quote of the day

I really want people to think about what they use their money for. Money is worthless unless you use it, and I don't understand why people just keep saving it.


Finance Minister Taro Aso, pointing out the necessity of expanding domestic consumption during a speech at a Liberal Democratic Party branch meeting in Otaru, Hokkaido. (Mainichi Shimbun)

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This utterly callous man is totally out of touch with reality.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

With the low interest (savings) rates he has indeed made the money worthless or even a negative asset. = Raise the interest rates and people will have more money to spend.

Also an increase in sales taxes does not help when people will only buy less. Figure in an aging population that buys less than a growing young population.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Money is nothing more than a tool. We have the power to apply that tool toward various forms of consumption and investments. That decision is personal in nature and varies with each person's priorities and circumstances.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I really want people to think about what they use their money for****

Oh I don't know.....childcare and childrens future education, keeping a roof over your own or your families head and food in their mouths, life insurance, retirement, healthcare, let alone luxuries like smart phones, TVs and cars. Bloody selfish population!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It's time Aso saw a respectable shrink ...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Easy to say when you have never had to worry about money in your life. Like others have said, it's all very well to say spend it if you've got money to spare/ save in the first place!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Finance Minister Taro Aso,

Osakini dozo. Let the Aso family donate their millions (maybe start with a compensation to war prisoners forced to work for them in the 40's). Then Mr Aso and his Lady Princess can try to live on nenkin.

I think he is probably referring to the elderly affluent who have it all in postal savings.

@Postal savings is for poor granpas and grandmas that know that if they fall ill, they'll need all that cash to complete their miserable pension. The 'elderly affluents' (like Aso) have their fortune well invested, so it keeps growing and they escape taxes.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

How about giving it to the people to spend, then, you Aso, instead of shackling them with debt through your own reckless overspending and out of touch reality?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I'm no fan of his, but I think he is probably referring to the elderly affluent who have it all in postal savings.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So many great comments on two stupid sentences.

I hope this is also making the rounds on Japanese blogs like the angry mother so Aso and company can be embarrassed further.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Aso-kun: After you learn to read and write kyoiku kanji, I might listen to your thoughts. Why don't to donate some money to food kitchens and help the homeless you twit.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I`m sure people would spend more money if they made 2 or 3 hundred thousand dollars a year like this guy.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I do believe that in order to be worth of money coming to you, you need to spend it, and do so reasonably. But yes, it's not his place to tell people what to do with what is theirs.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I really want people to think about what they use their money for.

We use it to make our lives, our spouses' lives, and our kids' lives better you moron.

Money is worthless unless you use it, and I don't understand why people just keep saving it.

Because we don't have enough of it.. and because nearly half the population here is on temp contracts and we don't know if we'll get an extension or not. So we have to save numnuts. The other half is so busy working all the time they don't have time to spend the money. Get it moron?

Want us to spend? Give us money . Give us stability. Give us time.

We'll spend like drunken sailors then.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

But I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for that to happen.

But Cleo, can you tell us what you really think about former PM Aso?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He really is a moron. His comments on old people were priceless.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

People spend their money when they feel it is safe to spend it. Such an environment does not exist in Japan right now.

For younger people who are paying into the national pension system right now, what are the odds that they are going to get back what they put in? And if they are not going to receive a pension large enough to survive on, of course they have to save money.

And even if they want to spend money, what will they spend it on? Real estate? Japan is one of the few places in the world in which real estate universally depreciates, instead of appreciating. Why should people bother throwing their money away on a new home? A new car? With the cost of inspections, road tax, gas tax, road tolls, and parking, you might as well burn your money in the fireplace. No Japanese automaker earns a profit in Japan anymore.

Aso doesn't seem to understand that Japanese have very low disposable incomes. The salaries Japanese earn are not bad compared to other countries, but when you factor in the cost of food, housing, transportation, and taxes, your average Japanese has much less money left over to spend on frivolities than an American or European. If Aso wants them to spend more money, then he should lighten these other burdens. But the food tariffs are used to buy votes from the farmers, the tariffs on the other goods are used to buy political favors, and then Aso and his party have never bothered to deal with the widespread corporate collusion and price fixing which drives up costs, and absorbs much of the money Japanese people might otherwise be able to spend on other things.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

If the Japanese voting public have any sense

Let's be realistic.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

He, like most of Japan's political fraternity, is not in a position to comment on how people spend their money. This is coming from a guy who spent 7m yen of the public purse one ONE hostess club alone.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

But, but, why don't they eat cake?

LOL! Exactly along those line. Except Marie Antoinette was cute, and Aso - even among politicians - has a face that kills the appetite. Which is maybe just as well, as we will probably not have much to eat if his policies continue to their logical conclusion.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Aso should take that silver spoon out of his mouth before he starts spouting off about what other people should do with their hard-earned cash. (His money comes from the family coal-mining business, built on forced POW labour during the war)

He doesn't understand why people don't spend and why they try to save? People don't spend because A) they're working on contract for close to minimum wage and have no money to spend: B) they have decent jobs, but no confidence in the future and feel the need to save for their children's education/their own old age/the prospect of major illness, because the government isn't going to help them.

If Aso the Finance Minister/chocolate teapot cannot get his tiny brain around this very basic problem, then he needs to get out of the way and let someone who does understand, and is willing to do something about it, take over at the Ministry. If the Japanese voting public have any sense this will happen in the coming election. In fact if the Japanese voting pubic had any bottle this statement from a Finance Minister, that he didn't understand basic finance as to how and why people spend/don't spend money would trigger an outcry that would lead to his resignation/replacement.

But I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for that to happen.

But, but, why don't they eat cake?

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Well, the government is spending the money on their behalf on half-baked schemes so that is why they save. The citizens have to be prudent so the government can be profligate. Doesn't he understand this as Finance Minister?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

This finance minister sounds illiterate and helpless. First time I am hearing such a statement from the finance minister.

You just cant beg people to spend money. Rather make an effort to create an environment where people will want to spend money.

A simple clue repeated by experts for last 20 odd years for Japan economy..."Structural changes in society and NOT Quantitative Easing". Is this rocket science?!!!

12 ( +12 / -0 )

If I had more I would spend it but as it stands just paying the bills and feeding my family stretches the paycheck.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

He has a point money needs to circulate to power the economy.

Granted nice to have a bit of an nest-egg, but spending willy-nilly on mostly unused items as not good. Like buying a Mercedes Saloon when s smaller car will do just as well .

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Money is worthless unless you use it, and I don't understand why people just keep saving it.

Looking at govt. spending and public debt figures it is understandable people would like to save their family and not go for shopping spree...by the way, part time workers are spending all their earning, no saving possible.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

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