Taiwan: Discussion questions
1. How has ‘land reform’ contributed to the rapid industrialization of Taiwan?
Back in the 1950s the government of Taiwan started to offer yields of land for families to own and operate off of. The land, which was supplied with food/crop, released man power for industry to prosper. As the government distributed the land, the owners took advantage. Taiwan’s rural beginnings lead to industrial wealth like Mr. Wang, shown in the film. These people’s homes acted as factories inside and out. There was originally cheap labor and long hours which allowed Taiwan to offer cheap goods for western markets.
2. What role have ‘Sweat Shops’ and long hours played in Taiwan’s ‘rags to riches’ story?
The cheap labor and long hours of the sweat shops laid the groundwork for the prosperous future of the Taiwanese. This was encouraged by the reforming government at the time. All of these sweat shops were producing cheap goods for Western markets. The work was indeed long and hard but it was a crucial step in Taiwan’s road to riches.
3. The forces unleashed by rapid industrialization brought increased competition for labor in Taiwan. What impact did this increased competition have on wages and the standard of living of the Taiwanese people?
Increased competition meant only the really competitive companies survived. Companies like ACER responded to increased competition with innovation. They invented devices like the first desktop calculator and the pen watch. They were training thousands of engineers every year in order to produce these high tech goods for other markets to buy. The leaders of ACER strive to make their products the best and therefore others rely on them for success.
4. According to the global computer giant ‘ACER’ which is based in Taiwan, what are the keys to Taiwan’s economic success?
Taiwan’s economic success can be credited to the easy...