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Economist causes stir with comments on 'useless' adults | Updated: 2023-02-07 21:56
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"Adults have the right to be useless," a renowned economist said. This opinion has created a huge uproar online.

Chu Yin, renowned scholar and former professor at the University of International Relations, made the remarks in a video on Monday, creating quite a buzz.

"Adults have the right to be useless. We don't want our kids to be good-for-nothing because their futures are full of possibilities," he said in the video posted to Sina Weibo, a Twitter-like platform.

"As for people over 35, being a good-for-nothing is comfortable. And middle-aged people should make peace with themselves if they choose to be useless. When you are old, you are useless, there is nothing to be ashamed of," he said.

His remarks have triggered huge attention for their association with a recent phenomenon among youth in China — "lying flat".

"Lying flat" is a social phenomenon where some people tire of the rat race, choose to skate by and become a couch potato, as explained by The World of English, a famous English study magazine.

After his remarks, a topic entitled "a specialist said it is comfortable for people over 35 to be useless" rushed to the top of the trending topics list on Weibo, with many mocking him.

"Joining shows, posting vlogs, why are you working so hard when you can just choose to be a good-for-nothing?" a netizen asked, calling the comments clickbait.

"What Chu said and the way he said it in the video are no different from low-level self-media crying for attention. Considering his identity, it is rather sad to see these remarks coming from him," ran a comment from Jimu News, a news platform run by Hubei Daily Media Group.

In response to the criticism, Chu didn't withdraw his remarks. Instead, he said he didn't mean people should strive to be a good-for-nothing.

"There is a difference between saying people having a right to be useless and saying people should be useless," he said.

He said his remarks were made from his personal reflections on middle-aged people under great pressure.

This was not the first time his comments caused a stir, however.

He also recently said Chinese youth don't want to listen to "specialists' proposals" as many so-called specialists in China are actually of low quality, adding youth nowadays are more confident about the choices they have made.

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