You know what’s wrong with us Taiwanese people? We love money too much. We love it so much, most of us don’t even know how to part with it properly (i.e. spend it). If you ask 100 rich ass Taiwanese people where all their money is at, 95 of them would tell you it’s in real estate. What’s real estate good for? Well since I’m no rich ass Taiwanese, I can only venture a guess, but my best guess is that real estate makes them more money. In logic, we call that a circular argument. Why do you want to make more money? So you can make more money, all the while ignoring to address the question of what money can do for you. In origami, that’s called a mobius strip. I guess the second thing real estate is good for is, well, looking empty. I will never understand why rich people want houses they don’t live in, with rooms they don’t sleep in, hot tubs you can swim in (but don’t), and swimming pools you can drown in. But that’s what Taiwanese people do. Drive down 市民大道 in Taipei and you’ll see maybe a hundred ads for condos and houses, 80% of which cost more than 30 mil NTD. Here’s a math question for you: for a median salary of less than 30k a month, how long does it take for hell to freeze over?
American rich people at least have the pretense to do good with the money. You know, start a charity or something, and not just for tax break reasons. That should work for Taiwanese people, because we love a good name, but hasn’t happened because we love money more. If rich ass people don’t want to give it away, fine, at least find new and novel ways to be lazy, because god knows that desire to be lazy has driven technological advancement since the dawn of mankind (also the desire to live longer has driven medical advancement). At least that should benefit the rest of the world. Or at the very least buy a freaking sports team; you create entertainment and jobs, and the world is a much happier place.
Why do we love money? Well seeing as we don’t understand the utility of it, I say it’s all in conditioning. Where else in the world, other than in Chinese culture, do you see kids be taught from as early as they can remember, to be happy and thankful when given a red envelope full of cold hard cash that they can’t possibly comprehend at that age? Hell as early as 1 month out of the womb, someone will shove an envelope in your hand that you will grasp via a reflex that ironically is designed for survival. And when you coo in protest, it will be interpreted as a “thank you!!” Come on, if you’re told every year to love every stranger who shoves you a red packet you’d come to love money subconsciously too. And even as this bombardment on our subconscious is going on, our TV tells us how awesome rich people are for no good reason. We look to our rich for opinions in all kinds of things: from personal tastes to politics. I can understand if the everyday citizen, having been brainwashed to love money, look up to the rich. But what’s the government doing catering to their every need like cat owners to cats?
The worst thing in this sick relationship between Taiwanese people and their money, is that we don’t want to earn it. That’s right, we just want to sit our asses and watch money fall in the bag, as if life is one big slot machine. Sounds paradoxical? Well it’s not. We’re just ahead of the curve. Let me explain: Remember how being lazy is the driving force of advancement? Well we take that to an extreme. Much like how rich people put all their money in real estate for no reason, we of less riches all dream of making money off collecting rent, or off stocks, or off gambling, and other things that require minimal work.
All this combines to make the dysfunctional country that we have now. Most our money is in the hands of the rich who are not doing any “real” work with it (except to make more money) because they don’t know how. The people who don’t have the money mostly dream about having money, but also dream about not doing any work. Money should be the means to an end, but Taiwanese people from top to bottom have made it their end because that’s how we’re brought up and no one has told us otherwise. Now tell me, how is a country like this supposed to advance?