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Award of Excellence
Randy Olson National Geographic
"China's Middle Class"

12 of 12

The "American Dream" is realized in Huaxi Village (Farmers Village). This co op has been a model farm for 45 years. They were capitalists before it was fashionable in China. They started factories, but worked in them with no windows. And when the government officials came around, the farmers ran out to the fields and pretended to be peasants. They became the first and most successful capitalist exploitation of the collective. This model farm became so successful they started selling shares in the 60's. They sold the shares "underground" The residents now buy shares... or work for shares and that is what they buy their homes for. When shares were first offered, they went for 2000RMB, now they go for 30,000 RMB. 30,000 officials visit this place to see how it is run every year. There are not many model farms left in China... none with this wealth. It is held up by the government as the most successful transition from farmer to socialist/capitalist world. The model farm runs about 80 factories.


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