Friday, January 28, 2011

KMT rising in GVRSC poll on trust, optimism

Global Views Survey Research Center has the public mood on the rise in its latest survey.....
TPMI [Taiwan Public Mood Index] stands at 47.4 this month with PCI [Public Confidence Index] hitting 51.9 and ECI [Economic Confidence Index] 42.8. Compared with the previous month, TPMI climbed one point and reached a record high once again since launch of the survey. PCI edged up by one point and remained in the positive range of winning some public approval. PCI also touches the second high since president Ma took office (the index reached the peak of 54.6 in June 2008 when Ma was just inaugurated for one month). Regardless of the slight increase of only 0.9 point, ECI touched a new high this month since release of the survey. Generally speaking, the new TPMI of the very first month of ROC centenary reflected people's high confidence in the political and economic situation in Taiwan.
The survey identified the key point as a 4 point drop in the Public Trust for DPP Chair Tsai Ing-wen, which it attributed to the flap over the 18 percent interest, which blemished her reputation since the public found her hypocritical for criticizing a benefit that she herself received. Public trust in President Ma and Premier Wu both rose.

This looks like good news but it is likely to be temporary. This year food prices are expected to rise, as they did a few years ago, meaning that the public is going to continue experiencing the scissors of rising prices and stagnant incomes through the rest of the Ma Administration. Economic growth is projected to be lower than the last 18 months of the Chen Administration, at 4.8% (the lies about the Chen period will nevertheless continue unabated), while the unemployment goal is 4.9%. In other words, ordinary people will not see much economic progress. Major complaints, such as the cost of child rearing and housing, are not getting addressed.

Moreover, the KMT has shown itself completely hamfisted when it comes to managing the President's public image and the Party's handling of crises; the current rise is simply the result of nothing in particular happening at the moment, I suspect. Sooner or later something will happen and once again they will look like the indifferent dorks that they are, and public opinion will fall. Too, Tsai Ing-wen is smart and tough and the DPP has been handling itself well. She should recover.
Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums! Delenda est, baby.


Okami said...

I'm actually surprised that food prices haven't gone higher. I can only contribute that to Taiwan's agriculture and govt price-fixing.

I might also attribute the rise to the Floral Expo, which seems like everyone I know has gone to see and generally liked and the coming Chinese New Year.

One question that I have that bothers me on the M shaped economy is the informal economy and tax evasion. If you look at where taxes start to bite on a graph and where there seems to be a lack of middle class, you notice that they coincide. I don't think that's an accident.

Anonymous said...

Co-incidence or not I dunno but last night my local beef noodle joint raised it's prices by $10 a piece on the small and large sizes.

They also increased the dumpling price by $0.5 (yes, 50 cents!). This makes buying multiples of anything but 10 and 20 bloody annoying.

Maybe a sign of things to come?

OzSoapbox said...

Sorry the beef noodle comment left just now was mine. Stuipid blogspot wouldn't let me publish my name/website with the comment.

Taiwanese Logic Bomb said...

"since the public found her hypocritical for criticizing a benefit that she herself received"

If someone deep-Blue received the 18% interest rate said, this is wrong, we should change the system, they would have been applauded as impartial and fair. Conversely, we call those that receive the 18% interest rate that vehemently defend it "self-interested", "biased", "players calling their own fouls".

The logic applied to Tsai Yingwen is so perverse it makes me want to vomit. It is precisely because she has skin in the game, yet is willing to take a haircut on her pension, that we can take as an indication that she is trustworthy and unbiased!

M said...

I think it is fair to say that Taiwan's economy didn't perform well under Chen. In 2001, Taiwan experienced its first year of negative economic growth since the 1950s and the economy was sluggish throughout his first term. Of course this wasn't all Chen's fault, but when the economy is bad the incumbent gets the flack.

The Tsai storm effectively diverted attention from the real issue of why the 18% system is still in place. Again, any chance of real reform has been put off..

Michael Turton said...

Actually, M, the reason I picked that time is because it was the time when the Blue papers were all claiming that the economy sucked. In fact it is worse now.

Aside from that bad year, the economy did OK during the Chen years, mostly over 4% annually.

Anonymous said...

It's good to see you ascribe 4% growth, which Chen had nothing to do with, with good governance while you pin the blame of US financial collapse on Ma.

This is telltale evidence that you know how to vomit Econ 101 jargon in an attempt to make yourself sound knowledgeable, and some are fooled, but I am not.

In truth, Taiwan grew in spite of Chen and touting your "4%" gibberish when Taiwan was at a lower base to begin with (compared to 5-8% in Singapore and Hong Kong) is your most obvious error.

Michael Turton said...

It's good to see you ascribe 4% growth, which Chen had nothing to do with, with good governance while you pin the blame of US financial collapse on Ma.

If you have reading problems, you should probably take some remedial reading courses before commenting here. That way you would understand that in the two years since the economy tanked I have never pinned the responsibility for the collapse on Ma. It rests with Wall Street. Rather, I have consistently maintained that Ma's/KMT's reaction was indifferent and incompetent.

But you're a troll, I know, and really don't care.

M said...

Michael - Taiwan's economic growth for last year could exceed 10%. This is a much stronger recovery than Chen achieved after the negative growth in 2001.
Of course,this has yet to work its way into the pockets of ordinary workers.
However this is not a new problem - the salary of the average worker hardly went up at all in real terms throughout the Chen period.

Michael Turton said...

Michael - Taiwan's economic growth for last year could exceed 10%. This is a much stronger recovery than Chen achieved after the negative growth in 2001.

Ha - right, but then the KMT started from a much lower base, now that things are back to normal, they are clicking along at about 4-5%. That seems to be the natural level here.

Dunno how we're going to solve the income stagnation problem...

M said...

Michael - I don't think that is an accurate characterization. In 2001 Taiwan's economy shrank by around 2%, in 2002 it recovered with economic growth of 4%. Taiwan's economy also shrank by around 2% in 2009, but could register growth of over 10% in 2010.
When compared to South Korea, Taiwan did worse in the early 2000s recession and better in the recent downturn.

Michael Turton said...

Taiwan's economy contracted about 8% in 4Q 2008 and another 2% across all of 2009, bouyed by 4Q 9% growth. In 2008 it grew like .1%. Hence the "recovery" growth I refer to.

The issue for me is that when the economy expanded 4.X% and 5.X% under Chen, the media reported it as economic disaster. Under Ma we see only silence.


Anonymous said...

Take the blinders off. GDP isn't everything.

Taiwanese WEALTH and purchasing power has been growing. The problem is, in my opinion, that the poor are seeing very little of this growth in wealth.

While the Taiwanese wealth gap is nowhere near the insanity of America's and most of Europe's, it is still a problem.

Because of Chen's incompetence, investors avoided Taiwan like a plague, creating negative or stagnant growth in the value of Taiwanese real estate, stocks, money and other assets.

Under Ma, the value of these has soared and total economic collapse was avoided. These are objectively true, despite his blunders and light touch.