sangetsu03's past comments

  • 0


    At least they did get one thing sort of right, no dynasty terms.

    Not quite. We had three terms of Bush, and now it looks as though some people want three or more terms of Clinton. It is a sad state of affairs when the most influential thing a candidate has is a name. But you can never underestimate the stupidity of voters, and in political matters, the level of one's education is irrelevant. The poorer classes sell their votes for handouts, the more educated sell there votes in exchange for lies, because they simply can't comprehend the depth to which politicians will sink to acquire power and wealth. When one becomes a member of a party, one tends to believe what that party tells them, no matter how absurd.

    People have an innate desire to believe in something greater than themselves, and the smartest among them can be made to believe the most ludicrous things if it seems to satisfy this desire.

    Posted in: Divided America: Diverse millennials are no voting monolith

  • 0


    All this money for a 15minute train ride.

    You ain't seen nothing yet, the $2 million is just a drop in the bucket.

    California's bullet train was supposed to cost $33 billion, but costs have now risen to $68 billion, before the first shovel of earth was turned. Costs are now estimate to be more than $80 billion, and likely much higher than that, provided that it is actually built. The shovels finally broke ground recently because part of the cost was subsidized by one of Obama's "stimulus" spending programs, and if the work wasn't started, the state would have been required to give it back.

    In America you can't build a sidewalk without negotiating through an ocean of red tape. The cost of defending lawsuits from properly owners affected by these projects delays them by several years, or even several decades, and the cost of defending these lawsuits can be more than the costs for the construction and land.

    Essentially, these projects are graft-generating boondoggles which make lawyers, politicians, and construction contractors rich, and make the rest of us that much poorer.

    Posted in: Japan authorizes $2 mil to study high-speed train from Baltimore to Washington

  • 3


    i imagine with all the red tape, regulations and unwritten rules for farm organizations, it would be like a hare krishna trying to join a baptist church in georgia.

    Imagine all the red tape, regulations, and unwritten rules which must be followed by companies.

    As a salaryman you have very little responsibility. You work long hours, but you don't do much real work. You get promoted according to seniority and not performance, so you can expect your position and salary to improve even if you do the minimal amount of work, or in some cases, no work at all. All you have to endure is mediocre pay, short vacations, long commutes, and, if you are married, living on a small allowance. And if you find you can't take it, all you have to do is jump in front of the next express train.

    Posted in: It’s easier to be a salaryman. You can’t be a farmer unless that’s your passion.

  • 0


    Religious movies don't have the draw they used to as more people view religious dogma for the crowd-control it is.

    Religious dogma has been replaced by political dogma (which is also crowd control), and the current generation would be more interested in seeing a movie about Che Guevara.

    If Ben Hur were played by Russell Crowe, and Jesus by Johnny Depp, it would have had a better opening. People care more about names than religious or political dogma.

    Posted in: 'Ben-Hur' crashes, 'Suicide Squad' stays on top for 3rd week

  • 3


    Since we're asking, can I get $1 million?

    Sure, you can have a million. But keep in mind that it must be paid back, and at interest. But even as low as interest is right now, it is considerable on such an amount. And it is far more considerable on 20 trillion yen.

    Give me a million, and I can can double it in 3 or 4 years. Give the government a million, and they can lose all of it in a matter of hours.

    And it still does not invalidate the argument that spending money stimulates the economy, as long as workers are seeing the benefits. WW2 was a fiscal stimulus on a historic scale. It brought down unemployment and increased living standards for decades.

    You have to take demographics into account here. After the war the world's population exploded, along with demand, and the addition industry and employment to meet that demand. Keynesian economics are indeed workable provided that a foundation for growth exists (as it did in Keynes' time). Such a foundation does not exist in Japan. Japan has no material, agricultural, or energy resources. Fiscal stimulus in Japan has not been implemented to cause economic growth, because Japan's current political, industrial, and business structures are all burdens to growth. With these burdens pushing up the cost of living and simultaneously pushing down consumption and population, growth is not possible. Fiscal stimulus in Japan is mainly for life support of the political, industrial, and business structure. Since genuine economic growth and increased demand are demographically impossible, Japan is borrowing from future generations to pay for it's current prosperity.

    As for the argment that making money is the foundation of an economy, that is silly, unless the money is put to productive use.

    Money is not the foundation of an economy, value is the foundation. Labor has value, products and services have value. Money is merely a tool for exchanging or storing that value. The government can create more money, but it cannot create more value. And the more money the government creates, the less value that money can exchange or store.

    I can collect a lot of bills with the nice digits 100 or 1000 printed on them and then put them under a mattress. How does that help the economy?

    It doesn't help the economy, but neither does spending it all to buy Haitian penny stocks. More than anyone else, a company or business knows the value of money, and understands far more than you that money which is not used is useless. But they also understand that spending or investing money in an environment which cannot provide a positive return is worse than holding onto it. Companies earn the money they have, and their first and foremost goal is to use that money to make more money.

    Many companies in Japan have been waiting for Abe's third arrow. They have taken advantage of zero rates, and QE to borrow vast sums of money, which they have used mainly to buy back stocks. This has caused a huge increase in stock values, not to mention returns on these investments. They have done this in expectation of fiscal reform and deregulation of the economy, neither of which have happened. So now they are stuck with the debt they issued to buy the stocks, and large stock portfolios which will be worth less than the paper they are printed on if the economy fails to grow. And this is why the stock market is now entirely dependent on central banks continuing to keep rates at zero, and to keep printing money. Unless Abe gets off his backside and enacts the reforms he promised, the current bubble will explode far more messily than the previous one did.

    Posted in: Abe adviser says Japan needs Y10 trillion stimulus in each of next two years

  • 6


    America is divided because the easiest way to control a large population of people is to divide them into factions. Republican and democrat politicians use a mixture of facts, falsehoods, fears, and fabrications to divide the people into two opposing sides. Each side is manipulated into believing that the opposing side will take away it's rights and privileges, or grant rights and privileges that the other side opposes.

    "Divide and conquer" is one of the oldest strategies in politics, and most people have heard the term at one time or another. But few people seem to realize that they are pawns in this strategy, and that they are used and manipulated, or discarded when they are no longer useful. While the people are being manipulated into screaming at each other, the manipulators are picking their pockets. Despite being a tool of tyrants for thousands of years, people nowadays are as easily manipulated as people were in the stone age.

    How well does it work? The article above is a good example of how effective it is. In the next election, the great majority of people will vote along party lines. They are so conditioned to believe a particular way, they would never think of voting or supporting someone who is not a member of their party. Simply put, they are sheep, and are as stupid and helpless as sheep can be.

    Ironically enough, those in power who do the dividing have no real belief in the party system at all, other than as a tool of control, or getting them elected. Your typical school teacher or garage mechanic will go to his or her grave as a republican or democrat. But your typical politician can change his or her party affiliation as easily as he or she can change their coat. Look at Lieberman, Chafee, Rick Perry, Spector, Byrd, Bloomberg or Thurmond, and you can add Reagan and even Trump to that list. As a teen, even Hillary was a republican. And then there is the democrat party's new messiah, Elizabeth Warren, who was a republican for most of her life.

    America is divided because that is the intention of those who run the country.

    Posted in: Divided America: Diverse millennials are no voting monolith

  • 0


    In other words, he is going to cut off his nose to spite his face. Just the kind of thing a geriatric, hair-peace-wearing blowhard would do to keep his name in the papers, and keep control of the local taxpayers' checkbook.

    Posted in: Okinawa considers rejecting coral transplant to block U.S. base relocation

  • -3


    Thank you Mr. President. You continue to serve the American people well.

    Wonderful sarcasm (at least I hope it is, no president has served the people well since I don't know when).

    This is not a one-off, this is not a photo-op issue...

    That is all it is, and nothing more. There is nothing Obama really needs to do about Louisiana, the mechanism for dealing with such disasters has been in place for many years, and can be switched on without his input. Obama is now working on improving his legacy, so expect a lot more photo ops, but not much in the way of work.

    Any other president, republican, democrat, or Trump, would do the same thing.

    Posted in: Obama vows support for flood-hit Louisiana after the 'cameras leave'

  • 1


    I left my law enforcement job in America because I didn't like the work, and because I needed to work overtime and details to earn $70k per year. Getting any higher in the department required political connections that I didn't have, and the ability to brown-nose those who had the authority to grant promotions.

    At 40 years old, I gave it up. I hated the state where I lived, I hated working in a large inner city. I hated the mindless violence, the complete disregard of personal responsibility, and the people's refusal to make the necessary choices to improve their lives. I got tired of chasing the same stupid people who kept doing the same stupid things, and spent at least one-third of their time behind bars.

    I sold everything, paid off my bills, and moved as far away as I could. I didn't have much money left over, but I used it to look for opportunities and finance ideas. Most of these failed, but some of them succeeded, and I am far better off financially than I ever was. My greatest regret is wasting so many years working for someone else.

    Posted in: Low-income over-40s: How it happens and how they live with it

  • -2


    This is a great story. Now, Japanese have to ask themselves why they never heard of this man for 50 years after WW2.

    They never heard of him because when the war ended, everyone wanted to forget about it. Rather than face the shame of unconditional surrender and the death of a would-be empire, people preferred to think that the war never happened in the first place. The US servicemen around Japan were a harsh reminder, but these were for the most part ignored as well.

    If Sugihara's story were spread around, it would open old wounds which most want to keep closed. That Sugihara opposed his superiors indicates that his superiors and Japan supported the holocaust by obeying Hitler's wish that Jews be sent to concentration camps. And as much as some Japanese believed that Japan was justified in trying to build it's own empire (after all, America and Europe had done it), it is much harder to justify Japan's support of the great evil practiced in Hitler's Germany.

    Posted in: Actor makes documentary on Japanese who helped Jews escape Holocaust

  • 7


    I'd prefer a date with a real idol, and enjoy a bowl of virtual ramen.

    Posted in: Ramen restaurant offering customers virtual dates with idol singers

  • 1


    We don't need to look at the donations received by Clinton foundation as much as we need to look at what those donors received in return. These foundations are supposedly for charitable purposes, but what they really are is graft-generating machines. Companies and wealthy individuals can deduct donations from their taxes, and the immense political connections held by the foundation can find ways to repay said companies and wealthy individuals for their donations. These companies care nothing at all for what little of the money they donate ends up actually put to good use, what they want is a positive return for their investment, I mean, donation.

    Such foundations are gold mines for the likes of the Clintons, and are capable of generating much larger returns than the simple kickbacks milked out of overpriced infrastructure and building projects. A foundation like this can pay for and operate a Gulfstream jet and crew, pay for a penthouse office and apartment in NYC, or other things like country club memberships and the like. And the $2 billion the foundation has received thus far is nothing compared to what it would get if Hillary were to get a term or two as president. Does anyone wonder why hundreds of millions of dollars are spent campaigning for public offices which pay only hundreds of thousands of dollars? Now you know.

    Posted in: Clinton Foundation donors got face time with her at State

  • 0


    Abolishing tariffs of up to 700% on imported foods would lower grocery bills, dumping tariffs on other goods would lower other bills, enforcing laws against price fixing would make things like movie tickets, cars, and countless other goods cheaper, as would leaving the value of the yen un-manipulatied. By the time all of this was done, a household would have so much more disposable income that we wouldn't have to worry about putting women to work, they might even have enough left over to feed, clothe, and educated an extra child or two.

    Posted in: I think there is a decent percentage of married women for whom a neutralized tax and social security system would incentivize them to work more, including full-time roles as opposed to just part time. This would ultimately lead to higher incomes and greater benefits for their whole families.

  • 0


    Godzilla can carry out a giant stage with members of AKB dancing to pop music in short skirts. Then the characters from Yokai Watch and Pokemon can carry the flags and torch, while the mascots from the various districts and prefectures can play taiko drums and flutes. And in a special ceremony Abe can name "Fukuppy" the official mascot of Abenomics.

    Posted in: What aspects of Japanese history, culture, lifestyle and tradition would you like to see in the opening ceremony for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics?

  • 1


    The cost is too high or the incomes are too low. Ultimately, what matters is the difference between income and expenses.

    What matters is efficiency. An efficient household or business will keep costs low and savings or profits high. The margin varies with the scale of the household or business.

    This is the crux of the problem, not as you earlier claimed, the bankruptcy laws themselves.

    Law in Japan is a murky thing, as you may know if you have been here long enough. Practices which are illegal by the letter of the law are sometimes ignored or unpunished. The yakuza are "tolerated", along with a fair amount of the illegal activities they participate in. Price fixing is clearly illegal in Japanese law, but if you visit any movie theater, real estate agent, or car dealer at this moment, you will see an example of price fixing in practice.

    And then there are those things which are not technically illegal by the letter of the law, but which punishable officially or unofficially. Like the recent scandals involving campaign funds. What constitutes illegal use of these funds is not clearly defined, and there is no official guideline on how to punish "offenders." Yet misusing these funds will get one tossed out of office.

    In Japan the law is is not evenly applied in all cases, it can be fair or unfair, depending on what it is you have done or are trying to do. An acquaintance of mine went to pick up her child from daycare, and found ambulances waiting outside. Her child died while at the daycare center. The daycare center violated at least two of the laws governing the care of young children, yet in the end, it was ruled that her child died from "Sudden infant death syndrome", and none from the daycare center were punished, and lawyers hired to sue the daycare center see only a 20% chance of success in prevailing in court. That the daycare center admitted to violating safety regulations in statements to the police made no difference at all, those violations went unpunished.

    Laws in Japan are not very protective of the little people, or anyone outside the establishment. Laws of all types need to be in black and white, they need to be free of cultural restraints, and they need to be enforced as written. And if they are not written clearly enough, they must be rewritten until they are.

    Posted in: Japan Inc not enthusiastic over Abe's stimulus, BOJ easing

  • 1


    Surely what's needed to fix the economy is to MAKE money.

    A strong economy is built upon the foundation of making money. One must of course spend money, but the spending of that money must create a surplus which can be used to finance ways to make more money. A business doesn't spend all of it's profits on bonuses or higher salaries, it spends this money on increasing the size and scale of it's business, and as this scale increase, so can bonuses and salaries. In the end, economic prosperity and growth are all about positive returns. For every 100 yen a company spends, be it on labor, research and development, or building a new office, it expects more than 100 yen in return. And anything above the 100 yen spent will be reinvested to earn further returns. This is how economic growth occurs.

    But the public sector does not generate a positive return. For every hundred yen it consumes, it provides less than 100 yen in benefits or value. This loss could be covered in a strong economy which generates enough excess revenue to cover it. But with the public sector now consuming vast amounts of GDP, and providing far less in return for what it consumes, it is dragging down the private sector, diminishing returns to negative. It is becoming less and less possible to earn more than 100 yen on a 100 yen investment.

    And these stimulus packages don't help, because the amount of positive economic activity they create is less than what they cost. In a country where the nearly all materials and energy are imported, and were the most food is imported (and were domestic consumption still accounts for more than half goods and services sold), a weak yen is more of a curse than a blessing. And in an environment with a declining population, decreased consumption, profits, and wages, the only way people can keep their heads above water is with deflation. This deflation raises the value of people's wages and savings when getting a raise in pay, or earning interest on deposits is not possible. These stimulus spending packages are robbery of the taxpayers, and nothing more. They steal 20 trillion yen, dole out perhaps half that amount, and the rest vanishes in the bureaucracy.

    Right now, demographics are driving down consumption and wages. And if the government is trying to create inflation in this environment, it harms everyone, including the government itself. Mr Fujii thinks the way all politicians do, that the solution to any problem can be found by spending someone else's money. And now Japan's corporations and stock markets think the same way, because without constant central bank intervention in the form of currency manipulation, interest rate manipulation, and endless QE and stimulus spending, they cannot keep their ships afloat. But the more the central bank intervenes, the deeper the water gets, and the further they will sink when they collide with the icebergs of economic reality.

    Posted in: Abe adviser says Japan needs Y10 trillion stimulus in each of next two years

  • 1


    You should get with the times, if you're going to opine.

    No, it is not "rubbish." A friend of mine runs a company which restructures small businesses which are in danger of going bankrupt. Recently he told me of a business which his company had been hired to turn around. The business was run by a father and son, and employed 40 people. My friend was impressed by the son's education, personality and work ethic, and was interested in hiring him to work in his firm, but since the son was one of the owners of the company, and was listed in the bankruptcy, he could not be hired. Legally-speaking, he could have given the young man a job, but in practice it was not possible. You forget that in business matters in japan, culture often overrules regulation and the fine print of law.

    And after bankruptcy, starting a business is simply not possible. If you know anything about the credit and banking systems in Japan, you know how arbitrary they are. No bankrupt or former bankrupt is going to be able to get financing from a bank. If you borrow the money privately, you still need to open a bank account to do business, and in case you have never tried it, opening a business account at a Japanese bank is no cake walk, even for those with a strong business plan, or even an established and successful business.

    Businesses require credit, credit requires working with a bank. Banks require that all directors have clean noses, and even if the law allows bankrupts to obtain a director's position in another company, banks will not tolerate it. Japanese law allows banks to deny credit without giving any reason why.

    Posted in: Japan Inc not enthusiastic over Abe's stimulus, BOJ easing

  • 1


    BOJ & MOF measures should be to: Make Yen very weak, through basically some forms of helicopter money to buy sometime. Make public housing cheap, good, plentiful and very big. Make child-care centers cheap, good and plentiful.

    In a country where most food, almost all materials, and most energy is imported, weakening the yen harms more than it helps. You may not realize it, but Japan's economy is not export based; domestic consumption accounts for more than half of what Japanese industry produces.

    The "helicopter money" strategy has been tried 17 times in the past 21 years, and what good has it done? Making public housing cheap requires that someone pay a subsidy, basically robbing Peter to pay Paul. The people may get cheaper housing, but the cost of the taxes used to subsidize their housing will inevitably come out of their pockets. We know from decades of experience that rent controls do not work, and that no matter how hard the government tries, it cannot regulate the cost of housing. Housing costs what people in that area are willing to pay for it, and such has always been the case, regardless of where you live.

    Build more cheap infrastructural centres available for tech innovation, tech of things, etc with special rental subsidies to young entrepreneurs.

    Why does the government have to build or finance such things? If building such centers generated jobs and revenue, companies would have built them years ago. And since technology requires little in the way of space, factories, workers, or support staff, the effect of a strong tech industry has a much smaller positive influence on the economy than a strong manufacturing base. Already those in the tech sector are seeing their jobs dry up as workers in India and other places do quality work for a fraction of the price.

    We don't need a strong tech industry, even a strong restaurant industry would employ more people, and provide a better foundation to the nation's economy. People don't need to play with gadgets, share pet videos, or download music, but they do need to be fed, housed, clothed, transported, educated, and whatnot, and these essentials are more important. The tech industry performs three main functions, exchange information, entertainment, and advertising. The entertainment part makes money, but not as much as advertising, and there is no point in advertising if there are not goods to sell, like food, clothes, housing, cars, trucks, etc. And the exchange of information pertains mostly to those who produce, buy, sell, or exchange food, clothes, housing, cars, trucks, etc.

    Raise wages of nurses, policemen, soldiers, teachers in government sector.

    Absolutely not (and I am a former policeman and soldier). These are public services, and the people who perform these jobs should be serving for our benefit. These jobs should be done for a small wage, and in exchange for a university education, or learning a useful trade. There should be no such thing as a career civil servant, except for a small body of supervisors and officers. When you make public sector jobs very highly paid, eventually the public sector employees end up becoming the masters, and the taxpayers become the servants. This cannot be allowed to happen, go to Illinois and see the results of this practice.

    domestic demand will be stronger through higher wages.

    This is backwards, wages do not drive demand, demand drives wages. Demand occurs when a product is scarce, or when the price is low enough that the masses can afford to buy the product. When you increase wages, the price of the product must be increased to pay those wages, which reduces demand, increases it's supply, which eventually pushes prices back down. In order to make ends meet with lower prices and higher wages, jobs must be eliminated, or moved to some place where labor is cheaper. This is economics 101 here, not rocket science.

    What Kuroda and Abe need to do is simply get out of the way and let the economy work. They need to stop subsidizing agriculture and Japan Inc at the people's expense, they need to eliminate the barriers to competition which drive up the cost of living (and so drive down consumption and population), and they need to reduce public sector spending to a level which the private sector can afford to support. They have to understand that a strong economy is based upon a motivated, active, and industrious people who simply want to succeed, and not by government policy and cronyism.

    Posted in: BOJ's Kuroda says he won't rule out deepening negative rate cut

  • 5


    I don't think Japan's stale old businesses will change. So we need them to go out of business instead. The government has to make it incredibly easy to start new businesses in any field, and take on the establishment companies. Admittedly Japan would need to experience a major cultural shift in favour of business risk-taking for this to come about, but I see no other way.

    We are already on track for such change. By subsidizing Japan Inc (with our money), the government has removed the impetus for changing their ways, which has allowed things to get continually worse. Eventually Abe, the BOJ, and their like will run out of other people's money to spend (or borrow, or print), and the the system they have created will collapse under it's own weight.

    One of the problems in the Japanese system is he severity of bankruptcy law. A bankrupt in Japan is akin to a criminal, and bankrupts lose the right to vote, and to get full time employment. Companies and individuals will pull out all stops to avoid bankruptcy, even if this means borrowing money they likely cannot repay, or, on a larger scale, hide or shift debts, roll them over, or somehow put off the day of reckoning as far as possible. But that day eventually comes. JAL went bankrupt a few years ago, and they are still paying the price. Ordinary Japanese shun JAL for ANA, and the airports refuse to give more slots to JAL. If you asked people 15 years ago what their favorite airline was, they would say "JAL." But ask them now, and they will all say "ANA." And if you ask them for a reason, they will almost invariably say "because JAL went bankrupt."

    Because of the severity of bankruptcy law, more than a few Japanese are unwilling to take risks in starting a business, or enlarging an existing business. The consequences of failure are too high. If Japan wants more people to start businesses, and allow zombie companies to die and be buried as they should, bankruptcy laws must be reformed.

    Posted in: Japan Inc not enthusiastic over Abe's stimulus, BOJ easing

  • 2


    The people need the money and higher wages to spur the economy not giving Banks and corporations. Higher wages increases spending Spending increases growth and jobs. Feed the people not the corporations and banks

    The people do not need more money, they simply need to spend less of it on the goods they need. The problem is not that wages are too low, but that the cost of living is too high. Simply raising wages will result in two things, costs increasing to compensate, and the number of jobs and hours people work reduced, which has the same effect. Incomes in japan are quite high, but disposable incomes (what is left after living expenses and taxes) is quite low.

    If Abe and the BOJ kept their sticky fingers out of the economy, deflation would bring prices down to an affordable level, which seems to be happening anyway. When the cost of goods and services decreases, the net effect is the same as a wage increase, right?

    But since public spending and the national budget depend on at least 2% inflation in order to be feasible (because inflation is a stealth tax which devalues debts), Abe and the BOJ cannot allow deflation to occur. They are trying to cause inflation in an environment where the natural trend is deflationary. In such an environment, wages cannot keep up with inflation, because consumption continues to decline, because things were too expensive to begin with. How exactly can companies pay higher wages when they are losing hundreds of thousands of customers per year, and the few customers who remain are older people who are more frugal with their money?

    Abe and the BOJ seem incapable of understanding basic math. High cost of living equals reduced consumption and population decline. Reduced consumption and population decline equal less sales, income, wages, and tax revenue. By trying to cause inflation with cost-push inflation, the cost of living is pushed higher, which results in less consumption, population decline, decreased sales, income, wages, and tax revenue. So what do they do? More of the same!

    Posted in: BOJ's Kuroda says he won't rule out deepening negative rate cut


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