Each year, Forbes magazine produces a list of the 100 richest people in China. But no rich people would like to appear in it. Why? After several years, the people whose names appear in it would be sent to jail, almost unavoidably. It would likely become an index for the prosecutor to find out the people who didn’t pay their taxes, tried to bribe government officials or didn’t carry out other citizens’ obligations. Recently, Guangyu Huang, the richest person of 2004, disappeared and was sent to the jail.
Now, people are discussing what the Chinese government should do to recover from the financial crisis. As a country whose GDP is 40% export-based, China faces big challenges. To stimulate the economy, the Chinese government sent out a whole package for more than $586 billion to build railroads, airports and power grid and hope to play a bigger role to fight global financial crisis.
More needs to be done.
As Zhiwu Chen from Yale indicated, it’s a time for the Chinese government to “adopt fundamental reforms.” We can’t deny that the Chinese government has done a lot. 30 years ago, people could be sent to jail just for selling goods in competition with collective or state-owned firms.
But that’s not enough. Privatization reform is necessary to provide a good environment for small, private firms to grow. When the owner of a private firm becomes rich, they should be directed to carry out social responsibilities instead of being investigated and jailed.