One year has passed since I started my life in the U.S. Lots of things in my mind should be shared with you.
Besides the distinctive outlook, delicious foods and creative industries in New York, I would like to tell you one of the most impressive things which I hadn't thought about before I lived in NY. It’s related to the wide difference in social services between NY and Shanghai.
In New York, a lot of social services are supplied or supported by non-profit organizations and private foundations. Community education, park maintenance, library services, etc. provide the citizens and permanent residents and even visitors with more benefits. The foundation system encourages donations to flow to social service institutions or programs. In addition, New York has a large number of volunteers who contribute whole-heartedly their passion, intelligence and skills to match the various needs of the public.
In Shanghai, people usually get similar services from the government. Non-government agencies have little space to operate. Like in most cities in China, the government is responsible for the entire social services using their enormous power to allocate funds and resources. Sometimes, the government’s operation boosts the efficiency of the process. But in general, the government cannot really analyze and handle the detail. The service arranged directly by government is minimally supervised and optimized. Corruption and bribery happen often so that huge sums are wasted.
I think Shanghai should reduce the government’s responsibility and power for social services, try its best to promote NGOs, and build practical rules. I hope we can do something like this in the future.