Monday, February 16, 2009

Vouchers Nailed


SocialForce, full of posts from all over Taiwan and always a great site for things Taiwanese, hosted this cartoon (h/t to maddog) commenting satirically on our voucher program. President Ma is shown cutting a slice out of a dog and holding up the meat, labeled "consumer vouchers" for him to eat, as he says: "If you like eating this, I can cut another one for you." Recall that Ma in Taiwanese is often derisively referred to as Ma Ying-gao (dog).....

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Additonal gloss: Taiwanese often has two pronunciations for the same Han character, a spoken and a written (formal) one. Ma Yingjiu is called a dog because the Taiwanese for jiu (9) is a homophone for dog in the ordinary spoken form, but it would never be used in a name, which would take the formal pronunciation. It's impolite and an insult to say Ma's name that way, but I suppose he deserves it.

BTW, that's an excellent political cartoon, thanks for posting.

Taiwan Echo said...

Weeping came after the laughters.

Dixteel said...

To call Ma a dog is an insult to dogs, because dogs are at least loyal to their masters, unlike Ma, who don't listen to his masters and seem to want to sell out his masters.

It's also funny that Ma's name are all animal names:
Ma - horse
Ying - eagle
9 - dog

Plus the first name, Ying-9, can mean Eagle Dog, which means someone's pawn in the traditional mandarin phrase...

Overall his name is really bad...but perhaps it fits well with his personality?!?

chip1972 said...

Don't forget Ma's other nickname, also dog-related: Ma Xiao-chiu "馬小九" -- recalling that this is Ma's own dog's name. (What kind of freak names his dog after himself? Of course Dr. Evil had Mini-me, but that was Dr. Evil.)

Red A said...

The purpose of the vouchers is to force you to spend your own money faster than you would like (or at least taxpayer's own money.)

Supposedly in Weimar Germany they also came up with currencies that had "expiration" dates, encouraging spending.

I am not sure its fair to get on Ma about this when pretty much every government in the world is trying similar things. Though it is good to try to raise some awareness that this is not "free money" unless you pay no taxes.

Dixteel said...

Humm...even if everyone is doing something doesn't make it right. Almost every bank in the US lend out bad mortgages and look what happens. And I would suspect there is someone in Germany drawing similar comic now.

And in my opinion this policy is wrong. But of course some might disagree. In any case I think the comic is right on. The media has put too much makeups on the voucher thing and the comics just wash some of those makeups off. That's excellent.

Anonymous said...

Red A, there are many tools and ways for the government to spend money and they can be regressive (benefit rich people more) or they can be progressive (benefit poor people more). Vouchers are bad because 1) they aren't progressive 2) the economy is too big in the hole for it to work (consumer confidence is still shattered) and there are no long-term benefits from this.

If the government upped investment in language education or mass transportation or government transparency or many other good ideas, sure, it'd take some time, but it would provide lasting benefit. If you wanted something immediate, cut income taxes or health insurance fees for the poor or other ridiculous taxes that disproportionately affect the working stiff.