Chinese Queuers Cost $3 an Hour

Government problem

Earlier this month, people waited four days and three nights to register for low-income housing in the central city of Xian, while admission to a certain Beijing kindergarten in Changping last year required a week-long, round-the-clock queue, for which people set up camp beds along the pavement.

Entrepreneurial solution:

For the past two years, Li Qicai, 28, has made a career out of waiting in line. What's more, he now outsources the waiting to others. He employs four full-time queuers and a host of freelancers, who, for a cost of about $3 an hour, will do the waiting for you.

For other tales of bodies for rent, check out Reason's coverage of unions hiring non-unionized protesters to do their picketing for them here. Prices for rental protesters are higher in Germany, where "Six hours of Melanie bearing your banner or shouting your slogan will set you back 145 euros." In India you can rent wedding guests. In Nigeria, mourners are for rent as well. And then there's prostitution, of course.   

Via the Freakonomics blog.

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  • ||

    They had professional line-waiters in the USSR and former Eastern Bloc too, IIRC.

  • ||

    Nostalgic?

  • la-la-la-can't-hear-you||

    Fuck off, troll.

    He got Steve Smith'd so hard, yesterday. Be gentle. ;)

    SugarFree|7.27.11 @ 12:46PM|#

    You me'd that up, dude.

    Chupacabra|7.27.11 @ 1:41PM|#

    In the future, just stick with "Fuck off, troll."

    It's much more effective.

  • ||

    "COMMUNIST! YOU MUST HAVE LIKED THE USSR!" is to libertarians what "WHY DON'T YOU MOVE TO SOMALIA?" is to liberals.

  • ||

    I'll lay down my gun when you fuckers do, but not before.

  • la-la-la-can't-hear-you||

    Fuck off, troll.

    He got Steve Smith'd so hard, yesterday. Be gentle. ;)

    SugarFree|7.27.11 @ 12:46PM|#

    You me'd that up, dude.

    Chupacabra|7.27.11 @ 1:41PM|#

    In the future, just stick with "Fuck off, troll."

    It's much more effective.

  • Mr. Obvious||

    this is one of the worst trollers I've seen on reason.

  • Jeff P||

    He's a rental.

  • ||

    A paid troll? Now there's an idea. Who will do the business model?

  • BakedPenguin||

    I miss HERCULE. I hope my posting a picture of him didn't drive him away.

  • Brett L||

    Or, you, know, certain systems are so bad at value allocation that standing in line is enough of a time suck to merit the working class paying someone else to do it.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Imp of the Perverse,

    They had professional line-waiters in the USSR and former Eastern Bloc too, IIRC.


    That only means people were entrepreneurial even in the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc.

  • ||

    Yes, many of the Russian Oligarchs started out on the black market selling western blue jeans and vinyl records.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Imp of the Perverse,

    Yes, many of the Russian Oligarchs started out on the black market selling western blue jeans and vinyl records.


    Really? So what are you saying, that selling jeans and vinyl records is the way of the oligarch?

    Because I think you just pulled that one out of your ass. I kind of expected it, though.

  • OO||

    nobody should get money for queefing

  • Jeff P||

    Launching a banana, on the other hand...

  • some guy||

    I'm sure there will be a governemnt crackdown on proxy line-waiting once word of this reaches the right ears...

  • ||

    Hmmm. But can you rent mourners to show up at someone else's wedding?

  • robc||

    Westboro tried that and people got all pissy.

  • ||

    Ah, right. I was thinking of it as more of a lone mother-in-law initiative.

  • ||

    This is a profession just crying out to be unionized. They could then hire non-union labor to protest when they were on strike and the ironic singularity would finally form, and the universe dies laughing.

  • la-la-la-can't-hear-you||

    Fuck off, troll.

    He got Steve Smith'd so hard, yesterday. Be gentle. ;)

    SugarFree|7.27.11 @ 12:46PM|#

    You me'd that up, dude.

    Chupacabra|7.27.11 @ 1:41PM|#

    In the future, just stick with "Fuck off, troll."

    It's much more effective.

  • ||

    You have GOT to be the worst troll in the history of the human race.

    Do yourself a favor: soak yourself in gasoline and light a match.

  • Dead Milkmen||

    I just got a brand new lighter
    And I just can't wait to use it
    With a can of kerosene
    It's lots of fun; you can't refuse it.

    Oily rags, a special thing,
    Look to me like diamond rings.
    Maybe we can have some fun.
    Maybe we can burn someone!

  • rather||

    lol

  • Brett L||

    Didn't that already happen? Non-union protestors hired to march in union protests. Did I just make that up about the SEIU? Or was it not a strike?

  • ||

    One more level, Brett. The scab protesters unionize and then hire scab protesters for themselves. A couple of a hundred iterations later, every human on Earth has hired themselves to protest the unfair wages they pay themselves to scab for themselves to force better concessions for themselves in their one-person union.

  • la-la-la-can't-hear-you||

    Fuck off, troll.

    He got Steve Smith'd so hard, yesterday. Be gentle. ;)

    SugarFree|7.27.11 @ 12:46PM|#

    You me'd that up, dude.

    Chupacabra|7.27.11 @ 1:41PM|#

    In the future, just stick with "Fuck off, troll."

    It's much more effective.

  • Seven Brides for One Brother||

    The stink is strong in this one.

  • cynical||

    At least it's easier to ignore than other trolls.

  • rather||

  • Invisible Finger||

    Anyone else think the headline said "Chinese Queers Cost $3 an hour?" My first reaction was "That's like Deadwood pricing."

  • Jack the Reaper||

    Beat me to it...

  • Jack the Reaper||

    Beat me to it...

  • Rhywun||

    Yup. I got all excited for nothing.

  • Seven Brides for One Brother||

    Me too.

  • Jack the Reaper||

    crap

  • Hmm||

    This occurs in DC. Lobbyists pay people to hold their place outside elected officials doors.

  • anarch||

    They also serve who only stand and wait.

  • Beavis||

    Know how I misread that headline?

  • Vichy||

    Um, this 'low income housing' scam is probably why they were waiting. Sell below the market price and you create shortages! This guy is profiting off of government idiocy.

  • Dello||

    Same thing in Panama: Down there they call them "runners", and they'll do everything from get your groceries to get your car tabs.

  • ||

    Fa Q!

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