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Public Opinion: Why Can’t People Who Work Hard Have a Better Life?

Recently, an Internet posting triggered Chinese people to discuss whether work can lead to prosperity. Quite a number of people doubted it. This could be a sign that more people may choose Tang Ping (Lying Flat or Relaxing) in their lives.

An Internet video by two college graduates, one from a worker’s family and one from a farmer’s family, talked about the fact that, after working for five years, they were not able to save any money at all. Both of them had graduated from decent universities in China, Central China Normal University, Wuhan, and the Hubei Province and Communication University of China. One changed 12 jobs in five years and saved less than 5,000 yuan (US$720). One works as a cleaner in a restaurant. Both of them showed a positive attitude while facing a harsh life.

Many comments said that it was true that these days many college graduates can not find decent jobs and thus have struggled to make ends meet.

In another incident, the People’s Daily website published an article, “Do It Diligently and Life Will Become Sweeter and Sweeter.” However, many people questioned whether working hard will really get people a good life. One author used her own family’s example to explain. She said that everyone in her entire family, from her grandparents to her parents-in-law and then to her husband, all were extremely hardworking but they didn’t save much money, not to mention having a better life.

1. China Digital Times, February 14, 2023
2. Zhihu, February 16, 2023