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Tag Archives: japan

Existential threats and other difficulties

Young man, there’s a great deal of ruin in a nation. So Adam Smith responded to a correspondent who feared that a successful revolt by the American colonies would ruin Britain.  Looking back, Adam Smith was right and the fearful young man was wrong. Indeed, Britain proceeded to gain and give up a great empire, and […]

Money, prices, assets and evasions of responsibility

Understanding the equation of exchange can help see what a massive evasion of institutional responsibility lies behind the Great Recession and the Eurozone crisis. Economist Irving Fisher developed the original algebraic formulation of the equation of exchange, in his The Purchasing Power of Money (1911): MV = PT Money x Velocity = Prices x Transactions. Fisher’s use of […]

Please Reconsider

The Turkish government has signed a deal with a Japanese-French consortium to build a new nuclear power station. The $22bn (£14bn) contract is Japan’s first successful bid for an overseas nuclear project since a tsunami wrecked the Fukushima power station. The deal was signed by visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Turkish Prime Minister Recep […]

Check your expectations (1) right-wing wimps and left-wing weaponistas

There is a joke in modern American politics–the Republicans want a big defence force they don’t want to use anywhere and the Democrats want a small defence force they want to use everywhere. Implicit in the joke is that the Republicans like military spending and the Democrats don’t. Because the right is “strong” on defence […]

Norm failure

I have previously posted elsewhere about how similar the failures in indigenous policy and development (particularly foreign aid) policy have been. Remarkably similar, indeed. They also show some distinct similarities to the more unfortunate effects of welfare provision. (By ‘welfare provision’ I do not mean the aged pension or health or education services; I am talking […]

Debt and boom

The slogan for this post is: don’t think debt, think safe assets. (This post is partly provoked by this post by Paul Krugman responded to by Scott Sumner and by Marcus Nunes.) In my Debt, Doom and Despair post I noted that a hugely debt-burdened post-Napoleonic Wars UK (where the national public debt was probably about […]

Boys and their toys

The only place during our week in Venezia my business partner and I deliberately went back to to have another look was the Naval Museum. Naval Museum Venice It was full of things we found greatly engaging, such as C17th relief maps of various fortifications of the Serene Republic mounted on walls and lots of […]

The divine law disadvantage – Guest Post by Lorenzo

[LE: Something I often wonder about when studying history is: why do certain civilisations develop in certain ways, and others (which are equally technologically advanced, if not more so) do not develop in the same way? I suppose it's one of the reasons why I enjoy speculative fiction so much: speculative fiction plays a game […]

Chasing Parked Cars

Japan is experiencing its greatest hardships since World War II as it tackles the aftermath of an earthquake, tsunami and a growing nuclear crisis, Prime Minister Naoto Kan says. In a televised statement, Mr Kan warned of sweeping power cuts to come. He said the situation at the quake-hit Fukushima nuclear plant remained grave, a […]

Enforcing filial piety via legislation

(from Wikimedia Commons) According to Confucian ideals, filial piety is the ultimate value. Hence, it permeates many Asian societies. There is notionally no need for the state to provide for care for the elderly, because the children will look after their parents in their old age. The rather creepy statue above depicts Japanese man Ryochi […]