Taiwan's Economic Rise

But why? How did Taiwan achieve its economic miracle and, in my opinion, come to surpass he U.S. in various aspects of societal development? My ongoing classes seek to answer that question. Technically, I am more interested in political and security studies as I pursue a career in foreign affairs, but economics plays a crucial role in understanding how the world works. Today, I attended a lecture in my Seminar on the Political Economy of East Asia class. We discussed the concept of the "developmental state", which is the idea that a strong government will intervene in the private sector in order to carry out a long-term economic vision. To have a developmental state, the government needs to have some level of autonomy from the public, a grand vision and a competent bureaucracy that can coordinate itself to see that vision through.

This type of government has the power to pick companies and industries that will win dominance in the domestic market. In Taiwan's case, the semiconductor industry has been a huge winner of the government's industrial policies over time, so much so that semiconductors are a huge security topic in Taiwan-U.S.-China relations. Taiwanese semiconductors can be found in almost every digital device that you own. The supply of semiconductors is a critical component of manufacturing electronics, and consequently, it affects the global economy. This powerful asset has made the idea of an invasion by the People's Republic of China a tremendous issue that is debated in foreign policy circles. In fact, Texas is in a unique position because we, too, are building up our semiconductor manufacturing ability.