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Commercial Times: One Taiwan, two worlds

Commercial Times: One Taiwan, two worlds

In Taiwan, there is a situation of "one country, two worlds." Despite the small size of the country, there are two different worlds that exist because of the wealth gap and the gap between urban and rural areas. This is a pressing issue that politicians need to acknowledge and address.
According to a news report, some rich people spend over NT$10,000 (US$314) for one hair treatment -- a sum that is equivalent to 40 percent of the NT$25,000 per month that the average new university graduate receives on his or her first job.
Statistics for 2000 showed that the total assets of the richest 20 percent of people in the country was 5.55 times more than that held by the poorest 20 percent. But by the end of 2008, that gap had widened to 6.05 times.
The opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) , which was in power from 2000-2008, must be blamed for doing nothing to address the wealth gap during that period. Nonetheless, the Kuomintang cannot remain nonchalant about the issue either, because it is now running the country.
Meanwhile, the urbanization gap probably has nothing to do with people's happiness, but it could reflect the lifestyle differences in urbanized and rural areas.
Differing lifestyles could lead to differences in core values and political identification. Generally speaking, people in highly urbanized areas tend to more readily accept globalized views and policies. In comparison, people in rural areas are usually more concerned about matters pertaining to their immediate environment and circumstances.
When there are such widely differing views and concerns among the people, they tend to have a hard time communicating with and understanding each other. This is a situation that could be manipulated by politicians to create more divisive issues, which would eventually destabilize Taiwan.
We hope the ruling and opposition parties will take to heart Confucius' teachings that "there will be no poverty if the country's wealth is equally distributed; a nation's small size is no problem so long as the people remain kind and peaceful to each other; and a nation would have no worries of collapse if its society is stable." The parties should pay heed and introduce more constructive policies and measures.
We urge those politicians who claim they "do love Taiwan" to devise concrete measures to help erase the "one Taiwan, two worlds" phenomenon. (April 6, 2010) (By Deborah Kuo)




Updated : 2021-05-17 22:25 GMT+08:00