Here’s more good news on the Japanese economic future (mouse-tip to Saving Japan for the link). I have some comments about the content, as perhaps you do, too. Watch the video first.

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFtSSCrWjGA’]

  1. @48 secs, the commentator says, “This (annual worldwide consumption of 900 tons of seafood) is an addiction repeated all around the world, but it’s not helping the main exporter which is floundering.” Addiction implies irrational behaviour. It implies that people are fools. They are not fools, they are rational calculating decision-makers. To say they are addicted to seafood implies that eating seafood is a self-destructive behaviour. This is clearly not so, but we hear this phrase often: Americans are addicted to debt, or people all over the world are addicted to oil. These statements are equally misleading and fallacious. And secondly, how can buying something which is sold on the free-market have negative consequences for the main exporter?
  2. The main point seems to be that the strong yen is eating into the profits of these seafood companies. The implication is that something should be done about it, or something can be done about it: “it eats into companies profits”, “People’s livelihoods are at risk”, “this will lead to a hollowing-out of Japanese manufacturing and create unemployment”.
  3. At 2 min 40 the president of Asahi Seikakusho says that products and machines are no longer selling well and that given the world economic situation, “Japanese companies have to look for whatever opportunities they could discover.” So what else is new? Welcome to the world of entrepreneurial business. But listen to what the commentator says next: “But that’s not going to be easy in a country where the government itself is deeply in the red. Japan has the highest national debt of the major economies, owing almost twice as much as the entire economy makes in a year.” The implication seems to be that the “opportunities” involve government intervention, or perhaps even government subsidy. But do they? The commentator seems to assume but there can be no business or economy without major government involvement, subsidy or support. This is a commonly held belief but I wonder if it is true.
  4. By the way, the choice of Asahi Seikakusho as THE representative of Japanese manufacturing industry is a bit fishy. And anyway, if they can’t sell at the prices they charge, they must find a way to sell more cheaply, find something else to sell that people are willing to buy, or throw in the towel. So, what else is new?

Japan it seems can only be saved by the government, but the government is broke and worse, up to the neck in debt! Given these assumptions, it is clear there is no way out.


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