becoming a consumer society but which until recently understood itself as a

Becoming a consumer society but which until recently

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becoming a consumer society, but which until recently understood itself as a labor-intensive production country, presents highly interesting considerations about this transition. Brazil, as a historically unequal society that in past decades has had to deal with several economic crises, has already made the transition to a consumption focused economy. In how far this decision has the potential to combine economic sustainability with more socially equitable growth is discussed below.
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Inequality should be a focal topic for developing countries in the discussion of their development issues. Hout (2006) points out how the “run-up in social inequality in many nations over the last 20 years has led to a variety of social and economic problems.” According to the author, claims are made "that cross-sectional inequalities overstate the problems because today's inequalities are undone by tomorrow's social mobility." Hout's affirmations criticize the optimism about social mobility as "misplaced". While social mobility does occur, it is far from perfect, even in the most open societies of Western Europe. On average, a person's place in society maintains a strong, positive correlation with social origins - between 0.25 and 0.40 in rich countries. Furthermore, most mobility that occurs reflects occupational upgrading and economic growth that affects everyone, regardless of their social origins. While this may mask some of the social consequences of inheritable privilege, it does not negate them. 4.1 Inequality in Chinese Policies: the way out of the trap Over the past decades China has come to be known as the factory and growth miracle of the world since its first experiments during the Reform and Opening Period with venture capital and export-oriented growth policies (Kuijs & Wang, 2005; Li, 2016). In the face of a changed global environment that has been shaken by several economic and financial crises at regional and global levels, as well as a dramatically changed domestic situation with an ever-more stable and urban middle class, Beijing's policy makers are now turning to domestic consumption and innovation as a means to maintain high levels of growth (Lardy, 2006). One of the most significant marks beginning this transformation process can be seen in the “denunciation and termination of the party line 'taking the class struggle as the key link'” and Deng Xiaoping's declaration to focus on "making economic construction central". They were accompanied by major reforms of CCP language concerning social classes, "uniting all forces to meet future challenges" and overcoming the revolutionary-against-counter-revolutionary divide. The resulting profound changes in ownership structures gave rise to a rapidly growing non-publicly-owned economy and a new social strata of private business owners. The unprecedented rate of urbanization and rapid industrialization transformed one fifth of a billion peasants into "new workers" in China's growing East coast and inland metropoles. At the same time there was significant growth of
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