How much of a nanny state is Taiwan?

“The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.”

From “On Liberty”
By John Stuart Mill

I’m one of the many people that fell in love with Taiwan and decided to move here.
Living here, I’m discovering how, unlike some western countries I lived in, Taiwan is like a big family, which sounds nice for some aspects.
But I feel like the government really treats citizens like their own children, or more specifically, like underage children, that get imposed rules and bans, like strict parents would do, instead of being given guidelines and warnings on things that could pose a risk to their health, and be left with their own freedom of choice.
For example, every time someone drowns at a particular spot, they often ban swimming at that spot altogether, instead of placing warning signs and let people choose whether they wanna risk their life swimming there.
I feel like this really limits personal freedom.
To anyone coming from more free countries: what are your feelings about this and, as I learned that there is a big generational gap in the way of thinking, do you see this changing anytime soon?

All governments treat their citizens like children. Annoying, errant children who need to be managed and cajoled.

And spanked. :upside_down_face:


Taiwan scored a 94/100 for freedom, there aren’t very many ‘more free’ countries and that’s splitting hairs.

Because it’s not your land and you don’t have say over what is not your land. There isn’t a nanny state in Taiwan. Taxpayers don’t want to pay money rescuing you if a place is dangerous.

No. It’s a limit to entitlement. You’re not entitled to land you don’t own. And other countries do the same. If someone dies at a public pool, they shut it down. If someone dies at a privately-owned amusement park, they shut it down and either improve the safety or close it forever.



Part of it is because beaches used to be off limits here and they mentality is slow to change along with many people shit swimming skills. I went to a pool this summer and found it eerily quiet. Later the b&b owner told me somebody had drowned there just two hours before. This young guy had four buddies with him…None of them could save him (the pool had steep sides and I guess they weren’t confident to jump in and save him…He probably suffered cold shock from the cold water on a hot day).

Taiwan is a bit of nanny state when it comes to some drugs but not others . It barely charges tax on cigarettes and alcohol compared to other countries.

Almost all countries have a creeping nannification of compared to when we were kids !

Taiwan used to be a lot wilder a couple of decades ago, but it was also quite rough too.

Anyway don’t understimate Taiwanese people’s ability to drown themselves…Not taking away from your point on personal responsibility and letting people enjoy nature.


The banking system is basically run like a nanny state. Won’t allow any type of risk of let people do anything. Would say it’s more conservatism than anything else.


Let’s not go into the banking system…Jeez…

Taiwan is very conservative about a lot of things, see how long it took electronic payments to take off here and even now many restaurants won’t accept it…Partly linked to their corrupt tax system.

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It’s a lot more nannyish than it used to be. Some of the nannying is for good reason - for example, people are no longer allowed to blast through red lights like they used to, and the road-death rate has fallen dramatically as a result. The problem is that every government, once it plucks the low-hanging fruit, has to start justifying its own existence by making increasingly more pointless rules and creating more paperwork, and Taiwan is now on that path.

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definitely on beaches where the lifeguards toot whistles at you if you go in deeper than cock high.


Tip or root? It can make a lot of difference, you know?


Sitting back with popcorn, wondering why people crying “I want no nanny state” keep popping up wondering about Taiwan… Even in strange places as the “Germans in Taiwan” Facebook group


At least in Taiwan one can sit in the park and drink a beer without the police coming to arrest one. Try that in the US…


Confucius syndrome?

If you want to see taiwans real nanny state you need only look a parenting and schools. Everything else just makes sense beyond that.

US should make banking liberalization required for a free trade deal.

The swimming thing isn’t really a nanny state issue, but it is an issue. My public high school in the US had a swimming pool, so everyone in the school was required by law to spend a certain number of hours learning to swim every semester. No exceptions. You miss a day of school when you have swimming and you’ll be in there with the swim team at 5:30 a.m. making it up. Here, when swimming class happens in schools, every single girl is “on her period” and the boys “don’t feel like swimming”. Maybe an eighth of a class actually goes in the water in a given school year. Unless you’re a select minority of kids whose parents signed you up to be on a swim team instead of going to eh bee she classes, there’s a good change you don’t even know your body can float in water or that kicking your legs around can keep your head above the water


Yep and you can spit your binglang juice on the road. Freedom ! (I think you might get a fine though… ).


Lawlz. I doubt it

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Would’ve been me too. I never feel like swimming.

Though I don’t understand why the girls don’t say they don’t feel like it either.

That is just not true.

Most of the beaches in Europe don’t have baywatches. You can swim, you swim, if you don’t and die, nothing happens. The beach remains open.

No, they are no real teenagers here. Nothing will change. They can’t even complain to the parents to change their own life, how would they stand up against the goverment?