China’s education system, where peasants can get a rudimentary education before populating thousands of factories along its eastern coast, suited it when the country sought to be the world’s sweatshop. At the same level of development in their history, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, and the U.S. had practically full enrollments in high school. By contrast, only 60 percent to 70 percent of China’s current high-school-age students are in high school. Yet factory jobs will continue to migrate to places like India. Wages in China will continue to rise. And as long as China finds no better way to educate its rural poor, it’s staring down a future with a 100 million-strong underclass.
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