sangetsu03's past comments

  • 0

    sangetsu03

    No different to Britain's invasion of India or America's invasion of the Philipines. Immoral and horrible, but strategically the best option.....

    So two wrongs must somehow make a right?

    The Philippines were not invaded by America, they were "invaded" by Spain, and became an American territory after the Spanish/American war. Other colonial territories in Asia were not perfect, but law and order was maintained, and were relatively safe and peaceful. Farmers grew food, factories produced goods, banks loaned money, and people enjoyed a stable existence.

    One needs to look at what happened following Japan's conquests in Asia. Japan looted anything of value, and sent it back to Japan, then they destroyed the economies of their territories by issuing military currency which was not worth the paper it was printed on. Public services were neglected, hospitals were not stocked with medicine, electricty, telephone, water, and gas services were not maintained, and then broke down. Opium dens and brothels were opened. Organized societies, be they native, British, American, or Dutch, all collapsed, and the Japanese never bothered to replace them. Chinese people living throughout South Asia were systematically tortured and killed, the roads leading into cities like Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and othere were decorated with poles topped with the decapitated heads of Chinese. What little commerce which existed was transacted with British Pounds or US dollars, these being the only forms of money which had value.

    With the local economies destroyed, infrastructure collapsing, and Japanese forces committing wantan acts of violence, it wasn't long before locals throughought Asia began resisting the Japanese, and doing their best to assist allied forces to expel and defeat the Japanese. The Japanese promise of "Co-Prosperity" became a sick joke.

    And Indonesia was not Pearl Harbor. From the morning of December 7th, 1941, the Japanese started a clock that counted down to the dropping of the atomic bombs. Japan started the war, and Japan paid for starting the war. The war, and all the deaths and misery which resulted were entirely the responsibility of Japan, and no one else. A mistake was made, it was made by Japan.

    Posted in: A pledge never to repeat the same mistake, rather than apologies or financial compensation, will console the souls of the victims.

  • 1

    sangetsu03

    Who does he imply made a mistake? Since Japan started the war, which reulted in the deaths of mamy millions of people, and which resulted in the development and use of atomic bombs, then it was Japan who made the mistake. And any pledge, apology, or compensation must be made by Japan. Japan and their German and Italian friends were the reason that nuclear weapons were invented in the first place, and for the nuclear threat that generations have lived under since the end of the war.

    As the party which started the war, Japan bears full responsibilty for every single death or atrocity committed by all sides.

    Posted in: A pledge never to repeat the same mistake, rather than apologies or financial compensation, will console the souls of the victims.

  • 2

    sangetsu03

    ...the US's downward slide into today's mass murder disaster

    Check your facts, there was less violent crime in America when Reagan was president than when Kennedy was president. And there is less violent crime in America now than there was in Reagan's time. There has been no "downward slide" of any kind. America's rate of violent crime has decreased by more than 30% since 1960. I remember when 42nd street and Times Square were too dangerous to visit after dark, and even the police were afraid to go into Central Park at night.

    Mass shootings have less to do with the availability of weapons than they do with a blood-glorifying media which is more than happy to give the mentally-unstable a stage upon which they can share their craziness with the rest of the world. If the media stopped reporting on these incidents, it would be a much more effective way to reduce them.

    Posted in: After U.S. shooting, high cost of more security vexes movie theaters

  • 1

    sangetsu03

    For the past twenty-something years, movie theaters in Florida have been using off-duty police officers as security guards. This isn't because of theater shootings (there have been none in Florida) but because having a uniformed officer at a movie theater keeps the kids in line. I don't see how theaters in other states should be vexed for doing what theaters in Florida and other places have been doing for a long time.

    Let's think about this for a moment.: "appropriately trained"? There exist no training requirements for gun ownership anywhere in America

    But training is required for anyone who wants to carry a gun on their person. This training makes sure that you know how to safely store, carry, and fire a gun, and it also lets you know in which situations a firearm can be used for self defense. I was a police officer, I have administered this test. And as a former police officer, I had and have no problem with people owning or carrying guns.

    a well-regulated militia, i.e., the police and the National Guard.

    You are getting things backward here. Think for a moment, who regulates the militia in America? Who regulates the government in America? It is the citizens who regulate both. And the reason that American citizens have the right to be armed is to givethem the means to control, resist, or otherwise regulate powers which are not allowed to regulate themselves, nor reserve special rights or powers unto themselves. America is a classless society in which no part is allowed to have more rights than any other, and this includes the military and police. A citizen can arrest a police officer in America, a citizen can arrest a soldier. A citizen is allowed to use deadly force in self defense if someone's life is in danger. In short, the police and military have no special rights to carry arms or arrest criminals, all Americans have the same rights. And in a truly equal society, that is the way it is.

    Accidents and intentional murders happen. When you allow people to drive cars, you have to accept that each year more than 40,000 Americans will die in car accidents, and that millions more will be injured. You have to accept the fact that when food is plentiful and cheap, people will die from obesity-related diseases. When you allow people to smoke cigarettes, you have to accept the 480,000 deaths that come with it.

    You need to put things in perspective. Violent crime in America is the lowest it has ever been, the amount of gun violence in America is astonishingly small, given the numbers of guns which exist. If saving Americans from preventable deaths is the goal, there are far more deadly things than guns in American culture.

    Posted in: After U.S. shooting, high cost of more security vexes movie theaters

  • 2

    sangetsu03

    “Just because you were the ambassador to Brazil, does not mean you are fit for the audit committee.”

    Unless of course while you were amabassador you "negotiated" with Brazil on Toshiba's behalf, and netted the company some fat business contracts.

    Posted in: Toshiba scandal exposes Japan Inc's governance flaws

  • 0

    sangetsu03

    Marco Pantani was the best climber and not even a doped Lance Armstrong could match him in the hills.

    Pantani was a doper too. A couple of years ago old blood samples from the 1998 tour were reexamined, and Pantani's test turned out positive for EPO. Ironic that Pantani should die of a drug overdose in 2004. Of the '98 tour riders' samples retroactively tested, 98% of them were positive for EPO. But EPO is rather hard to detect, two riders who admitted to using EPO nevertheless tested negative. Go figure.

    I remember Pantani's wins in the 11th and 15th stages, I was present at the tour in 1998, fiasco that it turned out to be. I was amazed by his ride, but with everything going on, I was not fooled, I was certain that he was doping. And then the next year he was ejected from the Giro when his hematocrit level was found to be 52%, anything over 50% indicated blood doping. Pantani was hospitalised in '95 and '97, and when his blood was tested, his levels were 57.5% and 60%, apparently Pantani had been cheating for some time before his tour win in '98.

    To clean up the sport, there needs to be compulsory testing before and after every stage, and any positive test which is proven should result in a lifetime ban, and forfeiture of any previous awards or prizes.

    Posted in: Important not to let Armstrong ruin Tour de France again

  • 1

    sangetsu03

    No, I have never said there is no problem because the "debt is held internally". I said there is no problem.

    Actually there is a huge problem when a country's debt is held internally, especially in a country like Japan where institutional investors whose boards are populated by amakudari bureaucrats and politicians can use their depositors money to invest in bonds which the government issues to buy products and services from the same investors. It is a huge problem because when the debt is not sold on the open market, the rates may not realistically reflect the actual risk of the issuer of the bonds. This allows the bond rates to be held artificially low, and encourages the bond issuers to take on more debt than they otherwise would.

    Other countries which sell their debt on the international market must manage their economies well enough to attract buyers for their bonds. We can all see how well Japan is managing it's economy, and how being able to hold their own debt has done nothing more than allow the government to further mismanage the economy whilst accumulating the largest amount of debt relative to GDP of any developed country.

    And furthermore, this debt is now so undesirable that even the institutional investors are shedding themselves of it, and the government must buy and sell bonds to and from itself. It is ludicrous, and anyone who thinks there is nothing wrong with this situation is an utter fool.

    Posted in: Toshiba is only the latest example of corporate chieftains running amok with scant accountability. How is it that the CEO of deadly airbag maker Takata, Shigehisa Takada, still has a job? For the same reason no one went to jail for the $1.7 billion Olympus fraud case in 2011 or Tokyo Electric Power and the negligence that has radiation leaking from Fukushima: Japan Inc. answers to no one.

  • 5

    sangetsu03

    We can now look forward to the Financial Times reporting about how dynamic and innovative Japanese companies and the Japanese economy are, and how Japan is such a wonderful place to invest one's money. It will publish articles on how hard Abe and the LDP are working to promote business, and it will not publish articles on messy scandals like those which occurred with Olympus and now Toshiba.

    A few years ago the Olympus scandal appeared on the front pages of the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal, while Japanese publications buried the story, and limited it to a few paragraphs about how the scandal was nothing more than a scare caused by a foreigner who didn't understand Japanese business culture. Japanese papers are loathe to publish any story critical of Japan Inc, or critical of any company which advertises with them. It will be interesting to see if the Financial Times does the same thing under their new ownership.

    Posted in: Nikkei to buy Financial Times for $1.31 bil

  • 0

    sangetsu03

    The link of nigelboy seems to show that USA has more fraud cases than Japan. Why do you assume your way of doing is better?

    America has farmore companies than Japan. America the world's largest economy, Japan is number three. America creates five times as many news businesses each than Japan. America has nearly three times the population of Japan. Isn't it rather obvious that an economy which is far lerger than Japan's is likely to have more cases of fraud? Doesn't anyone use their heads anymore? Is the world stupid? I guess so.

    Last year 70% of Japanese companies reported a loss, and paid no tax. This has been going on for years, yet these companies manage to stay open for year after year, reporting loss after loss. Isn't it rather obvious that many of these companies are in fact not really losing money, but are simply not accurately reporting their income? Understating income is no less fraudulent than overstating income, it is actually a greater crime because it includes tax evasion. At least Toshiba had to pay more tax on it's overstated accounts.

    The problem with Japan is that there is no clear line between the regulators and the regulated. The boards of the big Japanese companies are full of retired bureacrats and politicians. Japan is ruled by a business/government complex, in which one hand washes the other, and no one bites the hand that feeds them. It is thoroughly corrupted, and since the relationship between the government and business is so close, we can't count on the government to enact or enforce any law which interferes with business.

    Posted in: Long-established Japanese companies such as Toshiba tend to have a highly hierarchical structure, making it difficult for employees to challenge top-down decrees over cover-ups to "save face" for the company. Do you think this corporate culture can be changed?

  • 0

    sangetsu03

    Did you see "the List of reported accounting scandals" in Nigelboy's link? Most of the accounting scandals are in USA. Why are you so proud of your country's way of doing when it does not seem to be working?

    Yes, I am proud that most of the scandals have been caught in the US, that means that the government is catching and punishing the crooks. The system is working quite well. The reason that the list in Japan is shorter is that the Japanese government does not investigate or punish such things until they become public news, and they have no choice.

    And how about FIFA? FIFA has been bribing and accepting bribes around the world, for decades, yet it was only in America that they have been punished. Many european fans have long been angry that their own governments have been reluctant to punish FIFA for it's corruption, and are quite happy that America finally did something about it.

    How about price fixing? There are more Japanese in jail in America for price fixing than there are in Japan. Have you been to a movie theatre lately? I suppose you know that all theatres in Japan charge 1800 yen for a ticket. That is price fixing, it is obvious, and it is blatant, and in Japan, it is a crime. Yet the movie theatres are never punished for this crime, are they? And movie theatres are only the tip of the iceberg of this illegal practice which occurs in nearly every industry in Japan, and is never investigated or punished.

    Yes, I am glad that America investigates and punishes companies that keep bad books, and I am sad that Japan refuses to do the same. I am glad that America enforces it's laws against price fixing, and corruption, and that American jails are full of dirty politicians, crooked accountants, and others. I am not proud that Japan refuses to the the same, and that even when such people are caught red handed, they are not punished. Why isn't Tokyo's former governor in jail right now? If he were in America, he would be on trial right now, and looking at 5 to 10 years in a jail cell.

    Posted in: Long-established Japanese companies such as Toshiba tend to have a highly hierarchical structure, making it difficult for employees to challenge top-down decrees over cover-ups to "save face" for the company. Do you think this corporate culture can be changed?

  • -1

    sangetsu03

    I think Olympus and Livedoor was punished severely. Why do you think Japan should do the same things as Americans when what they did were different things/scale?

    I think you may be underestimating the scale of corporate malfeasance in Japan. Back when the Olympus scandal broke, some of my friends in Japanese companies said that Olympus was far from being alone in cooking it's books. Had these executives been running an American company, they would have probably died in prison. The former CEO of Enron is still in prison, and because he is there (he was originally sentenced to 24 years), other American companies have been very careful to keep their books straight, and their financial reports honest.

    But since Japanese bureaucrats and politicians count on amakudari jobs at the companies they are supposed to be keeping an eye on, it is no surprise that they look away when the company misbehaves. Until practices like amakudari are banned and punished, Japanese executives don't have any fear of being sent to jail when they lie to their stockholders, employees, and regulators.

    Posted in: Long-established Japanese companies such as Toshiba tend to have a highly hierarchical structure, making it difficult for employees to challenge top-down decrees over cover-ups to "save face" for the company. Do you think this corporate culture can be changed?

  • 6

    sangetsu03

    The structure that was at the heart of the Japan Miracle...

    There never was a Japan miracle. Japan's growth of the 60's to the 80's was not fueled by innovation, or superior business practices. Japan grew because it had no competition in the low-labor cost manufacturing market, and because Japan Inc was able to twist the arm of the government to manipulate the value of the yen, and further increase the cost of imports through tariffs. This made Japanese goods cheaper in foreign countries, and made foreign goods expensive in Japan. In the early years, Japan's population was still growing, adding an increasing supply of consumers and workers to the economy.

    Most of corporate Japan's income came from (and still comes from) the domestic market, which was closed off to outsiders via currency manipulation and the heavy tariffs on imported goods. On goods which were not tariffed, or which were still cheap despite a weak yen, they were simply kept out (ever seen a Samsung TV in Japan?)

    In the 80's the Plaza Accord stopped the currency manipulation, Korea began competing with Japan, China was beginning it's ascent, Black Monday hit Wall Street, and then the "bubble economy" burst. The so-called "miracle" ended. Japan could no longer tilt the field in it's favor, or pay off the referees to compete, it actually had to compete in the open market. But more than 20 years later, it is still unable to do so.

    So now we end up with an overpriced economy where the high cost of living is driving down the population. We have Japanese companies which are still being run the same way they were when Johnson was president. We have a government which continues to spend on the same scale it did when Japan thought it would become the world's number-one economy, but can now only finance it's debts by printing money, and buying and selling debt from and to itself. Most of this money ends up in the hands of Japan Inc, who are the main suppliers of everything in Japan, and which is the main reason that they are still around.

    Often success isn't related to what one does, but what others don't do. When I opened my company in Japan, I had no competitors in my market, I made a lot of money. But others have caught on, and are competing head-to-head with me. As a result I have had to change and adapt. But the big boys in Japan do not change, and they don't adapt. They are being left behind, and since they control most of Japan's economy, Japan is being left behind with them.

    Posted in: Toshiba is only the latest example of corporate chieftains running amok with scant accountability. How is it that the CEO of deadly airbag maker Takata, Shigehisa Takada, still has a job? For the same reason no one went to jail for the $1.7 billion Olympus fraud case in 2011 or Tokyo Electric Power and the negligence that has radiation leaking from Fukushima: Japan Inc. answers to no one.

  • 2

    sangetsu03

    Cycling is a team sport. So blaming Lance Armstrong is rather foolish plus many underneath Armstrong had their finishes expunged from doping also.

    Sorry, but Armstrong was the team boss, he was the boss of the tour, "le patron" the other teams called him.. Without Armstrong, there was no team. He was not the manager, but he controlled everything. He was the champion, Johann Bruyneel did his bidding, as did even the UCI's inspectors. Armstrong got what he wanted, always, and without exception, and he destroyed, or tried to destroy anyone who got in his way.

    I know Greg Lemond, I met him back in 1989. He was (and is) a genuinely good person. When he dared to say something indirectly critical about Armstrong, Lance used his influence to get Trek to sever it's licensing deal with Lemond bicycles. This cost Greg Lemond millions of dollars.

    I blame Lance because he deserves the blame. He was a pathologial liar and cheater, which was okay so long as his actions didn't harm anyone else. But when he destroyed other people'e livelyhoods or jobs when they dared to tell what turned out to be the truth, that is unforgiveable.

    Posted in: Important not to let Armstrong ruin Tour de France again

  • 0

    sangetsu03

    How about "Boner"? It's not too long (sadly), but it is a universally-known term, and has much to do with being a source of life.

    Posted in: Japanese space scientists seeking new asteroid name

  • 2

    sangetsu03

    Suga "is forming a panel" to look into the matter. The panel will spend a lot of money itself to investigate the situation, but nothing will be discovered, because it was Suga's government which squandered the money. The investigation will say that the loss of money was "very regrettable", and the matter will be closed. In the meantime, the sons, daughters, nephews, nieces and grandchildren of politicians who made this mess can look forward to being guaranteed jobs in the companies which received the money. Politics as usual.

    Posted in: Japan faces Y5.9 bil loss over scrapped Olympic stadium

  • 3

    sangetsu03

    MacArthur tried to change the system after the second war. The big companies and trading houses were broken up, and the people were free to create whatever system they liked. But unfortunately, they weren't given time to acclimate, Washington was impatient with the expense of economically supporting post-war Japan. The old companies and trading houses were allowed to reincorporate (becoming Japan Inc), and begin dominating the country, they still dominate it today.

    They control every part of the economic structure of Japan, including the educational system. They run the banks, the factories, the builders and real estate developers, everything. The control society, and they keep out competition. Every young person is taught not to be the nail that sticks out, to respect their elders, and obey implicitly. In university students are taught nothing, making them completely dependent on their future employers. And the goal of all young people in Japanese society is to get a job at one of the famous companies.

    A friend of mine is working hard at his company, and was talking about how badly he needed a vacation. I asked him why he doesn't take one, but he says he is afraid to ask his boss. In Japan workers are legally entitled to vacation time, yet many don't. Last year this same friend used his vacation days, but had to work while he was supposedly on vacation. That is actually a crime, but it is a common one in Japan, and is an example of how terrible the Japanese corporate system is. In America I was not required to take my vacation time, but if I didn't use my days, I could expect to be paid for them. In Japan this does not happen. But since the companies have such power here, the workers feel helpless to do anything other than what they are told to do. If my friend were to complain, he would get his vacation, probably several week's worth, and the company would not be able to fire him. But he would be moved to the broom closet, and forced to do things like make copies and do the tasks normally assigned to new employees, which would be a great shame to him. And of course the company could not be punished for doing something like that.

    A great pity it all is.

    Posted in: Long-established Japanese companies such as Toshiba tend to have a highly hierarchical structure, making it difficult for employees to challenge top-down decrees over cover-ups to "save face" for the company. Do you think this corporate culture can be changed?

  • 1

    sangetsu03

    BS. The employees and managers are now being blamed for what their executives did. If this were America, Toshiba's executives would be facing at least a decade in prison, here in Japan they probably won't even be charged, such is the power of Japan Inc. But if I were Toshiba's executives, I wouldn't be sleeping that easily, the FBI might be trying to see if Toshiba was misrepresenting their numbers to American regulators. As Toshiba is licensed to do business in America, it is more than a little possible that Tanaka and Sasaki will face charges there. They will not be able to influence America's justice system. Perhaps they can get a cell next to Jeffrey Skilling, Enron's former president, who is still in prison.

    Posted in: Toshiba scandal: A blow to Japan Inc's reputation

  • -1

    sangetsu03

    ...hasn’t failed a doping test or been caught cheating. All he’s guilty of is winning.

    These exact words were said about Armstrong just a few years ago. And I was a believer in Armstrong, when he said he didn't cheat, I took is word for it. I was present at the finish in France when he won his first tour, and I was a great fan. When rumours of his cheating came out, I didn't believe them.

    Of course I wasn't naive, drugs and doping have long been a part of the tour, remember the death of Tom Simpson on the Ventoux? Is doping occurring in the tour right now? Of course it is. Who is doping? Usually the strongest riders, and this generally includes the race leader. That is not an accusation, because it is entirely possible for a tour winner now to be clean, just is it is entirely possible that I might be hit by a falling comet.

    I am still a fan of cycling, but I am no longer a fan of any particular rider. I watch the race for the colours, the scenery and the action.

    Posted in: Important not to let Armstrong ruin Tour de France again

  • 20

    sangetsu03

    Standard M.O. for this writer, take a global problem and issue (in this case corporate accountability) and then when the problem occurs in Japan claim the causes are Japan specific, usually riffing on some variation of "insular culture". An understandable angle to take back in the '90s when Japan was the first country to hit the wall of the neo-liberal, "free market", credit expansion economic growth model and nobody understood what was going on, but well past its sell-by date now. As for the gratuitous Fukushima reference, I'm sure the writer knows full well that the accident was caused by the "nuclear village", the "cozy relationships", and the "belief in the myth of nuclear safety", all forcing the brave Naoto Kan to shut down the entire industry to save Japan from the imminent peril. I know he knows because he was one of the inventors of this narrative. You can't turn around now and say "Actually the accident was really caused by the criminal acts of the management of TEPCO, you can ignore all that other stuff". Well actually I guess you can say that, if you have an extreme case of cognitive dissonance and want to have your cake and eat it too.

    I guess you don't work for a Japanese company, where the boss is always right, and were no decision, however small, can be made without the permission of someone higher up. I guess you don't know about the rigid seniority-based promotion systems used in Japanese companies, in which you promoted on a fixed schedule, regardless of how well you work, or don't work. This system means that no one under the age of 60 has any authority in the company. I guess you don't know that the president of a Japanese company can choose board members loyal to him, and he can deny board seats to outsiders, even if they are major stock holders. He can fire any board member who disagrees with him, and of course he can count on the other members to support him. The chairmen of Japan Inc are the power in this country.

    There has never been a free market in Japan, ever. Imports are tariffed heavily, price fixing and corporate collusion are rampant throughout the country. Conflicts of interest like amakudari jobs for politicians and bureaucrats are ignored, anti-trust laws are almost non-existent.

    The reference to Tepco is valid, and underlines the weakness of the heirarchical structure of Japanese companies. No one can deviate from the structure or chain-of-command. If a problem is discovered, it can paralyse a company as it figures out who is responsible for making any decision to solve the problem. Every department and every task has a person assigned to it, and a procedure to follow when something happens. When something unexpected happens, or there is a task or procedure which does not have someone assigned to handle it, it throws the who system into chaos. Fukushima is the poster child of this situation. If no one is assigned to check the condition of the backup batteries, they are not checked. If no one is assigned to authorise the purchase of new batteries, the batteries are never purchased. Every person does his assigned task, he doesn't think to do something he isn't assigned to do. I guess no one is aware that of all the countries which use nuclear power, Japan had the worst record for problems?

    Posted in: Toshiba is only the latest example of corporate chieftains running amok with scant accountability. How is it that the CEO of deadly airbag maker Takata, Shigehisa Takada, still has a job? For the same reason no one went to jail for the $1.7 billion Olympus fraud case in 2011 or Tokyo Electric Power and the negligence that has radiation leaking from Fukushima: Japan Inc. answers to no one.

  • 2

    sangetsu03

    Here they foolishly think deficits are caused by government spending. They aren't, deficits are just the difference between how much you spend and how much you take back through taxation and are determined by your taxation system. Level of spending is irrelevant, if you spend more than you tax you will have a deficit, which then gets added to your total debt. And again, you can't tax more than you spend without the private sector going into deficit.

    Excuse be, but do you have even the remotest idea of how strange that sounds? Your second sentence completely contradicts your first sentence. Of course deficits are caused by spending, by spending more than you collect or earn. And then the deficit must be covered by borrowing, and deficits turn into debts.

    And tell me, how does the private sector "go into deficit"? Companies which spend more than they earn quickly go out of business (unless of course they are Japanese companies). If my company runs a deficit, I cannot borrow more money (and, unlike the government, I cannot print my own, and unlike a Japanese company, I cannot give a banker a job on my board in return for the bank's support). If I can't borrow money, and I am not earning any, I cannot pay my employees or suppliers. I will be forced into bankruptcy. The court will either liquidate my assets and pay what is left to my creditors, or they will reorganise my company, and give it to someone else to run.

    Cut spending and all you do is reduce GDP, making the debt / GDP ratio higher while your debt continues to climb. Barely elementary school level arithmetic, but beyond the competence level of the highly educated "economists" in charge.

    Unfortunately, government spending generally takes more from GDP than it adds to it (particularly when that spending is done with money borrowed at interest). In capitalist economies, it is the private sector which builds goods, provides the majority of services, provides the most jobs, and creates most of whatever GDP exists. For every dollar the private sector invests, it seeks to earn a positive return, and positive returns are in turn reinvested with the hopes of doing the same, and economic growth occurs. Government spending generates a negative return, meaning that every dollar you pay in the form of taxes, you will receive less in return. Every dollar consumed by the public sector is a dollar which cannot be used to create growth. Think of the recently canceled Olympic stadium, all government building projects are greatly overpriced. If a private company builds an office tower, that tower will be built for a competitive price, it will be finished on time, and within budget. If the building cannot create more revenue than it cost to build, it will not be built. If the government builds a similar building, it will cost two-to-five times the original quote, and it is very unlikely to be finished on time (the delays usually being the cause of the cost overruns). Whether or not the building provides more to the community than it cost to build is irrelevant.

    We have seen the growth of deficit spending and national debt increase in-step with the increase of the size of the public sector. And as the non-productive public sector grows, the productive private sector must of course shrink. So while the size and cost of government increase, it consumes more revenue, and as the private sector shrinks, it must of course create less revenue. Greece is a prime example of what happens when government becomes the largest employer and consumer.

    Think of all the money recently spent on "stimulus". Did you get any of it? Did anyone? All of the stimulus money was spent on waste-generating projects that padded the pockets of politicians and their politically-connected friends. Had they simply reduced the tax burden on everyone by the same amount, there would have been a strong positive effect on the economy.

    Reducing the size of the public sector would in no way decrease GDP, the opposite would occur. If the pubic sector spends less, it will consume less, and if the public sector consumes less, the private sector will spend and consume more, and do so much more efficiently.

    Posted in: Gov't says it won't meet FY 2020 fiscal discipline targets

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