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PHX787
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Japan Slides Into Yet Another Recession-I Know Why

Mon Nov 17, 2014 5:04 pm

I think we all know why...or at least us Japanophiles do.


Japan's economy contracted again this quarter (July-September, second quarter in Japan) and technically that means Japan is in a recession. Most likely cause of this contraction was the decision to raise sales tax from 5 to 8% in April of this year.

Household spending pretty much screeched to a halt. I was also very very concerned about the huge percentage off sales going on in the month leading up til April 1 this year.

Japan is screwed. Abe is incompetent, his credibility shattered, and Abenomics hit a wall. I'm not saying Abenomics failed, I'm saying that Abenomics is no longer an effective way of restoring Japan's economy.

But think about it- excessive QE, higher taxes, all coupled with companies NOT RAISING WAGES YET, and much of this money not going anywhere but amakudari, as well as the current cabinet being completely nationalistic, revisionist jackoffs who know nothing about restoring an economy......Japan is, in this current state of affairs, screwed.

Most likely, Abe will call elections tomorrow. But with opposition parties fragmented (I DO NOT WANT TO SEE ANOTHER DPJ PRIME MINISTER AGAIN!) Abe's party will probably be reelected--coupled with probably an extremely low voter turnout expected.

Japanese youth who are of voting age do not care for politics, do not know about politics....up until Abenomics, nobody knew who the prime minister was. A few of my friends still don't know who Noda was.

It's just this country is run by a bunch of old farm lobbyists, who are senile as hell, have no idea what any sort of decency is....the fact that the majority of this country is over the age of 40 is not helping either...the low birthrate will nor drive Japanese ethnicity into extinction, but will eventually fragment this country and cause it to collapse into an unsustainable mess.


Why do I care? I live here. I have lots of interests here. My future career has me involved here. Why should you care? Lots of your electronics are from here. A huge percentage of the 787 and the new 77X is built here. We as Americans, especially those of us in the business field, need to start being a little bit more assertive....contractually obligate your Japanese counterparts to raise wages, make structural changes to the management, and get rid of Amakudari....yes it still exists...for example? JL still had it up until last year.

It is time for Japan to put on its big boy pants. I'm not giving up on this country, but damn it, I feel like I'm going to have to go against Superfly's wishes here--not to mention against the absolute belief of libertarianism itself...

If America wants to keep protecting Japan, we must shove these structural reforms down Japan's throat. With a 35 foot metal rod. Their recession is indeed going to hurt the US as well....Need more proof? Takata and those 5+ million cars needing to be recalled due to their dumbassery.

I'm done ranting. You guys rip this to shreds. I need to think of solutions.
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Aesma
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RE: Japan Slides Into Yet Another Recession-I Know Why

Mon Nov 17, 2014 5:25 pm

If raising wages was common sense I guess not many countries have much lately as it's not what's being done at all.

Current orthodoxy is to devaluate using QE, or devaluate using frozen or decreasing wages, or both at the same time. That's precisely why about every politican loses election at the moment, even Obama with decreasing unemployment and rising growth : people don't feel it yet, or at all.

It's not even about common sense really, it's about globalization, and the dominance of economically liberal policies being treated as universal gospel. A country can't go against that if it wants to participate, at least not until it all crashes.
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einsteinboricua
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RE: Japan Slides Into Yet Another Recession-I Know Why

Mon Nov 17, 2014 5:32 pm

Quoting PHX787 (Thread starter):
It's just this country is run by a bunch of old farm lobbyists, who are senile as hell, have no idea what any sort of decency is....the fact that the majority of this country is over the age of 40 is not helping either...the low birthrate will nor drive Japanese ethnicity into extinction, but will eventually fragment this country and cause it to collapse into an unsustainable mess.

You're essentially ranting about Japan not being like the US. It's a cultural thing and it's up to the Japanese people to decide what their future holds.

Quoting PHX787 (Thread starter):
....contractually obligate your Japanese counterparts to raise wages, make structural changes to the management

Funny...it's what Americans want their American counterparts to do and have not yet done.

Quoting PHX787 (Thread starter):
If America wants to keep protecting Japan, we must shove these structural reforms down Japan's throat. With a 35 foot metal rod.

It's bad enough that the country suffered a humiliating defeat at the end of WW2 with two nuclear blasts. Do you think Japan needs the US telling it how to run its affairs?

Quoting PHX787 (Thread starter):
Their recession is indeed going to hurt the US as well

I'd be more concerned with China slowing down and Europe still slumping before Japan. With the low value of the yen it still has room to maneuver.

Quoting PHX787 (Thread starter):
Takata and those 5+ million cars needing to be recalled due to their dumbassery.

When the 787 was launched, its many problems did not propel the US to a recession. That a company produced faulty cars is not indicative of how the nation is going unless that company is the sole driving force of the economy and representing well over 50% of the GDP.

So take a chill pill and relax. The Japanese have endured tougher times than this. Let them figure out their economic path.
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vikkyvik
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RE: Japan Slides Into Yet Another Recession-I Know Why

Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:09 pm

Quoting PHX787 (Thread starter):

Not going to rip it to shreds, but I just thought that your post sounded amusingly like "Rising Sun" by Michael Crichton (which I read for the first time recently).
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TheCommodore
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RE: Japan Slides Into Yet Another Recession-I Know Why

Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:03 pm

Quoting PHX787 (Thread starter):
We as Americans, especially those of us in the business field, need to start being a little bit more assertive....contractually obligate your Japanese counterparts to raise wages, make structural changes to the management, and get rid of Amakudari....yes it still exists...for example? JL still had it up until last year.

What......?

So Japan can take lessons from the US about economics and the "right" way too run an economy.

I dont think any of us really wants that to occur, and my guess is, least of all the Japanese !

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 2):
Do you think Japan needs the US telling it how to run its affairs?

Only if the US becomes the worlds showcase on exactly how to turn around an economy when things are grim, and I doubt that's going to happen anytime soon.

[Edited 2014-11-17 13:04:49]
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luv2fly
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RE: Japan Slides Into Yet Another Recession-I Know Why

Mon Nov 17, 2014 10:32 pm

Maybe your absolute love of all things Japanese should be considered and has colored your thoughts.
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AR385
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RE: Japan Slides Into Yet Another Recession-I Know Why

Mon Nov 17, 2014 10:56 pm

Hasn´t the Japanese economy been pretty much screwed since the last 25 years? I believe their problem is the same. Low birth rate, too many old people and an incredibly high savings rate. You could also blame their nonsensical highly regulated economy and a constitution that creates governments who can only run things by committee.
 
planemaker
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RE: Japan Slides Into Yet Another Recession-I Know Why

Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:52 pm

It isn't just Japan... we are all screwed! Seriously. Screwed. For now, just some more than others.  
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cedarjet
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RE: Japan Slides Into Yet Another Recession-I Know Why

Tue Nov 18, 2014 1:05 am

I don't understand any of this post. Japan is doing fine — they live longer than Americans, no crime, no household debt (average household has savings of $80,000), phenomenal infrastructure (have you ever caught a train in the US?), polite, cultured, respectful people, half the per-capita carbon footprint of the US, god it just goes on and on.

Sorry, what is it you're actually upset about?
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Okie
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RE: Japan Slides Into Yet Another Recession-I Know Why

Tue Nov 18, 2014 2:00 am

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 8):
I don't understand any of this post. Japan is doing fine — they live longer than Americans, no crime, no household debt (average household has savings of $80,000), phenomenal infrastructure (have you ever caught a train in the US?), polite, cultured, respectful people, half the per-capita carbon footprint of the US, god it just goes on and on.

Japan has been in recession for almost 25 years. They have a version of QE, massive government costs, stimulus programs and other make work issues that have driven the debt to 140% of GDP trying to grow the economy.
The personal tax rate is 50.84% and 8% sales tax to try and pay for government programs and still going deeper in debt while not making in major results in growing the economy.

The raising of sales taxes 3% from 5% to 8% seems to have stymied the economy at this point into a particularly large contraction of the GDP.

Japan is just going to have to get a grip on government spending at some point. Tax and spend into prosperity does not appear to be working.


Okie
 
planemaker
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RE: Japan Slides Into Yet Another Recession-I Know Why

Tue Nov 18, 2014 2:09 am

Quoting okie (Reply 9):
Okie

Not to mention the aging population. Kinda hard to grow an economy when your population growth rate is -0.13% and there is virtually zero immigration.
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Pyrex
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RE: Japan Slides Into Yet Another Recession-I Know Why

Tue Nov 18, 2014 3:17 am

Quoting okie (Reply 9):
Tax and spend into prosperity does not appear to be working.

I am shocked, I tell you, shocked!
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TheCommodore
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RE: Japan Slides Into Yet Another Recession-I Know Why

Tue Nov 18, 2014 4:36 am

Quoting planemaker (Reply 10):
Not to mention the aging population. Kinda hard to grow an economy when your population growth rate is -0.13% and there is virtually zero immigration.

As you say platemaker.......

Quoting planemaker (Reply 7):
It isn't just Japan... we are all screwed! Seriously. Screwed.

Australia is faced with with some of these things too, especially declining revenues and and ageing population, which is going to cost massive amounts to fund.

No easy solution on the horizon either, as successive Governments have shown a complete lack of direction really.

Anyway back on topic....

Japan is more complex a problem, much higher levels of Gov debt than here and expensive infrastructure to maintain in the future.
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MrChips
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RE: Japan Slides Into Yet Another Recession-I Know Why

Tue Nov 18, 2014 5:17 am

Quoting okie (Reply 9):
Japan is just going to have to get a grip on government spending at some point. Tax and spend into prosperity does not appear to be working.

Because the other way seems to be working so well too...
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Aaron747
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RE: Japan Slides Into Yet Another Recession-I Know Why

Tue Nov 18, 2014 7:03 am

Quoting PHX787 (Thread starter):
Japanese youth who are of voting age do not care for politics, do not know about politics....up until Abenomics, nobody knew who the prime minister was. A few of my friends still don't know who Noda was.

Not sure who your friends are, but plenty of mine know plenty about politics. The wife of a friend of mine is a major local organizer against the nuclear energy industry.

Quoting PHX787 (Thread starter):
We as Americans, especially those of us in the business field, need to start being a little bit more assertive....contractually obligate your Japanese counterparts to raise wages, make structural changes to the management, and get rid of Amakudari....yes it still exists...for example? JL still had it up until last year.

Structural changes are happening in a lot of companies - Sony, Panasonic, Toyota, not to mention the newer companies like Softbank, UNIQLO, and Rakuten, who are instigating rapid change in their industries.

It is ridiculous to suggest that the US press Japan on those issues, when American companies are not raising wages either. The US and Japan are in cahoots to devalue the yen anyhow to force China's hand on the yuan.

Amakudari is worst in companies that were formerly public organizations, such as JL, JR, and the major utility firms.

Quoting PHX787 (Thread starter):
Household spending pretty much screeched to a halt. I was also very very concerned about the huge percentage off sales going on in the month leading up til April 1 this year.

Household spending has slowed yes, but mainly on big-ticket items such as homes and cars. A lot of Japanese are increasingly disinterested in buying property - which is not necessarily a bad thing. Generalized consumer spending has actually increased 0.4%, even with the consumption tax increase. I know I have spent a lot more than I did last year - and as I'm frequently on the go, I can tell you it is still hard as ever to book hotels in Osaka or Tokyo just 1 or 2 weeks out on the weekend. That says a lot.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 1):
If raising wages was common sense I guess not many countries have much lately as it's not what's being done at all.

  

Quoting Aesma (Reply 1):
Current orthodoxy is to devaluate using QE, or devaluate using frozen or decreasing wages

The US and Japan are doing precisely that in Japan so that China will devalue...the Congressional cries of Chinese currency manipulation are just a few months away. Mark my words.

Quoting okie (Reply 9):
The personal tax rate is 50.84%

Whoa dude, where are you getting that number? I keep around 77% of my pay.

Quoting okie (Reply 9):
Japan is just going to have to get a grip on government spending at some point. Tax and spend into prosperity does not appear to be working.

It is unlikely that certain types of spending can be curtailed until two things happen: a. SDF resources are curtailed with an allowance for greater US presence and b. the LDP loses its sustained voting bloc in the rural areas of the country that drive so many needless public works projects.

All that said, Japan sits on $1.3 trillion in foreign reserves and is still a major creditor to the US. The Japanese bond market is entirely self-contained on the deposits of old people with massive savings. The situation is not as precarious as Western observers like to think, as they don't understand the way people look at money here.

Quoting planemaker (Reply 10):
Not to mention the aging population. Kinda hard to grow an economy when your population growth rate is -0.13% and there is virtually zero immigration.

This is by far the greatest economic threat. There are numerous reasons this society is losing its ability to maintain family units and promote raising children. Abe's proposals to remedy the situation are a joke. If recent polls are to be believed, 30-35% of men under 30 are not even interested in sex or having a girlfriend - they prefer their hobbies and work.
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Pyrex
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RE: Japan Slides Into Yet Another Recession-I Know Why

Tue Nov 18, 2014 1:13 pm

Quoting MrChips (Reply 13):
Because the other way seems to be working so well too...

Not exactly sure what you mean, nobody in the world is trying the "other way" (unless you are like one of those ridiculous Europeans that consider only being allowed to run a 6% deficit somehow "austerity").
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Kiwirob
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RE: Japan Slides Into Yet Another Recession-I Know Why

Tue Nov 18, 2014 3:13 pm

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 14):
30-35% of men under 30 are not even interested in sex or having a girlfriend

Superfly are you reading this, a ready made market of hot Japanese girls ready and waiting for you.
 
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teme82
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RE: Japan Slides Into Yet Another Recession-I Know Why

Tue Nov 18, 2014 4:02 pm

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 14):
If recent polls are to be believed, 30-35% of men under 30 are not even interested in sex or having a girlfriend - they prefer their hobbies and work.

Sounds like I'm heading to Japan to find out is that true      
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planemaker
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RE: Japan Slides Into Yet Another Recession-I Know Why

Tue Nov 18, 2014 5:10 pm

Quoting teme82 (Reply 17):
Sounds like I'm heading to Japan to find out is that true      

That is pretty funny!

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 14):
Household spending has slowed yes, but mainly on big-ticket items such as homes and cars. A lot of Japanese are increasingly disinterested in buying property - which is not necessarily a bad thing.

It seems that a lot of the world is in a consumer flux. Take cars for example. Among young people cars don't hold the same cultural importance that it did for earlier generations. Transportation has become increasingly utilitarian and less of a status symbol.

What is going to become of OECD economies when people just don't want as much "stuff", on the one hand, and production of "stuff" increasingly requires far fewer workers, and in some case almost none. For example, in Japan there is a reluctance to allow foreign nurses in to take care of the aging population and a lot of effort is being expended in developing robotic health care alternatives. There is seismic changes coming down the pike and it seems that few want to address those issues. Japan will be a good test bed to see how things play out.
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teme82
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RE: Japan Slides Into Yet Another Recession-I Know Why

Tue Nov 18, 2014 5:25 pm

Quoting planemaker (Reply 18):

That is pretty funny!

Depends how you look at things. If the guy's at my age are not interested of the opposite sex. Then I would find a trip to there interesting. Just to see how the women of my age are coping with this issue.  
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slider
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RE: Japan Slides Into Yet Another Recession-I Know Why

Tue Nov 18, 2014 5:57 pm

Quoting AR385 (Reply 6):
Hasn´t the Japanese economy been pretty much screwed since the last 25 years? I believe their problem is the same. Low birth rate, too many old people and an incredibly high savings rate. You could also blame their nonsensical highly regulated economy and a constitution that creates governments who can only run things by committee.

Great points. These are structural issues, not merely temporal. That confiscatory income tax rate is ridiculous.
 
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RE: Japan Slides Into Yet Another Recession-I Know Why

Tue Nov 18, 2014 6:31 pm

Quoting PHX787 (Thread starter):
We as Americans, especially those of us in the business field, need to start being a little bit more assertive
Quoting cedarjet (Reply 8):
Sorry, what is it you're actually upset about?

Perhaps if the business field the OP is employed in was disclosed, with the experience and exposure to real life experiences that that brings to the table, it would give more color to this rant.
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AR385
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RE: Japan Slides Into Yet Another Recession-I Know Why

Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:25 pm

Quoting Slider (Reply 20):
These are structural issues

Exactly. And the fix is a lot more complex than a half-ass Keynesian approach. Japan needs to increase their population. Either by subsidizing births and encouraging big families or by encouraging immigration.

Japanese people also need to loose their fear of spending and their maniacal desire for saving. This hurts consumption terribly. And consumption is a big part of an economy. I understand why culturally the Japanese have it fix in their minds that savings is a desired behavior but that deeply entrenched mentality needs to change.

They also need to reform their Constitution. The way their entire government is set up is dysfunctional and a hindrance to proper economic growth.

They also need to de-regulate their entire economic system.

All those things take time. At least a couple years to enact them in law and another few years to give results.

The main thing happening with Japan, is that it is simply shrinking. The years of severe deflation they suffered should have given them a clue.

[Edited 2014-11-18 13:27:45]
 
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Aaron747
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RE: Japan Slides Into Yet Another Recession-I Know Why

Tue Nov 18, 2014 10:09 pm

Quoting Slider (Reply 20):
That confiscatory income tax rate is ridiculous.

Still not sure what you guys are on about. The rate doesn't hit 40% until income reaches 18,000,000 yen. I make good money and keep 77% of my check.

Quoting teme82 (Reply 19):
If the guy's at my age are not interested of the opposite sex. Then I would find a trip to there interesting. Just to see how the women of my age are coping with this issue.

A lot of them are similarly disinterested. I'd say the majority of women are really looking for a marriage partner. The ones just looking for fun are typically the bottom of the barrel (and speak zero English). But if that's what you're into, knock yourself out!

Quoting AR385 (Reply 22):
Either by subsidizing births and encouraging big families or by encouraging immigration.

Births are already subsidized! Maternity leave with 65% of regular salary is mandatory for employers and women can get up to 460,000 yen in birthing and midwifery costs reimbursed by local government.

The problem is the strain the employment system puts on families. Many couples are simply wise to what their parents went through, and do not want to have a large family while trying to meet the usual overtime requirements and pressure not to use paid vacation that is typical in Japanese companies. Massive HR reform toward greater flexibility would be the first step toward remedy - this cannot be done simply with regulation because the law already provides for these things. They changed the law regarding overtime administration several years ago, and now instead of paid overtime, a lot of companies simply expect unpaid overtime by employees in key posts.

Quoting AR385 (Reply 22):
I understand why culturally the Japanese have it fix in their minds that savings is a desired behavior but that deeply entrenched mentality needs to change.

These are the types of cultural attitudes that are hard to undo. Financial trouble is considered so shameful that people commit suicide over things like being unable to pay credit card bills or missing rent more than once in the year.

Quoting AR385 (Reply 22):
They also need to reform their Constitution. The way their entire government is set up is dysfunctional and a hindrance to proper economic growth.

They would need to reach consensus first on any reformation proposals  
Quoting AR385 (Reply 22):
They also need to de-regulate their entire economic system.

The large Japanese multinationals do not want this to happen and actively block any efforts to do so. The last thing they want is increased internal competition from entrepreneurship. The graduates from the top universities are usually recruited into these same companies and become their executives, so hard to imagine this mentality will change.
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Okie
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RE: Japan Slides Into Yet Another Recession-I Know Why

Tue Nov 18, 2014 11:08 pm

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 23):
Still not sure what you guys are on about. The rate doesn't hit 40% until income reaches 18,000,000 yen. I make good money and keep 77% of my check.

From here
http://www.tradingeconomics.com/japan/personal-income-tax-rate

Makes you wonder what the results would have been if they had cut government spending by 3% instead of raising taxes 3%


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Tugger
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RE: Japan Slides Into Yet Another Recession-I Know Why

Wed Nov 19, 2014 12:13 am

Quoting okie (Reply 24):
From here

That appears to only shows the maximum that an individual might pay. Certainly not what the overall population pays or what anyone in particular will pay.

This site is better in that at least it has notes that explain how their number is derived. And even then the numbers are not accurate in that the Japan one is using a national and a local tax together (40% + 10%) while the USA's only is the Federal max.

It's like saying that in the USA you pay 39.6% (highest Federal) +13.3% ( highest state) + 3% (highest local). But most don't, not anywhere close.

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Aaron747
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RE: Japan Slides Into Yet Another Recession-I Know Why

Wed Nov 19, 2014 12:25 am

^
Thanks, you beat me to it. There is no actual tax return required unless one makes over 20,000,000 yen or is self-employed. That makes the year-end refund easy.

It's also worth noting $80K here is not necessarily the same as $80K in the US. Yes, a chunk of that goes into the NHS and national pension, but those deductions are fixed and do not fluctuate (if they increase it's announced well in advance). I never have to wonder what medical expenses will be in the coming year, which makes budgeting straight forward. Employers cover commute costs for full-timers so that doesn't come out of pocket either. If not for the high property prices here, I'd wager the 80K would go further than in a comparatively expensive area of the US.
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teme82
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RE: Japan Slides Into Yet Another Recession-I Know Why

Wed Nov 19, 2014 9:12 am

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 23):
A lot of them are similarly disinterested. I'd say the majority of women are really looking for a marriage partner. The ones just looking for fun are typically the bottom of the barrel (and speak zero English). But if that's what you're into, knock yourself out!

Yeah I has assumed that it would be some thing like that. But you never know if there is one or two exceptions that confirms the general rule.  
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Aesma
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RE: Japan Slides Into Yet Another Recession-I Know Why

Thu Nov 20, 2014 12:45 am

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 15):
Not exactly sure what you mean, nobody in the world is trying the "other way" (unless you are like one of those ridiculous Europeans that consider only being allowed to run a 6% deficit somehow "austerity").

Considering that several points out of that number, or most of the points or sometimes even more are caused by the debt burden, it doesn't mean that much. And of course the number also depends on the level of taxation.

Quoting AR385 (Reply 22):
Exactly. And the fix is a lot more complex than a half-ass Keynesian approach. Japan needs to increase their population. Either by subsidizing births and encouraging big families or by encouraging immigration.

Japanese people also need to loose their fear of spending and their maniacal desire for saving. This hurts consumption terribly. And consumption is a big part of an economy. I understand why culturally the Japanese have it fix in their minds that savings is a desired behavior but that deeply entrenched mentality needs to change.

Your solutions seem worse than the problem. The planet can't afford an endless population increase, even less if they all buy more and more stuff.
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AR385
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RE: Japan Slides Into Yet Another Recession-I Know Why

Thu Nov 20, 2014 12:56 am

Quoting Aesma (Reply 28):
The planet can't afford an endless population increase, even less if they all buy more and more stuff.

About that. Sure, Malthus came up with that idea about a few centuries ago. He´s been proven wrong time and again. If you think increasing the population is a problem, try decreasing it. You´ll get a Japanese like recession for the entire planet.

Besides, who do you think is going to pay for the retirement of all the people that due to outdated life expectancy rates have stopped working at 60? Let´s make it 65. This is a serious problem Europe is looking at in the medium term.

The problem is not population growth. Or the population. The problem is the way the population have chosen to run the planet. And until that changes, and I don´t think it will, decreasing the population of a country is a sure fire way to kill its economy.
 
Pyrex
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RE: Japan Slides Into Yet Another Recession-I Know Why

Thu Nov 20, 2014 1:09 am

Quoting Aesma (Reply 28):
Considering that several points out of that number, or most of the points or sometimes even more are caused by the debt burden

Debt burden that those countries incurred voluntarily to finance, you guessed it, prior deficits... at some point the bills have to get paid, as weird as that sounds for a lover of big government,

Quoting Aesma (Reply 28):
And of course the number also depends on the level of taxation.

The levels of taxation in Europe have been going up, not down, as that is the only way European politicians know how to try to narrow the budget deficit (doing actual structural reforms won't get you re-elected, plus is against their big government ideology), so that should have contributed to reducing deficits, not increasing them. I always find it funny European countries where government spending accounts for over 50% of GDP complaining about "austerity".
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RE: Japan Slides Into Yet Another Recession-I Know Why

Thu Nov 20, 2014 12:21 pm

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 30):
The levels of taxation in Europe have been going up

I had a reduction in tax this year, Norway is still part of Europe.
 
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einsteinboricua
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RE: Japan Slides Into Yet Another Recession-I Know Why

Thu Nov 20, 2014 3:02 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 31):
Quoting Pyrex (Reply 30):
The levels of taxation in Europe have been going up

I had a reduction in tax this year, Norway is still part of Europe.

My guess is that he referred to the EU...the same way people from the US refer to their country as America (as if there weren't other countries in the continent).

Quoting AR385 (Reply 29):
The problem is not population growth. Or the population. The problem is the way the population have chosen to run the planet. And until that changes, and I don´t think it will, decreasing the population of a country is a sure fire way to kill its economy.

Not necessarily. If that's the case, then industrialized nations with big populations should be booming centers of economic activity while less populous nations should be in the shambles. Yet one look at European countries and we see the Nordic region (not exactly overflowing with people) as examples of well managed countries, each with a decent economy and its citizens enjoying the perks that come along with it.

Overpopulation is just a big a problem as under-population (is that even a term?). It just depends on how well the state can manage its resources. Look at India and China: their populations soaring, with both containing an estimated 1/3 of the world population. Japan doesn't need that, What Japan should do is implement reforms to its system. Adding more people to the total count won't do much, especially if the mentality hasn't changed.
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AR385
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RE: Japan Slides Into Yet Another Recession-I Know Why

Thu Nov 20, 2014 9:18 pm

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 32):
What Japan should do is implement reforms to its system. Adding more people to the total count won't do much, especially if the mentality hasn't changed.

I only focused on population in response to Aesma. You´ll notice all the others things I´ve said about Japan. Population only being one of them.
 
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RE: Japan Slides Into Yet Another Recession-I Know Why

Sat Nov 22, 2014 12:28 pm

Quoting PHX787 (Thread starter):
as well as the current cabinet being completely nationalistic, revisionist jackoffs who know nothing about restoring an economy......Japan is, in this current state of affairs, screwed.

This is a key observation. I have worked a lot with Japan and observed the politics and behaviours of business and citizens and I think they're (back) in a very dangerous direction. This appalling nationalist revisionism is not new but is massively intensifying in a new insularity; never having faced up to their genocide of millions and officially casting themselves as victims in WWII in the school textbooks, most young have no idea what was done in their name.

When I talk to colleagues even my age about WWII (which btw is a big no-no and I don't care), they come out with fairy tales about being invited by China and Korea to come and defend them against 'European Imperialism.'

So with the demographics falling off a cliff, the population disengaged from politics and cronyism running the show, we have at least cause for pause in how we deal with Japan. The only challenge I would make to the OP is that the last two of these equally bad in the good old USA!!

[Edited 2014-11-22 04:35:17]
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RE: Japan Slides Into Yet Another Recession-I Know Why

Sat Nov 22, 2014 2:38 pm

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 2):
Funny...it's what Americans want their American counterparts to do and have not yet done.

The wages here are being manipulated by monopolies and are well below market wage rate.

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 2):
It's bad enough that the country suffered a humiliating defeat at the end of WW2 with two nuclear blasts. Do you think Japan needs the US telling it how to run its affairs?
Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 4):
So Japan can take lessons from the US about economics and the "right" way too run an economy.

If American companies are going to do business with japan, they need to be frank with what they expect from their Japanese counterparts--if the Japanese firm is still going to give them faulty product, a la Yuasa, then its the American firm's responsibility to revise contracts and press for better product.

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 14):
Not sure who your friends are, but plenty of mine know plenty about politics. The wife of a friend of mine is a major local organizer against the nuclear energy industry.

I'm with a bunch of tokyo college kids.
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Aaron747
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RE: Japan Slides Into Yet Another Recession-I Know Why

Sat Nov 22, 2014 3:43 pm

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 35):

Well that explains a lot. If they're like a lot of college kids I know, they don't know much in general, are totally financially dependent on their parents whether they work PT or not, and want to 'experience' globalism without having to change their Japanese mindset.

On wages, it's not as simple as saying they are below market rate - some are, some aren't. Not all wage statistics include summer + winter bonuses, which are a given at larger employers.
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Aesma
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RE: Japan Slides Into Yet Another Recession-I Know Why

Sat Nov 22, 2014 6:09 pm

Quoting AR385 (Reply 29):
About that. Sure, Malthus came up with that idea about a few centuries ago. He´s been proven wrong time and again. If you think increasing the population is a problem, try decreasing it. You´ll get a Japanese like recession for the entire planet.

So this can go on forever ?

Quoting AR385 (Reply 29):
Besides, who do you think is going to pay for the retirement of all the people that due to outdated life expectancy rates have stopped working at 60? Let´s make it 65. This is a serious problem Europe is looking at in the medium term.

Doesn't capitalism/liberalism favor that you pay yourself for your retirement ? If Japanese (and French) have so much money aside, it seems to me they're already preparing themselves for that. Besides, I believe that robots will replace more and more jobs, so more people will not be a solution at all.

Quoting AR385 (Reply 29):
The problem is not population growth. Or the population. The problem is the way the population have chosen to run the planet. And until that changes, and I don´t think it will, decreasing the population of a country is a sure fire way to kill its economy.

So, you agree that I'm right, you just hope to pass the bucket to future generations who will have to figure that out instead of us.

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 30):
Debt burden that those countries incurred voluntarily to finance, you guessed it, prior deficits... at some point the bills have to get paid, as weird as that sounds for a lover of big government,

They have to be paid if you want to continue in the same flawed system, it's not an obligation. And you can also lower the deficit more slowly, playing with inflation so that the debt burden is much lower. Exactly what the US and the subject matter, Japan, are doing. In Europe ageing Germany blocks such moves because they value current money put aside more than future money some growth could generate.

It's a policy that also has its merits, I would just love an EU wide referendum on the matter to see if everyone agrees.

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 30):
The levels of taxation in Europe have been going up, not down, as that is the only way European politicians know how to try to narrow the budget deficit (doing actual structural reforms won't get you re-elected, plus is against their big government ideology), so that should have contributed to reducing deficits, not increasing them. I always find it funny European countries where government spending accounts for over 50% of GDP complaining about "austerity".

If you have a nationalized pension scheme, nationalized health care, nationalized education, nationalized universities, and even some nationalized industries, it's only logical that public spending ends up high, it doesn't mean that it's done less efficiently, that people would get things cheaper if it was all private.
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AR385
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RE: Japan Slides Into Yet Another Recession-I Know Why

Sat Nov 22, 2014 7:59 pm

Quoting Aesma (Reply 37):
So this can go on forever ?

I don´t know. Sometime in the distant future it will become untenable. But I don´t think that will be a problem for the next many generations. Malthus stated that it could not go on forever. That was about 5 centuries ago. As I said. Population growth is not the issue. The issue is how the population is managing the planet. But once that is sorted out, there´s plenty of room for a lot more people still.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 37):
Doesn't capitalism/liberalism favor that you pay yourself for your retirement ? If Japanese (and French) have so much money aside, it seems to me they're already preparing themselves for that. Besides, I believe that robots will replace more and more jobs, so more people will not be a solution at all.

I do not know about the French system. I know about the Japanese. And you are confusing private savings with public savings ie. social security schemes. Private savings are not enough to sustain a person for 35 years without receiving any income whatsoever that stopped working at 60. Private savings can, and routnely are wiped out, due to mismanagement and corruption. That´s where public savings come in. But now, and specially in Japan and Europe they are not enough either. Why? Because many generations ago, when social security systems started, life expectancy tables as well as inflation were understimated.

Sure, those systems worked fine when people were supposed to die at 68. But now that in most advanced countries (precisely the ones with low birth rates) people are living on average to 82-85 years and more in Japan, the social security systems simply will go broke. You will have old people saying "Welcome to Wal-Mart!" or serving your popcorn at local metroplexes not because they are bored at home, but because they need the money. One by one in the next few years you´ll see these social security systems reformed or go broke.

So, either you increase the population base, by more births and thus young people plus immigration of young people or you increase the retirement age to 70 or 75 even (which incidentally in France creates bad riots everytme that idea is floated) You can also tax young people to death in order to pay for the elderly but that will hurt consumption.

If there was a time in history when population growth was needed, it is now. In Japan and in many places.

Your idea about robots has also been around for decades. What history has shown is that robots replace people in certain areas and may create some temporary unemployment in a certain industry but then technology advances and more jobs become available for the people displaced by the robots. An Asimov like world where robots are the ones running mankind is not going to happen, at least not in our lifetimes. Besides, that does not solve the problem because those that own or manage the robots still need to earn an income. Or consume.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 37):
So, you agree that I'm right, you just hope to pass the bucket to future generations who will have to figure that out instead of us.

I don´t exactly get where do you see I agree with you. I´m also not saying "pass the bucket" I´m just explaining how things are and what is going on in Japan (and many other places) and one, just one structural thing about many that they need to deal with.

You can also go the "Soylent Green" way. But that is neither moral, not ethically acceptable. Although, in many poor countries that is exactly what they are doing, indirectly maybe, but still, when they can´t give proper care to an elder person in a hospital.
 
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Aesma
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RE: Japan Slides Into Yet Another Recession-I Know Why

Sat Nov 22, 2014 8:19 pm

Quoting AR385 (Reply 38):
The issue is how the population is managing the planet. But once that is sorted out, there´s plenty of room for a lot more people still.

So you think that at some point humanity will "manage the planet", but somehow that management wouldn't include population control ? That's a bit delusional, especially considering that the planet has never so far been managed, while population control has already been implemented on a large scale, including in Western countries (but we don't like to talk about it).

Quoting AR385 (Reply 38):
Besides, that does not solve the problem because those that own or manage the robots still need to earn an income. Or consume.

I agree with that, it doesn't solve the fundamental problem. It does solve the need for young people though, in Japan they are developing robots to take care and even entertain old people.

I don't have a solution for the fundamental economic problem, I do believe the current unlimited growth system is going straight into a brick wall, I'm waiting for someone to come up with a solution.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
AR385
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RE: Japan Slides Into Yet Another Recession-I Know Why

Sat Nov 22, 2014 8:50 pm

Quoting Aesma (Reply 39):
So you think that at some point humanity will "manage the planet", but somehow that management wouldn't include population control ? That's a bit delusional, especially considering that the planet has never so far been managed, while population control has already been implemented on a large scale, including in Western countries (but we don't like to talk about it).

Population control is an area you can´t manage. You cannot force people to have only one child. First, it´s a basic violation of human rights, second, impractical in the long run because of the imbalance it creates in the ratio of males to females. It also generates gender killings and other ugliness. Forced sterilization is also a violation of human rights. It also raises terrible issues from the past. You can manage it when a society submits to it voluntarily, as it is being done in Western countries. Except that they have gone too far and now they have low or worse, negative birthrates.

When I say manage the planet I mean stopping our insane burning of fossil fuels, increase R&D in renewables, get people to move from a consumption based, materialistic economic model to one that allows humanity to co-exist with our environment. Increase aid to third world countries so they can develop properly. You´ll be surprised how less planet unfriendly a developed, well educated country is compared to one where people´s main concerns are 1) where am I going to get my next meal, and 2) what can I burn to cook it. I hope with those examples you got an idea of what I mean.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 39):
in Japan they are developing robots to take care and even entertain old people.

Perfect example. Who do you think will pay for the R&D to develop those robots, to place it in an elder person´s home, its maintenance and its upkeep? That will be the government. With the taxes of young people. Remember, the retired elderly usually do not pay taxes.

Why not get a dog instead of a robot? A trained dog. More healthy for the person, keeps company, deals with the loneliness usually experienced by the elderly and is a lot cheaper than a robot. Better yet, get immigrants, incorporate them into the economy and have them work in jobs that deal with the services the elderly are demanding now, and in droves in the near future. Why a robot?

Quoting Aesma (Reply 39):
I don't have a solution for the fundamental economic problem, I do believe the current unlimited growth system is going straight into a brick wall, I'm waiting for someone to come up with a solution.

I can agree with that. Japan is an example of how broken our planet wide economic system is and needs structural fixes. But population growth is not the issue.

[Edited 2014-11-22 12:52:14]
 
Braniff747SP
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RE: Japan Slides Into Yet Another Recession-I Know Why

Sun Nov 23, 2014 3:24 am

Quoting PHX787 (Thread starter):

Half the problem is that they're all dying and there's no replacement.

That's the number one reason the economy is contracting. It has to adjust to an increasingly smaller population.

Quoting PHX787 (Thread starter):
Abe is incompetent

I'm not so convinced.

Quoting PHX787 (Thread starter):
Lots of your electronics are from here. A huge percentage of the 787 and the new 77X is built here. We as Americans, especially those of us in the business field, need to start being a little bit more assertive..

So private American citizens--which, for some reason, are incredibly relevant in Japan's domestic affairs--should push for a higher minimum wage (thus raising our prices) along with a radical societal change because we get electronics from the Japanese?

That doesn't make much in the way of sense.

Quoting luv2fly (Reply 5):
Maybe your absolute love of all things Japanese should be considered and has colored your thoughts.

  

Quoting Aesma (Reply 39):
So you think that at some point humanity will "manage the planet", but somehow that management wouldn't include population control ? That's a bit delusional, especially considering that the planet has never so far been managed, while population control has already been implemented on a large scale, including in Western countries (but we don't like to talk about it).

A Malthusian discussion on A.net? This should be fun.
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Pyrex
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RE: Japan Slides Into Yet Another Recession-I Know Why

Sun Nov 23, 2014 3:20 pm

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 32):
My guess is that he referred to the EU...the same way people from the US refer to their country as America (as if there weren't other countries in the continent).

No, I just didn't think the unverified, anecdotal evidence of one Kiwi living in Norway was enough to ascertain trends across a continent with hundreds of millions of people.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 37):
They have to be paid if you want to continue in the same flawed system, it's not an obligation

Of course, you can pretend it is nothing to do with you and renege on your debts like a deadbeat (or how you put it, "not continue with the same flawed system". In that case, though, you will have to 1) run a primary surplus since nobody will lend you any money, 2) simultaneously massively ramp up spending given you just bankrupted the entire financial system and 3) ramp up social spending since you just wiped out people's savings. The end result is a lot worse.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 37):
playing with inflation

Because everyone knows that "playing" with something that can massively and unexpectedly snowball on you is a great idea, hum? I guess nobody ever told you growing up not to play with matches either, right?

Quoting Aesma (Reply 37):
Exactly what the US and the subject matter, Japan, are doing

The U.S. has effectively no inflation (other than an asset bubble). Japan has deflation. How exactly are they "playing with inflation"?

Quoting Aesma (Reply 37):
I would just love an EU wide referendum on the matter

Yes, because if there is one thing we know is that European citizens, who grew up being taught to hate capitalism, are somehow experts in monetary policy, right?

Quoting Aesma (Reply 37):
it's only logical that public spending ends up high, it doesn't mean that it's done less efficiently

No, of course not, everyone knows governments are a paragon of efficient spending...

Quoting AR385 (Reply 38):
Private savings can, and routnely are wiped out, due to mismanagement and corruption

They can, but more often than not they are wiped out by government policy. What you are witnessing right now in the U.S., for instance, is a massive inter-generational wealth transfer, whereby retirees are getting effectively zero yield (or negative 2-3% a year when adjusting for inflation) in the savings they spent a lifetime accumulating for their retirement because of the Fed's war on savers.
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Aesma
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RE: Japan Slides Into Yet Another Recession-I Know Why

Sun Nov 23, 2014 11:44 pm

So the US has no inflation but savings lose 3% per year, are you sure you want to give economic lessons ?
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Pyrex
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RE: Japan Slides Into Yet Another Recession-I Know Why

Mon Nov 24, 2014 12:02 am

Quoting Aesma (Reply 43):
So the US has no inflation but savings lose 3% per year, are you sure you want to give economic lessons ?

2-3% inflation is no inflation.
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RE: Japan Slides Into Yet Another Recession-I Know Why

Mon Nov 24, 2014 4:11 am

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 8):
no crime

This is really a totally different scenery compared to many other countries. Despite of all potential current problems, I strongly believe that Japan has a very big advantage: The citizens of Japan and the Japanese mentality. It´s very hard to understand the Japanese-mind and their views to deal with a problem and their views towards foreigners.

A number of other industrial nations face similar problems like Japan and they have their own "official ways" to deal with these problems.

Quoting planemaker (Reply 10):
...there is virtually zero immigration.

I think that the lack of immigration is also part of the long history of Japan and this policy helped them to maintain a culture and mentality which often amazes me in a very positive way. I know that many people criticize the lack of immigration in Japan but this also prevented Japan from having the problems faced in other countries due to too much immigration and demands by such groups from other cultures to change views. This is not liked by many Japanese.

It sounds crazy but some problems came to Japan because of foreigners. Bank counters were not protected for many years until some foreigners snapped the money from the tables and the Japanese employees bewilderingly said: "Gomen'nasai! What you are doing?" Pubs had signs with information that foreigners are not welcomed. The reason: They made trouble.

Let´s face it: There are problems in Japan (on a rather high level) and at the same time I would always prefer to deal problems with Japanese people. The problems are also different to - for example - some European countries. I don´t know the best way as a solution to all problems but I fear that the other alternatives - as seen in other countries - are probably not the best.

My "advantage" is probably that I am 50% Japanese. My mother comes from Japan and I learned two cultures and views: The German one and the Japanese one. I think in an easy way: My Japanese relatives never suffered from burglary or robbery and the house of my grandma is a traditional Japanese house with shōji-doors - thus not really a protection against intruders. I also always enjoy the rather calm way to speak and to remain calm in harsh situations. At the same time I know personally, that Japanese people can explode in an extreme way. 

The best way is IMO a mix of the best elements of several cultures and adapted to specific requirements of a country.

In private situations, I can mostly view things the Japanese way, in public daily life I often have to be "German" to get my rights.
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AR385
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RE: Japan Slides Into Yet Another Recession-I Know Why

Mon Nov 24, 2014 5:18 am

Quoting Aesma (Reply 43):
So the US has no inflation but savings lose 3% per year, are you sure you want to give economic lessons ?

In reality most Americans save through Mutual Funds in private hands that invest in instruments that in general make more than American inflation so nobody is really losing money. The high returns of a few years ago are really not being seen nor will they be for a few years but they are still a few points above inflation.

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 42):
They can, but more often than not they are wiped out by government policy.

I won´t debate that. I will say both can be at fault. Depends on who creates the crisis.

[Edited 2014-11-23 21:45:59]
 
cedarjet
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RE: Japan Slides Into Yet Another Recession-I Know Why

Mon Nov 24, 2014 4:28 pm

This is a ridiculous post. Japan is doing fine. I would love to have their economy, their infrastructure.

On the other hand, PHX787, you haven't learned a thing about how to deal with other societies if you make comments like...

Quoting PHX787 (Thread starter):
we must shove these structural reforms down Japan's throat
Quoting PHX787 (Thread starter):
We as Americans, especially those of us in the business field, need to start being a little bit more assertive

Finally, in another post, you were complaining about the ticket home to the US your Dad bought you cos you couldn't prebook a seat without making a phone call to the airline. Until you're buying your own airline tickets, or at least when others pay for you and you're not complaining about it, I would suggest that you probably don't know much about economics either.
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PHX787
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RE: Japan Slides Into Yet Another Recession-I Know Why

Wed Nov 26, 2014 2:57 am

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 36):
Well that explains a lot. If they're like a lot of college kids I know, they don't know much in general, are totally financially dependent on their parents whether they work PT or not, and want to 'experience' globalism without having to change their Japanese mindset.

I am curious to see the kind of demographic you associate with....I may be PMing you some academic surveys for my own research to distribute to your peers.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 37):
If you have a nationalized pension scheme, nationalized health care, nationalized education, nationalized universities, and even some nationalized industries, it's only logical that public spending ends up high, it doesn't mean that it's done less efficiently, that people would get things cheaper if it was all private.

Well, JR went private and got cheaper and much more efficient.
The Japan post got privatized and got cheaper. and much much much more efficient. I love the Japan post.
The Pension system here is nearly bankrupt. If I was an english speaking Japanese person, I would get the hell outta here in this situation.

Quoting Braniff747SP (Reply 41):
Half the problem is that they're all dying and there's no replacement.

That's caused by a number of things-
1) being a parent is too expensive here
2) excessively long working hours - unnecessarily.
3) Women not wanting to end their careers after being a parent--if I was a woman, I wouldn't want kids in this type of situation
4) Rural-to-urban migration--there aint sh&t to do in the countryside of Japan these days. All the money is in Tokyo and Osaka, and even Osaka's population is starting to drop.

Quoting Braniff747SP (Reply 41):

Quoting PHX787 (Thread starter):
Abe is incompetent

I'm not so convinced.

Ok maybe he's not totally incompetent, but he's pretty much out of ammo right now.
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