sangetsu03's past comments

  • 0


    election is coming

    The erection-I mean election, won't change anything. The LPD and Abe have bought and paid for the votes (which was why Japan killed TPP, Japan's agricultural exemptions killed it long before Trump became president), and they will be reelected in a landslide. Never mind that Abe has kept none of his promises, that the third arrow is probably buried in the garbage under the nearly-completed, but soon-to-be-bulldozed elementary school, and that the current economic "stability" comes at the cost of many trillions of yen of debt. Abe has a good head of hair, travels a lot, and continues to buy the rural vote at the cost of the great majority of us who don't live in the countryside, so long as he doesn't go bald, and can continue to rob Peter to pay Paul, he'll continue to be prime minister.

    Posted in: Abe's school scandal far from over with Kagoike's testimony

  • -1


    Sorry, but the republican and democrat congress and senate want to keep Obamacare. Not because it helps uninsured people get medical insurance (neither party cares jack-$hit about the uninsured), but because because Obamacare is a pork-fest which has given congress carte blanche to spend countless billions of dollars.

    And this is why neither party will support a repeal, or a much cheaper and easier to run single-payer system, because in the former, the current billions would be cut off (and the favors and kickbacks which could be bought with those billions), and creating a single, state-run system would have the same effect; the AMA, insurance companies, and hospital lobbies would no longer have anything to lobby, or any reason to donate to political campaigns.

    If Trump wants to get rid of Obamacare, he is going to have to find a way to do it on his own, and he will have to replace it with something, hopefully a single-payer system.

    It would also help if he can get term limits on the congress and senate, and break up the permanent ruling class which benefits from the current system.

    Posted in: Trump, after stinging defeat, promises a 'great' health plan

  • 1


    I said here before many times that republicans would never repeal Obamacare, because they are as eager to spend other people's money as democrats are. As an immense, complicated, and extremely overpriced program, it is very easy to extract money and favors from it, and many politicians in either party will profit immensely by being able to award contracts to service providers.

    America spends more tax revenue on healthcare than any other country, by far, and yet, Obamacare is not universal care. It is expensive, has deductibles (some are very large), and care limits. Despite spending so much money, a great deal of those who subscribe to Obamacare pay far larger premiums than I pay for my care here in Japan, with deductibles ranging from 4 to 5 figures. The young and the healthy, and the self-employed are hit hardest by these premiums, and many prefer to pay the penalty rather than subscribe.

    America either needs to completely remove government from healthcare (it is state subsidies which have distorted the American healthcare market, and led to skyrocketing costs), or create a simple, single-payer system. Neither political party wants either option, because a private system without any state interference would cut off graft-generating contracts, and while a single-payer system would still create numerous bags of cash for crooked politicians, they would not be able to milk as much from the taxpayers and the medical industry as they could under Obamacare.

    Posted in: Obamacare repeal vote put off in stinging setback for Trump

  • 3


    It is not that Kagoike got the land so cheap that is the big deal, but who he had to pay off to get it so cheap.

    Though he paid only 14% of the appraised value of the land, the real value was likely higher than that (in America, land and homes are usually appraised well below what their real market value). Kagoike almost certainly paid much more than that, probably two or three times as much, the rest being paid out in cash to various politicians and council members in exchange for getting a good deal on the land sale.

    This is how politics works in every country in the world, and why politicians often spend millions to get elected to positions which pay a fraction of their campaign costs. Once you are in, you can make deals with the likes of Kagoike, which will set you and your family up for life.

    Article Unavailable

  • -3


    What most people don't realize is that for too long government has been a business, and a vast monopoly of a business.

    Most businesses compete with one another for customers, and they do this by offering better goods, lower prices, new designs, new features, etc. Some succeed, some fail, but in the end, the customers for the most part get what they want, the companies make the money they want, and large numbers of people are employed in the process.

    But some businesses do not like to compete, so they find ways to limit competition. The less competition there is, the more they can charge, as the consumers don't have a choice but to buy from them. And businesses have been successful in this practice. A century ago America had more than 20 auto makers, more than 50 motorcycle makers, hundreds of bicycle makers, countless electronics and appliance companies, with numerous more being founded almost every week.

    How many of these companies does America have now?

    Then there are the banks. In the past, banks were very numerous in America, and if any bank, or any ten banks failed, it had almost no effect on the overall economy. Now the great deal of banking business is held by a small number of banks, of which the failure of any could cause a nationwide economic calamity (think Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers).

    When one becomes a politician, one doesn't do it for the good of the people or for the good of the economy. Politicians run for office to make money, and as the business of government collects and spends trillions of dollars in America, few businesses are more profitable. One need only look at a politician's net worth before he runs for office, then look again after he leaves. Back when Al Gore became vice president, his net worth was about $1 million. Now he is worth some $200 million. Bill Clinton is some $150 million richer.

    Government has been slowly taking over services which were once provided by businesses. Public education is a monopoly, because every person must pay taxes for the education of their children, but if you don't send your child to a public school, you can't collect what the state would have paid for public school and spend on private school. What's more, you cannot even deduct even part of the tuition you pay at a private school.

    As a monopoly, public education has done what many people fear monopolies do, it provides ever worse products for ever higher prices. America spends vastly more on education than Japan or any European country, yet educational standards in America are far below Japan or Europe.

    Healthcare is a disaster which is even worse than education. Whatever America spends on education is nothing compared to what is spent on healthcare. And, despite the incredible cost, there is no national healthcare system in America. Obamacare is not even close to being a national system, yet it cost more per person than systems like the NHS, or Japan's system.

    The reasons these things are so expensive is that politicians design them to be so. Huge amounts of money are spent, but very little in the way of services is delivered. The federal government spends $1100 per month per child in America for education, yet classrooms are overcrowded, teachers are not well paid, books and materials are often scarce. Most of the money is absorbed in bureaucracy and inflated contracts, which then makes it back to the pockets of the politicians who control the purse strings.

    The new fuel standards set by the Obama administration have nothing at all to do with fighting climate change or protecting the environment. What they do is further eliminate the chance that new car companies will be created (which has essentially been impossible for decades), furthering the monopoly the current big three have in American industry. The new standards will be subject to loopholes and exemptions, which will be written in exchange for campaign contributions, or bags of cash. In the end, the climate will warm no less quickly, cars will be more expensive, which means to lower prices, more will have to be manufactured overseas in places like China. The auto executives will continue to make their millions, and so will the politicians. The rest of us will be screwed, as those who live under state or corporate monopolies always are.

    Posted in: Trump announces challenge to Obama-era fuel standards

  • 0


    Death penalty makes you a murderer, so you become the same as the scum.

    Using this logic, any punishment at all is unjustified.

    The death penalty does not make the state a murderer, the convict's crime is the cause of his punishment, and therefore he himself is responsible for paying the ultimate price.

    He is lying... it is fully aware of the law and the legal aspects of "intent"... premeditated. This attack was more than likely either business or personal

    This is very likely the case, though not many people are so smart. He might very well have been a gambler who owed money to the yakuza or such, and exchange for a pair of concrete shoes, he agreed to take out someone else they wanted to hurt more.

    Posted in: Man beats stranger to death in order to get arrested

  • 1


    Yet the majority of these people would end up buying insurance for themselves as they did before Obamacare came into being.

    The problem with America's healthcare is not that it spends too little, as America spends far more per capita for healthcare than any other country in the world. The problem is that much of what is spent is absorbed in bureaucracy, input-oriented programs, and legal expenses. By simply wiping the slate clean, abolishing everything as it stands, and creating an efficient, single-payer system, all Americans could have healthcare for less than half what is currently being spent.

    But this would require salary cuts for doctors and nurses (an RN in America can earn a good deal more than an MD in Japan, and an American MD earns more than most Japanese company presidents). It would also mean tort reform, and limiting lawsuit awards. Malpractice insurance is required by law, and is outrageously expensive, and is added to the cost of medical services.

    Since the AMA, Insurers, and lawyers all have powerful lobbies, the only option America is to spend ever more, while providing ever less service.

    The entire system needs the wrecking ball, and those one-percenters who run it, and use the state pad their profits need to be cut down to size.

    Posted in: 14 million more uninsured under Republican plan in 2018: U.S. budget office

  • 2


    Japan should learn something from South Korea! Corrupt politicians and businessmen are being taken to task in South Korea.

    This is a new thing in South Korea, in the past Korean politicians were no less dirty than their counterparts in other countries. Wisely, the South Koreans finally had enough, and rose up.

    But don't think that South Korea is punishing politicians and business people simply because they have done wrong. These punishments are being orchestrated by other politicians and business people as a way of throwing their competitors under the bus. The names may change, but business goes on as usual: same soup, different bowl.

    And all this because Kagoike decided he'd send some racist and bigoted pamphlets home with his ideas on Chinese and Koreans. haha.

    Kagoike and his ilk sit at the top of politics and business in Japan, and it is because of these geriatric old fools who are all pride and no humility that things in Japan are as bad as they are.

    Article Unavailable

  • 0


    100 hours a month is 25 hours a week of extra work. In a 5-day week, that's an extra 5 hours a day. On top of the normal working day. 9 to 5, then plug on till 10. Every day. For a month

    I did this for years, not because I was forced to, but for the extra money it brought in. Worse yet, I did it 6 days a week, and took a one week vacation every three years.

    But unlike your typical Japanese salaryman, I did a lot of work during those hours. In your typical, seniority-based Japanese company, you do perhaps 5 or 6 hour of work in an 8 hour day. You need to work 10 or more hours to get as much done as an American or European (excluding France) does in 8. Productivity in Japanese companies is abysmal, because in seniority-based systems were performance is not rewarded, and losing your job is nearly unheard of, so workers tend to do the minimum amount of work they can get away with.

    And for these reasons, Japanese companies are heavily overstaffed, because it takes a larger amount of worked to complete a given amount of work.

    Article Unavailable

  • 2


    Besides all this, how can Kagoike "deny" do appear at court? Force him to testify!

    He has not been charged with a crime, and is not being summoned to court, but to be questioned by the diet. This being the case, he can't be forced to appear, and if he does, he doesn't have to answer any questions. And as the LDP runs the show, and more than a few bags of cash were likely swapped around in this land deal, it is not likely that Kagoike will ever be charged with anything. If he is, then he may start naming those whom he paid off to buy the land so cheap, and we'll have several politicians doing the "Ishihara dance", trying to 'splain how and why they took the money.

    And don't think that the Minshito would do anything different if the tables were turned. These deals and the graft they create are the reasons people become politicians. There is no quicker way to become rich short of robbing banks than becoming a politician.

    Article Unavailable

  • 1


    Good numbers for February, which is usually a lurch month. But if Trump does not deliver on tax reform and growth measures (private sector growth, not government growth), those who are enjoying their new jobs had better start putting away some of their pay for the inevitable rainy days to follow.

    Glad I stepped-up my stock investments about a year ago.

    I did the same, even borrowing to expand my portfolio. It was a good gamble. I'm up almost 50% since the election.

    Posted in: U.S. added 235,000 jobs in February, making Fed rate hike likely

  • -2


    Japan ratified the 2015 Paris agreement to curb to curb carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and 2050.

    Oh come now, the Paris agreement was not a formal treaty, and there is no real obligation to adhere to it. The more ironic thing is that the signatory which stands most to gain from the Paris agreement is China, who is exempt from any CO2 reductions for some years. As America, Europe, and Japan are forced to cut back energy consumption and manufacturing to meet the Paris Agreement goals, more and more raw materials production and manufacturing will to to China. This will accomplish two things, fewer jobs and lower pay in America, Europe, and Japan, and no decrease whatsoever in CO2 as China ramps up production to meed increased demand. What a farce.

    Since Trump came into office, much of the G20 have now backed off plans for their governments to finance the requirements of the Paris agreement, and are now stating that their private sectors will find a way to meet these obligations (dream on). With America not taking part, and China continuing to pollute as it ever has, what is the point?

    The simplest solution would be to reopen more nuclear plants, then the coal-powered plant would be unnecessary. But that is unlikely to happen anytime soon.

    Posted in: Environment minister sees business risk in building new coal-fired plant

  • 2


    Without food tariffs and farm subsidies, the LDP would lose it's hold on the government.

    Back in the post-war years, Japan's voting system was formulated to make the election system "fair" by giving rural voters more than one vote per person (today they get an average of 3 votes per per person). By heavily subsidizing the agriculture sector (which makes up less than 3% of the economy) the LDP has managed to buy almost every election since it first came to power at the end of the occupation.

    Even though the vast majority of Japanese are not farmers, and most now live in metro areas, those who live in the countryside are still the most formidable voting block. If the LDP were to lose the power to buy their vote, the LDP would actually have to campaign on their governing merits (of which they have absolutely none).

    So, the LDP will certainly not allow free trade in agriculture, even though high food prices in Japan are one of the reasons the population is in decline. Before anyone tries to say that food is reasonable in Japan, on average, Europeans spend about 8% of their income on food. Americans spend less than 5%, whereas Japanese spend almost 13%.

    Getting rid of food tariffs would greatly reduce the cost of living of the average Japanese. With wages stagnant, and decreasing demand making wage increases impossible, lowering food costs would be a wonderful boon to the vast majority of us who are not farmers. But, it will not happen, because it would be the end of Aso, Abe, Suga, and the rest of the LDP.

    Posted in: Japan hopes to leave agriculture out of U.S. trade talks

  • 4


    Funny now that the buildings at the school have already been completed, and little else was left to do but the landscaping. They'll be knocked down before a class was ever taught, a gargantuan waste, which in the end, will likely be billed to the taxpayers in one form or another.

    It would have ben wiser for the government to buy the land and completed buildings and put them to use. The country is starving for daycare centers and nursery schools, particularly those which are subsidized by the prefecture. Here in the Minato Ward it is considered easier to get into Todai than into any of the ward-subsidized daycare centers.

    But don't count on that happening, I suppose they want to bury this body before it starts to stink too much, and people begin to follow their noses to the men holding the paper bags full of the cash which changed hands when the land was sold.

    Article Unavailable

  • 0


    Whether justified or not, they are seen as big, brutish and unsophisticated.

    Since the post war years, America has had three of the world's top-selling compact cars, the Fiesta, Escort, and Focus. These cars were top sellers because they were small, cheap, economical, and available in either LHD or RHD. These cars could be commonly seen on highways and roads on every continent throughout the world. But you have never seen any of these cars in Japan, they were kept out.

    The same goes for Korean cars, which are selling well in North America and Europe, and are top sellers in Russia. These are small, inexpensive, and economical, but once again, you will never see one in Japan.

    The reason imported cars do not sell well in Japan has nothing to do with their size or style, it has to do with their price. Imported cars are priced out of the domestic market, and that is why they are not sold here.

    As an aside, a fiend of mine has been a car designer for Honda for more than 20 years, helping to design their two top selling cars. He is not Japanese, and the design studio is not in Japan. His kids have to say the "pledge of allegiance" at school in the mornings, that'll give you some idea about where he lives, and were Honda designs their most popular cars.

    One of the reasons Japan has such an expensive and unnecessary inspection and road tax system is to keep imports out of the country. Any modern vehicle is designed to run and operate regularly for at least 5 years with no maintenance or repair other than fluid changes, yet Japan demands inspections every two years. Road taxes are based on engine size, primarily because in the rest of the world where highway speeds are greater, cars have bigger engines, and by taxing cars by engine size. Since most imported cars have larger engines, they are heavily taxed, which prices them out of competition.

    Suga is lying through his teeth, just as his predecessors were. There are barriers, and for him to claim otherwise shoes he is no more honest than his predecessors were.

    Posted in: Japan says no barriers to auto imports after U.S. fires trade salvo

  • 9


    Yep, no barriers. That's why a Ford Explorer will cost nearly double in Tokyo what it will cost in Los Angeles.

    Kind of like Japan ended commercial whaling by changing the words to "scientific research."

    And before anyone says something stupid like "German cars sell well in Japan", that is only because Germany made threats similar to what Trump has made, and began to enact them. Japan backed down. Why are British, Australian, Italian, Australian, French and Swedish cars selling as poorly as American cars? These are compact cars, most available with RHD.

    There are barriers to American and other European cars and goods in Japan, and for Abe to state otherwise is disingenuous. The very first barrier is currency manipulation, and much of what Abenomics has been about is manipulating the currency. This manipulation is disguised as stimulus and debt management, but it is simply manipulation.

    But then back when the exchange rate was 75 yen to the dollar, another barrier was erected to prevent imported cars from selling, and that was Japan'a all time favorite, corporate collusion and price fixing. Despite a more than 40% strengthening of the yen, which should have resulted in at least a 40% decrease in the price of imported cars, Japanese dealers in imports did not reduce prices. A new imported car (even the German ones) cost the same at 75 yen to the dollar as they did when the rate was 130 yen to the dollar.

    Barriers do exist, and they are a mile high.

    Posted in: Japan says no barriers to auto imports after U.S. fires trade salvo

  • 2


    This is business-as-usual in Japan, where the entire domestic economy is in the hands of "cartels", but Japan never does (and never will) do anything about it.

    Posted in: EU fines car component suppliers $155 million over cartels

  • 2


    It's not the job of Google or anyone else to weed out so-called "fake news", it is the job of the reader of the news to be able to discern from what is real and what isn't. That there are people who are too stupid to discern between what is real and what is fake is their problem.

    The problem is that fake news isn't always fake, it is real news told in a way to sensationalize, placate, or offend, depending on how the writer intends to tell it. Journalism lost it's objectivity when ad revenue began to grow. To compete for this revenue, stories were written to be more interesting, but on a slow news day when nothing interesting happens, an innocuous story can be painted a little to make it seem more than what it is, and in extreme cases, stories are simply made up.

    Most people who have been around for awhile, and read the news regularly are able able to sift through the BS to find the real story, though lately it is taking a great deal more sifting to do so. Those who take the news literally, whatever it's source, are fools.

    Posted in: What do you think about the growing controversy over "fake news" circulating online via Google or Facebook, and efforts by the internet giants to weed out hoaxes and misinformation?

  • 3


    In other words, she wants the state to spend other people's money to subsidize cheaper housing, money which the state doesn't have. This money will come partially from the pockets of these same young people, who will either see their taxes rise, or other benefits reduced, there is no free ride. The state is already deficit-spending at record levels, and state debt is reaching parity with the level of money held in Japan's private sector banks. Each of these young people is already shouldering millions of yen of public sector debt, and adding more is not going to make it any easier on them.

    And the author overlooks the fundamental problem, which is not the lack of cheap housing, but the lack of better paying jobs. And in a shrinking economy with ever fewer consumers, dwindling demand, sales, profits, and salaries, things are going to get worse before they get better.

    The state supposedly exists to enforce the law, maintain safety, and facilitate the lives of the people. Instead, the state is ever becoming a larger burden, as it's costs become so large that less and less is left over for the private sector to create new industries and jobs. Japan ranks near the bottom of the list among developed countries for entrepreneurship and business creation, and so long as this remains the case, working-class people are going to suffer, particularly those with less education.

    It is the burden of the state, and the high cost this burden imposes on the people which is driving down the population. The cost of tariffs on food, materials, energy, and other goods comes out of the people's pockets. The cost of rules, regulations, fees, tolls, taxes, also comes from the people's pockets. In the end, most of what the people earn ends up in the coffers of the state, and yet the state still manages to spend far more than it collects.

    It is not because the state is not spending enough that the population is falling, but because the state is spending too much.

    Posted in: Share houses are one manifestation of poverty among women, which is less visible than poverty among men who become homeless. There is also research that shows that young people who have no fixed address feel pessimistic about marriage. I believe that providing young people with rental assistance and guaranteeing them cheaper housing are measures that will also help counter the falling birth rate.

  • 2


    go on strike if you want standards

    Work for yourself, and set your own standards. One need not be a wage-slave. If more people in Japan started their own businesses instead of surrendering decades of their lives to work for mediocre wages at a "safe" company, they and the rest of the country would be better off. New business starts in Japan are only one-fifth what they are in America.

    Posted in: 'Zebra companies' -- 'black companies' that hide their blackness with phony reforms




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