Friday, 29 August 2014

An Orwellian Claim In A Taipei Times Editorial

I rarely read the editorial pages in the Taipei Times these days, but I did happen to read one on Tuesday (I had put my little scooter into the shop for a partial rebuild* and at one point was waiting around otherwise doing nothing). The editorial was written as a complaint that the government does not intend to raise the minimum wage, and though the whole thing is driven from premises that are easy to find fault with and worthy of attention themselves, it contains a truly Orwellian claim right at the end that cries out for singular attention...
"While the government’s favorable treatment of businesses [i.e. not increasing the minimum wage - ed] might help them grow, businesses that rely so much on government policies are obviously not healthy and not truly competitive. 
It is time for the government to honor its own words to the public, including workers, and let some businesses be eliminated through competition. Then those that survive would be truly competitive."
It is an astonishing mind-bender to claim that a business which relies upon the absence of further government intervention (in this case raising the minimum wage) is a business which is reliant on the government, and thus obviously not healthy. Now it may be technically true in the sense of the omitted clause, i.e. that such businesses are reliant on government policy not changing in a particular way, but since this clause is omitted, the claim is clearly being implied that such businesses could not survive without the government. It is an extraordinairily twisted defamation and is indicative of why I think the managing editor should be sacked - it is not because he is a socialist, but because he regularly permits editorials containing either ridiculous or outrageous conceits. Readers need only recall that this was the paper that claimed a DPP election gimmick (involving piggy banks) as Taiwan's version of the "Jasmine" revolution in North Africa a few years ago.

It makes you wonder why nobody at the Taipei Times ever signs their name to an editorial.

*New front suspension, new drive plate and clutch assembly, and a few other bits and pieces including a new seat. I bought another two years insurance too.

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