The Taiwan Central has let the NT dollar rise below thirty, closing at 29 and change the other day against the US dollar, which is climbing against most major currencies as the US economy appears to be on a growth track. The Taipei Times speculates...
Some argue that the central bank is willing to tolerate a stronger NT dollar because Taiwanese exporters have learned how to hedge foreign exchange losses. Others suggest this is essentially an effort by the central bank to pre-empt inflation driven by rising import material prices.There are many possibilities...as prices of imports fall, people feel like they have more money in their pockets. Letting the NT appreciate is one way to make people like they have more money ahead of the upcoming legislative and presidential elections. Or it could simply be that the Central Bank can't afford to keep offsetting all the hot money flowing in and pushing the NT dollar up.
Amy Chua's piece in WSJ on authoritarian nutter parenting among affluent, status crazy Chinese has generated lots of tawk-tawk on the internets. I hope WSJ publishes a deconstruction of the kind of status games Chua is playing (Chua has collected all the status tokens, Ivy league job, upper class income, and white --never non-white -- husband and she's won the game. Go Amy!). Someone should also point out her glaring omission of the simple fact that in Chinese families all over the world, authoritarian parental control is backed by violence, just like authoritarian governments in the larger world (this kind of reality denial is also symptomatic of authoritarianism). But in a world where Chinese moms love to brag about the performance of their kids in order to exhibit what awesome Chinese moms they are, kudos to Chua for scoring the ultimate one-upping coup: she gets to engage in ostentatious display of mom-ness in the WSJ. By the way, American parents also behave this way -- in fundie Christian whackjob families. Just go through her piece and replace "piano" with "Bible" and "straight A" with "prayer" and you'll realize she's a perfectly recognizable cultural profile.[UPDATE: Amy Chua did not chose the headline, according to someone who said they got a letter from her. Also, Asian American females 15-24 have highest suicide rates.]
The Taipei Times discussed the implications of some of the possible staff changes in the Obama Administration. Overall will be positive for Taiwan, but until we end that stupid war in Afghanistan and our ever expanding war on Islam, and shift those resources into fixing the US and rebuilding our military for the coming struggle in Asia, warm fuzzies for Taiwan won't translate into quite enough (though they will be very welcome after the disastrous Bush years). The future is here, in Asia, folks. The Middle Eastern wars are a ball and chain the dead past has hung on our future. Time to move on.
The 2nd generation NHI has been passed.
“The revised act sets health premiums for individuals at 4.91 percent of their monthly salaries, down from the current 5.17 percent,” said Minister of Health Yaung Chih-liang. Any additional income over NT$2,000 (US$69), including interest, professional practice income, rent, stock dividends and bonuses exceeding four months’ salary, will incur supplementary charges of 2 percent.It won't be enough, unfortunately.
Taiwan's birth rates hit a record low this year. This alarmed President Ma. Pig potty training cuts farm run-off by 80% in Taiwan. A Taiwan-US draft extradition treaty is proposed. Commonwealth interviews the CEPD Chief on 2011 and changes in Taiwan's industrial policy.
Liu foresees 2011 as a key year for Taiwan, because for the first time all industries will compete on a level playing field, taking off from the same starting line. The corporate income tax rate has been cut to 17 percent, easing the burdens of industries that rely on domestic demand, while tax incentives for the high-tech industry have been phased out. The old tax incentive policy had come under fire for what many saw as the government's unfair favoritism toward the high-tech industry at the expense of conventional industries. "The winners will be decided by the market," Liu contended, stressing that in the future the government will no longer have a hand in picking the winning industries.Jens Kastner discusses some of the recent developments in Taiwan politics, ending with this cute tidbit:
According to Chen Yaw-shyang, an assistant professor of public policy at National Taipei University, this was Chen Yunlin's real objective in his recent visit. Professor Chen says that officially, Chen Yunlin came to sign a few agreements, but his actual purpose was to bring some information regarding last-minute support Ma can expect from Beijing before the legislative and presidential elections. "Chen Yunlin was in reality the disguised Santa Claus from Beijing, carrying secret gifts for the Ma government", the professor said.Cute, but they can communicate by telephone. It should be obvious that Beijing will do what it can to keep its boy Ma in power, but its range of action may be constrained by the fact that China is universally detested in Taiwan, and that too open support for Ma may be the kiss of death for the President, whose approval ratings remain in the dumps.
[Taiwan] 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.