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The Week March 5, 2010

[ 2010-03-05 15:00]     字号 [] [] []  
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Living the Life of the Super-Rich

Welcome to the world of the super-rich. Have you met me? I’m super-rich. I just bought a jet for $20 million. And according to Luxury Asia China Limited , I’m one of the only 100 people who can afford a jet because I have assets of 1 billion yuan or more.

As the researchers at Hurun, what do we spend the most of our money on as the super-rich? On our families. No. On saving the environment? No. On the poor? No. We spend most of our money on luxury goods. Hand me that newspaper. It says here that they are building ten luxury cruise ships for $290 million in China for the super-rich like me. Hello? Yes, it’s me, one of the super-rich. Of course, I’ll take two cruise ships.

Faking the Life of the Super-Rich

Okay, I’m not rich. I’m not one of those billionaires who made China the second largest market for luxury goods last year, just behind Japan. I’m one of the 99 percent of the rest of us who aren’t the super-rich.

But, when China Daily was interviewing the super-rich, they interviewed one man who said when he gave expensive gifts, he’d like to keep the price tags on to impress people. Hmm. If we can’t be super-rich, we can fake it. All we have to do is to put price tags on our gifts and add lots and lots of zeros. How would you like this lovely expensive fan? Or, how would you like this very expensive Ming Dynasty teapot? If you can’t be rich, fake it!

The Rich Can’t Have it All

Oh, the poor, poor super-rich. Just when a Chinese company was about to bid for General Motors’ Hummer, that big over-priced gas-guzzler that Americans can no longer afford to drive, Beijing said no.

It seems it’s not an eco-friendly choice in the ‘save the environment’ landscape. However Beijing, think about this, with a high-priced apartment, how about the Hummer as affordable housing for several families? That way, when the developers say let’s move it on, all they have to do is to stack the mattresses on top and turn the engine on.

Affordable Housing

China’s famous wild pandas would probably consider a Hummer cramped quarters. But local news media reported that a giant panda came down from the mountain in Sichuan province and was sighted in a farmer’s pigpen. It seems that he was chewing on bones and throwing away the meat before he wandered away again. That sounds like affordable housing with meals. Even if your neighbors are pigs.

Affordable Fashion

So most of us are not the super-rich. It doesn’t mean we can’t party. At the Sydney Opera House in Australia this month, more than 5,000 people got naked for photographer Spencer Tunick from New York. It seems he makes a living taking photographs of crowds of naked people. He calls it art. For those of us who are not the super-rich, we can call it affordable fashion. Although a couple of inexpensive, well-placed fans might come in handy.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

The Week March 5, 2010

About the broadcaster:

The Week March 5, 2010

Renee Haines is an editor and broadcaster at China Daily. Renee has more than 15 years of experience as a newspaper editor, radio station anchor and news director, news-wire service reporter and bureau chief, magazine writer, book editor and website consultant. She came to China from the United States.