Taiwan: Democracy or tyranny of the majority?

Want China Times
Date: 2015-05-31

Governments on both sides of the Taiwan Strait have been encouraging startups in

The controversial Taipei Dome under construction. (File photo/Keye Chang)

The controversial Taipei Dome under construction. (File photo/Keye Chang)

recent years, though the warm reception afforded to the pep talk of Chinese premier Li Keqiang during recent meetings with startup founders in Zhongguancun in Beijing and in Wuhan presented a sharp contrast to the wait-and-see response to the plan rolled out by Taiwan’s premier Mao Chi-kuo to make Taiwan a center of innovation and startups.

While critics may attribute the contrast to the different political systems, which mean the former was an arranged show and the latter a case of democratic divergence, the truth is that Beijing has been able to see through the execution of its economic policies with strong backing from the private sector, eclipsing the stagnation in Taiwan caused by the constraints of political strife and wavering in government policies.

To take an example, the Long-Term Care Law, which just cleared Taiwan’s Legisltive Yuan after being stuck for years, may turn out to be useless in facilitating the setup of a much needed long-term care system for Taiwan’s aging society due to scant funding sources as the government can only appropriate NT$15 billion (US$490 million) without any tax increases over a five-year period for the project, according to the final version of the law. “With Taiwan gradually approaching northern European nations in social welfare, the local tax rate still averages only 12.6%, a far cry from the latter’s 40%, an unsustainable state for the national finances in the long run,” finance minister Chang Sheng-ford lamented following the enactment of the law.     [FULL  STORY]

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