Well, the economy might be limping forward, but the stock market is roaring...
While her predecessor, Ma Ying-jeou, was rewarded by Beijing for his pro-China policies through trade and transport deals, investments, hordes of tourists and a historic handshake, Tsai was to be given the cold shoulder over her refusal to recognize the One China policy.Haha. Even tourism stocks are up, says Bloomberg. Hey no kidding, you only had to look at the growth in the market. The Taiwan market has outperformed both China's and Hong Kong's.
Instead, less than a year after Tsai took office, Taiwan's Taiex stock index closed Thursday above 10,000 points. Not only is that a psychological level, it's higher than at any point during Ma's eight years. Led by the bedrock electronics industry, every group in the 873-member market-cap-weighted index has posted gains in U.S. dollar terms since May 20.
While the stock market doing well is good news -- recall that many middle class people play stocks and will reward the DPP if the market continues to do well -- the middle class is suffering. Workers 35-39 are earning below average wages...
The Numeracy Lab, a Taiwan-based math teaching group, said Tuesday that Taiwan workers in the 35-39 age group are struggling on low monthly wages that are way below the national average of NT$48,790.The median wage is lower than the mean, indicating that the casino economy that concentrates wealth in fewer and fewer hands is already beginning to show its effects in that age group.
In fact, the group said, 54 percent of Taiwan employees in that age group are earning less than NT$36,000 per month on average.
Although most people in the 35-39 age group have been working for at least 10 years, only 6 percent are receiving more than NT$72,800 per month, Numeracy Lab said on its Facebook page.
A German institute survey expects the economy to continue to pick up for the next six months.
AmCham has an in-depth look at Tsai's 5+2 economic plan. AmCham editorial on Taiwan's trade deficit with the US is here.
Meanwhile, the WHA/WHO invitation for Taiwan is blocked by China. The organization cited the lack of cross strait agreement -- parroting Beijing. Sad. Brian H asks if Taiwan can leverage that ban to raise awareness of its plight.
- Child murderer avoids death with insanity plea. Huge public furor over this in Taiwan, where public overwhelmingly favors death penalty. Lets hope the killer and the public can both find healing...
- Ex DPP Chairs to push for referendum reform. Yes, please, we need this.
- Great analysis of whether marriage equality is a political cleavage in Taiwan.
- Routledge announces another too-expensive-for-hoi-polloi book on Taiwan, on local identity politics and linguistic politics.
- Jenna responds to a New Lens piece apologizing for Chiang Kai-shek. I wasn't going to respond to it because I thought it was just clickbait, but apparently the writer believes what he wrote. The comments on Jenna's piece are good, except for the original writer's mansplanation to Jenna.
- Remember when Trump's pick of Peter Navarro was widely criticized because he was too tough on China? LOL. He's gone soft in this latest WSJ article. The Trump Administration is so paranoid about N Korea that it is now muting criticism of China... Yet China is failing this test, according to Shirley Kan in The National Interest. IMHO China never intended to do anything about N Korea. It is just a sink for US power. She's in the Diplomat with the same message.
- Another great Taiwan This Week podcast from ICRT
- Richard Saunders on the increasingly sad fate of Taiwan's hot springs
- US to increase pressure on beef exports to Taiwan. Remember, the function of heavily subsidized beef exports isn't just to export beef, its to break the ban on ractopamine so US makers can export US ractopork to Taiwan and destroy its domestic pork markets.
- Early poll on Taipei mayor race from TVBS has Chu ahead of Ko 45-44 but Ting Shou-chung behind Ko, 46-41
- Exploring Taipei's Little Indonesia
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