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Peter PayneNov. 20, 2014 - 02:11AM JST
OTOH, Europeans are laughing at the over-reaction to a mere 3% increase. They pay 18-25% sales tax on everything, and have terrible economic growth to show for it.
Not sure what point I'm trying to make, but I love Japan and am sad it will be the next great basket case of the world.
Posted in: Aso says sales tax hike delay must not happen again
Peter PayneNov. 18, 2014 - 12:34PM JST
One problem for Japan is that the top rate is now 55% (45% national + 10% for local governments), on incomes of ４千万円 or higher. This means that every talent on TV, every successful businessman or investor, every landowner, is now in danger of paying more than 50% of his income so that Tokyo can waste at least some of the money on bridges to nowhere, supporting the whaling fleet with tax dollars, and so on. While they might be okay with this while they're working and earning, the number of people who will "vote with their feet" and head to Singapore or somewhere else with a more reasonable tax structure when they retire will be very, very high.
As an American I have basic protection against unreasonable estate taxes below $5 million, but Japan feels entitled to 50% of all my property upon my death, despite the fact that this month has all been taxed already, at a rate potentially higher than 50%. When people realize they have a choice in this matter (e.g. Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia), do you think they'll just sit around and drink green tea and let this happen?
It's hilarious to try to explain Japanese politics to my American readers. Yes, the conservative government raised taxes on the rich. No, really!
Posted in: What Japan's recession means for the country
Peter PayneNov. 17, 2014 - 10:38AM JST
Hate to sound like a typical American, but we should drop 1000 bombs on militants for every person they murder like this. Maybe 10,000 bombs.
Posted in: Beheading of U.S. aid worker in Syria draws condemnation
Peter PayneNov. 17, 2014 - 10:36AM JST
One thing I never understood was, why doesn't the government ever try to use patriotism to get people to support stuff? They never say, look, Japan is a great country, please love it and support things like small tax hikes, which we need in order to provide services. People have no patriotism here...or they have too much, but that's only a small group.
(In America, a certain number of people absolutely do have "one or two more children" to support America's progress, or perhaps their religious group or sect. There's awareness that America is in the best position in the world right now because its population is not crashing, like Europe and Japan)
(And I'm not defending the great waste that goes on in Japan, like "build a shinkansen to Sapporo that no one will be around to use in 40 years, because why the hell not?" Just pointing out that the government could maybe appeal to its citizens in different ways than they've done in the past.)
Posted in: Japan's economy contracts 1.6% in July-Sept quarter
Peter PayneNov. 16, 2014 - 07:21PM JST
Moment of silence for a great man who shaped much of pop culture in the 70s.
Posted in: 'Magnum, P.I.' creator Glen Larson dead at 77
Peter PayneNov. 12, 2014 - 03:27PM JST
Olegek, maybe it was some kind of paid cable or satellite service for foreigners living in the country.
Posted in: CNN to suspend service in Russia
Peter PayneNov. 12, 2014 - 03:25PM JST
Fascinating, I just visited Alaska and read the james Michener novel, which was excellent.
Posted in: Remains of Ice Age infants uncovered in Alaska
Peter PayneNov. 10, 2014 - 11:55PM JST
I tweeted this picture and got like 1500 retweets. Thanks, NHK!
Posted in: NHK’s U.S. election banner amuses Internet users
Peter PayneNov. 10, 2014 - 09:45PM JST
They need more variety than Chocolate and Strawberry in more places in the US.
Posted in: Ezaki Glico aims to conquer world with Pocky stick snacks
Peter PayneNov. 09, 2014 - 11:01AM JST
Let's make sure we make everything bad about WWI Japan's fault, just as everything that happened in WWII was their fault. That's sure a good way to let us know how mature you are, China.
Posted in: Echoes of WWI battle in China resonate over Japan ties
Peter PayneNov. 08, 2014 - 07:54PM JST
It is a problem. Since I have money in the bank I can say, oo, company X dropped in value, I'll buy some shares. They hopefully go up, benefitting me (and society when I sell the shares and pay taxes). People without extra resources cannot do this though. (Or rather anyone can, they probably won't.)
Posted in: The top 10% or 20% are getting richer, on the other hand the bottom 20 to 30% are becoming poorer.
Peter PayneNov. 07, 2014 - 11:30AM JST
Terrible. But at least I got MINE, no need to help others or in any way have a society worth living in. (Yes that's sarcasm.)
Posted in: U.S. Speaker Boehner touts bills to repeal Obamacare, build Keystone oil pipeline
Peter PayneNov. 06, 2014 - 01:03PM JST
The "correct" way to manage government debt is to make sure it grows more slowly than your economy and/or your population. This is not happening in Japan, obviously, and it's why I continue to invest my money in the U.S. and not Japan (though I dearly love the country). Though I still support Abe-san, since they have to do SOMETHING, I don't know where this all will go.
Posted in: Fresh monetary easing exposes cracks in Japan's growth blitz
Peter PayneNov. 06, 2014 - 12:55PM JST
I'd better support the most hypocritical people in the world, just in case my dot-com comes in and I'm incredibly rich, so I can have cheap taxes too.
- everyone in America
Posted in: Wins give Republicans wider influence
Peter PayneNov. 05, 2014 - 03:05PM JST
My son is kind of in this camp. Except for the year he throw everything in to 受験 he is pretty frigging 省エネ.
Posted in: Survey shows one in three Japanese young adults doesn’t see the point in effort
Peter PayneNov. 03, 2014 - 12:30PM JST
My wife of 20 years has done all these to me, except no. 1. I hope...
Basically, relationships should be based on respect. I love and respect my wife and vice-versa, the occasional joke about my school (SDSU) being the no. 2 party school in the U.S. She was the best thing to ever happen to me, and I hope the same is true in reverse.
Posted in: Men list top four reasons why they dumped their past girlfriends
Peter PayneNov. 03, 2014 - 12:21PM JST
I still support Abe, because at least he's doing SOMETHING. For all we whine about our leaders in the U.S., be they Republican or Democrat, at least they usually LEAD somewhere (the current do-nothing Congress notwithstanding).
I firmly believe that Japan needs to have its famous companies profitable if its "brand" in the world is to maintain position. Therefore the weak yen is good, it means that companies can show profits much more easily. My company's profits are up, and we'll be paying a lot more in taxes and hiring 1-2 new people soon, though we're an export company so that doesn't apply to everyone.
Posted in: As Abenomics falters, problems fester
Peter PayneNov. 01, 2014 - 11:09AM JST
Normally I don't say "I'm glad I'm in my mid-to-late 40s." But with the coming stuff related to Japan, I'm not hating my age right now.
Too much whining here though. Of course Japan's export-heavy businesses need support, the sin that Minshuto committed was trying to be on the side of the "salarymen" and their wives, without supporting the companies at all. Hence everyone went into a tailspin, until the Earth actually shook to repel the party (3/11/11). Japan is nothing without its famous companies.
Posted in: Japan consumer inflation slows; spending down in September
Peter PayneOct. 31, 2014 - 11:24AM JST
Saw this coming (should have shorted the stock actually).
There's no reason to not switch from Samsung to any other provider of Android phones. And since they were charging MORE than Apple whenever they thought they could get away with it, there are a whole lot of companies wanting to eat their lunch, since they can't fight against Apple directly.
Posted in: Samsung vows changes after mobile profit plunges
Peter PayneOct. 31, 2014 - 11:23AM JST
Kind of like Korea telling Japan to "calm down" over arresting its journalist for writing true (but inconvenient) things about its president. When Korea relives every sad every of WWII every day, just to make sure no one ever moves on and puts the war behind them.
Posted in: China calls on Japan to end jet scrambles
Nov. 24, 2014 - 10:09AM JST
Although it looks similar on the surface, the role of journalism in Japan is vastly different…
Posted in: What do you think are some of the main differences in the way Japanese and U.S. media report the news?
Nov. 24, 2014 - 10:08AM JST
"Another policeman assisted suicide"!
---So officer Wilson is guilty I read in your comment. The media…
Posted in: 12-year-old boy with fake gun dies after shot by Ohio officer
Exactly. However, you can have your say - if you choose Japanese citizenship. You will then…
Posted in: Abe's support rate at lowest ever
Nov. 24, 2014 - 10:04AM JST
That reminds me of Freshness Burger's "Mango Burger" sold a couple years ago. It was actually…
Posted in: Burger King Japan’s new Premium Berry burger may sound awful, but it tastes fantastic
Nov. 24, 2014 - 10:02AM JST
Love that comment Cleo! :D
This is one possibility for farming these fish, but why has…
Posted in: Surrogate sushi: Japan uses biotech for bluefin tuna