China’s “Comfort Class” | The Bling Dynasty, National Geographic Magazine: Money Earrings on the Street in Beijing

Southern Metropolitan News surveys since 1989 cite Guangzhou residents as saying that “love” comes after “money” on the value ladder. In 2008 “love” slipped even lower for most people, according to a survey by the Guangzhou Social Trend and Public Opinion Study Center. The center has conducted a survey each year since 1990. Another finding of the survey is that money has universally meant more than love in the eyes of women in Guangzhou for all years the survey has been given. To understand the prevailing preference for money over love in today’s China requires a little tinkering with Hungarian Sandor Petofi’s famous poem. The original: Liberty and love, these two I must have For my love I will sacrifice My life /For liberty will sacrifice My love. There are people in China who still hold onto Petofi’s noble idea, but for many, the poem’s last two lines are reversed: For money I will sacrifice my love.

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