NPP leader counters Foxconn tycoon's claim 'you cannot eat democracy' with MIT study

NPP leader counters Gou's claim 'you cannot eat democracy' with MIT study showing link between GDP growth and democracy

Gou. (CNA photo). Huang (kchuang2013 Facebook page)

Gou. (CNA photo). Huang (kchuang2013 Facebook page)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- After Foxconn founder and new prospective Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate Terry Gou (郭台銘) claimed "you cannot eat democracy," a New Power Party (NPP) leader cited an MIT study demonstrating a correlation between democracy and GDP growth.

On Thursday (April 19), NPP Chairman Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) wrote that despite Gou's claim that "democracy alone does not provide food to eat," there is a wealth of accumulated of data showing that "democracy" has a significant, positive effect on "economic development." Huang then cited a study published by MIT scholars in the top international peer-reviewed academic journal Journal of Political Economy titled "Democracy Does Cause Growth."

The study includes a very detailed statistical model which was used to make an empirical analysis and draw the conclusion that "democracy has a positive effect on GDP per Capita." Huang also included a graph from the study in which the X-axis represents "Years around democratization" and the Y-axis represents "Change in GDP per capita log points."

The graph showed that the length of time a country is a democracy has a positive effect on its long-term GDP growth, with a confidence interval of 95 percent. The longer a country is a democracy, the higher its GDP growth will be.

Taiwanese netizens concurred with the results of the study:

"Democracy can let you eat at home safely."

"When a group of people vote for a country which does not allow voting, these people don't understand what you are saying. This content is too abstract for them."

"People who say that democracy cannot provide meals and are coming to eat with everyone."

"Democracy is giving you a chance to eat, the rest is up to your hard work."

"Totalitarianism means that the government gives your food. You have to eat whether it tastes good or not. You can't even decide how much you can eat."