Fri, Dec 22, 2017 - Page 8 News List

[ LETTERS ]

Long wait for customs

I am upset because the customs line at the airport to enter Taiwan has gotten so long, that I feel this will discourage people from coming here.

I recently returned to Taiwan. I have been coming to this lovely island for 32 years. Originally I came as a student, but I eventually stayed.

Many people come to Taiwan to spend money, promote business and start companies.

I waited an hour on Friday last week. When I finally collected my luggage I knew it had been out in the open, for anyone who wanted to steal it.

I have read about people in airports putting illegal substances in bags while standing in lines. No one, and I mean no one, checks my luggage stubs to ensure that the bags are mine when I walk away from the luggage carousel.

Many businessmen have to make it to hotels because of reservations and some have business meetings they need to catch. I just think it is crazy that people have to wait in line so long.

I understand that the airport knows when planes come in so scheduling the airport personnel would be easy. Quite often people like to work part-time, so that even though there might be a time when planes are not landing, people could go home and only work four hours that day.

I pay for airport personnel to handle my passport as I pass through the airport. There are taxes that have to be paid, and I do not object to those taxes.

Many planes land, and most people are going through the non-resident line. So at any given time, hundreds of new people are lining up to pass through customs.

Airports around the world have handled this problem with machines that check your passport in order to speed up the process. It is not a matter of money for Taiwan. Taiwan is not a poor nation by any means.

I hope government officials understand that if my luggage gets stolen at the airport, they are responsible and will have to pay.

Ultimately, it will just hurt Taiwan.

Paul Baker

Fullerton, CA

The population problem

When dealing with the low birthrate issue, the government must remain focused.

Its approach is far too disorganized: some parental allowance, some vaccine subsidies, some assistance with public childcare, some information about family values. None of these things go much further than acknowledging that these issues are all part of the problem.

This approach does nothing to help new parents and it only adds to administrative costs as authorities have to deal with these piecemeal policies.

Most of these policies directed at alleviating the problem are handled by the different local governments, which means that better-off cities and counties can attract people by offering more advantageous policies, while other cities and counties are standing by helpless as their population shrinks.

The result is a widening gap between some cities and counties as well as between urban and rural areas. The policies amount to a lot of work while accomplishing little.

Solving the problem with the low birthrate has been called a national security issue, so perhaps the government should focus on stimulating rather than subsidizing child birth.

Simply put, if no one wants to have babies, what good are subsidies? People must first have babies before there is a need to help raise those children.

This is why it would be better to improve the incentives for young people to have children by providing a livelihood subsidy once the child is born — a subsidy that is sufficient to cover the basic cost of raising a child until the child turns five.

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