31% of Taiwanese earn less than NT$30,000; 10% earn over NT$61,000 per month.


Especially since these bigger companies sitting on piles of cash. The least they could have done was keep up with inflation the past 20 years, but I guess the bosses and the sons needs more KTV time and extra Lambos (not that theres anything wrong with those if one at least paid their workers non slave wages)


I understand your point of view. My question is though: Why would they?

To increase local spending power? Taiwan’s GDP is 70% exports. The big company boss probably cares about spending power in China or the US.

To be fair to his employees and keep them loyal? That works for high margin business with a high level of innovation, where it pays to keep people around. Some companies work like that but many do not.

Isn’t it the job of the government to mandate wage hikes or enforce rules?


Of course they wouldn’t, its call Greed and short sightedness with a race to the bottom and selling out Taiwan since they can move operations to overseas any time. Same story I see all around the world.

I’ve worked in Manufacturing/Tech for 12 yrs in the US, Taiwan, China I know how it works. Worked with many of these big companies. Yes the margin is slim but the volume is incredibly high thats the nature of this business. The high profits come in volume that has nothing to do with how the employees wages should be calculated there is no correlation there unless you’re running a small business (Less than 300 employees) They aren’t the same operation at all.

Technically the government should do this but as I said, these companies grease the wheels of government, to have certain laws passed, to have grants, to be given certain contracts, no bid projects etc, thats just reality. When they disagree with laws they split into smaller companies, hundred and incorporate around the world with favorable laws that fuel their greed. Its okay to be really rich and have a lot, have tons its a human drive fine! But at some point when these individuals can effect laws and influence governments at the cost of the citizens of a country to fuel the greed thats gone too far.

The solution isn’t more government laws, its for these owners, CEOs and board members to grow a heart along to balance their brain. Unfortunately study after study has shown many of these have Sociopathic personalities including FBI studies, and endless psychology studies over the decades thats a whole separate topic though with tons of interesting facts.

For me arguments defending small business practices would be a different conversation as they don’t have the political clout these megolith corporations do.


Keep it up… the justifying Taiwan’s slave wages for its middle class. Meanwhile every 30 something yr old I know back in the States have bought our first houses and have over 100-200k+ USD in retirement savings, and I compare that here to kids who will never afford a house in TW or Retirement, cant get married or afford children . Meanwhile CEOs of the companies have endless money for KTV hookers, mistresses and their 10th house for their 3rd mistress while sitting on hoards of cash and threaten to move to China more operations If anyone complains.

At some point its really the Taiwanese middle class worker that needs to get pissed. I’m just ranting for them since I see such injustice in the current system. As for me I’ll be fine either way.


Feel sorry for your loss at taxes bluejasn. I feel your pain!

I think is a bit unfair to only blame large companies, big bosses and corrupted politicians for “slave wages”.

Taiwan is a democracy, and people have leverage, anyone can grab an opportunity to be become an active member of society and fight for better tomorrow. Yet taiwan is a young democracy. Many of you ( from tradiotional west) forgeting your countries came from long decades of social, economical struggles of previous generations fallowed with decades of economics prosperity. Am from eastern europe and i do think we have it harder then taiwanese.

Is a mentality taiwanese have, connected wit macro reality of taiwan, and he yea not only taiwan, whole asia. This is how people think, foxconn was mentioned, terry gou used to work as cheap labour worker in factory in 70s. He knows what is struggle. Yet 40 years later he pays same shitty wages. And no matter shitty wage, people waiting in line for jobs. 95% Of labours would do the same. In fact many big bosses were born and grow up dirt poor.

It will take decades for changes. I personally feel this changes (aka big massive social movements should come from china, otherwise make no sense kinda).

West is just too naive in trade with asia. China should raise their social rights gradually with line of economic growth. Otherwise put em high import taxes and sanctions. But greed is also huge on the west, now dragon is huge and folks get ready for world without much social rights. Asians simple do not care about it.


True but when government is actively working in unison with these bosses and supporting them squeezing workers, what can you do ? Taiwan doesn’t have the levers in place for workers to hold disputes with bosses. Unionisation in most industries is prohibited and the government is doing everything (see the latest policy changes) to create an even greater power imbalance.


Sadly due to Taiwan’s not creating anymore new tycoons with its current system. I see no young person I can point to in Taiwan and say,thats the Jack Ma, Elon Musk or Zuckerberg or Taiwan… Just a bunch of old people sitting on a lot of money that have long since co opted the system to work only for them. They have also contributed a lot to Taiwan in their time I agree but theres more they CAN contribute with their money and political connections instead of continually line their pockets.

They have enough money to Both do this AND remain highly competitive, innovative. Its more an old thinking that hey I worked hard, took a risk and also did things in the right timing so luck, god, the heavens are on my side, screw everyone else. It reflects in their business practice of screwing others. Hope one day businesses around the world change this ethic and work for mutual benefit instead of wasting vast resources screwing each other for profit of the 0.1% on the talent, hard work of the people they’ve hired and learn that appreciation is a 2 way street that creates mutual benefits for all.


I think you’re simply asking too much here. Comparing America with Taiwan is just not good sense. Americans are buying houses at a young age because it’s probably like one of the 3 countries out there where real estate is affordable (in relations to income) and one of the handful of countries that are good for young professionals. Which other countries have Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg? Not to mention, Jack Ma is like 53 who relies largely on the Communist Party to run a humongous monopoly. If Taiwan had next Elon Musks and next Mark Zuckerbergs it probably means they aren’t really the next Elon Musks and the next Mark Zuckerbergs, or something terrible would have to be happening in America for that to happen.


Yup I know I’m asking too much, thats why the system won’t change here. Don’t see enough locals challenging it so I guess they’re pretty complacent. As much as I like to rant about the greed of these ultra rich who give slave wages, its the complacency of people that allow it.

We’ll like I said, I’ll be fine either way in my luxury apartment, but the middle class here won’t.


If Taiwan did produce the next Elon Musk or Mark Zuckerberg, they wouldn’t stick around for long. They’d just go somewhere their talents would be appreciated, like America, and make their fortunes there. After all, that’s what Musk did.


i’m thankful we don’t have a taiwanese jack ma. its a pity that even one of him exists.


Yep, Taiwan has plenty of those types. They are all in silicon valley or China.


I guess every other Musk and Zuckerberg of other nationality wouldn’t stick around for long either then. I’ve never heard of anyone being dubbed the Korean Zuckerberg or the Austrian Musk either. Have you?


Loads of tech leaders in countries that support innovation. China has many successful tech companies with CEOs in their 30’s. Jack Ma himself criticized Taiwan by saying all the bosses are to old. He said that Taiwanese treat older bosses like all knowing kung fu master/sage type characters from Jin Yong novels, when in fact they are out of touch

Taiwanese don’t invest and the protectionist financial services industry make it hard for startups and companies to receive foreign investment here.


My point is, America is not comparable. There is only one America for a reason. If you want Taiwan to be like America, where every 30 yo can easily buy a house and get paid 100k, you’re simply deluded.


Which even screws statistics more.



But he’s now exiled from Russia, so your point still stands.


It’s already very close to being the richest city.


Well, try to fire your waiter and the gates to hell open up. Workers are pretty well protected by Unions in Italy and strict laws.


Elements of what you have described can be found in western countries, but that’s not my point. I was suggesting an academic exercise, a few case studies.

As long as these threads come down to what brand of luxury car do most laobans own? while the average person manages to get by without a car, people will have difficulty believing lack of money is really the issue.