Saturday, August 30, 2014

Spence On the Results of Inequality

The consequences of rising income inequality can tempt policymakers down a dangerous path: the use of debt, sometimes combined with an asset bubble, to sustain consumption. This arguably occurred in the 1920s, prior to the Great Depression; it certainly occurred in the US (and Spain and the United Kingdom) in the decade prior to the 2008 crisis.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

On Universal Health Care 皆保険について

In Japan the universal health care, such as Obama Care, was introduced in 1961, and few people oppose this system. 

First of all, the universal care needs compulsory participation, otherwise it will go bankrupt because it will potentially attract the chronically ill (adverse selection). 

The universal care covers all the people, but it means that the money nonsmokers pay can go to the medical treatment for heavy smokers. What's more, as they are insured, they will unlikely take care of their health and they will likely go to hospital in spite of slight cold (moral hazard). 

Thus, the universal care imposes heavy financial burden on people in the form of heavy insurance and tax payment, and this is the very 'headache' the Japanese now suffer. 

To cover and pay all or not to, that is the question.



皆保険はすべての人をカバーするので、禁煙家の支払った金がヘビースモーカーの治療に使われることを意味している。 さらに、保険に入れば、自身の健康管理がおろそかになり、些細な風邪で病院へ行くこともある(モラル・ハザード)。

皆保険は高い保険料と税金という形で重い財政負担を課し、こ れこそがまさに日本人の抱える「頭痛の種」なのである。


靖国参拝 Visiting Yasukuni




私は靖国神社と天皇は日本人をマイン ドコントロールするための装置として機能したと考えている。天皇と日本人を守るための自衛戦争だという人がいるが、なぜ68回もの戦略爆撃に日本人はさら されたのか。もっと早く降参すべきだったが、できなかった。これをどう説明するのか。


We can see people visiting Yasukuni Shrine every summer. 

It is so natural to pay respect to the war dead, but why Yasukuni Shrine? 

The soldiers said on the battle field, 'Shall we meet in Yasukuni?', and were killed, but was it really in their mind? Was it for the Emperor that they died? 

I think that Yasukuni and the Emperor were used to work for controlling Japanese minds. Some say that the aim of the war was to defend the Emperor and the Japanese, but if so, how should the fact that Japan suffered from 68th times of strategic bombing be explained? Japan should have surrendered earlier, but it didn't. How is it explained? 

It can be said that it is kind of laziness and no sense of responsibility of the war leaders who didn't consider the ends that caused the suffering. I don't care whether to visit Yasukuni, but the congress people should have some responsibility to explain why they visit. I feel many of them as lazy and irresponsible as the once war leaders who had no idea of the result of their acts.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Altruistic Punishment

Those who receive charity have their lives improved, but those who provide it also benefit. 

Indeed, one recent study found that spending money on others is more rewarding than spending it on oneself. ...those who donate wealth and time to others tend to be a lot happier in their entire lives than those who do not. The paradoxical finding here is that one great trick to being happy is to forget about being happy and instead try to increase the happiness of others.

This is the flip side of charity. We are motivated to be kind to anonymous others, but we are also motivated to harm those who treat these anonymous others badly. 

The problem that arises is that our gut moral feelings are poorly attuned to consequences. The patterns of charitable donation to foreign countries often have more to do with the salience of news reports than to actual considerations about where the money is most needed. 

And laboratory findings show that people will continue to punish even if they are well aware that doing so is actually making things worse. It is not difficult to see the consequences of this in the real world.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Chocolate Intake and Nobel Laureates

The principal finding of this study is a surprisingly powerful correlation between chocolate intake per capita and the number of Nobel laureates in various countries. Of course, a correlation between X and Y does not prove causation but indicates that either X influences Y, Y influences X, or X and Y are influenced by a common underlying mechanism.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

原爆忌と核抑止 Aniversary of A-Bomb and Nuclear Deterrence






Today is the 69th anniversary of Nagasaki's Atomic bomb. 

We now live in the world under the nuclear deterrence, where the power of nations depends on the number of atomic bombs; All the permanent members of the UN Security Council have atomic bombs. 

The tragedy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki should not be repeated, but as we hope so the nuclear deterrence ironically becomes effective; Whereas Hiroshima and Nagasaki are likely to prevent the world from suffering from nuclear war, they can enlarge the influence of the nations with nuclear weapons. 

If Japan attacks New York City, another city of Japan will clearly be added in the list of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That is why no one is thinking of attacking New York City. This is what is called nuclear deterrence, which may be the true reason that the world has never had nuclear war since Hiroshima and Nagasaki suffered. If so, it may be this inconvenient reality that actually makes it much more difficult to abolish nuclear weapons in the world.