Here. Reading the whole thing is much recommended.
This month, I rode the bullet train from Beijing to Tianjin in half an hour - then returned by bus, which took two hours. Next to me on the decrepit, but packed, vehicle was a 17-year-old girl migrating to Beijing to search for work. She had never heard of the high-speed train, but when informed it cost $9, as opposed to $5.40 for the bus, expressed no regret at missing it. The bus driver assured me the girl was typical of his working-class clientele; to them, even a little money is more valuable than a lot of time. Small wonder that the Beijing-Tianjin line, built at a cost of $46 million per mile, is losing more than $100 million per year.
A mobile version of all those overpriced apartments and shopping malls, in other words.
The state of the world is now such that, if you want to be optimistic about your own country, don’t whatever you do look at your own country. Look at all the others.