You've got it right... I live in a plutocracy which is run by and caters to the wealthy. Only the wealthy are electable because the costs of a national election are astronomically high. This corrupts the furthering of natural ideals since favors given result in favors returned.
Look at what the current congress is interested in... is their interest in helping the working class? or the poor? No. Their interests are in giving a tax break to the wealthiest and repealing the estate tax. <shrug> I guess this has always been the case for humanity. Because I am the product of a typically upper middle class & comfortable background, I have lived in a dream world of idealism (thinking that the my country was different) most of my life. It makes me understand why sages retired to the simple life and left the real world to its own vile self. So it is for that reason that I can see the people in the rural areas as being in a better position than they might realize. But to appreciate that, people first have to experience the other, I guess. Still, every time a new and expensive product is created, there is a desire for it which cannot be fulfilled.
It is a shock to me to read some of the ancient Chinese poetry because underneath the pretty words is a belief that the emperor is infallible and his whims are worthy. One of the poets, I forget which one, called himself foolish for disagreeing with the emperor. I'd like to think that was ironic, but it makes me wonder. Who wouldn't drop everything to become the emperor's close advisor again?
As you say, the situation of medicine throughout the world is startling for its costs and may be one of the main drivers of the rising of everyday expenses. To me, it is also startling for its inequities. On the one hand we have extraordinary advances being made. On the other... they are only available to the wealthy. Even medical insurances only go so far. I suppose that, like all things, these medical wonders will eventually filter down to the common people.
Thank you for posting the image of the poem. (It makes me wish again that I could read Chinese script!) Afterwards, I found and read this
to understand the poem better. It allowed that the rhyme and sounds of the poem in Chinese are what perfected the poem... so now I wish I could hear it, too.
As you know I live in a cold climate, so the images of freezing rain and iced-over mountains are very familiar!
Did you know that the native people of Puget Sound used what I imagine are similar rain cloaks? However, instead of being made of bamboo or reeds, they were made of cedar. Here's an old photograph (Please, try to ignore the nose ring!):
I have not been able to find a photograph of the Ou river online. Is it also called the Oujiang River?
Here is, I hope, a better picture of camellias similar to mine... despite the strong winds we've had, the flowers are still mostly intact.