sangetsu03's past comments

  • 0

    sangetsu03

    How can I agree or disagree? The word "could" means nothing. It could rain mext week, couldn't it? But there is no way of knowing until next week. In the last decade we have had many deadly disasters which have killed tens of thousands of people, yet none of them have been called "definitive humanitarian disasters." Oxfam is obviously looking for funding, which is fine by me, but their strategy in this case is a little disingenuous.

    Posted in: Aid agency Oxfam says Ebola could become the "definitive humanitarian disaster of our generation." Do you agree?

  • 1

    sangetsu03

    I like the post office bank and Shinsei bank. When I first arrived in Japan I opened an account at the post office, and applied for a credit card. I was approved for the credit card despite having only a one-year visa, and having lived in Japan for only 2 months. I like Shinsei because opening an account takes only a few minutes, and they have a good English website.

    Posted in: Which do you think is the most foreigner-friendly bank in Japan?

  • 1

    sangetsu03

    I went to visit my hometown, and found that my old schools now had walls around them, and security gates had been installed. When I was a child, the school grounds were open, and we could play on the school playgrounds after school or on the weekends.

    The funny thing is that things in my old neighborhood are not more dangerous than when I was young, if anything, it is a safer place now.

    The amount of violent crime in America has decreased steadily over the decades. When I was young, children were abducted all the time. We were all taught never to talk to strangers, or get into a stranger's car. We all heard stories about children who vanished, and were never seen again. There were posters at the post office and bulletin boards with a photo of a child, and "missing" written about the photo.

    Things are much safer nowadays then they used to be. Back in the 70's it was dangerous to walk across Manhattan after dark, going into Central Park at night was almost suicidal. 42nd street was nothing but porno theaters, adult bookstores, and peep shows. New York City nowadays is very tame and safe.

    The only thing that has increased since I was young are the number of news stories about violence and crime. It's quite ironic that as the homicide rate declined 30% over the decades, the number of murder stories in the news increased by more than 100%. This increased coverage of murders is one of the causes of violent school shootings. Sick people want people to seen and heard, and by going on a killing rampage, they can get the attention they feel they never got. After the Columbine shootings, some news outlets refused to report the story, saying that doing so glorified the crimes, but other news outlets don't care about such things. If it bleeds, it leads, the more violent and bloody, the better. They send trucks, helicopters, and entire teams of reporters to catch every bloodstain and tear. It's awful. And when people see this news, they belive that things are worse than they used to be. This is simply not true.

    Posted in: Nowadays, for fear of child predators, it is no longer considered safe to let young children go by themselves to and from school, to a friend's house, play in parks or at the beach, go to shops and so on. Was it like this when you were young?

  • 2

    sangetsu03

    When will Japanese voters learn they can do better?

    They will never learn, just as the voters in other countries will never learn. There is nothing unique about the Japanese political system, how many American presidents or senators are the sons or relatives of other presidents or senators? The political classes of the world are similar in every country, that people think that people in developed countres believe they live in democracies is quite funny.

    Posted in: Obuchi apologizes after political funds misuse reports

  • 1

    sangetsu03

    Obama, Bernanke and Yellen have been conducting their form of Abenomics. But unlike Japan, they've been doing it properly, without a sales-tax hike, which is why the US is recovering more strongly than anyone else.

    There has been no "strong" growth in America. At best, American growth is stagnant. Workforce participation, which is the true measure of employment, is now at 62.8%, the lowest since 1978. I remember 1978, when companies were putting signs outside which said "Not Hiring". Next, net wages have decreased since 2009, and poverty has increased.

    The only growth has been that seen by the stock market, which has been pumped up by the 4 trillion dollars added to the banking system. This extra 4 trillion has been loaned at low interest to companies, which have issued debt to buy up their own stocks, driving up their prices. In any case, compared to 2009, we have fewer people working, and those who are working are making less money, at a cost of $4 trillion to the taxpayers. If this is a recovery, I hate to see what the next recession will look like. Once the economy begins paying for the "Affordable Care Act", we will probably get to see first hand.

    Posted in: Top finance officials grapple with weak growth

  • 5

    sangetsu03

    A 20,000 yen bonus? good grief that is a massive slap in the face! for being instrumental in developing tech that will make that company millions. I'm glad he sued and won and now has a Nobel prize as the cherry on top.

    And after suing the company, he became a persona non grata in Japan. There was no way he would ever get a job in a Japanese university, or at another Japanese company, so he really had no choice but to go to America. Of all these stories we are seeing on Japanese television about the prize, they are focusing on the two who remain in Japan, no mention has been made of what happened to Shuji Nakamura, and why he had to leave Japan.

    Shuji Nakaumura was the inventor of the blue LED, he drew on research published by the other two researchers, but he alone figured out how to make it work. What was especially galling about the case was that Nichia refused to support Nakamura's research for the blue LED, claiming it was an expensive waste of time, so he did it on his own time, and and his own expense. Then, once it was perfected, the company claimed the invention as their own.

    Japan has less reason to feel proud about this particular Nobel prize than it does for others which Japanese have won.

    Posted in: Failing was fun: Japan Nobel winner

  • 1

    sangetsu03

    Aso-san "Can you check my math? Five plus five equals four, right?"

    Madame LaGarde "Only if you are trying to come up with unemplyment figures."

    Aso-san "Does minus two plus minus two equal two?"

    Madame Lagarde "Only of you are trying to calculate growth."

    Aso-san "so desune..."

    Posted in: Comparing notes

  • 2

    sangetsu03

    After two days of discussions, finance officials from the Group of 20 nations unveiled plans for a global initiative to build roads and other infrastructure projects to help boost world growth by $2 trillion over the next five years and create millions of jobs.

    Nonsense. They are creating a massive international pork project full of the usual graft and contractor kickbacks, and labeling as necessary for the public good. The two trillion dollars will have to be borrowed at interest, and the economic impact of putting the world further in debt will further skew natural economic cycles, and any jobs created will be offset by losses in other sectors. The main beneficiaries of these "public works" projects will be public officials.

    We need to take our checkbooks away from thse thieves.

    Posted in: Top finance officials grapple with weak growth

  • -3

    sangetsu03

    That's quite a patronizing view of the 'average person'. Sure, I wouldn't disagree that some people would waste it - but plently of people would have a vested interest in trying to make their money grow. By keeping the money away from those people you stifle innovation and start-up potential.

    Unfortunately, it's true. On a percentage basis, how many people are employees, and how many are employers? If you were given a lot of money, what would you do with it? You would say the same thing everyone else says, they would pay off their debts, buy something nice for themselves, and use the rest wisely. This almost never happens, and I mean never happens, in reality. I once went to cover a party held by one of the American states to celebrate the ten year anniversary of said state's lottery. All of the former big prize winners were brought to the state capital at the state's expense to tell how winning the lottery had changed their lives. Remarkably, almost every single winner in attendance had blown through all of their winnings, most were no better off than before they won, many were worse off, some said that winning the lottery was the worst thing evert to happen to them. This was the last "winners" party held in any state. We were encouraged not to report the story.

    Wealth is not about money. People are not wealthy because they have money. Most wealthy people were not born wealthy. Wealth comes from hard work, thrift, some risk, and a large dose of motivation. There is no magic to it. But precious few ever try, 1% is probably the most accurate figure. If you want to succeed, and work hard, you probably will. If you don't care, and don't try, you can come here and rant about how you are getting screwed by the 1%,

    But where is the money invested? In creating jobs in Japan, or building factories in China? Or worse a lot of companies just sit on that money or shore it off to tax free havens. Even if the company does use it to grow their own capital - there's often no direct effect on the standard labor wage.

    The money is invested wherever there will be a return, and this is how it must be. If the companies offshore their work overseas, whose fault is that? The companies? Or the government which has raised the cost of doing business to the point that companies can no longer earn a profit? Remember that most companies pay much more in tax than they do in payroll. Japan's tax is more than 35%, and, unlike in other countries, the consumption tax in Japan is also applied to companies' expenses. Then there are the local taxes, licenses, and other hurdles which Japanese businesses must jump over. Every yen spent on tax is yen which cannot be spent on payroll, benefits, new buildings, or other things. As for hoarding cash, or holding it in "tax havens", the last thing companies ever want to do is sit on cash. Cash which is not working or not being used has no value, none at all. If companies are sitting on it, they are doing so because they can't find a way to get a return on it. It is their money, they worked hard to get it, and if they lose it all, they put themselves, their employees, and their investors at risk. Look what happened to GM, they never bothered to set aside a cash reserve, and they paid the price (or rather, the taxpayers were forced to pay, we can't have union workers risk their pay and pensions when we have a democrat president who can force others who may not vote democrat to pay the wages of union workers who always vote democrat). Ford Motor Company was on the brink of bankruptcy in the bad-old-days of the Carter administration, and rather than repeat such a mistake, they accumulated a cash reserve to get them through the "great recession". Ford did not require a taxpayer funded bailout, did they?

    The contemptibly stupid will say that rather than let companies offshore to cut costs, they should be forced to stay, or penalised if they leave. This has been tried before, and it has never succeeded, it has only resulted in collapse.

    Where? Trickle-down gets a bad rap because there's no evidence that it works anywhere. Where is the economic boom following the Bush-era tax cuts?

    Evidence of trickle-down economics is hard to find when it is never actually implemented. The Bush tax cuts didn't make much difference either way, but you have to remember the stock market losing 40% of it's value after the Sept 11 attacks, and the heavy cost of fighting 2 wars. Without these added losses and expenses, things might have been different. But things could have been worse without the tax cuts. And we have to give Bill Clinton some credit for implementing welfare reform, though a large reason he did was because there were enough votes in congress to overturn any veto. In the end, about 7 million jobs were added to the economy during the Bush years.

    7 million jobs is not a great number for a 7 year period, but from 2009 until now we have seen a net decrease in the number of jobs. We have seen average wages decline, and poverty increase. One of the very first things done by Barack Obama when he was elected was to quietly abolish Clinton's welfare reform act. The "Affordable Healthcare Act", since it is now legally classified as a tax, amounts that he largest tax increase ever levied against the middle and lower classes, but fortunately for Obama, the full effect of these costs will be felt in the next administration's economy, which will blame him, just as Obama blames Bush, who blamed Clinton, who blamed the previous Bush, et cetera, ad nauseam.

    The problems all industrialised countries are facing are the result of them handing control of their economies to their governments. This is not the government's job. The people, job providers and those who work at jobs, are responsible for the economy. They create the jobs, they earn the money, they spend it. And, unlike politicians, they live within their means, and exercise economic responsibility (generally), they tend to be able to do quite well on their own. But as we have given more and more of the economy over to governments and given them the responsibility to provide pensions, healthcare, and more more things we used to provide for ourselves, the situation has gotten worse. For every dollar I save for my retirement, I will get more than a dollar in return when I turn 65. For every dollar I give the government for my Social Security pension, I will be lucky to get back 20 cents, and that is if there is any money left over when I turn 65. At the current rate of disbursement, the Social Security trust fund will be insolvent when I am 65. What are all the poor suckers who have been paying into this system going to do if they can't get anything back?

    We don't need the IMF, BOJ, or Federal Reserve to do anything about the world's economies. We need these self-serving fools to get their hands off our money. We need to get their hands off setting interest rates, issuing bonds, and then buying them back themselves. We need them to stop pumping low-interest "liquidity" into the markerts, which is allowing companies to do the same borrow-and-spend nonsense to pump up their stock values.

    Posted in: 'Abenomics' architect calls for BOJ easing, tax hike delay

  • -2

    sangetsu03

    The BOJ's monetary easing thus far has been trickle-down.

    It is trickle-down for a reason. When you give a lot of money to the average person on the street, they simply spend it quickly on toys. The money is then gone, the toys have little real value aside from a dose of instant gratification. Just take a look at how a typical lottery winner almost invariably returns to his or her previous financial level a couple of years after they win their prize. Giving momey to regular people is like giving it to the government, there is a short-term economic benefit, but in the long term, the money might just as well been burned.

    Businesses use money differently, rather than simply spend their money until it is gone, they try to make it grow. Money spent is money thrown away, money invested is what provides goods, services, and jobs. As a self-employed person, I spend as little money as possible on myself, the majority of the money I make is reinvested more goods, which are made by people whom I pay to make them. And then I have to pay other overhead, such as rent, utilities, and other expenses. By reducing my taxes, I can afford to buy or produce more goods to sell, which means more people are needed to make or provide the goods.

    "Trickle-down" economics gets a bad rap from many, but in reality, it is the most effective way to cause fundamental growth. The economic "stimulus" we have seen in America and Japan is not trickle-down economics. In America, nearly every penny of stimulus money has gone to government union employees and their pensions. Precious little has made it into the hands of businesses or private sector workers. Is it any wonder why there has been almost no growth, and workforce participation ("unemployment" figures are black lies), at 62.8%, is the worst since 1978? In Japan, the money is spent on crony-capitalist projects, and once again, little finds it's way to domestic businesses or working people. And of course, growth in Japan is stagnant.

    Posted in: 'Abenomics' architect calls for BOJ easing, tax hike delay

  • -1

    sangetsu03

    Good for Turkey. Obama said a couple of years ago that "Assad must go", and that using chemical weapons would be "crossing a red line." But Obama has failed to act on his promises and threats, and Turkey is right not to respect or believe him. They will not commit their forces or fight without steady support, which is something they don't believe Obama will provide.

    Posted in: U.S., allies chafing at Turkish inaction on Islamic State in Syria

  • 1

    sangetsu03

    "implementation of the second consumption tax increase is critical to establish a track record of fiscal discipline"

    "Fiscal discipline" is normally defined as spending less thn you earn, not spending two-and-half times what you earn, and confiscating the funds you need to pay for your economic mismanagement from an already hard-squeezed populace.

    The IMF is part of the problem, so it can't be trusted to recommend solutions.

    Posted in: IMF nearly halves Japan's 2014 growth forecast

  • 1

    sangetsu03

    I am glad they got some kind of credit. The company they worked for got the patent on the blue LED, these men got nothing but their salary in return. The patent is worth many times the Nobel Prize money, but the prize itself will be a nice consolation.

    Posted in: 2 Japanese, American win Nobel Physics Prize for blue LEDs

  • 1

    sangetsu03

    Just what we need, yet another politician who is the child of a politician. It would be better to have leaders who are not members of a permanent ruling class, and who come from the real world that the rest of us live in.

    Posted in: Obuchi being touted as Japan's first female PM

  • 3

    sangetsu03

    GDP is expected to claw back 3.6% in the July-September quarter,

    And pigs will fly. Unless Abe can quickly borrow and spend a few trillion more yen, and add these to his economic "growth" figures.

    Posted in: Abe still neutral on whether to raise sales tax: Amari

  • 2

    sangetsu03

    "jobless claims" have reached under 6%, not unemployment. The government bases the rate mainly on the number of people who file unemployment claims. You can file a claim if you are fired or kaid off. But you cannot file if you quit, or have worked at your job for less than 6 months. The majority of America's unemployed have already filed their claims, and are no longer counted, nor are those never filed a claim.

    To say that less than 6% of people in America are without jobs is hilarious. The government will use any formula which avoids using simple facts.

    One fact that they can't hide is that more than 100,000,000 are on some form of public assistance, which is a full third of the population.

    It's clear that the US, thanks to its stimulus policies, is doing a much better job of recovering from the 2008 disaster than Japan or Europe.

    Yes, America is doing a great job of borrowing money from future generations of Americans. The current generation can enjoy a "recovery" which now has one-third of the population on food stamps, and a labor participation rate which is now at only 62.8%, and matches the most miserable days of the Carter administration back in 1978. I am sure future generations will be thankful that they get stuck with the trillions of dollars in debt we ran up to fund a "recovery" which puts us equal to the bad old days of the late 70's.

    Posted in: U.S. unemployment rate falls below 6%

  • 1

    sangetsu03

    Yes & NO........ a LOT of these companies have not been making money for decades(by design!), they BLOODY WELL should be long dead & gone so other PROFITABLE companies can pick up the slack, become stronger(PAY MORE taxes!) BUT no these zombie companies are allowed to carry on to the detriment of other companies & society in general.

    Give me the names of 5 well-known Japanese companies who are earning a profit in Japan. Before you begin counting off the big car makers, remember they make and sell many of their cars overseas, and that their taxes and profits are earned and paid overseas. Toyota lost quite a few billion yen on sales in Japan last year, and is on track to lose as much this year. You can find this info easily by searching for their annual reports, which are public record.

    Next, remember that every yen paid in company tax is recouped in one of two ways, either prices are raised to compensate for the tax, so you end up paying for it, and not the company. Or the company cuts costs, like payroll, new machinery, or r&d. Make sense?

    Next, whenever taxes are raised by any amount, spending is raised by a greater amount. This is the Golden Rule of government economics. Abe has already spent more money on "stimulus" than was projected to be raised by the tax increase. This being the case, what was the point of raising the tax? Taxes are never increased to pay down our government's vast and accumulating debts, they are raised to enable even more government spending.

    The problems we have aren't that taxes are too low, but that spending is too high. And any increase in tax, even on things like alcohol, casinos, or tobacco, is eventually passed on to the entire economy, and we are all the poorer for it.

    Posted in: Risks to 'Abenomics' growing, whether Abe raises tax or not

  • 2

    sangetsu03

    This is the biggie CUT INCOME taxes for PEOPLE, NOT companies!

    Shifting tax from people to companies does not mean that people pay less taxes, and companies pay more. In the end, everyone still ends up paying the same. Imagine the economy is a pool, with the poor on the shallow side, and the rich on the deep side. If you take a bucket of water from the deep side, the water level does not go down only on the deep side, the level of the entire pool goes down. When you tax a particular class of taxpayers, the cost is immediately spread throughout the economy. Those who scream to "tax the rich" have no idea that those taxes are eventually paid by the poorer classes. But people are stupid.

    And speaking of companies routinely 70% NEVER pay taxes, GO GET THEM!!!

    In Japan it is true that 70% of companies don't pay tax. But this is because THEY ARE NOT EARNING ANY PROFITS TO TAX! These companies are what is called "loss-producing." These companies have seen sales decline year after year as the population decreases, and as foreign competitors provide good products for lower prices. If you GO GET THEM! they will simply go bankrupt, or otherwise shut their doors.

    One of the reasons that things are so bad is because of how profoundly ignorant people are of economics, and how the economy works. They vote for people who make expensive promises, without a thought as to how they will be paid for.

    Posted in: Risks to 'Abenomics' growing, whether Abe raises tax or not

  • 1

    sangetsu03

    Stop wasting tax payers money on useless meetings that tend to go no where and or make no progress at all.

    They get paid the same salary whether they come to the meetings or not, so this point is moot. I would rather have them paid for meetings that go nowhere than get paid for sitting in their office and reading the newspaper.

    Raise the tobacco prices in Japan to at least 1000 yen per pack and use that money to improve society as a whole.

    This will cause two things to happen, first, many people will quit smoking, so no revenue will come from them. Others will continue to smoke, and pay the tax, but the money they pay for the tax will be money they won't have to spend on things like food or other goods, so businesses which sell these things will suffer, and will earn less income to pay tax on, and have less money to pay their staff, which will result in less revenue for the government.

    Raise the taxes on pachinko parlors all over Japan and use that money to educate the youth of today in much better things than just concentrating on passing a whole lot of useless tests.

    Technically speaking, gambling is illegal, and you don't win any money at pachinko parlours, so taxing them is impossible. To tax pachinko, you would have to make it legal, and to make it legal would probably never happen. As it is, even pachinko parlours are not doing well, and were they taxed, what little profit they do get would be eliminated, and many, if not most, would close, and there would be little or no revenue to gain. Or, worse, if they were legal and taxed, but earned no profit, they could write off many of their losses, and qualify for tax credits, which means that instead of paying tax, they would actually collect benefits.

    Drop the pay of all politicians in Japan and get rid of their yearly bonuses for at least the next 10 to 15 years.

    Politicians don't earn any real money from their salary, this has never been the case. Politicians the world over make money from graft and kickbacks, or in Japan, through amakudari jobs. Lowering their salaries might even motivate them to find more ways to squeeze special interests or businesses out of more money.

    Put a tax on every religious group all across Japan and use that money to make drastic improvements to the everyday lives if everyone in Japan.

    How do you define the words "religious group?" The moment you legalise the oppression of religion through special taxes or regulation, you open the door to the possibility of taxing or regulating anything and anyone the government believes doesn't agree to be a secular standard. This is so absurdly foolish as to be considered stupid. Something like this was done in Germany before the second world war, wasn't it?

    The only way to get the economy under control is to reduce the size of the government to a supportable level, which is perhaps half of what it is now. The hundreds of thousands of bureaucrats, public workers, and the like, must be pushed out of the public sector, where they are a drain on the economy, and put into the private sector, where they provide growth and revenue. Rather than the government taking up nearly 40% of the GDP, and spending 26% of all revenue collected to service the debts which are incurred to pay themselves, the government should be reduced to 15% of GDP. With the population expected to fall by one-third over the next 40 years, we should expect the government to reduce it's size and spending by at least on half.

    Posted in: Risks to 'Abenomics' growing, whether Abe raises tax or not

  • 0

    sangetsu03

    Japan does the same thing to foreign criminals if no restitution is required, they tend to deport them quickly, rather than go to the time and expense of trying them in court, and housing them in jail. It is much simpler to send them home, and not allow them to return.

    Posted in: Asian Games swimmer Tomita pays fine for camera theft

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