The Price of a Child in China: $8,700

In the May 12th earthquake 7,000 classrooms collapsed in China, killing 10,000 children. Parents from some towns and villages are persistently protesting and the ruling party has offered to buy them off. The villagers view the school collapses as a major failure from the government — without the substandard construction, how many might have lived? This is probably the longest and largest perturbation in Chinese politics since the Tiannemen Square demonstrations.

The government has begged and pleaded to no avail, they’ve relaxed the draconian one child per family law for those affected, and now they offer a bribe as the Olympics approach – they government is offering $8,700.00 per child for silence. Buying the parents off prevents investigations into party culpability, and probably a few official death sentences for party members the way that China operates.

The real point is that … that there isn’t a defense for the failure. No matter the strength of a quake you would not see 7,000 classrooms collapse in the US.