Thursday, July 24, 2014

Halal ハラル

I shared a room with a guy from Saudi in the US, but he had almost the same things as I had except alcohol and pork.

Halal means 'allowed in Islam' and Muslims should eat things accorded with Halal. In Japan, more restaurants are preparing Halal foods for Muslim tourists.

I am not a Muslim, but when I heard recently that one Chinese factory supplied rotten meat to McDonald's, I may have had some lesson to learn from Halal; Halal foods are not only allowed under Islamic law, but also reportedly processed in a highly hygienic manner to get people to enjoy high nutrition and safety. 

More people seem to care less about what they're eating than in a society where many people lack enough foods. Halal should be rather a start for reconsidering our foods than quite a troublesome culture.


ハラルとはイスラムで許され た、という意味で、イスラム教徒はハラルに則ったものを食さなければならない。日本ではイスラム教徒のためにハラル食を提供するレストランが増えている。


多くの人が、十分な食が得られない社会と比べて何を 食べているか関心を持っていないように見える。ハラルは、とても面倒な文化だというよりも、我々の食事を見直すきっかけであるべきだ。

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Russell On Capitalism


Advocates of capitalism are very apt to appeal to the sacred principles of liberty, which are embodied in one maxim: The fortunate must not be restrained in the exercise of tyranny over the unfortunate.

Bertrand Russelll "Sceptical Essays" (1928) Ch. 13: Ch. 13: Freedom in Society



Natural science is, in the end, the model.

Teacher and Salesperson

Teacher is like a salesperson, rather than an educator or preacher. Teaching may be a fucking suck job, but it is the best way to learn something; To sell something, we should know much of it. I know and understand much more than I used to. Being a blue-collar economist, though tough, may not be so a bad thing, or better than learning from top-tier scholars.


A Life Is Not As Expected


「ルーカス批判」は予測すれば、それが人々の予想に影響し、当初の 予測が外れるという。

量子力学で「シュレーディンガーの猫」が有名である。この解釈としても、箱の中の猫が死んだかどうかはふたを開けてみないと分からな い。


People try to predict the unkown future. 

The Lucas' critique implies, as people predict, which affects themselves, and thus the future will be different than they predicted before. 

The Schrodinger's cat of quantum mechanics also implies, we cannot be sure whether a cat is dead or not in the box. We should open it to know. 

A life is not as is expected.

On Smart Phones

So many students are only looking down at smart phones without a word. My elder colleague grumbled to me about it, "people have made progress, but at the same time it's kind of retrogression; people forget talking then." It seems to me, we get unwilling to talk to each other. Though I am not a good speaker, I may have become a better speaker because I have no smart phone. Hey, put it away and talk to a neighbor without worrying that she gets you wrong, "It's a fine day, isn't it?"


Dixit (1)

An outcome is deemed Pareto efficient if any change that benefits a homeless person on the streets of New York hurts Warren Buffett.

pp54, Avinash Dixit, Microeconomics, Oxford University Press


Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Inherited Wealth and Inequality

Mankiw's article in the NY times,

When a family saves for future generations, it provides resources to finance capital investments, like the start-up of new businesses and the expansion of old ones. Greater capital, in turn, affects the earnings of both existing capital and workers.

Because capital is subject to diminishing returns, an increase in its supply causes each unit of capital to earn less. And because increased capital raises labor productivity, workers enjoy higher wages. In other words, by saving rather than spending, those who leave an estate to their heirs induce an unintended redistribution of income from other owners of capital toward workers.

The bottom line is that inherited wealth is not an economic threat. Those who have earned extraordinary incomes naturally want to share their good fortune with their descendants. Those of us not lucky enough to be born into one of these families benefit as well, as their accumulation of capital raises our productivity, wages and living standards.

Why do (does Prof.Mankiw think) parents leave bequests to their children?

(1) Inter-generational Altruism
(2)Consumption Smoothing
(3)Regression toward the Mean

There's no strategic bequest motive.

On Japan's Military Shift

Japan should make more effective use of its military. This is not only Mr Abe's, but also Mr Obama's hope. I would ask some Japanese who worry about whether Japan will be able to join or not when the US wages war again, what if Japan is attacked by missiles? Previous Japan could do nothing but ask help for Uncle Sam.

Not only China’s rise, but Japan’s own fall, North Korea's nuclear threat and a deterioration of American dominance have changed the Asian situations. American officials spent years in secret talks about what kind of facilities in Japan would be available to them in any conflict with North Korea..The Obama administration said, we welcome Japan’s actions, adding that we will aid the country’s armed forces to “do more within the framework of our alliance.The NY Times(01/07/2014)

Even if there is no alliance with the US, more or less, Japan should use its military when it or its friends are attacked. Any talk will not help.

日本はもっと効果的に軍事力を使うべきである。これは、安倍首相の願いではなく、オバマ大統領の願いでもある。アメリカが戦争をしたとき日本が参加するか どうか心配する日本人に聞きたいのは、では日本が攻撃されたときどうするのかである。今までの日本はアメリカに助けを乞うことしかできなかった。

東アジアは中国の台頭だけではなく、北朝鮮の核の脅威、日本の停滞、アメリカの支配力の低下によっても変わって来ている。アメリカ当局は、日本において、 北朝鮮と何らかの衝突が起こった時にどのような軍事が可能かどうか何年もの間秘密裏に議論してきた。オバマ政権は、「日本の対応を歓迎する。同盟関係の中 で我々アメリカが自衛隊により多く支援することができるようになる。」と言った。


Women Should Do Housework?

Women should do housework? Men should work outside? Which more replies yes, Japanese or American and Britain? 

Among young people aged 13-29, GMI and Cabinet Office of Japan, pollsters, asked, do you agree or not? 

26.9% of Americans and 25.5% of British say yes, whereas 22.3% Japanese yes. However, 59.6% of Americans and 61.3% of British say no, whereas 38.7% Japanese no.

女は家で働き、男は外で働くべきか? 日本人と英米人、どちらがイエスと答えたか。13歳から29歳までの若者の間で、内閣府とGMI社が調査した。26.9% のアメリカ人と25.5%のイギリス人がイエスと答え、22.3%の日本人がイエスと答えた。 しかし、59.6%のアメリカ人と 61.3%のイギリス人はノー, 38.7%の日本人がノーと答えた。