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Nouveau Riche in China

© Lauren Greenfield

Decades after Mao realized his vision of a classless, property-less society by destroying wealth and its manifestations, China's monied elite has made a very visible comeback. With private enterprise and rapid development, China boasts over 250,000 millionaires. With an annual economic growth of 7 percent, there is no end in sight to the accumulation of wealth by the richest sections of Chinese society. The Communist party even allowed capitalists into their ranks last year. However, with a widening gulf between rich and poor, one government official admitted that income disparity is the most noticeable social problem in China. And noticeable it is... Conspicuous consumption is the modus operandi and nobody wants to be outdone.

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