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Demonstrators throw papier mache 'guavas' at a Taipei protest in 2015 to demand legislation enacting a 40 hour workweek. Labor law in Taiwan then. Workers in Mexico earn an average $1,276 per month, the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development says based on a purchasing power parity scale. Mexico ranks as a developing country because of a relatively low GDP per capita. Poverty in the Latin American nation comes to about 46% of a 120 million population, too. You expect low wages in developing countries. When people don’t earn much, it’s hard to develop an economy.

上图:2015年,在台北举行的一次抗议活动中,示威者们投掷了番石榴,他们要求台湾立法以确保在台湾劳工法中规定每周工作40小时。经济合作与发展组织称,基于购买力平价计算的话,墨西哥工人的平均月薪为1276美元。墨西哥是一个发展中国家,因此它的人均GDP相对较低。墨西哥有1.2亿人口,这个拉美国家的贫困人口比例达到了46%。你当然可以想象得到发展中国家的工人的工资会很低。当人们挣得不多的时候,就很难发展经济。

But workers in Taiwan struggle, too. They took home $1,288 per month last year after a 1.6% increase over 2016, according to government figures released in November. The International Monetary Fund and others call Taiwan an advanced economy. Yet Taiwan’s wages come in lower than its industrialized Asian peers, such as Singapore and South Korea. Lagging wages stem from Taiwan's struggles to prosper as an export manufacturing hub. Exporters increasingly face competition from peers making the same goods in bigger, cheaper and fast-growing China. The China threat is likely to challenge Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen's pledges to improve life for local workers . And China is just one reason for the lower wages.

但台湾的工人也在苦苦挣扎。根据政府去年11月公布的数据,台湾工人的月收入为1288美元,比2016年增长了1.6%。国际货币基金组织和其他机构将台湾称为“发达经济体”。然而,台湾的工资水平低于新加坡和韩国等已经实现工业化了的亚洲国家。台湾是一个以出口为主的经济体,台湾在出口方面遇到了很大的困难,这导致台湾地区的工人薪资增长步履蹒跚。台湾出口商面临同行的竞争日益加剧,这些厂商主要位于中国大陆。这些大陆厂商生产出来的产品数量更大、价格更便宜,他们占据了迅速增长的中国市场,他们制造的产品质量已经开始追上并赶超台湾地区。来自于大陆厂商的竞争压力将会极大挑战挑战台湾地区领导人蔡英文承诺改善当地工人生活水平的承诺。但是,这个事情很复杂,中国大陆并不是台湾地区薪资增长冻结的唯一原因。

“With respect to only its Asian Tiger peers, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea, real wages in Taiwan have struggled to keep pace over the past decade,” says Christopher Thomas, Taiwan economist with economic research with the forecasting firm FocusEconomics in Spain. Despite decent purchasing power, he says, “[Taiwan] has ranked a distant fourth in terms of real wage growth over the past 10 years.”
Why wages stay low
Taiwan’s wages used to grow steadily along with gains in manufactured exports to the United States and China, Thomas says. But as China increasingly competed to ship the same goods, he says, Taiwanese firms “were forced” to cut costs, including pay. Earnings have gone "flat," he says, as Taiwanese firms lost business to China-based competitors. A world slip in exports in 2015 further scuttled any hope of higher wages.

亚洲曾经有过四小龙——台湾,南韩,新加坡,香港。与其它的小伙伴比起来,台湾地区的薪资水平在过去的10年里面几乎没有增长。” 克里斯托弗.托马斯是西班牙的一位经济研究者,主要研究台湾地区的经济,他表示,尽管台湾拥有可观的购买力,但在过去10年里,台湾在实际工资增长方面是属于比较差的等级里面。
为何薪资冻长:
托马斯说,有一段时间台湾的工资一直在稳步增长,他们生产出来产品,然后向美国和中国进行出口,这种出口导向的政策造就了台湾地区经济的繁荣。但是,随着中国越来越多地生产类似的产品,逐渐开始和台湾产生竞争关系,台湾企业“被迫”削减成本,这其中就包括削减薪酬。他说,随着台湾企业把业务输给中国的竞争对手,台湾地区和中国大陆地区的薪资开始逐渐进行靠拢。2015年的全球出口开始下滑,这一趋势进一步降低了工资上涨的希望。

Inflation in Taiwan has been patient with wages overall at about 1% in 2017, according to a DBS Bank estimate. But consumers in Taipei complain increasingly about rising prices. An announcement in late February that toilet paper prices would rise 10%-30% set off widespread panic buying that cleaned out supermarket shelves. Wage anxiety explains some of that shopping spree, which preceded any actual price hikes, says Liang Kuo-yuan, president of the Yuanta-Polaris Research Institute think tank in Taipei. Taiwanese workers also trail the other tigers in education that would motivate employers to pay them more in skilled jobs, such as in tech, says Allen Ng of American recruiting firm ManpowerGroup Experis' General Manager in Taipei. Today they're getting just a “common education," Ng says.

根据新加坡发展银行的估计,台湾的通货膨胀率在2017年总体保持在1%左右。但台北的消费者越来越多地抱怨物价上涨。2月底,一份公告称,厕纸价格将上涨10%-30%,这引发了对超市货架上的厕纸的大规模恐慌性抢购。元大证券总裁梁国元说,工资焦虑可以解释这种疯狂的购物行为产生的原因。从教育方面来看,台湾地区的工人也落后于其他三个地区的教育水平,而良好的教育水平对于提高薪资非常有好处。比如技职教育就很重要,但是目前台湾地区所实行的是一种”普通教育”的制度。

Real wages in South Korea rose by approximately a third over the past decade, according to Thomas. South Korea is another advanced Asian economy reliant on exports. Wages there averaged about $32,000 per year in 2016, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development says. Campaign to improve work conditions in Taiwan
The Taiwan president knows all about the wage crisis. Tsai has called youth employment one of her top priorities and in December she told her administration to end the “problem of low wages for young people.” Her government has made legal changes that allow more flexibility in workers’ paid time off.

据托马斯说,在过去的10年,韩国的实际工资增长了大约三分之一。韩国是另一个依赖出口的发达亚洲经济体。经济合作与发展组织表示,2016年韩国人的平均工资为32000美元。台湾地区领导人对工资危机了如指掌。蔡英文称青年就业是她的首要施政目标之一。去年12月,她告诉她的团队,要结束“年轻人的低工资问题”。她的领导团队已经修改了相关的法律,这些法律允许员工有更多的弹性工作时间。

Now Tsai faces a new challenge from China, which is a long-time political rival apart from any economic issues. On February 28, Beijing announced 31 measures that make it easier for Taiwanese to work, invest and study in China. Wages are 60% lower in China than in Taiwan for ordinary, entry-level jobs, according to ManpowerGroup. But even without the new measures, Taiwanese can earn 1.2 to 1.3 times more pay in China than at home for skilled, non-entry level jobs. A lot of Taiwanese will probably go to China over the next six months to check out the 31 measures and more will follow if the first wave gives "positive feedback," Ng says.

现在,蔡英文面临着来自中国大陆的新挑战。2月28日,北京宣布了31项对台(译者注:台湾很多媒体人称为“惠台措施”,但是台湾的领导人赖清德宣称对其进行“正名”,不允许称为“惠台”,只能称呼“对台”)措施。这些措施使得台湾人更容易在大陆工作、投资和学习。根据万宝盛华集团(译者注:一家猎头公司)的数据,中国的工资水平比台湾低60%。但是,即使没有这些新措施,很多台湾人在中国大陆赚得的工资也比在岛内高1.2倍到1.3倍。现在已经有第一批人去了大陆,如果后续有积极的反馈的话,那么接下来台湾地区将会有更多的人选择去中国大陆就业和生活。

Containers are loaded onto a ship at Qingdao Port on March 8, 2018 in Qingdao, China. China's exports rose 36.2 percent year-on-year in February to 1.11 trillion yuan ($176 billion), according to the General Administration of Customs. Officials hope a buoyant GDP will boost salaries this year. Job placement agencies in touch with the government say 50% to 70% of private employers in Taiwan have raised wages, cabinet spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung told a news conference Thursday without specifying a time frame. The government expects more wage growth in line with its 2.42% economic growth forecast for 2018, slightly more than last year, he says. More Taiwanese are reporting raises as well, government-funded Central News Agency reported in November. About 5.9 million Taiwanese said they were earning more than a benchmark NT$30,000 (US$1,027) per month in May 2017, up almost 3% over a year earlier, it says.

上图:2018年3月8日,在中国青岛,集装箱被装载到一艘货轮上。中国海关总署数据显示,2月份中国出口同比增长36.2%,至11.1万亿元(合1760亿美元)。官员们希望今年的国内生产总值能够提高工资。台湾地区发言人徐国勇在周四的新闻发布会上说,在台湾,有五成至七成的私人雇主提高了工资。他说,政府预计2018年度经济增长幅度为2.42%,因此预计未来将会有更大的薪资成长幅度,今年的薪资成长比去年略高。台湾报纸中央通讯社在去年11月报道称,很多台湾人都声称已经实现加薪。该报表示,约有590万台湾人表示,他们在2017年5月的月收入超过了3万元新台币(合1027美元),较一年前增长了近3%。