The Chinese Government Writes a 5-Year Plan for My Life

Josh Freedman
3 min readMay 5, 2016

“The 13th 5-Year Plan period is a decisive stage in comprehensively building a moderately prosperous society. We must conscientiously implement strategic decisions [….] to provide a solid foundation for the implementation of China’s dream of its great rejuvenation.” — China’s 13th 5-Year Plan, 2016–2020

The 6th 5-Year Plan period is a decisive period in Josh’s existence. Economic headwinds are increasing, and fiscal pressure continues to hit unprecedented levels. In the next five years, Josh must unswervingly push forward to realize the great rejuvenation of his personal and professional life.

Tremendous gains have been made in the past 5 years, such as moving out of his parents’ basement and “finally starting to act like an adult sometimes.” But major obstacles remain. Josh is currently underemployed, unmarried, and unable to make even a half-decent risotto despite numerous attempts and clear instructions.

Under the guidance of theory and history, by 2020 Josh will steadily increase his standard of living, find a real career path, and begin implementing the process of producing babies so that his parents do not die without ever seeing their grandchildren.

To do so, Josh must strictly adhere to the economic and social policy guidelines of the 6th 5-Year Plan:

Increase healthcare coverage. The next era includes unforeseen risks like throwing out one’s back, the onset of chronic knee pain, and falling down the stairs in the subway. In the next 5-year period, Josh must actively promote finding a job that has health insurance. He will comprehensively implement the strategy of no longer accepting low-paying jobs simply because they sound “interesting.”

Expand educational access. Resources will be dedicated to strengthen his resolve to go to graduate school. Actions like obsessively reading “30 under 30” articles will be taken to reinforce the idea that education has value on a resume despite its extreme cost. Restrictions on graduate school applications will be implemented to prohibit enrollment in any course that includes the word philosophy.

Promote sustainable urbanization. Josh can no longer share a bathroom with 7 other 20-somethings or live in a room the size of a small closet. In the next five years, he will gradually implement the “Three Increases and One Decrease” plan to increase apartment size, length of rental contract, and quality of apartment furnishings, while lowering the number of dirty roommates. He will spend more money on a reasonable living space and less on alcohol, freeing him from reliance on the negative influence of bourgeois foreign craft beer.

Modernize public health standards. The current rate of doing laundry once per month is no longer sufficient. Effective rates of doing laundry will rise to meet international standards by 2017, and the smell test will be fully eliminated. Overall alcohol consumption, which carries short-term and long-term risks to stability, will decrease 5 percent annually (excluding weddings).

Strengthen social supports. Josh will enthusiastically establish accounts on all varieties of online dating platforms, and efforts will be made to encourage “swiping right”. Days spent looking at friends’ engagement pictures on Facebook will be reclassified as “incentives to settle down once and for all” rather than “wasted time”. Priority will be given to partners who already possess comprehensive health insurance.

The success of the next 5-year plan depends on fully adhering to the plan to adapt to the stable, secure monotony of adulthood. During this important period of growth, Josh may find himself faced with the fantasy of leaving his job and going to work on an organic farm in Thailand. This idea must be comprehensively rejected.

Efforts to make a half-decent risotto will be delayed to future 5-year plans.