Stagnating salaries remained top among a list of discontents voiced by the Taiwanese, according a poll released yesterday by Yahoo-Kimo, the Taiwanese unit of Yahoo.
The annual “Top 10 Public Discontents” and “Top 10 Heart-warming Events” poll conducted by the Internet portal found that low salaries and a rising income gap replaced political inaction as the leading cause of the nation’s public discontent.
“The economy is so bad, things continue to become more expensive and all commentators seem to be focused on useless back and forth banter,” an Internet user named Phebe Chen said.
Her comments were echoed in part by 23 percent of respondents who also complained about how salaries have actually decreased in the past year.
Contrasted with rising housing prices, especially in Taipei, and the record-high income gap, many netizens said that last year represented a step backward.
Complaining about falling workplace standards and increasing hours, a netizen named Marvin Huang said: “Businesses institute furloughs whenever sales go bad, how are people with mortgages like myself expected to survive?”
The government, he added, “only cares about the ordinary people, such as myself, whenever an election rolls around. They talk loud during campaigns, but throw their campaign promises into the incinerator as soon as the election is over.”
Meanwhile, for the “Top 10 Heart-warming Events,” the nation’s netizens selected the outpouring of support from Taiwanese to Japan following last year’s massive earthquake and tsunami that severely devastated Japan’s northeastern coastline in March as the top heart-warming event.
Rounding out the second and third spots, respondents praised the “sportsmanlike” attitude of top Taiwanese athletes, including Wang Chien-ming (王建民) and Yani Tseng (曾雅妮), and expressed admiration for the resurgence of Taiwan-produced cinema spear-headed by blockbuster movies such as Seediq Bale and You are the Apple of My Eye (那些年，我們一起追的女孩).
“The poll shows the public are by and large dissatisfied with the current environment, but the ‘Happiness Events’ poll also shows how the Taiwanese still hold on to an optimistic and positive attitude despite the environment,” Yahoo-Kimo deputy general manager Chiu Ying-hui (邱瀅憓) said.