How China Transformed Its Economy

In a recent National Public Radio report, the real story behind the monumental land reforms which transformed the communist dystopia of China into a productive powerhouse was revealed. In 1978, the farmers in a small Chinese village called Xiaogang gathered in a mud hut to sign a secret contract. They thought it might get them executed. Instead, it wound up transforming China's economy in ways that are still reverberating today. The contract was so risky - and such a big deal - because it was created at the height of communism in China. Everyone worked on the village's collective farm; there was no personal property. In Xiaogang there was never enough food, and the farmers often had to go to other villages to beg. Their children were going hungry. They were desperate. So, in the winter of 1978, after another terrible harvest, they came up with an idea: Rather than farm as a collective, each family would get to farm its own plot of land. If a family grew a lot of food, that family...(Read Full Article)

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