> Why specifically do they hate it? Degree of exploitation? alienation? social vaccum?
It's hard to be definitive. I get chit-chat during my meals, not the kind of thoughtful response you'd get if you were out drinking or something. Also, these are staff at smaller restaurants, not the big ones like Jing Fung, where direct exploitation might be more likely.
I'd guess that the difference between income and expenses is much greater here. There's "key money" for Chinatown apartments that I'd find hard to pay. And quality of life can be much better in China for equivalent work. When I've been in Beijing, I've often run into Chinese that have returned from the U.S. to work as pharmacists, opticians, etc. But I know that's also true in places like Greece, for example.
Or was. :(