fxgai comments

Posted in: Trump's son-in-law had undisclosed contacts with Russian envoy: 7 sources See in context

There may not have been anything improper about the contacts

Oh.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan amends law to raise nursing care costs for high-income elderly See in context

law will also bolster supervision over private nursing homes, allowing authorities to suspend those with bad quality care

This is a play to vested interests in publicly operated homes that simply want protection from free market competition.

It is clearly totally unnecessary. In the private sector when customers are unhappy with the service they get for the price, they go elsewhere.

Our taxes go towards paying for such protections for the vested interest. We should all reject it.

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Posted in: Trump budget calls for deep cuts to social safety net See in context

I learn that spending is going to increase anyway. Just not as much as would otherwise be the case.

'Cuts' relative to the baseline, but not absolute cuts.

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Posted in: Moody's downgrades China; warns of fading financial strength as debt climbs See in context

No problem. Just print yuan, right. Consequence free solution.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan must stick to budget balancing goal, Aso says See in context

Could be fixed from this years budget if there was such a desire.

However, 'without alienating voters' tells you why election focused loser politicians have failed to do so.

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Posted in: Gov't raids Shoko Chukin Bank over shady loans See in context

My taxes at work.

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Posted in: Japan to bring forward target for increased generic drug use See in context

These costs are tax payer costs.

This should be done immediately. People who don't like generics should be free to choose other products if they wish, understanding that they will pay the full price. No reason for each of us tax payers to be on the hook for the personal choices of other tax payers.

Reform is always done far too here, not only Japan but many places. Where are the politicians with guts these days?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Trump budget calls for deep cuts to social safety net See in context

If we care about the kids, and want to stop people from being killed by this budget that's nice.

But wait - are we saying that there is (more than) 360 billion dollars worth of aid being dished out each year to the needy?

If that is the case (and as a non-American observer I haven't a clue) then that would indicate to me that the American system is an utter failure - not as bad as Venezuela - but still what does it say that so much money is spent on assisting the needy?A successful community doesn't have numbers like that. A successful community doesn't fail its people like that.

Something is wrong, and if it isn't the budget, then what is it?

takeda shingen - government makes laws for a purpose. Improving the business environment through good laws helps the community as a whole. Government is about governing though. It's not called Businessment for that reason.

Also your numbers are off. You have compared a one year 50 billion number with a 10 year 3.6 trillion number. And I'm not sure how it can be claimed that that 3.6 trillion is all needed by needy people. What does one need to qualify for this stuff? Is it really the case that the criteria are so perfectly defined already, and any adjustment will result in people and even kids dying?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Trump budget calls for deep cuts to social safety net See in context

Concept aside, you really think that is what will happen?

This is a big, slow-moving government, so I think nothing much will happen except more of the same, and things will continue to get worse.

Do you really believe that no one, "really truly" needing help will be hurt? 

You are right - the government is incompetent and lacks the ability to funnel money to the needy. Instead, the realistic alternative is to funnel money to anyone who hopefully raises their hand.

This budget doesn't support the needy. It kills them, so the rich can get richer.

There are two things here.

1) We all agree that the needy ought be supported, because we humans are caring people.

2) We agree that the non-needy need not be receiving assistance.

I don't think there is any controversy on these principles, it's really only the details that people are arguing.

I'm here to say, I don't need assistance, and I don't think my rich neighbour needs assistance either. Therefore, cut my taxes, and cut my neighbours taxes. We'll take care of ourselves. As for the tax that we do both continue to pay, it should go to support for the needy, and for collective goods like national security.

But it should NOT go via the government middle-men to my rich neighbour and vice versa. My neighbour and I work and support ourselves - we don't need so many government middle-men, or the middle-men we have can focus their attention on helping the needy more effectively.

Who could possibly disagree with me on this? (Government middle-men aside)

As flummoxing as the government middleman can be, many markets wouldn't exist without the government

Yes, but government's role is to facilitate a good business environment. Not to operate business. This is a key point.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Gov't to inspect Shoko Chukin Bank over shady loans See in context

a state-linked lender 

the bank, whose top post has been occupied by retired METI officials

So how much money has this organization cost us tax payers?

It's time for privilege for the few, at the expense of the rest of us, to END.

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Posted in: Trump budget calls for deep cuts to social safety net See in context

Does anyone know who costs the taxpayer more - low income welfare cheats, or very high income tax dodgers?

This is wrong Simon.

I could make a million bucks next year, or I could make only 50K. How much I make effects how much I pay in tax, but it doesn't effect how much any one else pays.

Look at this Furusato nozei scam here in Japan. It's insane - the government has created a scheme by which municipalities can compete for tax revenues!! It's no longer a matter of how much tax revenues are REQUIRED to meet spending objectives, it's a mere tax revenue collection free-for-all.

The cost to the tax payer isn't increased as a result, however.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Posted in: Trump budget calls for deep cuts to social safety net See in context

"You have to have compassion for folks receiving federal funds, but you also need compassion for folks paying it," 

That might be less than half the population now, so politically this may struggle.

"We're not kicking anybody off of any program who really needs it," Mulvaney insisted.

This is conceptually, dead-right.

"We have plenty of money in this country to take care of the people who need help, and we will do that. We don't have enough money to take care of everybody who doesn't need help."

And if you did have enough money, you wouldn't for long.

As a non-American observer, one thing that strikes me as peculiar is the talk about "mandatory" spending programmes. Hello! It's the US government, it can decide to do whatever it wants, can't it? The only thing "mandatory" about spending money is that it may be necessary in the political short-term to spend it, for fear of upsetting the vested interests who receive it, to the detriment of everyone else. The thing is that vested interests reap more in benefits per capita than the cost per captia borne by those who pay for it. E.g. you can take a hundred bucks from one person and they'll complain, while the majority is per a cent each barely notice.

the Medicaid cuts would end such benefits for 10 million people, and some Republicans have expressed unease about such changes.

This is a very worthwhile debate. You don't want to hurt those who are truly in need.

But at the same time it is important for all indebted governments around the world to put a stop to spending on people who don't need help. (This includes me). We'd all be better off overall if the incompetent governments weren't needlessly messing with our personal affairs. Support the needy yes, but don't tax some rich person in the name of helping me, nor tax me in the name of helping him/her. The government as the middle man in the personal affairs of all grown adults results in great waste.

"The entire Trump budget is based on unrealistic growth estimates that have already been rejected by many leading economists," warned Senate Democrat Mark Warner.

It's funny, Obama budgets assumed high rates of economic growth, but those high rates of growth never eventuated under his policies - the recovery post-crisis was the most anemic in post-war history. So did Obama's budgets get a pass because his heart was in the right place?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Posted in: Man being investigated over insider trading of Toshiba stock See in context

Toshiba stock holders have lost huge sums and the executives walk away scot free.

its not illegal to lose money for your shareholders, per se. Shareholders need to think about what they are owning. Personally I own no Japanese stocks (besides my GPIF stake which I am not counting on) and I like it this way.

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Posted in: Djokovic to face Zverev in Italian Open final See in context

Djokovic was great v Thiem. Can't see Zverev challenging him if he turns up to play again tonight.

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Posted in: Things are promising going forward because exports are likely to stay solid and capital spending and public investment may pick up. But the recovery will likely be led by the corporate sector and households may not spend much. See in context

News to boost that potential growth rate through a huge package of structural reforms.

Eliminate privilege for all, and use the cost savings to focus our tax assistance towards the truly needy.

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Posted in: I wanted the compromise plan to be accepted so anti-passive smoking measures can be in force by the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, but everything has gone back to the beginning. See in context

Compromise decisions are typically not quality decisions. Japan is plagued by this notion of compromise being necessary or good. It is not.

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Posted in: Kuroda says BOJ can smoothly withdraw stimulus See in context

Food prices are also high because of the government's preference to favour vested interests over the general populace.

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Posted in: Nadal, Djokovic advance; Nishikori ousted at Italian Open See in context

Well done Isner and Delpo.

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Posted in: Japan's economy expands for 5th straight quarter See in context

Japan has probably reached their maximum growth potential. 

Potential could be much improved with quality policies. This implies major reforms, quantum leaps in structural reforms though. Abe hasn't the guts.

Falling prices can discourage spending by consumers, who might postpone purchases until prices drop more or they might save money instead.

The economists who argue this have led us nowhere. Just read the stuff from Capital Econonics above...

Falling prices is what consumers desire, and in response more consumers come to demand the product. Few owned mobile phones when they cost hundreds of thousands of yen. Now with increased productivity and cheaper mobile phones almost everyone has one.

When consumers have all their wants satiated, growth comes not from hiking prices, but from innovative new products. And as those new products become affordable and available more people buy them. This is growth. Growth is not doing the same thing. Growth is doing more.

Japan needs a quantum leap in structural reforms to create the desired incentive effects. The idea that hiking prices will help is totally wrong. Businesses that are trying to sell products which are not in demand should fail, not be propped up. This is good and normal.

And saving money is no economic evil either. Honestly...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Murray ousted by Fognini; Djokovic eases through in Rome See in context

Great, Kei defeated Ferrer again, straight sets. Hope that wrist is alright.

Tough next match probably...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Kuroda says BOJ can smoothly withdraw stimulus See in context

That's not going to happen for while.

So what. Good luck if you think nothing changes until the BOJ exit strategy is actually implemented. The markets will have moved long before that is the case, but when exactly those moves start, no one knows. No one can know. But the writing is on the wall for those who care to sinply read. Getting insured for this is the only rational action to take, not take no action until one is already flying off the cliff.

And if it did, the "hikes" would be minuscule.

Were that the case, then enjoy the inflationary spiral.

People have been telling me that for about 10 years now, and none of their predictions have come close to coming true. 

They are what is known as 'being early'. What the are wrong on is thinking Japan is the only country where things are going on in the world, and thinking they know the when.

Personally I have some British pounds, and intend to buy more soon. The volatility around Brexit was nothing compared to what may happen to the yen.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Murray ousted by Fognini; Djokovic eases through in Rome See in context

Job Fognini. Dangerous player on his day, if his mind is on the job, tough to beat. Murray shouldn't be getting beaten in that way though.

Nishikori is drawn to play Ferrer next round. With questions over his wrist lingering, he is somewhat lucky to be playing a guy who he beat just a week ago (former top 10 player Ferrer is no slouch. but does have a losing record against Nishikori) . Then there's a possible match against Delpo after that, and again Djokovic possible in the QFs.

Not easy to win either of those matches, I just hope his injury is fully resolved... I suspect it may flare up again, right before the French Open too...

Federer says he is skipping the French, so Nadal looks total favourite at this point. Amazing run on clay from him so far this year, but the competition from the other injury affected top guys has been notable.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Kuroda says BOJ can smoothly withdraw stimulus See in context

How much of what he says does he also believe. As the chief he can't say what he really thinks, but what he must to keep the music playing.

While the US Fed holds debt that pays a relatively high rate of interest, and can therefore afford to hike the rates which it pays on excess reserves to tighten, the BOJ holds debt that pays almost zero rates of interest. The BOJ hiking rates implies taking losses, and this is the central bank behind the value of the yen. It may not be fun at all for yen holders when the time comes. Yen down, inflation up... ugh

This is one of the reasons people have doubts about the BOJs ability to tighten.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: In Japan, a view of family that holds it is only natural for parents to look after their children, and a welfare system premised based on this view, have both existed for a long time, and this has imposed tremendous burdens upon both disabled people and their families. See in context

Parents looking after their children is only natural.

The question is how the community should go about assisting families where members are disabled. 

Personally I would expect some of my taxes to contribute towards assistance for such families.

I would not, however, expect that the government be in charge of running the services to actually provide care, etc. 

I would prefer that such services are provided by the competitive free market, and families have the ability to choose service providers who offer services that meet their needs at an appropriate price. Tax payer funded assistance for families can ensure that those families will not struggle to obtain appropriate service.

Often the government goes too far, and creates a monopoly over service provision and hides the costs from the end-users. This is bad for the tax payer, and end-users alike, as costs rise under zero competition, and service levels are also poor as a result.

I believe that there is too much government involvement in the provision of child care services (also long regarded as "social welfare" in Japan when wives did not used to work as much), and this involvement of government is why so many face a lack of available service.

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Posted in: Britain's Labour plans 'Robin Hood Tax', tax avoidance crackdown See in context

the UK privatization of the utility companies did not result in service improvement or competition.

It sounds like although some utilities were privatized, for some reason there is no competition in each space. Why is there no competition?

For example is there no alternative to British Telecom?

Although Japan has a lot of faults, they have been successful in introducing competition here in some areas. Internet for example has been pretty competitive for many years now I feel, and more recently changes were made to increase comeptition in the smart phone communications space. (I have been able to slash my personal mobile phone bill as a result.)

Privatization does have the benefit of producing a lot of money for government to pay down debts, and also prevents further tax payer money going to waste, but privatization alone is not enough. Government must also ensure the environment facilitates competition too, or else there will be service improvement - I think this is a lesson.

The UK government will not invest in accredited IT programs in schools relining on importing the skills from overseas. 

it is within the NHS that failure to provide investment to train the next generation of clinicians is the most concerning.

I think it should be up to people (parents and children) to decide what their allotment of education funding gets spent on. Important thing is that they have information. When I got my education, I remember that considering the likely salary level I could expect was a key factor. I had been interested in architecture, but gave up on it once I learnt that the market was already full of architects, and got myself educated in another more lucrative looking field instead. 

IT and medical care jobs seem like they should be able to attract students, from a salary perspective. If British telecom and the NHS are forced to compete to keep customers, I would expect jobs in both IT and medical fields would increase.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Britain's Labour plans 'Robin Hood Tax', tax avoidance crackdown See in context

itsonlyr&r,

So it seems the idea is to just tax engagement in financial transactions.

It's kind of like a consumption tax. Anyone who consumes, pay consumption tax (unless there are tax breaks for certain types of consumption, which is silly).

But people who use financial services also consume things. 

Why not just raise the consumption tax. People can move their financial consumption overseas, but not their food consumption etc.

I get the impression that the idea here is not to efficiently collect tax revenues, but to bludgeon specific parts of the economy for politicial purposes. Very bad policy by the EU and bad proposal by this U.K. political party.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Britain's Labour plans 'Robin Hood Tax', tax avoidance crackdown See in context

Has spending on the failed services in the U.K. Been increased? Did that fail anyway?

If so the answer is to privatize those services, introduce competition and choice for the consumer, and the government should cut taxes, but ensure that those in low incomes have them topped up by the government to ensure they can afford to choose their services too like everyone else.

It will not happen though because politicians rarely are eager to do what will work for the people. Keeping failed, cash sucking monopoly service providers under their direct control is attractive for gutless politicians.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Britain's Labour plans 'Robin Hood Tax', tax avoidance crackdown See in context

How the heck would a tax on financial derivatives which are used to hedge risks, be applied?

At a glance it strikes me as incoherent.

Does one get to basically, pay more tax no matter the outcome of the derivatives transaction outcome?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan may become 4.5 C hotter if no anti-global warming steps taken See in context

Amazing that my comment revived so many negative votes.

i am asking merely what are we going to do in the case of bad, bad stuff happening to the climate. And 66% of people just don't want to know?

Sounds like we are possibly, screwed....

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Posted in: Japan may become 4.5 C hotter if no anti-global warming steps taken See in context

What if the warming will occur even without greenhouse gasses?

What is the plan in that case? And what if the scientific models are wrong and we are headed for an ice age? What then?

-11 ( +7 / -18 )

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