Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"36-38-36, that's how you...stuff a wild fair-air-ee!"

I have been holding off on finishing and publishing this post mainly because of laziness, but also because the story is constantly changing. The Taiwan government decided on a stimulus package for the economy last week. $3,600 NT for every Taiwanese citizen, regardless of age. They have decided upon a shotgun stimulation: the $3,600 will be distributed in the form of vouchers, not cash. Use it or lose it.

Originally the vouchers could only be used at retailers, hypermarts and restaurants with business licenses. It only took the sight of a few Mom and Poppers, Street Vendors and Night Marketeers wearing their ball caps and shoulders draped with a rolled towel to prompt them to reconsider. Not that it mattered that much. They still could have received the vouchers as payment. They would not have been able to cash them, but would be able to use them to purchase other things. Even the druggies were prepared. The China Post states that pushers will give $3,000 cash for the $3,600 of vouchers or $3,000 worth of their drug of choice.

Who is eligible? Who knows? What time is it now? My Li Zhang (precinct boss) didn't know. The papers say citizens and those on the authorized household registry are eligible. I am on the registry but not a citizen. Do I get them? Best not to leave it to chance. I have regularly paid my taxes and should get a seat on the (watered-down, black pepper) Taiwanese gravy train. At the very least I think that I should get a mandatory "Thank you" from every citizen unemployed and/or under the age of 18.

How to ensure it? Simple. Protest, threaten, complain. I'm pretty sure that in Taiwan, it's illegal, or at least culturally taboo, to protest without a movement name. During the pre-game to last year's presidential election, there was only one group that Ma Ying-jeou didn't promise scads of money to, or threaten to sleep over at your house for two weeks. That would be students. The current Wild Strawberry Movement protesting the Assembly Law and the police response to the citizens' protest of Taiwan Strait Chairman Chen Yunlin’s (陳雲林) visit hasn't got a lot of reaction from President Mark Ma as of yet ( Note to students: Go talk to a taxi driver). Fortunately, we are not students now. However, there was one successful "Wild" movement before: the Wild Lily Movement of the 1990's.

So, taking taking the success of the Lilies and in honor of our original base of command in Taichung, I am dubbing this the Wild Fairies Movement. The name alone guarantees success. Either President Ma will don a feather boa and hightail it down to Taichung Park for an after hours "Long Stay" to show his empathy or the legislature will start burning enough incense and paper money to melt Hoth and drown all the Wampas in order to avoid the wrath of the disgruntled deities.

On Saturday, the opposition DPP, dropped their...opposition to the voucher plan and upped the ante. They now want vouchers worth $3,800 - and they want it paid out in cash. [ Aside: Read and appreciate The China Post's renowned "staff's" take down of the DPP's spinelessness. Me very love The China Post - Me very hate Blogger's blockquote function.]

Instead of criticizing the administration of the ruling Kuomintang for creating greater debts for children and further generations, DPP lawmakers now decide to take a free ride on the popular program by coming up with new plans to demonstrate the DPP is much more generous when handing out money to the people. (China Post)

(Me again.) Not positive that it will be enough to secure the esteem of voters, some in the DPP have proposed a tax rebate of $6,000 to each person who has paid income taxes last year, and $4,000 for those who did not. Welcome to Survivor: Hooker Island. Lotsa floosies peddlin' their wares, and you are the john. The only one.

Note: This was started last Friday. As of now, all citizens, temporary (ARC) and permanent (PRC) residents that are listed in the household registry can receive the vouchers. It looks like it will stay at $3,600. They can be used in most places - traditional markets, vendors, moms and pops included. Even though it looks like I will get to sop up some of the gravy, I urge those tax-paying residents who do not have a Taiwanese spouse to carry the Fairy banner and demand yours. Next week, I fully expect to be ciphering my dog's voucher into our budget.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

J-Boy I can send you my arc if you'd like to cipher my money into your budget as well.