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Kishida calls for new type of capitalism to address income, social gaps

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By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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While deregulation and structural reforms have strengthened Japan’s economy and promoted growth, they also “created a gap between the rich and the poor, and those who possess and others who don’t,” Former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said. 

To reduce wealth disparity, why not pass a law capping the management-worker pay gap, thus controlling the growing gap between management and worker pay — the single most dramatic driver of economic divide. Of course, no government today has the courage to press for such a radical change, but it would certainly resolve the issue rather quickly.

When Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield started their Ben and Jerry’s ice cream venture in the late 70s, they made an agreement with their employees: from top to bottom, the pay ratio between the highest salaried executive and lowest-earning-worker would be no greater than 5 to 1. And they maintained that pay scale deal until 1994. 

Many Japanese companies effectively operated on a similar system for many decades after the war. The pay of the top executive was not a dramatically large multiple of the lowest paid salaried employee. But over the past 20 years, management compensation here in Japan has risen at a much steeper pace (often through stock offerings) than worker pay and continues to rise significantly.

7 ( +17 / -10 )

And they maintained that pay scale deal until 1994. 

...at which time they became millionaires, and the dude scooping the ice cream did not.

Then in the early 2000s they sold out to Unilever, and they became multi-millionaires.

Just like you said about Japan, companies everywhere used to pay a living wage and did so by not being exuberantly greedy. But in the past few decades even the old hippies grew into the capitalist they once riled against.

13 ( +19 / -6 )

The gap between the rich and the poor is NOTHING new, it existed before the arrival of COVID and will continue for as long as the ruling parties continues to ignore this fact. I see so many Japanese who have full time jobs some work 6 days a week with no family to support and can't even support themselves!!

Increasing the minimum wage is a good place to start, then tackle this skyrocketing rental fees, mobile phone bills, and state and national taxes which are extremely unequal.

What I am seeing these days is that many people are living off their parents retirements, staying single, and not working, since work will only have you PAY more and more taxes.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Yes, lets legislate to fix this. Central banks talk a good game but it is their policies that have exacerbated the wealth gap

10 ( +12 / -2 )

deregulation started by a reformist former leader Junichiro Koizumi in the early 2000s

Oh, yes. I remember that.

We got self-serve gasoline stands. Which were supposed to lead to cheaper fuel.

Well, the staff was surely cut, which led to fewer jobs in the sector an higher profits for the companies, but no cheaper fuel.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

“We have to turn around the economy in this situation, and if we just do the same thing, the gaps will only grow and there will be no positive cycle,” he said. “We will make a change."

Such a bold concept... now please tell us how.

Three days ago, this was the"Quote of the Day" on here from Kishida, in case you missed it:

I'll lay out the general direction of my stimulus package idea, but it won't be easy for the government to boil down details of the plan. How to fund the package ... will be something that will be discussed once the general election is over.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

So he's going to change things, but doesn't say how... it'll be more government. No thanks.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

What this man says and support are all for the big corporations and his hawkish dream to revive a “beautiful militaristic Japan”.

For this man welfare and human rights are a minor thing.

What a nice family blood.

-14 ( +8 / -22 )

divinda 07:08 am JST

Then in the early 2000s they sold out to Unilever, and they became multi-millionaires.

But in the past few decades even the old hippies grew into the capitalist they once riled against.

Capitalists? Not exactly. As companies grow, they often become less controlled by founders.

Ben Cohen on the sale to Unilever: “The laws required the board of directors of Ben & Jerry’s to take an offer, to sell the company despite the fact that they did not want to sell the company.”

Jerry Greenfield: “We were a public company, and the board of directors’ primary responsibility is the interest of the shareholders. … It was nothing about Unilever; we didn’t want to get bought by anybody.”

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Just as water runs downhill under capitalism you naturally always pay what you can get away with and the paymasters have long known that even in a democracy the majority of voters will let them have their way by voting against its own interest out of sheer or willful ignorance. Kishida's hint of future trouble brewing for LDP capitalism may indicate Covid and the ruling party's past bad practices have put them on the ropes, or it could just be more LDP rope-a-dope to keep the money flowing into their coffers and stuff turkeys voting for Christmas.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

“While deregulation and structural reforms have strengthened Japan’s economy and promoted growth”

Japan’s economy has seen practically no growth over the last two decades just because of deregulation and structural reforms. Clearly the writer of this article isn’t well versed in the country’s economy or economics.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Back in the 60s and 70s hardly anyone appeared extremely rich. Conspicuous consumption of course existed but it was much rarer to see. It wasn't held in high esteem to show off like that. These days Lexus', Benz', Range Rovers, Hummers etc are all over the place. The income gap is huge comparatively to those days when it felt like everyone was middle or lower income back in the day but a much less feeling of unfairness.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Kishida focused on his economic policy, which he described as a shift from the neo-liberalism and deregulation started by a reformist former leader Junichiro Koizumi in the early 2000s that Japan has since adopted.

Finally something intriguing and of substance from a member of the ruling party. He almost sounds like he is taking a page from Andrew Yang's "human-centered capitalism" that would change the focus from "maximizing shareholder value" that has led to a race to the bottom in wages, inflamed social disorder, and created Neo-feudal wealth gaps.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

God I love capitalism.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

 Whoever wins the Sept. 29 party vote is almost certain to be the next government leader.

almost? oh and its just leader on paper. we all understand that

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

China found a new kind of capitalism.

Will Japan copy it?

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Jerry Greenfield: “We were a public company, and the board of directors’ primary responsibility is the interest of the shareholders. … It was nothing about Unilever; we didn’t want to get bought by anybody.”

Translation: "Yo man, even though we controlled all the preferred stock in our company, which gave us exclusive veto power over any merger or acquisition, not to mention all the super-voting stock we had the majority of but we never utilized... and even though there is no actual law on the books which requires publicly traded corporations to maximize shareholder wealth, we're just gonna say that's true and blame it on someone the "law", and not attempt to challenge a takeover in court, because, like man, all that sweet money looks sweeter than our ice cream and in reality, we aren't really looking change the perceived system anymore.... So let's all agree that there was not options to fight this takeover since it lets Unilever own us, it lets us save face, and it gets everyone involved rich."

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Kishida calls for new type of capitalism to address income, social gaps

How about actual capitalism? The regulations and huge government spending are anything but. The income gap is less of a concern than providing a regulatory environment that allows for people to start a business or obtain a job so they can earn a decent living.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Time to get rid of it. During the pandemic the gap between the very rich and the very poor increased. The wealth of the super-rich increased to be able to pay for everyone in the world to be vaccinated against covid.

Capitalism is overrated.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Kishida focused on his economic policy, which he described as a shift from the neo-liberalism and deregulation started by a reformist former leader Junichiro Koizumi in the early 2000s that Japan has since adopted.

Huh?

What are the things that are actually deregulated now that weren’t before Koizumi?

Kishida - thumbs down. Takaichi - thumbs down.

Kono?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

How about actual capitalism

The kind imagined by Adam Smith, that has never actually existed? But so typical of the far right to believe myths, for example some actually believe in a a Messiah who will lead them back to the garden, that also never existed, as long as his followers pay tithes.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

China found a new kind of capitalism.

Not new, look at Germany in the 1930's and the USSR under Stalin, plus Russia today? And at the many kingdoms, and other forms of autocracy before them?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

“We have to turn around the economy in this situation, and if we just do the same thing, the gaps will only grow and there will be no positive cycle,” he said. “We will make a change."

Talk is cheap, son.

And Japan LOVES to talk…….

Got any proof that you’ll be able to change Japan? For the better?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

China found a new kind of capitalism.

Will Japan copy it?

It's not new, it's national socialism (as in the basic system, not copying Nazi ideology). Japan would be something much similar if there wasn't for the liberal universalist constitution forced on them after the war. Law is downstream of culture so the uncontrollable mercantile activity is what has lead to the current inequality after the social norms that kept it in check fell away.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

China found a new kind of capitalism.

Chairman Xi is busy destroying it.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The kind imagined by Adam Smith, that has never actually existed? 

And there is the rub. A lot of people including leaders who should know better claim their nations are capitalist. Most people do not understand how Adam Smith and David Ricardo defined a competitive market economy to recognize how distorted most "capitalist" economies are. Most people think that as long as companies are in private hands all is well and don't mess with it, never mind most private companies today operate as oligopolies and in some cases effectively are monopolies, two types of market conditions both Smith and Ricardo warned the world to never allow to develop as these both conditions permit higher prices and lower output, along with higher profits, than are possible in a fully competitive market. The higher prices charged by monopolies and oligopolies represent a wealth transfer from consumers to producers and are a deadweight loss to the economy. People complain about "socialism" in the west without really knowing what that means, and without there being any socialism in fact, while being completely and utterly blind to the truly vast distortions of competition due to the prevalence of oligopoly and monopoly in major consumer markets.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Increasing the minimum wage is a good place to start, then tackle this skyrocketing rental fees, mobile phone bills, and state and national taxes which are extremely unequal. 

Is this about Japan or some other place?

We got self-serve gasoline stands. Which were supposed to lead to cheaper fuel.

The price of oil etc would have a big something to do with the price at the pump too, no?

If you demand someone to serve your gasoline, is there anything stopping anyone from offering to provide you such a service?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

To reduce wealth disparity, why not pass a law capping the management-worker pay gap, thus controlling the growing gap between management and worker pay — the single most dramatic driver of economic divide. Of course, no government today has the courage to press for such a radical change, but it would certainly resolve the issue rather quickly.

When Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield started their Ben and Jerry’s ice cream venture in the late 70s, they made an agreement with their employees: from top to bottom, the pay ratio between the highest salaried executive and lowest-earning-worker would be no greater than 5 to 1. And they maintained that pay scale deal until 1994. 

Many Japanese companies effectively operated on a similar system for many decades after the war. The pay of the top executive was not a dramatically large multiple of the lowest paid salaried employee. But over the past 20 years, management compensation here in Japan has risen at a much steeper pace (often through stock offerings) than worker pay and continues to rise significantly.

This is not a bad idea on its own merits, but I think it isn't adequate to address the wealth gap in Japan for a few reasons:

1) The income gap between top executives and average workers in Japan is nowhere near as bad as it is in other wealthy countries like the US. Its true that incomes for Japanese executives have risen over the past twenty years, and a lot of that is driven by stock-based compensation, but in comparison to other countries it remains relatively modest. Of the 3700 companies listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, fewer than 10% have any executives earning more than 100 million Yen per year (about $900,000). There are a couple of exceptions like Softbank which have started paying exhorbitant amounts to their execs, but they are still in the minority. So even if we were to implement such a rule, I think it would only affect the compensation of a very small number of individuals and not be enough to address the broader problem.

2) Focusing on corporate executives alone misses the fact that a lot of the rise in income inequality in most countries is driven by workers in a wide variety of fields. Top musicians, actors, athletes, etc have also seen their incomes rise astronomically and the rule you propose wouldn't affect them. Corporate executive pay is a bigger contributor to the growth in income at the top, but workers in the finance industry have been an even bigger contributor, and they too wouldn't be covered by that rule. I think most economists favor using tax policy rather than corporate governance as a means to deal wtih income inequality for that reason.

3) Focusing on income instead of wealth is also a limiting problem. The wealth gap (ie differences in what people own) is a bigger driver of overall economic inequality than the income gap (ie difference in what you make in a year).

4 ( +4 / -0 )

the country needs a new type of capitalism...

Meh. The country needs a new type of politics, specifically with a new group of politicians.

This lot have have long enough to sort something decent out - and they've quite clearly failed.

It staggers me how many people listen to this nonsense of 'new ideas' and 'changes of direction' from people who have literally been sitting at the tables of power for decades and have never suggested even an inkling of these ideas before.

If he'd spent his political life, or even just the last few years, talking publicly about changing the system, then I might give him some credit. But he hasn't.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Takaichi....A member of the party’s most conservative wing, she often visits the Yasukuni Shrine

Umm.. so which LDP candidates don’t, or won’t, visit Yasukuni shrine?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

During the pandemic the gap between the very rich and the very poor increased.

And was that because of free market capitalism, or big government central planning intervention? Lockdowns, government spending, money printing? All decided by free market capitalists, or big government and central banker types?

Capitalism is overrated.

Free market capitalism is grossly under-rated, and variants such as state capitalism and crony capitalism give free market capitalism a bad name.

The results of the ideas of those who argue against such decentralized decision making is exactly what we have seen in the inequality created as a result of central government interventions.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Unfortunately nothing will change until the people get to vote for the number one PM directly through one person and one vote.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

He's not wrong. Stronger and more accessible labour unions is one idea.

The kind imagined by Adam Smith, that has never actually existed?

Yeah, it has existed. It was called "the industrial revolution," and for 98% of the population, life was absolute hell.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Nothing is gonna change....Period.

J-inc is what matters and everything will be done to maximize their profits while

the average Taro and Hanako get poorer and poorer and those older enough reminisce

on the good old days that their salaries increased exponentially and they could own a home and offer their children decent education. There are thousands of households especially single mother households with kids whose annual incomes is not up to 2M yen who are hurting and cannot afford a decent meal, their situation is so bad that no one wants to admit let alone talk about it.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Nothing is gonna change....Period.

J-inc is what matters and everything will be done to maximize their profits while

the average Taro and Hanako get poorer and poorer and those older enough reminisce

on the good old days that their salaries increased exponentially and they could own a home and offer their children decent education. There are thousands of households especially single mother households with kids whose annual incomes is not up to 2M yen who are hurting and cannot afford a decent meal, their situation is so bad that no one wants to admit let alone talk about it.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Private companies have become very rich. The state has a massive public debt. So which group do you think are most competent at running anything?

Western regimes are lining up to take down private corporations 'in the name of the people and social justice', so they can appropriate corporate cash in the same way that Henry VIII looted the monasteries. They are not doing it for your benefit, but for their own. They have spent all your cash and are now looking to spend the cash of others.

The switch to centralised control didn't work too well in the Soviet Union or other Communist States.

It's a way of taking back control of borders and cash from global corporates. Some crumbs off the table will be used to keep voters happy. The rest will be filched or wasted. The only people less trustworthy and less competent than those running large corporates are the politicians who are now planning to take them over. And most of what those corporates do - supplying you with goods an (online) services - will cease.

First, to lower expectations, they will need to use the cover of Covid to break economies and entire sectors. Then, whatever they do, the stats will still look good in the future. 2022 will be astoundingly better than 2020 and 2021. The reality, is that it will be much worse than 2018 and 2019 were, before they took the reins.

There are some better ideas from the comments on JT - limiting the max pay ratio is a good place to start. An absolute limit on annual income would be good.

We need change, but we need to change a working system so that it works better. If you just break the system or give carte blanche to politicians to take more control over society, corporates and your lives, you will drag the world back to the 1920s and 1930s. That didn't end well then and won't now if we repeat it.

Japan doesn't change easily. That has been a problem. But as other nations change radically for the worse, it may become a benefit.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

In short words, he is right, in theory. Capitalism is ok, gaps are too, but the current almost rectangle Pareto curve won’t work any longer. In a picture, while former PM Abe stopped filling the champagne glass tower after two bottles, PM Suga put the bottles back into the fridge, a new PM should fill it until also the lowest glasses are filled too, not only some upper glasses spilling over a bit. Then it’s a perfect and beautiful champagne tower as it has to be and can be called one. Cheers!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

A new type of capitalism you say? Can I recommend...not capitalism? It's not just a Japan problem either.

If your concern is the gap between classes, which is an absolutely reasonable concern, there's no capitalistic system that can truly work to totally level off the income gap disparity, as long as you have a class that solely profits off of others' labour. Capitalism is based entirely off the exploitation of that class. You can't have a "new capitalism" if you still have a class that appropriates the labour of others for their profit.

A stopgap system is a social democracy like some northern european countries exhibit, but that is really only a band-aid on the underlying problems. Still, it would be an improvement over what Japan has now, so any movement in that direction would be a positive one. I am not holding my breath for any real revolutionary movements in Japan in my lifetime.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

With views like that Takaichi shouldn't be in government. She should follow her views at "stay home" to do the traditional role of woman or she lost her uterus somewhere that she doesn't identify as woman now?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I like that he actually wants to help lower income workers. He should look at how dispatch companies can cook the books to stop workers qualifying as full time, despite making you work over the 40 hour mark..

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The interference of USA in political affairs in Japan is an endless matter, as it happens in South American countries. I support Kishida to be the next prime minister. Kono for me is another puppet of the lead governing Liberal Democratic Party and strategically better view to USA. Takaichi no vision on democracy stuck in old Japanese tradition values, harmful to women social equality.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

fxgaiToday  09:32 am JST

During the pandemic the gap between the very rich and the very poor increased. 

And was that because of free market capitalism, or big government central planning intervention? Lockdowns, government spending, money printing? All decided by free market capitalists, or big government and central banker types?

Capitalism is overrated.

Free market capitalism is grossly under-rated, and variants such as state capitalism and crony capitalism give free market capitalism a bad name.

The results of the ideas of those who argue against such decentralized decision making is exactly what we have seen in the inequality created as a result of central government interventions.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

fxgaiToday  09:32 am JST

During the pandemic the gap between the very rich and the very poor increased. 

And was that because of free market capitalism, or big government central planning intervention? Lockdowns, government spending, money printing? All decided by free market capitalists, or big government and central banker types?

Capitalism is overrated.

Free market capitalism is grossly under-rated, and variants such as state capitalism and crony capitalism give free market capitalism a bad name.

The results of the ideas of those who argue against such decentralized decision making is exactly what we have seen in the inequality created as a result of central government interventions.

A rare voice of sanity on this forum when it comes to economics.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Different canine with same collar...all bark and no bite.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

We have a suitable system already. It's called socialism. It works well in Scandanavia, Canada, NZ and elsewhere. It begins by considering the needs of those at the bottom of society, not the wants of those at the top.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

The income and social gaps were there long before the pandemic. The middle class has been disappearing over the last twenty years. It’s becoming a society of those who have and those who have not. A new kind of capitalism is just a phrase that sounds good. A complete restructuring of the labor laws is what is needed. They should start with doing away with the short term work contracts that control 60% of the workforce. Then, they need to do away with the age based pay system that sees all these old farts being paid a small fortune to sit around all day and contemplate how to send email.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Capitalism does not provide for the poor and needy.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

You don't need a "new" type of Capitalism to address basic stupidies of Japan's workplace/economy issues.

Stop having all new hires start at the same salary regardless of experience

Stop having new hires need to work at reduced rates for "training period"

Stop offering people with 10/15/20 years overseas experience ¥300,000/month
5 ( +5 / -0 )

And was that because of free market capitalism, or big government central planning intervention? Lockdowns, government spending, money printing? All decided by free market capitalists, or big government and central banker types?

These arguments are very similar to communists who used to argue 'The failures of our societies are because we haven't reached the purest stage of communism outlined by Marx and capitalist meddling!".

The government is bought and paid for by corporations. They have made enormous gains during the pandemic and government policies have benefited them enormously.

Japan Inc and the government move in lockstep. Kishida, despite his rhetoric, will inevitably be more of the same.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The second category consists of adherents of present-day society who have been frightened for its future by the evils to which it necessarily gives rise. What they want, therefore, is to maintain this society while getting rid of the evils which are an inherent part of it.

To this end, some propose mere welfare measures – while others come forward with grandiose systems of reform which, under the pretense of re-organizing society, are in fact intended to preserve the foundations, and hence the life, of existing society.

Communists must unremittingly struggle against these bourgeois socialists because they work for the enemies of communists and protect the society which communists aim to overthrow.

F. Engels: The Principles of Communism

https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1847/11/prin-com.htm

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Capitalism does not provide for the poor and needy.

Capitalism is fundamentally, mathematical flawed. The rise, stagnation and decline of capitalist societies in a very short time vis-a-vis earlier epochs is a mathematical certainty.

Marx's basic analysis has been borne out with empirical evidence ever since Das Kapital was written. There is still no sign it will be contradicted by current or future developments.

Japan is an excellent case study on the economics of Das Kapital. A highly advanced ecomony which can only sqeeze out 1~2% growth at best through money printing, cutbacks in public services and more work for lower wages. In Japan, maybe lower wages period rather than lower real wages.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

The switch to centralised control didn't work too well in the Soviet Union or other Communist States.

But centralised control also did not work for the majority of people living in the Soviet Union.

Now the world's most powerful nation, with arguably the strongest economy, i.e. China is one with cntralsed control and a planned economy. The question remains can China sustain its economic power?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The switch to centralised control didn't work too well in the Soviet Union or other Communist States.

I disagree wholeheartedly, the switch to centralised control was actually a massive boom for Soviet economic growth, they grew much much faster during that time period. The issue they ran into was being forced into an arms race they couldn't afford against an already more established economy in the US. That they grew as effectively as they did is a testament to the system, not a condemnation.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

How about Venezuela and Cuba as actual socialist countries that have been so successful?

How about Pinochet's Chile and Russia from the 1990s which explicitly endorsed neo liberal policies, had the least regulation of capital flows and the least progressive taxes ?

Japan falls somewhat in the middle but the trend is clear

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@fxgai Not entirely sure if you are being facetious or sincere, but I would say Cuba is absolutely a success story.

In spite of crippling economic sanctions they have drastically improved education (up to a 99% literacy rate), access to housing, potable water, and other basic living improvements. Nevermind an absolutely incredible healthcare system that trumps rich countries like the US, with even lower infant mortality rates, while managing to send doctors around the world to help others. There is a reason it is said that Cuba's chief exports are doctors.

The difference between pre and post revolutionary Cuba is night and day. Imagine a Cuba that wasn't sanctioned half to death.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Capitalism does not provide for the poor and needy.

Where do the tax revenues that support the poor and needy come from? The sky?

And there is nothing at all stopping people from charitable giving in a wealthy prospering capitalist society (which also provides job opportunities for so many).

Stop having all new hires start at the same salary regardless of experience

Stop having new hires need to work at reduced rates for "training period"

Stop offering people with 10/15/20 years overseas experience ¥300,000/month

That’s all agreeable. But none of those job offers are compulsory.

Much of the issue in Japan seems to be because of its culture.

People are free to take or reject any job offer, but if they keep accepting poor conditions rather than looking out for their individual self-interest, then collectively they are stuck in the mire.

Bad labour law certainly doesn’t help clarify that employment should be a mutually agreeable arrangement.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Japan is always talking the talk, but can they walk the walk?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The issue they ran into was being forced into an arms race they couldn't afford against an already more established economy in the US.

And the fact the Soviet Union had to do it twice. Once with Europe before the war and once with USA after the war. Still, one can't but refer to Trotsky's analysis of the Stalinist Soviet Union. What he predicted came to be with astonishing accuracy.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

we dont need even more conservatism!

what we need is more support for students so they dont have to work in maid cafes or the like and end up on the streets trying to pay for college.

what we need is immigration reform.

what we need is paid overtime or no overtime if the work is finished!

what we need to do is move forward not backward.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

To all the socialists/communists here - if the systems you adore work so well, why aren't you living in countries governed by them instead of living tortured lives here under the jackboot of market economies? Or would you prefer to inflict your hellish idea of paradise on those of us who want none of it?

You're free to leave anytime.

Thanks for the learned opinion 'Gooch'!

I guess we should never try to critique or reform the systems of the places we reside? Just pick up and move! Glad you are such a great supporter of immigration!

1 ( +5 / -4 )

“We have to turn around the economy in this situation, and if we just do the same thing, the gaps will only grow and there will be no positive cycle,” he said. “We will make a change."

Makes sense actually.

Spread out the money evenly, time for all to get a major pay raise in Japan.

Especially foreign workers. I hold a status position I execute flawlessly But my Japanese co-workers get paid more. And this is normal. This must change. All I want is to paid and treated the same as Japanese.

Don't buy Japans broke. Its not. Lets go!!! Show me the money!

I want out of the gap and in to better pay and a feeling there is still a bright future to be worked for in Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I guess we should never try to critique or reform the systems of the places we reside? 

You sure do get that freedom in the places where we are fortunate to reside.

Try that on in places like Hong Kong, or your favourite banana socialist democratic people’s republic, and you easily find yourself in prison.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

You sure do get that freedom in the places where we are fortunate to reside.

Try that on in places like Hong Kong, or your favourite banana socialist democratic people’s republic, and you easily find yourself in prison.

Many of those arrested in HK and the mainland are students critiquing the government's capitalist policies exploding wealth disparities from a socialist perspective. Ironic isn't it?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The first female internal affairs minister.

But seen as reluctant to promote women's advancement.

Well that makes alot of sense.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The first female internal affairs minister.

But seen as reluctant to promote women's advancement.

Hardly a recent phenomena.

V. I. Lenin

Fifth International Congress Against Prostitution

The fifth international congress for the suppression of the white slave traffic recently ended in London.

Duchesses, countesses, bishops, priests, rabbis, police officials and all sorts of bourgeois philanthropists were well to the fore! How many festive luncheons and magnificent official receptions were given! And how many solemn speeches on the harm and infamy of prostitution!

What means of struggle were proposed by the elegant bourgeois delegates to the congress? Mainly two methods—religion and police. They are, it appears, the valid and reliable methods of combating prostitution. One English delegate boasted, according to the London correspondent of the Leipziger Volkszeitung,[1] that he had introduced a bill into parliament providing for corporal punishment for pimps. See the sort he is, this modern “civilised” hero of the struggle against prostitution!

One lady from Canada waxed enthusiastic over the police and the supervision of “fallen” women by policewomen, but as far as raising wages was concerned, she said that women workers did not deserve better pay.

One German pastor reviled present-day materialism, which, he said, is taking hold among the people and promoting the spread of free love.

When the Austrian delegate G\"artner tried to raise the question of the social causes of prostitution, of the need and poverty experienced by working-class families, of the exploitation of child labour, of unbearable housing conditions, etc., he was forced to silence by hostile shouts!

But the things that were said about highly-placed personages—among groups of delegates—were instructive and sublime. When, for example, the German Empress visits a maternity hospital in Berlin, rings are placed on the fingers of mothers of “illegitimate” children in order that this august individual may not be shocked by the sight of unmarried mothers!

We may judge from this the disgusting bourgeois hypocrisy that reigns at these aristocratic-bourgeois congresses. Acrobats in the field of philanthropy and police defenders of this system which makes mockery of poverty and need gather “to struggle against prostitution”, which is supported precisely by the aristocracy and the bourgeoisie....

https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1913/jul/26.htm

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Many of those arrested in HK and the mainland are students critiquing the government's capitalist policies exploding wealth disparities from a socialist perspective. Ironic isn't it?

What has happened in China with the state arresting and breaking up Marxist groups is a classic example of the philosophy or Marxism-Leninism. Capitalism by its very nature cannot but incite socialist agitation, uprisings and inevitable victory.

And by socialism I mean 'Lenin and Trotsky were socialists'. Not Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.

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Look Fumio KISHIDA.......

https://japan.kantei.go.jp/96_abe/meibo/daijin/kishida_e.html

Has had decades to present. formalize a policy plan to quote...

Create...... new type of capitalism to address income, social gaps.......

He hasn't and never will

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All politicians move their lips but nothing comes out just a bunch of gibberish!!!

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It is a rare politician in the world that seeks to really address the problems of the many due to the fact that politicians do not come from the many but from the few.

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Capitalism is fundamentally, mathematical flawed. The rise, stagnation and decline of capitalist societies in a very short time vis-a-vis earlier epochs is a mathematical certainty.

I would sure like to see this "math" you are talking about. I have an undergraduate and an advanced degree in Economics that required mastery of some very complex differential equations and linear algebra that are often used to understand how economic factors change in response to changes in an economic factor. Change one variable and you look at the sign and magnitude of the second partial differentials for all the other variables in n-space to see what they do. Change a tax for example and see what happens to prices, employment and GPD. That is the simple stuff. If you have math that proves the decline of capitalism is a "mathematical certainty" there is a Nobel Prize awaiting you. I anxiously await your analysis.

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What has happened in China with the state arresting and breaking up Marxist groups is a classic example of the philosophy or Marxism-Leninism. Capitalism by its very nature cannot but incite socialist agitation, uprisings and inevitable victory.

China is not breaking up "Marxist groups". Far from it. Xi Jinping is a Marxist true believer. The CCP is attacking any aspect of Chinese society that appears to either challenge the legitimacy of CCP rule or has developed a degree of power that begins to rival that of the state. Xi Jinping will not allow any criticism of past CCP barbarities including the Cultural Revolution and Mao because as Xi sees it criticisms of Mao or the Cultural Revolution undermine CCP authority today. Xi also attacks their largest tech companies and those tech companies leaders because they were becoming more influential with the Chinese than the party. The CCP will not allow dispersed power centers within China and when Jack Ma criticized Chines regulatory practices as anti-business that was seen as a full frontal attack on the governing authority of the CCP that had to be shut down immediately. Now every big company is seen by the CCP as a threat to their rule that has to be cut down. Now the talk is of taking their hard earned wealth and distributing it. Again, none of this has even the slightest to do with breaking up Marxist groups. Jack Ma is very far from a Marxist. Quite the opposite really.

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And by socialism I mean 'Lenin and Trotsky were socialists'. Not Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.

In Economics, socialism is defined as state ownership of the means of production. That is a fancy way to say the government owns all the businesses and factories, shipyards, mines, railroads, airlines and stores in a nation. In some instances it also has meant no private land ownership and even no private property at all. That is the true definition of socialism. Marx and Engels took the most extreme flavor of socialism and added additional layers of nonsense on top of this such as no religion, no defined family but instead shared communal child rearing, communal living and "free love", which always makes me chuckle when I think of the photos I have seen of them.

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Now the talk is of taking their hard earned wealth and distributing it.

The question was not the redistribution of Jack Ma's quote unquote hard earned wealth. Chinese students are critiquing the crony capitalism and wealth disparities of Xi and being jailed for it.

Update your economic erudition by for example Thomas Piketty.

The dialectics of the political paradigm is warped .

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Thomas Piketty misses the root cause, which is the prevalence of monopoly and oligopoly. The cure isn't a wealth tax but rather governments using their anti-trust laws to break up monopolies and oligopolies. Taxing capital gains as earned income would also help greatly. When you have more companies competing in a market prices and profits are driven down to their minimum while output and employment are maximized. This is a far more productive means of reducing wealth disparity than wealth taxes.

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Thomas Piketty misses the root cause, which is the prevalence of monopoly and oligopoly. The cure isn't a wealth tax but rather governments using their anti-trust laws to break up monopolies and oligopolies.

I'm not sure this is the root cause. Its certainly one of the causes - there is a known mechanism by which market concentration in given industries (monopolies or oligopolies) tends to result in more corporate surplus going to shareholders or executives, which exacerbates economic inequality - but I don't think its the main cause. We seem to have a lot of evidence to the contrary - inequality is increasing in markets that aren't dominated by monopolies/oligopolies as well. Its really a combination of several mechanisms at work I think.

Piketty's equation (when the return on capital is greater than the growth rate of the economy wealth will inevitably be increasingly concentrated) is a useful way of framing it, but I don't think he purports to offer a full explanation for all the factors which contribute to it.

Taxing capital gains as earned income would also help greatly.

I agree with this.

When you have more companies competing in a market prices and profits are driven down to their minimum while output and employment are maximized. This is a far more productive means of reducing wealth disparity than wealth taxes.

I'm not sure about that. Anti-trust law enforcement is perhaps likely to help and I'm all for it, but I don't think its a solution by itself to inequality, which are driven by numerous mechanisms unrelated to market concentration (globalization, technological advancements, changes to tax rates, gutting out of unions, reduction of distributive government programs, etc). The benefit of a wealth tax is partly its simplicity but also that it works regardless of the root cause.

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I would sure like to see this "math" you are talking about.

Das Kapital

A Critique of Political Economy

Volume 1

https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/index.htm

Though unless you are a genius who would make Lenin and Trotsky blush, don't think of jumping right into it.

Even The Grundrisse, sometimes described as a summary of Das Kapital is too much for a beginner.

Start with: The Manifesto of the Communist Party

or don't but I beg you not to tell me about Lenin, Trotsky, Socialism and etc because your lack of knowledge on the subject is absolutely, perfectly obvious to me.

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Jack Ma criticized Chines regulatory practices as anti-business that was seen as a full frontal attack on the governing authority

Jack Ma is a good example of why Chinese capitalism is beginning to dominate the world. A billionaire who thinks he can do as he likes, as billionaires do in the West, is playing wih his life in China. The Chinese regime is trying to keep class tensions under control so Jack Ma can keep the billions he looted from the wealth created by the working class and his head.

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Start with: The Manifesto of the Communist Party

No. I would suggest a classic of revolutionary practice.

For example:

"The way to crush bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation"

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It's weird watching the Americans whine about Socialism, when all the better countries in the world (aka, higher happiness and quality of living indexes) are socialist democracies.

Although then I remember that they are using the right-wing dialectic usage of the word Socialism, which in their usage has nothing to do with an actual political system, and is more akin to "the boogeyman", a catch-all for everything they hate.

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Politician seeking office dangles plump carrot before voters.

After election, politician beats voters with stick of reality.

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