Social pressures

30 Apr

Though Taiwan is a relatively well-off society, and social services like the public health service are quite decent, there are many who are just barely getting by, as this BBC article describes. A weak economy, low salaries, and broken or disconnected families have also caused a rise in poorer people. Living in Taipei, I don’t encounter so much visible signs of poverty, though I have indeed seen beggars and disabled people on wheelchairs selling tissue and chewing gum (though not mothers holding children to get people to buy flowers). 

Foxconn (HonHai) saw a spate of worker suicides at its massive factory complex in Guangdong last year. One of these workers, just barely out of their teens, survived and belately learned her lesson. She’s back at her hometown and maintaining her spirits, but sadly in a wheelchair since she was paralyzed from her suicide attempt.

I posted about Hong Kong’s Walled City recently, but I think it’s ok to post another link again, which shows how crazy and built-up it was. I can’t fathom living in a place like that, but far from some dystopian lawless hell, it was good home for some folks who lived there. The place was torn down in the mid-1990s, and I visited the public park which was built over it. 

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