Three New Year's resolutions for the Ma administration
The China Post news staffAnother year is upon us and we should take advantage of this annual fresh start to make some New Year's resolutions — that is, commitments to one or more personal goals and projects, or dedications to change some habits.
January 2, 2013, 12:02 am TWN
When it comes to Jan. 1, most people want to completely change the way they live, not because they hope everything will go as they want, but because they firmly believe that they should be at the helm of their own life. Instead of the same old routine — work, work and work, we should also aim to spend more time with family and friends, fit in more fitness, enjoy life more, quit smoking (if necessary) and get better-organized.
Whether you like it or not, research has found that you are 10 times more likely to attain your goal if you explicitly make resolutions. So don't wait any longer. For sure, President Ma Ying-jeou and his government would do well to set more achievable goals instead of the most ideal ones. The government should expect setbacks, but refrain from using them as excuses to defer plans for another year. This will all go some way to crafting a smoother 2013. Without further ado, here are three New Year's resolutions that should make the top of the Ma administration's list.
To begin with, they should avoid making empty promises about Taiwan's predicted economic growth for this year. According to all sources, another annus horribilis is upon us and there is little chance that the country's GDP will grow by 3 to 4 percent as some have forecast.
If we agree that the current economic recession results from weak domestic consumption and lackluster export demand, Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen-shiang (施顏祥) should be more cautions when announcing next year's export growth and trade potential in various emerging markets. Even if authorities are already negotiating such business partnerships with top Asian trade partners, it will take months before they can finalize the agreements and at least a year or two before Taiwan's economy can really benefit from them.
Comparatively, Chancellor Angela Merkel in her New Year message warned that the German economic climate in 2013 will be “even more difficult,” urging Germans to be more patient. Better safe than sorry. She plucked up her courage and told Germans the truth without worrying about comments made by her own finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, or even France's President Francois Hollande, both of whom recently declared the worst of the crisis over.