Eye On Taiwan
Date: May 29, 2016
By: David Wang
News in Taiwan regularly cite the seemingly frightening statistic that the island’s birth rate being the lowest worldwide, to suggest that Taiwan faces the dilemma also besetting many nations elsewhere of declining birth rate compounded by graying society.
Such thorny issue that impacts Taiwan’s social welfare system including the national medical insurance plan, pensions of various kinds seems intractable to cast an ominous veil over the country. But the underlying assumption, especially embraced by human rights activists, the religious right, and those who can’t or refuse to remove their rose-colored glasses, is that all the newborns will grow up to be productive members of society without burdening the same, are wanted children under planned parenthood of responsible parents.
And those in isolated Ivory Towers, think tanks, government institutions insulated from the real world actually but enigmatically believe that Taiwanese schools are training just the right number of qualified people to supply the local job market. But news reports in Taiwan frequently disprove not only the assumed supply and demand balance in the job market, where factories in southern Taiwan sometimes dispatch managers to parade on streets with want-ad placards to fill positions that forever lie idle, but also anecdotal observations show that many 20-something Taiwanese are not being hired in careers with promising future. I’ve seen tiny breakfast diners in Taipei manned by at least 3 young men who seem to be drastically under-employed. While plenty of 20ish youths in Taipei set up, perhaps as second job, pop-up stands in a suitcase or street vending ops to peddle costume jewelry, knickknacks and fruits.
And there are frequent reports of buyer’s market for airline cabin attendant, post office, bank jobs, as well as various civil service jobs as street cleaners where thousands show up to scramble for a handful of openings.
Such scenario, coupled with daily news reports of all kinds of crimes major and minor in Taiwan as drug trafficking, patricides, matricides, scams obviously point to one aspect of the human condition that most optimists and politically-correct politicians simply would not address nor touch with a 10-foot pole.
So the assumption that as long as Taiwan, as is the case with other nations, achieves a so-called replacement birth rate, then all earthlings can expect to ride off into the sunset singing Oh What a Beautiful Morning!, is obviously out the window. Especially when a woman from a government agency in Taipei said recently that some 3 percent or 690,000 (based on a population of 23 million in Taiwan) Taiwanese have some kind of genetic and birth defects, many of whom are seriously retarded, born with Down Syndrome and cerebral palsy that have to be hand held throughout life by parents, caregivers and unwilling relatives.
And it’s widely taken for granted globally that about 40 percent of people are morons, with such proportion easily being similar in Taiwan, who simply can’t enhance productivity of any kind to saddle the earth, already reeling from overpopulation and resource depletion, by merely being consumers to emit greenhouse gases.
While plenty of news reports quote employers of all stripes who typically lament the difficulty of finding well-qualified staff and scratch their heads to cope with incompetent workers. Just watch episodes of Kitchen Nightmares for anecdotal proof. Also I’m sure all those who place want ads in Taiwan, some of which being urgent, can easily offer more argument against the self-delusional view adhered to by the likes of anti-abortionists and anti-euthanasia advocates.
While Greenpeace and other do-gooders simply focus on eco-issues and cleaning up refuse dumped by mankind, they, politically-correctly, neglect one of the most ruinous forms of wastes: human trash. The kind that homo sapiens instinctively believe must be produced, regardless of quality screening as most of us would demand in say a Honda CR-V or Ford F-10 pickup.
According to a report dated May 26, 2016 by a writer of NOWnews who referred to a relevant story in the Apple Daily, a 40-year-old Taiwanese man in Tainan of southern Taiwan on May 24th burnt charcoal to take himself, wife and 3 kids to the Better World, reportedly due to having run out of money for even utilities.
As traditionally in Taiwan the funeral operator accompanied by a “priest or shaman” (aka sometimes politically-incorrectly regarded as snake-oil hustlers), as would any highly-intelligent human as those running temples across Taiwan who burn carcinogenic incense as tradition would demand, tried without success to toss crescent wooden pieces to achieve the “divine combination” to somehow find the spirits of the deceased.
Maybe they would have had better luck to call the Ghostbusters.
Without any surviving relatives who would normally toss the wooden pieces to find the spirits, the ceremony took some 40 minutes to complete by the funeral operator.
The man, who obviously believed in the value of harikiri (the Japanese practice of terminating a loss decisively by suicide as a show of honor), was reportedly a philanderer and often harassed his parents for handouts. The funeral home has offered their services for free because the parents pleaded poverty.
One can bet one’s bottom dollar that those parents have never even heard of the concept of “human trash,” screening and disposal of that they and plenty of forward-thinking, altruistic Taiwanese would rethink about amid the countless socio-economic issues exacerbated by the mostly uncontrolled production of such “human debris” that undermines life quality on the island.