People with Money vs. the People of Taiwan: Orwellian Newspeak
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
December 26, 2011
Summary: A number of entrepreneurs have publicly expressed support for Ma Ying-jeou. Since then Tsai Ing-wen has added a new slogan to her campaign. She now says that "Ma Ying-jeou is surrounded people with money. Tsai Ing-wen is surrounded by the people of Taiwan." Such sophistry is highly inappropriate. Such a linguistic formulation amounts to Orwellian Newspeak.
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A number of entrepreneurs have publicly expressed support for Ma Ying-jeou. Since then Tsai Ing-wen has added a new slogan to her campaign. She now says that "Ma Ying-jeou is surrounded people with money. Tsai Ing-wen is surrounded by the people of Taiwan." Such sophistry is highly inappropriate. Such a linguistic formulation amounts to Orwellian Newspeak.
Tsai Ing-wen is deliberately characterizing the entrepreneurs who support Ma Ying-jeou negatively, as "people with money," rather than affirmatively, as "entrepreneurs." She hopes to create an artificial dichotomy by characterizing those who support her as the "people of Taiwan." She is clearly using "people with money" as a term of opprobium. She is clearly attempting to incite class antagonisms between the bourgeoisie ("people with money") and the proletariat ("the common people"). She even added the phrase, "the people of Taiwan," in an attempt to incite antagonism between "people with money" (who "invest in the Mainland") and "people who lay down roots on Taiwan." She disguises her incitement of "ethnic" (social) antagonism by characterizing "people with money" as people who engage in land speculation, political cronyism, and who enjoy economic privilege.
But are Tsai Ing-wen's characterizations accurate? Are they fair?
Before Tsai Ing-wen made her remarks, a number of entrepreneurs spoke out, publicly expressing support for Ma Ying-jeou. They include Hong Hai's Terry Gou, Delta's Bruce Cheng, and Yulong's Kenneth K.T. Yen. These men do fit the definition of "people with money" completely, But they are obviously not the same "people with money" that Tsai Ing-wen referred to. Terry Gou pulled himself up by his bootstraps. He single-handedly built the largest manufacturing company on Taiwan. His foundries are among the best in the global electronics industry. He provides jobs for 800,000 employees the world over. Britain's Economist magazine lists him as one of the world's top ten employers. Terry Gou runs a tight ship. Some have called him "tyrannical." But he is totally dedicated. He is a rare kind of workaholic. He built a vast business empire. As a result Forbes magazine has listed him repeatedly as the richest man on Taiwan. But he has never engaged in real estate or land speculation. Still less has he ever played the stock market. In 2007 he donated 15 billion dollars to the National Taiwan University College of Medicine. He set a record for the largest corporate donation to the hospital in history. In 2008, he announced that he would donate 90% of his wealth to charitable causes. At the time he was worth an estimated 30 billion dollars. Today he is worth over 100 billion dollars.
Delta is a world-class component supplier. The components it produces are widely used in a variety of industries. Bruce Cheng is a veteran domestic entrepreneur. Within the domestic business world, he is its most environmentally conscious member. He has endowed schools and universities. He has provided aid to students. Delta has received numerous awards for corporate responsibility. During its early years, Kenneth K.T. Yen's Yulon Group was a state owned enterprise. Back then the government's policy was to protect national industries. But the automotive market was eventually decontrolled. The company soon reached its nadir. Kenneth Yen was not yet 30 when the company fell into his lap. He dived in. He restructured and expanded the company. Eventually Yulon returned to life. This bit of history is known among business leaders, as the "young master's revitalization." The Yulon Group has long-term commitments to support domestic basketball, child care for Aboriginal children, and other public welfare activities. The Yulon Group's "Wu Shun-wen News Award" is the ROC's counterpart to America's Pulitzer Prize.
The success that these entrepreneurs enjoy today, their accumulated wealth, is not the result of government/business collusion or economic privilege. Instead it is the result of their own efforts In a highly competitive domestic and international marketplace. After achieving success in business, they devoted themselves to contributing to society. These publicly respected entrepreneurs have declared their support for Ma Ying-jeou. What is shameful about that? What is wrong with that? Yet Tsai Ing-wen, through a single devious insinuation about "people with money," has tarred these entrepreneurs as robber barons. She has demonized these entrepreneurs, merely because they expressed support for Ma Ying-jeou. She has successfully manipulated the language. But she has done so in a highly unethical fashion.
What's even more absurd, is the fact that Tsai Ing-wen is also seeking support from "people with money." She is also seeking to convey the impression that industry leaders support Tsai Ing-wen. Tsai Ing-wen has set off on a five-day tour of various industries. She has received support from several technology companies and traditional companies. They have also come forward to offer their support. Are these company chairmen, general managers, and board directors paupers? Are they not "people with money?" Are entrepreneurs who support Ma the only ones who must fear being portrayed negatively as "people with money?" Are entrepreneurs who support Tsai the only "bona fide entrepreneurs?" Such definitions and distinctions are based purely on who supports whom. Is this right? Is this justified?
At least the entrepreneurs who support Ma have never had any private business dealings with the Ma family, At least the Ma family has never profited from these "people with money." That is hardly the case with Tsai Ing-wen in the TaiMed corruption scandal. Conclusive evidence has surfaced proving that the Tsai family profited through its connections with "people with money." They include Ying Yan-liang of the Ruentex Group, through whom Tsai Ing-wen pocketed over one billion dollars. Are there really no "people with money" on Tsai's side?
The entrepreneurs mentioned support Ma and not Tsai because the DPP's policies are far from reassuring, The DPP refuses to recognize the 1992 Consensus. Therefore a DPP victory would lead once again to cross-Strait deadlock, The benefits derived from three years of consultations would be greatly diminished or disappear altogether. Based on today's economic situation, next year's global trends, this means heavy losses for Taiwan's economy. Perhaps Tsai Ing-wen should think about these problems, instead of about how to manipulate the language.