你得自己掏腰包,它只管住院治疗的费用。医疗费用涨得比长江水还快,谁不怕?等你退休了,你领到的退休金也比有当地户口的人低。要是你担心到时生活窘迫,还是趁早存点钱吧。这还是城市的情况,比起乡下来简直就是天堂。要是你生活在农村,社会保障跟你没有任何关系,所以很多人生了病不敢上医院,不得不呆在家里等死。政府的报纸天天报道这一类新闻,可就是没人过问。

另外一个原因是住房一天一个价,不攒点钱连首期也付不起,更不用说支付让你喘不过气来的按揭利息了。据说西方国家房地产利润率很低,才几个点,中国的情况吓死人:政府赚房价的三分之一,实际成本占三分之一,黑心的开发商赚三分之一!根本原因在于暗箱操作和官商勾结,结果让老百姓给他们买单。福特的目标是生产让每个美国人都买得起的汽车,中国的地产商却以一门心思地建造让人买不起的楼房。


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Shang
China
Local time: 02:54
English to Chinese
社会怪胎 Oct 8, 2005

Jianjun Zhang wrote:

I think we have been very successful in getting people to spend every bit of bread money they may have.

Education expenses and housing are the most outrageous economic support this country has to rely on. Since I had been in teaching sector for 7 years, I know how turning schools into money making machines would destroy the education system and the rational of teachers and students. I averaged 1,000 Yuan/month income through normal teaching. But my colleagues buy luxuray cars priced at 200,000 Yuan. They charge 100-150 Yuan/hour teaching English to a small circle of willing students. Excuse me for the little deviation, but for schools, they are the same - money crazy. Everything teachers do outside normal teaching classes require extra payment. And if you don't want to pay, OK. In parent meetings, we will lecture the parents to tell me how dangerous the students are if they don't have extra teaching. I worked at a 市级重点校。

The parents have to pay for children's education, whatevery it'll cost. For sure! They have to pay for the housing, because we are pulling off old buildings.

But I don't think this is a good policy in the long run.


这不是社会正常发展的结果,而是怪胎。既然中小学教育是义务教育,为什么要我付那么多钱?你这跟私立学校有什么区别?你的义务在哪儿?难道是关上门一边数钱,一边偷着乐?

很多地方的教育部门暗地里跟财迷心窍的商人合作开办私立学校,把公立学校合格的老师全调到私立学校去(这不是信口开河,本人有亲属在这样的学校教书,所以了解实情)。他们不愁招不到高价学生,因为他们看准了国人望子成龙这一心态。学生家长并非心甘情愿地把自己的孩子送到这些学校去,而是背后有一只无形的手推着他们,不得不这样做。

独生子女政策和前些年倡导的教育产业化使得私立学校如雨后春笋般遍地开花。“教育产业化”已经走到了死胡同里。

这类私立学校通常实行封闭式教育(目的是多一事不如少一事,有点政府的做派),学生只有在周末才能到校外活动几个小时。你把成百上千个少不更事的小孩子跟外面的世界隔离开来,他们几年下来没有心理障碍才怪呢。


Direct link Reply with quote
 
isahuang
Local time: 14:54
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
lack of social security system Oct 8, 2005

Shang wrote:

除了传统的存钱养老这一观念之外,中国高储蓄率的关键在于政府没有建立起完善的社会保障制度。原先由企业提供的保障没有了,而新的社会保障制度漏洞百出,有的地方连退休工资都不能按时支付。在这样的情况下,你不存点钱救急怎么行?

据说西方国家房地产利润率很低,才几个点,中国的情况吓死人:政府赚房价的三分之一,实际成本占三分之一,黑心的开发商赚三分之一!根本原因在于暗箱操作和官商勾结,结果让老百姓给他们买单。福特的目标是生产让每个美国人都买得起的汽车,中国的地产商却以一门心思地建造让人买不起的楼房。


I agree with you on the lack of a well developed social security system in China. This is certainly part of the reason why the average Chinese save more than they spend. But it should be regarded as the main reason. The US has a much better social security system than China, but that hasn't changed my spending habbit. I am still saving money whenever I could. Life is very expensive here in the States. It is not a surprise if people find they have little money left to save after all the monthly bills. Anyway Americans are not in to saving money.

"据说西方国家房地产利润率很低,才几个点" I am not too sure about this. Sometimes I feel there are simply too many positive reports about the West in China. I don't know much about other western countries, but here in the US, the housing market is going crazy. With the increase of the interest rate, a lot of people now feel that they cannot afford a decent house. I am waiting for the house bubble to burst to realize the American dream-own a house.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jianjun Zhang  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:54
English to Chinese
+ ...
穷苦百姓 Oct 8, 2005

Shang wrote:

这不是社会正常发展的结果,而是怪胎。既然中小学教育是义务教育,为什么要我付那么多钱?你这跟私立学校有什么区别?你的义务在哪儿?难道是关上门一边数钱,一边偷着乐?

很多地方的教育部门暗地里跟财迷心窍的商人合作开办私立学校,把公立学校合格的老师全调到私立学校去(这不是信口开河,本人有亲属在这样的学校教书,所以了解实情)。他们不愁招不到高价学生,因为他们看准了国人望子成龙这一心态。学生家长并非心甘情愿地把自己的孩子送到这些学校去,而是背后有一只无形的手推着他们,不得不这样做。

独生子女政策和前些年倡导的教育产业化使得私立学校如雨后春笋般遍地开花。“教育产业化”已经走到了死胡同里。

这类私立学校通常实行封闭式教育(目的是多一事不如少一事,有点政府的做派),学生只有在周末才能到校外活动几个小时。你把成百上千个少不更事的小孩子跟外面的世界隔离开来,他们几年下来没有心理障碍才怪呢。


Shang,我知道您能理解我所说的事实。这一点,对于生活在大陆以外、对大陆又无甚深接触的朋友,以及虽然生活在这里,却无黔首之忧的人士都不好理解。空谈理论者是架空的,这些东西自然也对他无助。

中国的穷苦百姓不存钱拿什么去教孩子的学费?拿什么去赡养老人?拿什么去买房子?这些都是百姓每天发愁的事情。从幼儿园到大学毕业,一个孩子需要花多少钱?普通的工薪阶层、农民家庭要从孩子降生以前就开始为此存钱。义务教育本来就是胡扯,先说高中不属于义务教育范畴,那么我们从小学到初中,所有的义务教育学校,师资力量、设备设施、教学质量都能把你的孩子吓跑到公办私立学校去,结果你还是要交一笔钱。这笔钱很可能需要父母不吃不喝存上一年,或更多。试问(鄙人对世界教育了解不多)哪个国家的义务教育阶段有这样的教法?

我在学校听过一个报告会,传达某领导最新指示,说要教育产业化。意思就是说,我们不赚学生这笔钱,难道都让外国的学校赚走吗?

我当时对这位自称在“发挥余热”的前教育局局长很反感,教育产业化?那么学生算什么?老师又算什么?我一直认为知识是不可以拿来卖的,而是需要传授的,沾了铜臭的教育必然会走下坡路。

直到现在,有很多人想请我教孩子英语,跟我说的都是:“多少钱没关系。”我听了脊梁骨发凉,这些人还把我看作老师吗?英语也需要这样方式的辅导吗?

有一次探访亲友,正巧碰上学校英语组副组长,带着墨镜,也进同一座楼。我假意问:“您住这儿?”,他很不好意思地说:“这楼里有人请我教个班。”其实,这是几个流氓(不开玩笑,几个小流氓是我亲眼所见)开的黑授课点。他们花二十几万(几年前的价)买了一套房子,请各学校教师轮番授课(学生坐在小板凳上听课,以节省空间)。知情者介绍说,按每个学生几十元钱算下来,这些家伙每天的收入就在几千元……

中国的上层早在十多年前就在讨论经济支撑点的问题。当初我的工作允许我接触到所谓的内部资料,其实现在看起来,真是可笑的很。我记得那时候就设想把重点放在房子和汽车上,但并未涉及教育。现在这些支撑点似乎就起到了作用。贷款买的房子可以花掉以后几十年甚至一辈子的钱,这就相当于拿了以后的消费能力支撑经济。不过,中国的百姓与发达国家或地区的百姓有一个不同,就是生活的法制环境、各种体制均不健全,各种教育、房子、车子等突如其来的问题还等着他们拿出储蓄去应付呢。

[Edited at 2005-10-09 02:17]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

chica nueva
Local time: 06:54
Chinese to English
extended families, natural disasters, agrarian economy Oct 9, 2005

Tingting Huang wrote:

Recently in my ICP course, I noticed an interesting misinformation about a very important Chinese tradition: saving money. Many people, especially some economists, believe that China has a high saving rate because the Chinese are worried about their government's ability to provide/supply, so the Chinese are reluctant to spend money.

I don't agree on this shallow explanation at all. I think saving is a habbit from thousands of years ago. It has nothing to do with the chinese government's ability to supply. However, I would like to hear what others think of Chinese people's saving habbit. Input from both Chinese and non-Chinese will be greatly appreciated.


Hi Tingting

Perhaps there is some history in it. Here are some ideas.

1 Farmers are careful, they do not gamble, they try not to owe money - in many ways Chinese values are agrarian. Chinese are thrifty and careful people, perhaps. People had to save money to marry. They have to support their parents. They have extended families. Disasters, natural and man-made often occur - without savings you couldn't survive. There are many folk tales, possibly, supporting these values.
2 Chinese gamble (take a chance) rather than spend - so they put their money into the future eg going abroad, education, a company rather than spending on consumption.
3 Homes have been small and plain for quite a long time now and since 1949 self-denial and frugality was encouraged for the greater good, so people saved. People didn't put their money in the bank though, they often kept it at home.
4 Until recently (in the reform era since the 1980s), people could not own property. Now that they can own property I believe they are saving for that, to use real estate as security. But this will be changing people's personal debt-equity position from the 1990s on. They will be taking on debt as well.The net effect may be little change, but there should be more variation between individuals in China, by personality and urban-rural, coastal-hinterland.
5 In China, friends are security too, not only money. You choose what to spend on to show your character and social status. You should be generous and hospitable. Some people are careful, but others spend a lot, to make themselves look good.
6 Possibly China has been divided into two classes, the wealthy and the poor, until 1949. Society has been 'shaken up' and reconstituted over the past 50 years and is taking on a new character - more middle class, more urban, less agrarian, more mercantile. The same happened in England with social change, mercantilism etc in the 18th century. You got a social and cultural shift between classes and in values at that time reflected in the literary scene in the 'coffee houses'.
7 Now in China a middle class has appeared in the cities and the consumption society is developing.This is a fairly new thing.Perhaps as this class grows, Chinese spending habits will change.
8 The Overseas Chinese possibly save for other reasons - for personal security and because they are family-centred. Like other immigrants, they want to build themselves up to improve their position and have something to pass on to the next generation.

Lesley


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Shang
China
Local time: 02:54
English to Chinese
还有更不可思议的 Oct 17, 2005

还有更不可思议的事情呢。不听不知道,听了吓一跳。

现在改革了,老师再也不用批改学生作业,学生做得对不对只有天知道。老师上课胡乱对付,晚上带家教捞钱(为了避嫌,我带你的学生,你带我的学生)。听说假期开一个补习班可以赚几十万(学生家长真大方--深圳的情况,其他地方不清楚),怪不得许多中小学教师每天喜滋滋地开着车去上班。最不可思议的事情是家长让自己的孩子去给老师送礼!

世道变了,咱们成了老古董了。

Jianjun Zhang wrote:

Shang,我知道您能理解我所说的事实。这一点,对于生活在大陆以外、对大陆又无甚深接触的朋友,以及虽然生活在这里,却无黔首之忧的人士都不好理解。空谈理论者是架空的,这些东西自然也对他无助。

中国的穷苦百姓不存钱拿什么去教孩子的学费?拿什么去赡养老人?拿什么去买房子?这些都是百姓每天发愁的事情。从幼儿园到大学毕业,一个孩子需要花多少钱?普通的工薪阶层、农民家庭要从孩子降生以前就开始为此存钱。义务教育本来就是胡扯,先说高中不属于义务教育范畴,那么我们从小学到初中,所有的义务教育学校,师资力量、设备设施、教学质量都能把你的孩子吓跑到公办私立学校去,结果你还是要交一笔钱。这笔钱很可能需要父母不吃不喝存上一年,或更多。试问(鄙人对世界教育了解不多)哪个国家的义务教育阶段有这样的教法?

我在学校听过一个报告会,传达某领导最新指示,说要教育产业化。意思就是说,我们不赚学生这笔钱,难道都让外国的学校赚走吗?

我当时对这位自称在“发挥余热”的前教育局局长很反感,教育产业化?那么学生算什么?老师又算什么?我一直认为知识是不可以拿来卖的,而是需要传授的,沾了铜臭的教育必然会走下坡路。

直到现在,有很多人想请我教孩子英语,跟我说的都是:“多少钱没关系。”我听了脊梁骨发凉,这些人还把我看作老师吗?英语也需要这样方式的辅导吗?

有一次探访亲友,正巧碰上学校英语组副组长,带着墨镜,也进同一座楼。我假意问:“您住这儿?”,他很不好意思地说:“这楼里有人请我教个班。”其实,这是几个流氓(不开玩笑,几个小流氓是我亲眼所见)开的黑授课点。他们花二十几万(几年前的价)买了一套房子,请各学校教师轮番授课(学生坐在小板凳上听课,以节省空间)。知情者介绍说,按每个学生几十元钱算下来,这些家伙每天的收入就在几千元……

中国的上层早在十多年前就在讨论经济支撑点的问题。当初我的工作允许我接触到所谓的内部资料,其实现在看起来,真是可笑的很。我记得那时候就设想把重点放在房子和汽车上,但并未涉及教育。现在这些支撑点似乎就起到了作用。贷款买的房子可以花掉以后几十年甚至一辈子的钱,这就相当于拿了以后的消费能力支撑经济。不过,中国的百姓与发达国家或地区的百姓有一个不同,就是生活的法制环境、各种体制均不健全,各种教育、房子、车子等突如其来的问题还等着他们拿出储蓄去应付呢。


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jianjun Zhang  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:54
English to Chinese
+ ...
因此要被社会淘汰:) Oct 18, 2005

Shang wrote:

还有更不可思议的事情呢。不听不知道,听了吓一跳。

现在改革了,老师再也不用批改学生作业,学生做得对不对只有天知道。老师上课胡乱对付,晚上带家教捞钱(为了避嫌,我带你的学生,你带我的学生)。听说假期开一个补习班可以赚几十万(学生家长真大方--深圳的情况,其他地方不清楚),怪不得许多中小学教师每天喜滋滋地开着车去上班。最不可思议的事情是家长让自己的孩子去给老师送礼!

世道变了,咱们成了老古董了。


你说的一点也不过分。事实如此,因此有两条路可以走:

1. 改变现状。->>> 解决方案 ->>> 你我不可能做到;
2. 洁身自好。->>> 解决方案 ->>> 不教书,省得看不惯。

至于补习班,我们这里的主课价格是50-100元/小时(根据教师自身情况),1-4名学生为上限。每天有一、次补课不成问题。那么就是100*2=200*365=73,000。工资收入平均:1500*12=18,000。课时费、早晚自习、六日、节假日补课、私自兜售参考书等材料:1,500-2,000*12=21,600 (按1,800算)

总平均收入:73,000+18,000+21,600=112,600元。

黑乎?不黑也。:D


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

China's High Saving Rate

Advanced search






BaccS – Business Accounting Software
Modern desktop project management for freelance translators

BaccS makes it easy for translators to manage their projects, schedule tasks, create invoices, and view highly customizable reports. User-friendly, ProZ.com integration, community-driven development – a few reasons BaccS is trusted by translators!

More info »
memoQ translator pro
Kilgray's memoQ is the world's fastest developing integrated localization & translation environment rendering you more productive and efficient.

With our advanced file filters, unlimited language and advanced file support, memoQ translator pro has been designed for translators and reviewers who work on their own, with other translators or in team-based translation projects.

More info »



All of ProZ.com
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs