why does everyone think taiwan is poor?

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why does everyone think taiwan is poor?

Postby headhonchoII » 21 Apr 2012, 14:56

I don't think it was Westerners who taught Taiwanese to put factories beside rice fields, no siree. Nor is anything stopping Taiwanese changing the law but no, 2012, its still acceptable.

Not all Westerners have the same background , for instance we completely by-passed the industrial revolution where I am from. These types of comparisons are not of any use.

In fact Chinese have their own types of industrial production going back 100s of years , for example the porcelain industry that exported to Europe.
I can remember the fourth of July runnin' through the backwood bare.
And I can still hear my old hound dog barkin' chasin' down a hoodoo there
Chasin' down a hoodoo there.
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Re: why does everyone think taiwan is poor?

Postby headhonchoII » 23 Apr 2012, 15:03

Electric cars in China, I'll have a 3 wheeler please!
Actually they are very suitable for north Taiwan what with all the rain up there.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-17780515
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And I can still hear my old hound dog barkin' chasin' down a hoodoo there
Chasin' down a hoodoo there.
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Re: why does everyone think taiwan is poor?

Postby teamblubee » 15 May 2012, 23:26

Man you guys are nuts.

I read this whole thread and I think that a lot of users have a warped view of things here in Taiwan. Sure the country "seems" poor but like everyone says most people here are very well off and live without debt. So what if the building are dirty on the outside? Most of the interiors are very nice, Taiwan has a lot of form over function crud that I am not a fan of but repainting the outside of your buildings I'm glad isn't one of them. This is a different society than most of us grew up in and all of our respective societies took different paths to reach where they are right now.

I for one enjoy Taiwan, all the good and the bad, I lived in Japan for a while and they implemented a lot of the stuff you guys dream about here and you know what, Japan sucks. I cannot stand those cities that are so clean they look like something out of a science fiction movie where everyone suddenly disappeared. Taiwan looks lived in, its alive, its natural. Sure I could do without the cigarette smoke but that's something I accept because I like the overall wholesomeness of Taiwan.

I really like the part about how you would change Taiwan, if the local government can't change Taiwan how do you think they'd take to some foreigners giving that a shot. The pollution is a bit of a problem but if it bothers you so much, get those face masks everyone wears, seems to do wonders for them.

There are a few things that I wish would change in Taiwan but Im not gonna be the one to change them.
1. More creativity in schools, test driven education is destroying Taiwan because these kids cannot think and don't dare to be creative. This creates crappy job markets, I even read an article the other day on http://www.focustaiwan.tw that said big tech firms hire top engineer graduates, give them remedial jobs with good salaries and those top graduates become remedial engineers. With more creative thinkers these students wouldn't be so afraid to risk failure and try something new. The next google, facebook, microsoft, or apple maybe?

2. Taiwanese parents can stop sending so many kids to english cram schools. I know lots of us are teachers but c'mon. How would you feel if you studied a language for 8-10 years and still cannot put together a sentence. I feel this is robbery, supported by greedy bosses, parents who don't understand, and kids who are forced. Maybe as a child they can go but at a certain age, the child knows if they're interested in english or not and we all can tell. You've had them in your class I would bet.

3. allow more competition in all sectors. I don't like total private ownership nor total public ownership, there needs to be a competition between both. Some people need help, they take handouts from the government so there will always be need for cheap public services but some people can afford to pay more for private services, let people choose.

That's all I can think of at this moment, not only do you not need to force new laws on people. Creating new laws are tough and as soon as the law is created in two days there's already a way to dodge that law. You guys know because I saw many references to the new buildings not having green zones and parks or whatnot.
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Re: why does everyone think taiwan is poor?

Postby superking » 15 May 2012, 23:30

We judge the world by our own standards.

By Western standards the Taiwanese look poor. There is very little going on here beyond Western mindsets being upset by the reality of Asian mindsets. Arabs in the UK complain that we are poor.
There are millions of people in the world. And none of those people is an extra. They're all leads in their own stories.

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Re: why does everyone think taiwan is poor?

Postby Pingdong » 16 May 2012, 00:16

you wont change taiwan or anywhere by trying to change it, you can only lead by doing and hope people open their eyes when they see a good example. or assimilate into the rest and do nothing, thats a popular past time as well.

I agree with you that taiwan is nice because its not such a babied society in certain regards (although it is worse than the west oin other regards as well), but one thing that is seriously wrong here, and pretty much everywhere, is the complete disregard and out right disrespect right down to religion that many show towards nature. Taiwanese are still humans and despite race (aka variety) we all fail in many of the same areas, its not a regional issue.

I for one live here precisely because i love how self responsible you need to be to make good, and its not quite the nanny state it is back home. as soon as Taiwan becomes Japan, time to leave.
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Re: why does everyone think taiwan is poor?

Postby teamblubee » 16 May 2012, 01:06

Pingdong wrote:you wont change taiwan or anywhere by trying to change it, you can only lead by doing and hope people open their eyes when they see a good example. or assimilate into the rest and do nothing, thats a popular past time as well.

I agree with you that taiwan is nice because its not such a babied society in certain regards (although it is worse than the west oin other regards as well), but one thing that is seriously wrong here, and pretty much everywhere, is the complete disregard and out right disrespect right down to religion that many show towards nature. Taiwanese are still humans and despite race (aka variety) we all fail in many of the same areas, its not a regional issue.

I for one live here precisely because i love how self responsible you need to be to make good, and its not quite the nanny state it is back home. as soon as Taiwan becomes Japan, time to leave.


I can't agree with you more, and the idea that Taiwan cannot be self sustainable is also laughable, sure some foods we wont have and wouldn't be able to eat a lot of meats but many original people here already don't eat many types of meats. I am neither vegan nor telling anyone they should be but living sustainable is definitely possible in Taiwan. There are many original people around in the smaller town areas that live very happy productive lives without the traffic, smog, and congestion but your gonna have to give up your 24-7 lifestyle for that if you choose, or live as best you can somewhere in between. But those skyscrapers going up everywhere are not only an eyesore, they are a disaster waiting for the next earthquake to be realized. There's nothing I dislike more than those tall high rise buildings, well actually one thing. Those smokers who then put on that face mask and say, "oh the air is so dirty!"... :loco:

Man that one always trips me up.
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why does everyone think taiwan is poor?

Postby headhonchoII » 16 May 2012, 07:28

Taiwan has learned from Japan and has more to learn from Japan. Japan had conservation laws in their hillsides and forests hundreds of years ago. Yes it didn't stop them chopping down lots of trees here but what ridiculous arguments I am hearing.

- rotten dilapidated looking buildings everywhere are fine (I know many taiwanese who dont like this either)
- smelly polluted rivers are fine
- lack of sewerage systems is fine
-factories located beside agricultural areas are fine
- badly organized streets, pavements and dangerous driving are fine
- air pollution is fine, just wear a mask.

Listen to what you are saying...pretty dumb. Also not everywhere in Japan is the same, for instance Osaka is remarkably similar to Taiwanese cities.

You need to live in Taiwan longer and learn something. Those skyscrapers (I assume you mean tall buildings) are the safest buildings as they are scrutinized the most and use reinforced steel and pilings. By living in tall buildings people don't need to occupy every bit of the countryside of what is one of the worlds MOST densely populated countries.

Who cares if Taiwan is self sustainable in food, this argument keeps coming up, what the hell do the need to do that for? It makes no sense from an economic or risk management aspect. Every small country which has tried this has usually resulted in famine or revolution, read some history books. Ireland was self sustainable until it had a potato blight and one million people died and one million emigrated, great result. In Cambodia and North Korea it was an abject failure. Cuba never achieved it completely and it was just forced on them, I'm sure if you asked the people they would rather be doing something else with their time in many cases than beig subsistence peasant farmers.
Self sustainability can change over night due to war, weather or disease. Taiwan is better off focusing on other things it is good at and that can boost peoples living standards, not degrade them like some sort of Maoist throwback. There are 22 million people here in urban conurbations surrounded by large mountain ranges prone to typhoons, not an agragarian paradise. My wife is from a Hakka family in Miaoli, those people know subsistence farming and they chose to move down from the hills to the plains area when it was redistributed because farming is not that bloody easy in marginal areas! If the individual wants to be self sustainable go for it, that's YOUR choice.
I can remember the fourth of July runnin' through the backwood bare.
And I can still hear my old hound dog barkin' chasin' down a hoodoo there
Chasin' down a hoodoo there.
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Re: why does everyone think taiwan is poor?

Postby GuyInTaiwan » 16 May 2012, 09:13

HH: This does keep coming up and some people keep painting it as a false dichotomy between what exists and some sort of peasant agrarian hell hole. Complete strawman, as has been demonstrated time and time again, particularly by finley.
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Re: why does everyone think taiwan is poor?

Postby teamblubee » 16 May 2012, 12:29

headhonchoII wrote:Taiwan has learned from Japan and has more to learn from Japan. Japan had conservation laws in their hillsides and forests hundreds of years ago. Yes it didn't stop them chopping down lots of trees here but what ridiculous arguments I am hearing.

- rotten dilapidated looking buildings everywhere are fine (I know many taiwanese who dont like this either)

*** If they don't like it let the people organize to change it, I live here too there are a lot of things Taiwanese don't like but put up with. It's their way. My argument is you can't force laws on people, if the outside get bad enough people will will do something about it, or do you suggest putting some law on the books to give people fines?

headhonchoII wrote:- smelly polluted rivers are fine
- lack of sewerage systems is fine
-factories located beside agricultural areas are fine

*** Where did I say these things were fine, Taiwan is a developing country, These are the problems developing countries seem to go through. Look at the states during its development stages. Clear cutting across the west to lay railroads, cutting down woodlands for farms, cotton mills right on rivers. These are problems that get better as the society advances there's no fast forward button for that.

headhonchoII wrote:- badly organized streets, pavements and dangerous driving are fine

*** The streets are bad but Taiwan, like Japan has that same problem. Many areas of Japan have bad streets. Also like in Japan, Taiwanese streets seem to just be an expansion of the older roads before. That's an aesthetic issue. The highways are nice but those are elevated or built in less populated areas. Have you seen the roads in the cities in Japan, almost as bad as Taiwan. It's not the roads its the earth beneath it. I see it all the time, freshly paved roads only to grow a hill or sink hole somewhere. The driving, well that again you can't change people's habits overnight. Taiwan isn't big enough for cars, barely big enough for scooters.

headhonchoII wrote:- air pollution is fine, just wear a mask.

*** you missed the point, I was saying people smoking causing more dust in the air, then complain about air pollution. No one likes to inhale dirty air, but again people will smoke then complain about air quality. That's crazy.

headhonchoII wrote:Listen to what you are saying...pretty dumb. Also not everywhere in Japan is the same, for instance Osaka is remarkably similar to Taiwanese cities.

I lived in Osaka and liked it there. Kansai area is my favorite area in Japan, but even there is starting to turn into a roach motel skyscraper hell.

headhonchoII wrote:You need to live in Taiwan longer and learn something. Those skyscrapers (I assume you mean tall buildings) are the safest buildings as they are scrutinized the most and use reinforced steel and pilings. By living in tall buildings people don't need to occupy every bit of the countryside of what is one of the worlds MOST densely populated countries.

Who cares if Taiwan is self sustainable in food, this argument keeps coming up, what the hell do the need to do that for? It makes no sense from an economic or risk management aspect. Every small country which has tried this has usually resulted in famine or revolution, read some history books. Ireland was self sustainable until it had a potato blight and one million people died and one million emigrated, great result. In Cambodia and North Korea it was an abject failure. Cuba never achieved it completely and it was just forced on them, I'm sure if you asked the people they would rather be doing something else with their time in many cases than beig subsistence peasant farmers.
Self sustainability can change over night due to war, weather or disease. Taiwan is better off focusing on other things it is good at and that can boost peoples living standards, not degrade them like some sort of Maoist throwback. There are 22 million people here in urban conurbations surrounded by large mountain ranges prone to typhoons, not an agragarian paradise. My wife is from a Hakka family in Miaoli, those people know subsistence farming and they chose to move down from the hills to the plains area when it was redistributed because farming is not that bloody easy in marginal areas! If the individual wants to be self sustainable go for it, that's YOUR choice.


***That statement is utterly madness! I'm from California earthquakes don't kill people, buildings fall down and kill people. How many deaths have you heard from earthquakes when people live away from those high rise buildings. No matter how safe you think they are all it takes is the right quake and it all comes crashing down. You say I'm dumb and need to travel more, you tell me about reading history books, have you been to those places you tell me you read about, except for Ireland, Cuba and N. Korea, S. Korea will have to suffice. I lived in Miami I have talked to many Cuban expats and Cuba is very complicated. One reason they fail is because they have economic sanctions, how can you farm when u can't buy the things required to run a farm? A lot of the trouble you talk about where those people ended up in famine was caused exactly by what's being advocated here, top down rules forced on people. That has never worked in the past, doesn't work today, and I doubt it would work in the future. So maybe you should take some time before you read books and think you know something, actually do and then know something. I've you've been and want to debate specifics I'd welcome that but I highly suspect you've never been to those countries you mentioned.

***Also answer me this, have you heard of a country where people fled because it was too populated? Usually you hear people leave an area, usually a city because they are overcrowded. Countries don't get overpopulated, its usually just the cramped up cities where people are sucked from the land into the city ground type of lifestyle. I'd like for you to cite me anything that show where it was a country that was over populated and not the cramped cities.

*** No one here is advocating "subsistence peasant farmers" or those huge industrial farms that grow one crop. I'm talking about farming the foods that you can use. The reason being is that if you can feed yourself, your family and your neighbors who wouldn't like that freedom? Are you truly telling me you would want piles of money, instead of food? Farming is hard sure so is life, you give up your land that can support you to move to a cramped city, how does that fix the problem? If a typhoon come and your on a farm, you lose your crops, you can replant and continue. If an earthquake hits and you lose your house and everything you had, then what? Did you see what happened in Japan after their disaster last year, after 3 days stores were empty. I wonder how the farmers were doing. Your wife's family moved away from that land, if that was their choice that's their choice. Someone else probably picked up the slack if they sold off the land. Not everyone can be farmers because it isn't easy work but do you want your food grown in your own country, or do you want to have to import most of your food products. Which one face more risk because of typhoon or earthquakes?
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why does everyone think taiwan is poor?

Postby headhonchoII » 16 May 2012, 12:57

Taiwan has a longer and more complex history than you imagine. At one time there were many people farming the hills but they were given the option to resettle on plains land, my wife's family are still part time farmers actually but the WHO signing devastated farm incomes in Taiwan, it is simply impossible to have a high standard of living for many farmers in Taiwan due to small acreage. Now they grow Taro as a cash crop and rice and veg for consumption, some seasons they do well, other seasons not so. They have also grown mushrooms, tea and fruit in the past, all of which have boomed and busted. The hillsides they used to farm still have orchards and bamboo in some instances but they are going back to nature in other cases and I think that is not a bad thing.
I just want to get rid of the starry eyed views of farming and self sustainability that often ignores facts and reality.
These Hakka people are really hard working and have grown up with a rich farming tradition but you need money to send your kids to school and college and pay for machinery and automobiles and fuel and property tax and health premiums etc etc.
I can remember the fourth of July runnin' through the backwood bare.
And I can still hear my old hound dog barkin' chasin' down a hoodoo there
Chasin' down a hoodoo there.
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