Man Unable to Afford Home Slits Wrist to Commit Suicide

A Chinese man lying on a riverbank after having attempted to commit suicide by slitting his wrist, due to continued worries over affording housing for his family.

From NetEase:

Zhengzhou Man Unable to Afford Home After 20 Years of Work Slits Wrist to Commit Suicide

2014 July 15, Zhengzhou city Jingshui district riverside, a man who had cut his wrist in an attempt to commit suicide was saved. His wife says her husband often complained of having “lots of pressure/stress, can’t continue living anymore”. As it is understood, the man is from Xinyang city Pingqiao district [in Henan], and had come to Zhengzhou when he was young to make a living, and has worked in maintenance for a restaurant’s logistics for nearly 20 years now. His wages are about 2000 yuan every month, and lives a very frugal life. He is unable to afford buying a home, the home that he rents will soon be demolished, and it is difficult to find a place that only costs 400-500 yuan a month. Li Sixin/CFP IC

chinese-man-cuts-wrist-commits-suicide-because-unable-to-afford-buying-home-02

Photo is of a large bloodstain in the underbrush. Police had found a dagger in his bag, preliminarily confirmed to have been used to commit suicide.

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The man says: “After all these years, I still can’t afford to buy a home, unable to give a peaceful and happy home to my wife and children.” At present, the family of four rents a small room about 20 square meters large. “My older daughter is already 19 years old, and she still has to live with us [in the same room].” Photo is of the man who slit his wrist being taken to Huanghe Hospital for emergency medical attention after having his wound simply bandaged, where he was later transferred to the ICU.

chinese-man-cuts-wrist-commits-suicide-because-unable-to-afford-buying-home-04

Unable to afford a home, with his home soon to be demolished, “now I spend every day worrying about finding a new place to live.” Photo is of man with the cut wrist being rescued.

chinese-man-cuts-wrist-commits-suicide-because-unable-to-afford-buying-home-05

400-500 yuan a month rentals are already very hard to find in Zhengzhou these days. The man says he is under a lot of pressure/stress, and relies on taking sleeping pills in order to fall asleep.

Comments from NetEase:

小小纳税者 [网易北京市丰台区网友]:

Forget 2000 a month, I make 20,000 a month and when I go out and check out Beijing’s residential buildings, they are all unattainable. I often use the egg philosophy [analogy] to encourage myself. If I am broken by pressure, then I am food for others, but if I break the pressure, then it is life! [The analogy is that an egg broken from the outside becomes another person’s food, but if you break the egg from the inside, then it is your personal growth.]

V字仇杀队x [网易辽宁省大连市网友]:

Please bury me in Xinwen Lianbo. [This is a joke because the CCTV program often presents a rosier picture of life in China.]

被锁的迪亚哥 [网易江苏省南京市网友]:

If you die, then your pressure is indeed gone. But have you thought about where the money for your cremation expenses, for the box for your ashes, and for your cemetery spot will come from? You’ll have transferred your pressure/stress onto your family!
Be more considerate!

网易湖北省武汉市网友 ip:59.175.*.*

What happened to our high-quality low-cost housing [as promised by the government]? Don’t die, we still have to go save the Americans in their imperialist abyss of suffering!

开门送快递 [网易甘肃省张掖市网友]:

My circumstances are similar to this brother’s. Talk about worrying to death, night after night of being unable to sleep. Who will come rescue me?!!!

网易重庆市手机网友 ip:106.84.*.*

Good man, you didn’t go randomly hack/stab other people, you didn’t go light a public bus on fire, so may you be able to buy a home next year.

花花世界的诱惑 [网易美国手机网友]:

America’s ordinary people can buy an over 300 square meter new home using less than 5 year’s worth of pay, and a 60 square meter home with one year’s worth of pay.

ssboy [网易江苏省苏州市网友]:

If you’re not even afraid of dying, then what else is there to be afraid of?

fgds64gf5da6fda [网易福建省泉州市网友]:

Face reality, there are a lot of people who can’t afford to buy homes. Why don’t you ask Imperialist America to give you one?

就快天亮了 [网易上海市网友]:

You think there’s no more pressure/stress once you’re dead?

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  • 5000 years of history

    Buy a sofa!

    • jin

      You cant affort it

      • 5000 years of history

        Sofa!

  • 15,000 years of history

    My neighbor is not only threatening to kill herself but me too if i don’t help her get out of China. She just got out of prison and says she was wrongly detained. She also claimed that many of the inmates were in tears as they told her how they had been persecuted by the government – some of them members of Falun Gong. The strangest part is that she is communist party member who has recently worked for China railway. I really don’t want any trouble from her but maybe she really needs help. What should i do? Call the police? Take her to an embassy in Beijing?

    • mr.wiener

      That is messed up.

      • 500,000,000 years of history

        I know, right?

    • DavidisDawei

      Move ASAP!

      • 500,000,000 years of history

        Noted. Wish i could move back to Europe.

    • lacompacida

      Just tell her that she had to help you get out of China first, so that you can help her from the outside. When you are out, she’s no longer a threat.

    • Markoff

      Tell her she can freely swim to Vietnam without much bothering by border check, it’s easy to cross border that direction f she doesn’t like China that much.

  • mr.wiener

    The promise of the good life is slipping away. The compact Deng Xiao Ping made with the people is : We give you a better life and you cede political power to the party.
    The expiry date on this is when most people are too young to have been around during the cultural revolution. I wonder how they will sell the new deal? Not much use in being told this is China’s century when the average Zhou has nothing to show for it and the sons and daughters of party members grow ever more arogant.

    • Probotector

      “The compact Deng Xiao Ping made with the people is : We give you a better life and you cede political power to the party.”

      That sounds like one hell of an awesome car, or make up kit, if you will.

      • Kai
        • Probotector

          It’s called a play on words Kai.

          • Kai

            It looked more like you weren’t aware of the definition mr.wiener was using than a play on words to me. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

          • Probotector

            Relax, I like to have a chuckle with him every now and then.

          • donscarletti

            A disingenuous word play of insufficient wit is often mistaken for ignorance.

            You could have said maybe:
            “The family sedan that he made was that he was the party at the time.”

            Though honestly, I don’t think there is much punning opportunity around the word “compact”. Try “party”, as in the famous Yakov Shmirnov quote:

            “In California, you can always find party. In Soviet Russia, party can always find you”.

    • Kai

      For the most part, Deng delivered on the deal. People’s lives are indeed better now.

      What’s moved are the goal posts, but also how people measure their station in life not only in absolute terms but also relative terms. They may be living many times better now than before, but they see OTHER people living WAY better lives. That resentment overshadows their own living standard improvements in absolute terms. Pervasive, conspicuous, wealth inequality seemingly based on corruption will erode social stability just as much as widespread abject poverty.

      This is at least one reason why Xi seems to be so serious about his anti-corruption campaign. Not sure if he’ll succeed, but the government’s fate may very well be tied to how they deal with it.

      • Irvin

        So true, that’s why my father once told me: happiness isn’t about how much you have, but how little you compare.

        • Surfeit

          Wise man!

      • lacompacida

        Who was so evil to move the goal post ? It must be the filthy Imperialist Americans who won’t stop to dream of destroying China.

      • Teacher in China

        I have a (possibly) cynical Chinese friend who tells me that the only reason Xi is engaged in his anti-corruption campaign is to purge political rivals. You have a take on that, Kai?

        • Kai

          It’s a reasonable cynicism in my opinion because a lot of past “anti-corruption” purges boiled down to being just that. There are however quite a few China watchers who feel Xi’s campaign is doing more and going further than so there is some genuine hope that this is a serious anti-corruption campaign rather than just a guise for taking out political rivals.

          • Teacher in China

            I sure hope that ends up being true. Could really do amazing things for this country.

          • don mario

            theres no chance of that being true. kai is as delusional and biased as they come.

          • The aim of Xi’s Anti-Corruption Campaign is to strengthen the Party’s control over China, so it doesn’t suffer the same fate as the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. But as we all know, power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely, so ultimately, strengthening the Party’s control over society will lead to worse, but better hidden corruption.

        • Given the lack of transparency of the government, we will never have a clear picture of either the results or the motives of the anti-corruption campaign, just as we don’t know the true extent of corruption. But it seems illogical to argue that corruption and freedom of information can both be suppressed at the same time, as Xi Jinping is doing, because corruption thrives in the dark.

        • Insomnicide

          Well, now that he’s actually taken a few corrupt fat cats down. He’s killing two birds with one stone.

      • tojanhorse

        Are you sure they are better? Did you live in China before? I did, and I don’t think things are better, just different. Back then, people had less money, but they did not have to slave to buy a house, the air was fit to breathe, and people believed in something…

        • Kai

          In terms of absolute average living standards relative to Mao’s era, yes. Sure, we can argue specifics of living conditions like societal expectations, air quality, etc. but as far as living standards usually referring to material means, on average, things are better now. And the improvement in the material was exactly what Deng’s economic reforms were aimed at. So, like I said, he delivered.

          Not everyone thinks the Chinese of today is better than the China of yesterday. As cS has translated before, there are plenty of Chinese netizens who wax nostalgic about the past. The thing is, it wasn’t like everyone in the past was happy with the China of the past either. What we can measure are absolute gains in material wealth, and China has made gains in that.

    • lacompacida

      Have faith in the Party. Chinese people will get rich some day. When all of the CCP members are rich, and migrated to the US, you will have your turn. Just be patient.

  • pink panda

    oh, i am so poor too.
    and i dream to be shanghainese.
    too sad!
    i am poor old and dumb and fat farm person.
    oh, sorry! someone please leave me alone.
    or, i will truly revenge hard.

  • Probotector

    First of all, why are so many Chinese in the above comments bringing up America? Relevance please? In any case, someone should be recognised for the hard work they do, not the material benefits it’s expected by so many to bring. I know there’s security in owning your own home and assets, but it’s not the be all end all of life, and certainly not worth dying over.

    • Kai

      The netizen posting from Wuhan is mocking old communist propaganda that capitalist America is an “abyss of suffering”.

      The netizen posting from America is unhelpfully posting juxtapositions of how much “cheaper” housing prices are in the US as well as purchasing power (average wages vs. average housing prices, aka how much house you can buy for your income)

      The netizen posting from Fujian COULD be interpreted as making a critical comment about the US but odds are heavily in favor of him also mocking old communist propaganda about America.

      In other words, these netizens are criticizing the situation in China and/or making fun of government bullshit they’re all familiar with.

      • Probotector

        Sarcasm and irony are not easily conveyed in written comments. Still, why not just criticise he situation in China and/or the government bullshit they’re all familiar with directly? Also notice there;s no comments (that CS believes are popular anyway) denigrating Henan’s people.

        • Kai

          Yeah, sarcasm and irony can be difficult to convey and pick up in written comments, like me misinterpreting your play on words above.

          Long-time readers of cS should have come across the “abyss of suffering” line in countless translated comments before and be familiar with it, with many of them providing enough context to figure out it was mockery. “American imperialists” or “imperialist America” is less clear-cut because even though it’s often used sarcastically, there are situations and people who use it in a serious way.

          I would say such comments actually ARE “direct” criticisms in the sense that it is obvious to pretty much all Chinese netizens that the commenter is being critical of the situation in modern China. There ARE netizens who write more articulated criticisms as comments, but do you think those comments are going to get as much attention span and upvotes as pithy cynical jokes that instantly allude to feelings or things people are already familiar with? It’s the same way on cS or any site. Often the most popular stuff are simple and easy to understand or relate to.

          The “abyss of suffering line” is to criticizing living conditions in modern China as “my dad is Li Gang” is to criticizing arrogant little fuckwads who think they’re above the law because of who their parents are. The phrase alone is widely recognized and understood.

          NetEase does often have commenters who take the piss out of Henan people in many of the articles about Henan people. It doesn’t mean they’re always going to happen in every article or get upvoted to the top. I also think in this case, a lot of netizens can empathize with this guy in Henan. Their empathy for his frustration over being unable to afford a house with his salary may override their penchant for poking fun at Henan people.

          I’m surprised you remember the jokes about Henan people from past cS articles but not the context around the “abyss of suffering” line because I think there has been a lot more of the latter than the former.

        • Markoff

          Criticising openly commie government as CN citizen? Have you ever been in China? Apparently not.

          • Probotector

            Uh, nine years in China and counting. Also, review previous CS netizen comments to see them criticise the govt and/or corrupt officials on the internet. Perhaps you shouldn’t make assumptions.

      • Harold Janson

        I still find that shit hilarious though. Sure, I guess you can buy a home in the US, but after MERS it wont have a clean title. And if you can actually afford one it sure as hell won’t be somewhere where there are jobs. Then you get to pay property taxes in exchange for more or less nothing. There’s this strange self-entitled crap going on now where everyone believes they have some sort of right to be able to buy property wherever they want. Maybe go back to xinyang perhaps? Rather than putting up with the rat races which are unable to provide stability for the family?

    • DavidisDawei

      Many Chinese use our standard of living as their gold standard perhaps?

      “there’s security in owning your own home”
      I agree that is the traditional sentiment, (and I was one of the suckers who bought into it)
      but none of us own the home without some caveat (property taxes for one).

      Scores of older people are forced to move because they are on fixed incomes and can no longer afford the rising property taxes. A cheap house around me is $500/month in taxes alone.
      More and more people are searching for alternative living arrangements.

      • ex-expat

        Where do you live, and what’s your tax rate? I’m in Florida, and the rate is around 2%, but it is less if you have a homestead on the property.

        • DavidisDawei

          House is in NH, Mil Rate = approx $30
          no sales or income tax here, so property taxes tend to be higher than bordering States

    • lacompacida

      Chinese brought up US all the time because they so admire the accomplishments of America. They want China to become the next America.

      • Probotector

        China: “Land of the free, home of the brave”.

    • Raymond

      Because Europeans who faced famine, poverty, lack of employment in Europe, had a big chunk of Native American land to escape to. And as their population in the Eastern states continued to grow, they expanded further and further west until they approached Mexican territory (Texas, California, etc.), decided to establish settlements (against the sovereignty of Mexico), and squatters began trespassing on Californio (Mexican Californian) land. Eventually, President Polk decided to go to all out war against Mexico, taking it by force. When Europeans face the problems that China is facing now, they can just walk over to other people’s lands. When the Chinese tried to immigrate to America, President Arthur signed the Chinese Exclusion Act, barring Chinese from immigrating to America. When the Japanese tried to immigrate to America, the U.S. signed the Immigration Act of 1924, which limited immigrants who could be admitted from any country to 2% of the number of people from that country who were already living in the U.S. So while the Asian population in the U.S. was minuscule compared to European population, the laws were purposely enacted to discriminate against Asian groups. So why would it be relevant for the Chinese to bring up cost of living in America? Because Americans criticize China, and other countries for their social issues, while failing to look at their own history and how they got to where they are now.

      • Probotector

        But all that has no relevance to this story.

  • Irvin

    Is it really so bad to rent? Why do so many chinese insist on owning a house as their life goal? My parents rented all their lives and never owning any real estate so I never really fathom the appeal of owning a house.

    In a way is more of a drag than anything, being tied down to debt for one.

    • Probotector

      Right, it’s the same with choosing whether or not to start a family. Some people just want to opt out. It seems there are some in this world who see these things as obligations in life.

    • lacompacida

      It is not just house ownership. Many parents of marriage age girls insist that the potential mates of their daughters have at least one house. No house, no bribe.

      • angeldust14

        That’s a very clever “typo”, whether it was intended or not. haha

    • Markoff

      It’s old commie mentality, it was same in post-commies countries of Europe, you can still see much higher ratio of property owners compared to living in rented apartments compared to western Europe.

      And it’s especially funny in China where you don’t buy house at all anyway, just lease it for 30-70 years and then hope they will extend your lease further.

      • It’s not just Commie mentality. If it were, then how do you explain the legions of Americans signing up for housing loans that pushed the bubble to burst in 2008? Or Southeast Asia in 1997?

        People feel that much more secure when the roof over their heads can’t be taken away at the end of a lease contract, contingent upon the owner’s whims. Plus there are lesser residency rules (eg., no pets) if you own the house outright.

        Also, remember in China, there are much fewer investment vehicles to keep your money from shrinking in value vs inflation. You can’t have crowdfunded investments in businesses, the stock market is small and not as dynamic as in the West, and the only guys able to move money in and out of the country to hedge-fund like investments in, say, HK or SIngapore, tend to be the politically connected.

      • don mario

        they do the same thing in taiwan

    • Harold Janson

      Renting is not stable. You cannot really modify anything or have anything the way you want it to be. Rents can be adjusted and changed at any time, the owner might decide to take it back to use or sell it and you are left holding the bag. Your hukou has to be linked to a physical address, if it is 集体 you will run into issues with kids and marriage as well as paying fees. A rented home just is not stable in that regard. Furthermore, it’s more or less invalid for schooling purposes. There are a lot of hoops to jump through to even have a chance at using that address for schooling. If there is no property claim back in xinyang for this guy, then that hukou is a giant mess. To be able to claim a rented address for ANY official purpose, you’ve gotta have that fapiao for it too, and most landlords are not gonna provide that.

    • Raymond

      He can’t even afford to rent. Average rent for a 1 bedroom apartment in his city is 1600 yuan a month (258 USD) and his monthly salary is 2000 yuan (322 USD). Plus he is in a family of 4. The apartment building he is currently living in is going to be demolished and he won’t be able to find another one at the same price.

  • Doge Wallace

    “America’s ordinary people can buy an over 300 square meter new home using less than 5 year’s worth of pay, and a 60 square meter home with one year’s worth of pay.”

    Really?

    • lacompacida

      5 year’s worth of pay is a lot for a 300 sq meter new home. 60 sq meter home is less than $200,000, that’s what many two worker family gets a year.

      • nita

        Not when you add in mortgage interest. 5 years’ wages for a 2700 sq ft home? Not even close.

    • 5000 years of history

      Fang pi

    • Markoff

      it all depends on location, location, location, Chinese usually read about amazing prices in Detroit without checking job opportunities and living standard there

    • Repatriated

      Yes. Really. Do the math.
      Average household income in the US is around 50k. Average house costs around 190k. Think average…not Manhattan or Malibu.

      Average household income in China is around 50k RMB. Average house costs over 1,000,000 RMB.

      • Assuming you can even get a job in America.

  • lacompacida

    High property price policy is also a population control policy ? Creative !

  • vonskippy

    I don’t understand the man’s logic. He’s worried because he can’t find affordable housing for his family so he attempts to kill himself? How then would his family survive? Seems like a cowards way out instead of manning up and finding a solution (can’t the wife work? the 19 year old daughter work? move to a cheaper city? if they’re spending 1/4 of the monthly wages on rent – what is the rest going for?). Perhaps it would have been better to let Darwin win this one. From the amount of blood – it was a pretty feeble attempt.

    • Markoff

      Yeah I don’t understand this logic since life insurance is not very common in China and getting some money out of it after suicide is quite difficult everywhere in world, you need to sign up at least 2 years before suicide etc.

  • VagabondJourney

    Here’s a page about the cost of housing in China compared with what you can get in other countries: http://www.vagabondjourney.com/this-is-what-a-300000-house-looks-like-in-china/.

  • Markoff

    Yeah, because being dead will help his family much more than just not having own house, what an selfish idiot.

    But at least respect for choosing nice place to commit suicide without bothering other people.

  • NightKnight

    Because basically all of them want the apartments in the big cities, and some of they missed the bottom of the real estate market. affordable accommodations can be found across the country, especially in 3rd and 4th tier cities, let alone counties and villages. there are people with failed long-term career and financial plans everywhere.

  • JabroniZamboni

    A home (30 to 70 year lease in China…completely ridiculous) is the only way to leave anything to your children? Home ownership is a completely great investment until the “bubble bursts” (It will too). Then you will be left holding the bag. That, or the gov kicks you out because they need your property and gives you less than market value.

    Ownership is great if you actually own the land, however in China, in the cities you are still just essentially renting a concrete box.

    There are much wiser investments to be made to provide a future for your children.

    • 白色纯棉小裤裤

      30 to 70 year lease in China…completely ridiculous

      Its less ridiculous than paying hundreds of dollars each month to keep the home you own. With a 3% property tax you would have paid 210% of the initial price of your home after 70 years, with that money I can buy two new homes after the lease expire.

      • JabroniZamboni

        I think you are comlpletely misunderstanding what I am talking about. There is no true ownership in China. It is a purchase hidden as a rental.

        • 白色纯棉小裤裤

          There is no true ownership anywhere on the earth. Paying a property tax each month is no different than rental.

          • JabroniZamboni

            I own my property in Canada. My property taxes go to free schooling in the area (you pay even if you don’t have kids, but good schools are great to keep your property value up; it’s a win win.), maintenance of the many green spaces surrounding the neighborhood (if you are Chinese you won’t understand this. There is nowhere for children to truly play in this country. Space issues means concrete.), snow removal, garbage collection, recycling collection, road repair, fire and rescue services, police services, as well as other municipal services.

            I paid 2400 cdn dollars last year. Even if I am not living in this property at the moment, I believe it is well worth paying property taxes. You get services for your money in other countries my friend. The land is yours, as long as you wish. The prices are not inflated as in China.

            The government does get sticky fingers, but nothing like here. You get taken care of for your money.

          • 白色纯棉小裤裤

            Does it change the fact you are paying hundreds of dollars each month to keep your house? No.
            Your house isn’t yours if you are forced to pay 2,400 dollars a year to keep it.
            Btw, the money Chinese government get from selling the land goes to public services too.

          • JabroniZamboni

            The garbage men should do it for free? We don’t have senior citizens taking care of our clean up. The fire department and police department should work pro bono? Those departments will actually do their job there in most cases. In China they sleep or play Angry Birds on their phone unless it is time to get a hongbao. The parks should go unattended? The schools as well? In a storm, we should dig ourselves out? Patch the roads ourselves?

            Even if you rent, you pay taxes in some form or another.

            Btw the money the Chinese government gets from selling land that displaces people goes straight into the pockets of the government. What do they give you?

            You are not paying all of that money to keep your house. You are paying all of that money to maintain a community worth living in. Think poor be poor imo. It is not so much money. If you can afford a house, you don’t want your surroundings reminding you of post Robocop Detroit.

          • 白色纯棉小裤裤

            Government revenue goes to public services, it doesnt matter whether the money comes from property tax or the sales of lands.

            A higher quality of public service does not change the fact that if you ‘own’ a house without paying the property tax, you are facing serious consequences. Regardless of how property tax contributed to public services, its something you are forced to pay.

            Further more, you claim of Canada having better public service is doubtful. You comparison of the quality of public services is purely subjective. What do you have to back up your claims such as Chinese police don’t do their jobs?

            A objective, quantitative comparison is like:
            University tuitions(undergraduate):
            China: 5000 rmb/ year (865.28 cad/year)
            Canada: 5581 cad/year

            Public transit: Monthly pass
            Guanzhou(bus + subway): 88+133=221 rmb(38.25 cad)
            Toronto (metro): 133.75 cad

          • JabroniZamboni

            Have you ever left China?

          • 白色纯棉小裤裤

            Is that all you can say?
            And the answer is “Yes”.

          • JabroniZamboni

            I win. Vietnam took land from you.

            Just FYI.

            Median Canadian Household income: 76 000$

            China: 10,220$

            Present them home-slice.

          • 白色纯棉小裤裤

            Does household income have anything to do with public services?
            Its interesting to see someone who have nothing to say to counter my arguments suddenly claiming himself winning.

          • JabroniZamboni

            You were comparing costs of said services. I was stating that we have a much higher salary in which to enjoy these vastly superior public services.

            The university tuition was hilarious, as every Chinese person with a few extra yuan dreams of of a Western education. They do not pay the price you showed us as International students.

            Your point is moot. Swiss cheese for the lactose intolerant.

          • 白色纯棉小裤裤

            Nope, your public services is inferior and overpriced, you are using your higher salary to compensate your poor public services.

            And the majority of people go to Canadian universitys are suckers who fail the gaokao and we call them “留学垃圾”

          • JabroniZamboni

            What do you base your experience on? Pass the gaokao and make 6000rmb a month with no possibility of work (in your field, not at City Wok) outside of China in the majority of cases.

            It’s your prerogative really.

            Canada’s public services are so much worse. I concur. You win. I’m so angry I will beat my ayi now.

            Maybe someone can clean the street of the shit everywhere once this month.

          • don mario

            so that makes chinas completely insane 70 year rule ok then? no. no it doesn’t, stop talking shite.

          • 白色纯棉小裤裤

            If you let me choose between a 70 year rule and a 2% property tax, I will choose the former.

          • don mario

            No shit you would.. you dont have a choice so you will have to take the former. Welcome to oppression.

          • 白色纯棉小裤裤

            If you do the math, 2% * 70 = 140%
            After 70 years, you would have paid 140% of the value of your home. With that money I can buy a new home and have 40% more money than you do. You are the one who is being oppressed without noticing it because you can’t do elementary level math calculations.

          • don mario

            if you do the math.. you are in an oppressed government that owns your ass. you have to eat the shit you are fed and your word is a sad little rant which does not change the fact that you have no freedom, even when it comes to the security of owning a home.

          • 白色纯棉小裤裤

            Unfortunately what you said are neither fact nor have anything to do with math. How about you try to stop paying your property tax for 3 consecutive months and come back to talk about “freedom”.

          • don mario

            Leave china before u start talking about FREEEEEEEEEEDOOOM. Im serious. You might be locked up..

          • 白色纯棉小裤裤

            I am talking about freedom and I am in China, nothing is happening to me. And now how about you stop paying your property tax and see what happens?

          • don mario

            Luckily for you that you dont even have a basic grasp of what freedom means.. if you did then you might be in trouble..

          • 白色纯棉小裤裤

            You said I can’t talk about freedom but that’s exactly what I am doing. So you are wrong already.

          • don mario

            No.

          • Mighty曹

            Censorship is freedom? Hahaha…. so naïve of you.

          • 白色纯棉小裤裤

            Hello Mighty Troll,
            Proudly trolling from work again?

          • Mighty曹

            Oh.. I’m so hurt by your words. boo..hooo…hoo
            Anyway, it’s ‘freedom’, bitch.

          • 白色纯棉小裤裤

            Why you think I was trying to hurt you?
            I was being nice.

          • Mighty曹

            Utterly stupid.

          • 白色纯棉小裤裤

            Start working again?
            Have a nice day

          • Kai

            You have a point and so does don mario. Both of you are refusing to acknowledge each other’s points and doubling down into extremist positions. There is indeed uncertainty about 70 year leases but the lack of a property tax so far is indeed nice. Property taxes are indeed an effective rent on “ownership” but it is indeed nice to not worry about what happens after 70 years. I wish both of you could just be reasonable and agree to that.

          • Dr Sun

            try not paying your federal income tax for a year or so see how freedom is in a federal jail

          • Dr Sun

            how did that security work out for the millions who got their houses repossessed by the toxic banks in America ?

          • Mighty曹

            Only the most ignorant fool would think the property’s value will not degrade for 70 years.

          • 白色纯棉小裤裤

            Only the smartest man trolls at work. Bravo Mighty Troll.

          • This is a distortion of the true cost, since it doesn’t take into account the time value of money. Let’s assume a property is worth $300,000 and, for simplicity’s sake, its value remains constant. Let’s assume it is subject to a 2% property tax that, again for simplicity’s sake, remains constant. This would therefore result in property tax of $6,000 owed every year for 70 years. $6,000 times 70 payments is indeed worth 140% of $300,000, but this ignores the fact that $6,000 in 70 years is not worth as much as $6,000 today. For this to be true would mean that if I were to take $6,000 from you in 2014 and pay you back $6,000 70 years later, you would have lost no value, which is of course untrue because you could have used that $6,000 to earn interest over all those years.

            The present value of an ordinary annuity of $1 subject to a 3.25% interest rate (which is the current prime rate, and therefore the most conservative metric I could possibly use) for 70 years is 27.48969. This means that the present value of these $6,000 property tax payments over the next 70 years is in fact 27.48969 x $6,000 = $164,938, or 55% of the value of the home, which is substantially less than your hypothetical 140% figure. To be sure, paying 55% of the value of one’s home in order to keep that home is not an insubstantial sum, but it is significantly less than 140% and certainly not enough to purchase an identical home with an additional 40% left to spare.

            Now, that’s using 2% property tax and an ideal 3.25% prime rate. I personally incur a 1.056% property tax rate, and the current (daily) national average 30-year fixed mortgage rate is approximately 4.27%. Under such conditions, the property tax owed annually would be $3,168. The present value of an ordinary annuity of $1 subject to a 4.27% interest rate for 70 years is 22.16486. This means that the present value of these $3,168 property tax payments over the next 70 years is in fact 22.16486 x $3,168 = $70,218, which is merely 23.4% of the value of the home.

            Hopefully this illustrates that property tax need not be considered quite so devastating. Of course, an excessively high tax rate will be problematic under any circumstances, but that is the case with all taxes and does not suggest that paying property taxes on owned property is uniquely and categorically more burdensome than paying no property taxes on land leased for 70 years. The ability to bequeath one’s hard-earned property to one’s beloved heirs would almost certainly be worth the 23.4% premium.

            Sources:
            http://www.fedprimerate.com/
            http://www.bloomberg.com/markets/rates-bonds/consumer-interest-rates/
            http://www.calculatorsoup.com/calculators/financial/present-value-table-annuity.php?type=0&columns=1&interestpercent=3.25&interestpercent_increment=1&rows=10&nper=10&nper_increment=10&submit=Create+Table&action=solve&PMT=1
            http://www.calculatorsoup.com/calculators/financial/present-value-table-annuity.php?type=0&columns=1&interestpercent=4.27&interestpercent_increment=1&rows=10&nper=10&nper_increment=10&submit=Create+Table&action=solve&PMT=1

          • 白色纯棉小裤裤

            You forgot to calculate the present value of $300,000 after 70 years. Given 3.25% interest rate, the present value of $300,000 after 70 years is $91,603. That means after 70 years, the money you pay to buy a new home is only 30.5% of the value of your home in present value. Of course its unrealistic but its totally based on your assumption that the price of the home remains unchanged while the prime rate is 3.25% constant.

            Another advantage of not paying property tax is you can choose between spend the money to buy a new home for you offspring, or you can enjoy the money yourself. For someone with no children, the 70 years limit means nothing and the money he saved from not paying property tax is 100% profit.

          • The problem with such a calculation is that it ignores the fact you will be using and deriving benefit from the home during the entire 70 years up to that point in time. It is true that the value of the home 70 years from now would hypothetically only be 30.5% of what it is now, but then, this would only be relevant if you were to pay $300,000 and then forfeit the right to use the home for 70 years. The benefits you derive from the home over the 70 years compensate for the 69.5% decline in value by the end of the 70 years.

            As an example, consider the seller of the home. S/he received $300,000 on the date of the sale, and naturally the value of that $300,000 would decline to $91,603 after 70 years. But that does not mean that the present value of the $300,000 is $91,603; indeed, the present value of the $300,000 is $300,000, and the $91,603 only represents the future value after 70 years of benefits have already been derived from the principal. Analogously, the decline to $91,603 does not negate the 70 years of benefits that had already been derived from the house.

          • 白色纯棉小裤裤

            As an example, consider the seller of the home. S/he received $300,000 on the date of the sale, and naturally the value of that $300,000 would decline to $91,603 after 70 years.

            It seems you don’t quite understand the concept of present value/future value.

            The seller of the home, received $300,000. He decided to put that money in the bank, After 70 years, the $300,000 becomes $982,500. The future value of $300,000 you paid today is more than tripled after 70 years. And the present value of $982,500 after 70 years is $300,000.

          • What I meant was that the $300,000 was already at present value because it was received at present. There is no need to future-value it as a means to derive its value to those of us in the present.

            The $300,000, without being re-invested, would decline to $91,603, just as the house would. I bring this up to illustrate that the house’s decline in value over time does not argue against home ownership anymore than the dollar’s decline in value over time argues against cash ownership.

            Of course, property has historically tended to appreciate over time, while the dollar (and myriad other currency) has tended to lose purchasing power over time, which is why so many people invest in real estate in the first place.

          • 白色纯棉小裤裤

            Your argument is quite confusing to me.

            I will just restate my point in simple terms.

            A pays $300,000 to buy a house in year 0, and pays another $300,000 to buy a house in year 70. The present value of A’s total payment is $391,603.

            B pays $300,000 to buy a house in year 0, and continue to pay $6,000 each year for 70 years. The present value of B’s total payment is $464,938

            Both A and B will have enjoyed their house for 70 years and have a house to leave to their children. So there is no real difference other than the money they paid.

          • Well, if there is no difference other than the money they paid, then I will point out that the $6,000 figure represents a highly conservative figure derived from your initial hypothetical 2% and the prime rate. If using my own property tax rate of 1.0561% and the current average 30-year fixed mortgage rate of 4.27%, the annual property tax would be $3,168, and the present value of B’s total payment would be $370,218.

            On top of this is the notion that that property tax isn’t merely being funneled into the national government to do whatever it pleases, but is rather owed locally and considered to be in payment of actual tangible services. For example, my property tax bill actually lists a 1% basic levy rate, and additional water, pest/vector control, and landscaping & lighting services contribute another 0.0561%.

            Add on top of all this the fact that you never need to worry about the government repossessing your property so long as you can manage to fork up a paltry annual sum that is equitably proportionate to your home value anyway (so it’s not like the house-poor who barely managed to save up to afford the most basic home are forced to cough up property taxes congruous with luxurious mansions).

            Anyway, ironically enough, I just experienced a heat-induced blackout (I’m currently using my phone’s mobile data), so I may not respond for a while, depending on when the electricity comes back.

        • Irvin

          I think you mean a rental disguised as a purchase. But I understand what you’re saying. According to my family, they’re saying that the 70 years contract is just a formality, when the 70 years is up they can’t really put you out.

          But still, that doesn’t really fix the issue of people buying homes for security.

          • JabroniZamboni

            There is security in owning a home if you do not strictly look at it as a business investment. If you can find the home that you love, can see your family growing there, and can be comfortable for the foreseeable future, having the comfort and peace of mind of being an owner is well worth it.

            The mistake lies in those going beyond their means.

          • don mario

            they can’t really put you out? hahaha….hahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

            why would anyone trust them to stick to their word, let alone to NOT stick their word.

      • ex-expat

        Most people have a homestead exemption on their property, which decreases the amount that is taxed. In addition, a homestead exemption prevents the value assessed for taxes from increasing more than a certain amount each year. Property taxes are tax deductible anyway, so the cost comes down even further. And finally, paying property taxes means that you get to live in a place far, far away from mainland China.

  • Perseus Wong

    Is the ability or inability to buy a home now the standard for ending your life?! What person who is a quadriplegic, blind or dying from some disfiguring cancer wouldn’t trade places with you?! My single parent mother never owned her home until she was into her 50s. And this was only after many years of raising two kids on her own and working two jobs six days a week.

    I can think of millions of other people in other times in history who have better reasons to cut their wrist than an able bodied 21st century man who can’t afford to keep up with the Joneses. Even a homeless beggar has a better appreciation for the value of his life than this guy.

  • Teacher in China

    Yeah, the very cynical side of me completely agrees and would say further that he just wants to keep the corruption limited to himself and his cronies.

    The other side of me has a little hope that this is a mostly genuine effort by someone who can see what is going to happen if corruption continues unchecked and has decided that enough is enough already.

    Hoping the latter part is true.

    • don mario

      the other said of you is very naive.

  • JRwilliam

    Just fucking climb the fences, obama welcomes you!

  • don mario

    finally some sense is spoken in here.

  • don mario

    well you couldn’t do that in china because after 70 years you gotta give the house back to the gvt. maybe earlier, if they decide to bulldoze it for a road or a mall or office block or something..

  • Surfeit

    Poor fella. It’s a tough world, and tougher on some than others. Suicide takes a lot of minerals though, so if he can channel that somewhere else he might just make it.

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