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Japan Plans To Merge Major Science Bodies

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the greater-than-the-sum-of-its-parts dept.

Japan 107

ananyo writes "In its battle against a sluggish economy, Japan's government is gearing up to make cost savings through a root-and-branch reform of the country's science system, merging some of its most prominent research organizations. Plans approved by the government's cabinet would consolidate the RIKEN network of basic-research laboratories with the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention (NIED) and the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) — the national funding body. But with few details about the timing, potential cost savings or full implications of the change, many researchers are concerned that it could be a recipe for harsh funding cuts and even greater bureaucracy."

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Merging bodies? (4, Funny)

Dan East (318230) | more than 2 years ago | (#38897785)

Merging science bodies. Sounds kinky.

Re:Merging bodies? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38897819)

Requires the use of CERN's Large Hardon Collider.

When the Japanese do science ... (0)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#38897831)

... they really do science !

Unlike the West, the Japanese do know how to focus on the things they do - including Science

Re:When the Japanese do science ... (1)

drolli (522659) | more than 2 years ago | (#38897867)

Then i wonder why in the group in Jp where i worked as a postdoc the major publications were done by the foreigners.

Re:When the Japanese do science ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38897925)

Let's see, because the Japanese paid big money to get them into Japan?

Re:When the Japanese do science ... (2, Informative)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#38897963)

When Japanese do science ... they really do science !

Or... are they? [wikipedia.org]

Re:When the Japanese do science ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38898225)

"Unlike the West", you say. . . well, yes, though excluding the people in "the West" who *do* know how to focus on the things they do. And unlike those people in Japan who *don't* know how to focus on the things they do. And leaving out all the unrelated people in Japan and "the West" who don't work in science at all. Because science is done by individual people in the first place, and not by "the Japanese" or by "the West".

What are you yammering about anyway?

Re:Merging bodies? (2)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#38897979)

Merge engage!

Super RIKEN NIED Rape JAMSTEC JST Ultra Tentacle HD Science Alliance!!

This is the time to rock!

Re:Merging bodies? (2)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38900249)

It's a tectonic shift that will shake the Japanese science community to their foundations. There will be a tsunami of opposition for a short time, but proponents will weather their storm and melt down their opposition's arguments. At the end there will be a vast wasteland formerly occupied by science deniers bereft of ground to stand on, and a triumphant self-sustaining reaction of proponents to carry the flag of fission to Europe and beyond - even if they have to pass through the core of the Earth or the troposphere to do it.

Re:Merging bodies? (1)

flyneye (84093) | more than 2 years ago | (#38901159)

Kink may be the answer, then.
We were discussing just yesterday, in some /. thread about merging disciplines and cooperative work between scientists/engineers/mathmaticians/artists.
At least getting diverse scientists together is a start. Now to get them to reciprocate with each other on common goals is the real test.

Nail in the coffin for Keynesian economics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38897825)

Japan followed the Keynesian playbook and all they have to show for it is a perpetually stagnant economy with a debt to GDP ratio of over 200%.

But unlike the West ... (4, Interesting)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#38897849)

... the Japanese do not need foreigners to buy up their national debt

Over 90% of their national debt is purchased by the Japanese themselves !

Re:But unlike the West ... (2, Interesting)

drolli (522659) | more than 2 years ago | (#38897909)

which is not so bright. Especially taken into account that this money may be the pension savings for a lot of people. The self-dependence is the thing which prevents them from developing. They have their own market, just for themself, they have their own financial system and their own science system.

No pressing need for serious reforms, is there? And there is not much time left.

Re:But unlike the West ... (2)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#38897987)

No pressing need for serious reforms, is there? And there is not much time left.

Left for/until what?

Re:But unlike the West ... (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 2 years ago | (#38898075)

Until the end of the world. This is 2012, after all.

Re:But unlike the West ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38898099)

until the GP poster's head explodes from cognitive dissonance

Re:But unlike the West ... (1)

drolli (522659) | more than 2 years ago | (#38898253)

Left to change society before globalisation marginalises Japan.

Re:But unlike the West ... (1)

blue trane (110704) | more than 2 years ago | (#38899327)

Japan will marginalise globalisation with 3D printers, making China's cheap labor advantage irrelevant.

Until the demographic crash (1)

alispguru (72689) | more than 2 years ago | (#38899571)

Japan's population is declining and aging [huffingtonpost.ca] faster than anywhere else on Earth. This is a double whammy that is going to destroy their national budget.

Re:Until the demographic crash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38900761)

Not really a double whammy, The shrinking population is a good thing. It means that they need to import less food(+chopsticks), oil and other stuff. In theory the smaller population also means that they can reclaim land for farming which lowers the need of food import even further. In 2060 oil will be a thing of the past.

In fact smaller population lowers the imports in general, which lowers the need to export stuff to break even which means that a bigger percentage of the population can do other things (like tend for the old people).

They are fucking 127 million people on an area smaller than sweden and california! That's a cracy over population! sweden and california have a population of 9.29 million and 37.25 million people respectively.

Re:Until the demographic crash (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 2 years ago | (#38902531)

I think what people are worried about is there won't be enough young people to take care of the old people. There's two reasons why this is BS. One, the Japanese are a healthy population that takes care of themselves. They're able to work longer. Two, robots & machines are doing most manufacturing tasks these days. It's actually a big problem in the States. We've got no work for the young.

Now, if you're a member of Japan's ruling elite you've got lots of reasons to be worried. You need a strong population of workers producing the export goods you sell to buy your expensive luxury items; like $100,000 bottles of Whiskey.

Re:But unlike the West ... (0)

madness85 (2565473) | more than 2 years ago | (#38900045)

Seeing as work in Japan i would like to correct you, China owns 70% of Japan's debt as of 2010 hence its drop to 3rd world economy

Re:But unlike the West ... (4, Informative)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 2 years ago | (#38900307)

No, China does not own 70% of Japan's debt, I don't know where you got that number, but it's not even close to being correct. an overview [investopedia.com] of Japan(and other countries') debts as compiled by the CIA. Japan's total debt to gdp ratio is about 200% of it's $5.5 trillion GDP, or roughly $11 trillion dollars. The foreign held debt is about 2.4 trillion, or only about 22% or so, so there is no way China could hold 70% of Japan's debts. Even if it held 70% of the foreign-owned debt, thats only about 16% of the total, a non-trivial amount to be sure, but nowhere near 70%

Just for the record, living in Japan doesn't give you any sort of special insight into this stuff, and if you are going to correct people, please make sure you are even remotely correct before doing so, otherwise it makes you look like an idiot English teacher.

Re:Nail in the coffin for Keynesian economics (1)

blue trane (110704) | more than 2 years ago | (#38898069)

And a currency they consider too high. They should create more money!

Re:Nail in the coffin for Keynesian economics (5, Interesting)

allcoolnameswheretak (1102727) | more than 2 years ago | (#38898129)

Maybe Japan has a stagnant economy because like the U.S. or Germany, it already is one of the most developed countries in the world. Perhaps the focus should be on building economies that don't require perpetual growth in order to sustain a high quality of life for all citizens. Perpetual growth is impossible. Even with new technologies and innovation, there are only so many resources on this planet.

Re:Nail in the coffin for Keynesian economics (1, Flamebait)

marco.antonio.costa (937534) | more than 2 years ago | (#38899905)

'economic growth' doesn't mean growth as in a cake growing in the oven.

it simply means an improvement in the standard of living of the population. that is ALWAYS possible, and it uses LESS resources to be made possible.

growth %ages applied to 'GDP' are make-believe bullshit that means absolutely jack except to Keynesian loonies who have been wrong from the moment they stepped out of school with their diplomas. that stupid number made this retarded meme that 'growth is limited' possible. a superficial understanding of economics dispels this naive notion.

remember microchips? they used much more resources, cost much more and were slower. telephone cables? they were made of tons of copper, now we use sand and make optic fiber, and in a while, we'll just go full wireless and fuck using ANY resources to link point A to point B. next generation cars will be electric, with batteries that we ALREADY recycle, basically EVERYTHING we do better and cheaper, and I dont just mean price tag cheaper, I mean ACTUAL resources utilized cheaper.

Re:Nail in the coffin for Keynesian economics (1, Troll)

smchris (464899) | more than 2 years ago | (#38901507)

Except that people don't eat and excrete microchips and we have perpetual growth of the population. Perhaps innovative creations can improve the standard of living of a _stable_ and _sustainable_ population.

Re:Nail in the coffin for Keynesian economics (2)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 2 years ago | (#38898153)

Japan followed the Keynesian playbook and all they have to show for it is a perpetually stagnant economy with a debt to GDP ratio of over 200%.

Indeed. Japan has had a stagnant economy since the mid 90's, despite huge levels of spending. In the 2000's, business magazines wrote articles about "Japan's Lost Decade". Now it's becoming Japan's lost decades.

I remember when experts were telling us in the 80's that Japan's economic model... high government spending, high subsidies and protectionism for domestic industries, the government picking winners and losers... was the future, and that the US would be left behind if we didn't adopt it.

Re:Nail in the coffin for Keynesian economics (5, Informative)

blue trane (110704) | more than 2 years ago | (#38899365)

Japan's inflation rate is -0.2% and its unemployment is 4.5%. They need to create more money to invest in technology and the advance of knowledge, because that is what improves survival fitness by better enabling prediction and adaptation to sudden catastrophic change.

Re:Nail in the coffin for Keynesian economics (2)

bjourne (1034822) | more than 2 years ago | (#38901123)

And yet, despite what the economists tell us, they rock us all when it comes to living standards. Least number of homeless people, least amount of murder per capita in the world, healthiest population and the most high-tech gadgets in the world. All over the world you see Japanese tourists spending money like crazy because they think our prices are so low. The economists doesn't know shit because they have it all backwards. Normal people see economy and growth rates as a means to make our lives better and improve our society. Economists see society and peoples lives as a means to jack up the growth rates and maximize GDP.

Re:Nail in the coffin for Keynesian economics (2)

Beeftopia (1846720) | more than 2 years ago | (#38899663)

The myth of Japan's failure. [nytimes.com]

However, they have managed this prosperity by going into debt (borrowing from the future). Who knows how long it can keep going.

As I've heard it put, Japan is a bug in search of a windshield. Debt does matter. Money represents some fraction of the wealth in the economy. If a currency loses its credibility as a store of value, well... the the Germans in the 1920s knew how that went.

However... if a country can maintain price stability in the face of massive debt, that could probably keep the game going for a long time. Which makes the Federal Reserve's noises about desiring a bout of inflation to bring down the real value of the debt very puzzling. Fiat currencies get their value from confidence that currency as a store of value. Undermining that in the face of 1:1 debt to GDP ratios seems ill advised.

Let's not do that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38897847)

If most Hentai themes are to be believed, merging science bodies always creates the rapiest of animal-things with busy appendages.

Re:Let's not do that. (1)

Adriax (746043) | more than 2 years ago | (#38898523)

Luckily for schoolgirls of the world, Japanese vessels have been working preemptively to keep the whale population down just incase they develop tentacles.

They should definitely abolish their 'economics' (1, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#38897877)

Japan needs to stop with the Keynesian nonsense they've been involved with for the past 2 decades, destroying their currency in this currency war, which is won by those, who hurt their own economy the most.

Trade is not about finding a foreign market for the sake of foreign market. Trade is about comparative advantage and about being able to buy something from people you trade with. NOT their worthless currency, but products that you don't make yourself.

Japan needs a lot of raw materials and energy, so they really need to trade with countries at least for those resources, and stronger currency would help Japan immensely, especially now, that they've been hit with too many natural disasters and they need all sorts of materials and energy to rebuild everything.

Japan needs to rebuild their infrastructure in many places, so they need to allow their currency to appreciate, so that more investments would be put into it, so they could buy more, and they need to stop listening the insane Keynesian charlatans, who really caused their economy to stagnate for 20 years. Nobody should be bailed out and nobody should be protected from rising currency with government intervention. Having currency fall looks good on a quarterly statement due to more sales in devalued currency, but it's terrible for the actual citizens and consumers, who have rising prices because the government destroys the money.

Maybe the Japanese should think about kicking their government in the balls for these 20 years and taking away their ability to print money in the first place and do something smart for a change and switch to saving and trading in gold and let the investments come into the country, because that's what would happen.

They would fix the unemployment in a hurry, with more investments coming in and they would be able to fix their infrastructure with strong money and they wouldn't even need to make these cuts in scientific spending.

Re:They should definitely abolish their 'economics (4, Funny)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38897955)

Ladies and gents, roman_mir has solved Japan's economic problems in a single Slashdot post!

Re:They should definitely abolish their 'economics (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38898023)

Ladies and gents, Microlith has rebuked all of his opponent's arguments with a single sentence!

Re:They should definitely abolish their 'economics (3, Funny)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38898077)

This sound a lot like some of the suggestions posted here for what the US needs to do, so I think he might have not just saved Japan, but saved the whole world! If economists working for world governments knew as much as the libertarians on slashdot, think of what the world would be like!

Re:They should definitely abolish their 'economics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38898899)

If economists working for world governments knew as much as the libertarians on slashdot, think of what the world would be like!

if you're calling roman_mir a "libertarian", then it's not hard to imagine what they world would be like if he set all policy...

somalia.

The Ecnomists have gotten is wrong. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38898087)

Trade is about comparative advantage and about being able to buy something from people you trade with.

What, pray tell, is Japan's comparative advantage?

Their "advantage" used to be that they were more efficient than everyone else making the same stuff. With similar labor costs they did it better. Then in the 90s, China and other Third World countries opened up their borders and economies depressing the labor prices - basically. Why be efficient when you can produce something in China for much cheaper than anywhere else? AND even then, the Chinese aren't stupid and are learning from the more developed economies. Therefore, they are cheap and efficient or least becoming more so depending on the industries.

They also have plenty of natural resources themselves - except oil - so they don't have to worry about importing as do the Japanese.

That's just the Chinese. We haven't even gotten into other Asian countries and Eastern Europe. And eventually, India and South America will get their acts together and we in the "First World" are headed for a serious downward spiral of our living standard because, although the "pie" isn't fixed in size, it cannot expand fast enough to keep 7 billion people's (and growing) living standards to the level of the industrialized West - at 1990s level. The living standard for average guy has stagnated and declined in most cases.

Japan is just the leader in what will eventually happen to the rest of us.

The economists have gotten it all wrong, btw. Too much physics envy ....

Re:The Ecnomists have gotten is wrong. (2)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#38898433)

It's not what "Japan's comparative advantage is", which is obvious - their high tech, their cars, medicine, etc.

It's what other countries can offer as competitive advantage to Japan, which is also obvious - raw materials, energy, probably food.

If Japan can't compete in terms of reduced regulations, because they are not free enough from their government in their culture, then they should at least be competing with their money - rate of return on investments.

China gained everything, the entire economy, because others are bringing their capital investments into the country.

Japan would also have huge inflow of investment capital if they allowed their money to appreciate, but their gov't wont, so after 20 years they really need to rethink this policy of strong gov't and weak people.

Re:The Ecnomists have gotten is wrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38899959)

It's not what "Japan's comparative advantage is" ... It's what other countries can offer as competitive advantage to Japan

I, for one, welcome the new building materials for tentacle porn exchange plan.

Re:The Ecnomists have gotten is wrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38901019)

Obviously you don't live in Japan. Let me guess, US? Seems everyone from the US has answers for other people's problems.

I take it you've never worked in finance.

What do reduced regulations have to do with a stagnant GDP caused by an aging population?

How would "Huge inflows of investment capital" fix the economy? Japan doesn't suffer from a lack of investment or cheap money. Our issue is structural and can only be solved by increasing cross-border acquisitions and repatriating capital.

Try picking up a book or two on economics, then formulate an argument.

Re:The Ecnomists have gotten is wrong. (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#38901053)

Obviously you don't live in Japan. Let me guess, US? Seems everyone from the US has answers for other people's problems.

- wrong.

I take it you've never worked in finance.

- wrong.

What do reduced regulations have to do with a stagnant GDP caused by an aging population?

- ignorant.

How would "Huge inflows of investment capital" fix the economy? Japan doesn't suffer from a lack of investment or cheap money.

- wrong.

Our issue is structural and can only be solved by increasing cross-border acquisitions and repatriating capital.

- wtf?

Re:They should definitely abolish their 'economics (4, Insightful)

santax (1541065) | more than 2 years ago | (#38898109)

Japan has the 3th largest economy in the world. They are hard workers, have excellent education, are very smart and highly motivated. They will do fine. Just like they always have.

Re:They should definitely abolish their 'economics (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#38898461)

Sure, they will 'do fine', but they could do much better and have even higher standard of living if it weren't for their insane policy of destroying their own money.

What is hard to understand that they need to buy a lot of commodities? They have a islands, they need a lot of energy and raw materials. Having strong money would let them to buy more.

If their companies think they need to sell more abroad, they shouldn't be asking gov't to destroy their currency and get more devalued yen, gov't shouldn't be allowed to do that anyway. The same result in terms of sales can be achieved with lowering prices if they want to sell more quantity.

At the same time they would be earning more valuable money and having more purchasing power and overall economy would be stronger.

At some point they will understand it, but apparently not yet, apparently 20 years is not enough.

Re:They should definitely abolish their 'economics (1)

blue trane (110704) | more than 2 years ago | (#38899375)

Japan thinks its currency is too high, and is hurting their exports. They should create more money.

Re:They should definitely abolish their 'economics (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#38900961)

Japanese have been listening to the US 'economists' on this, in fact they've taken Bernanke's plan to destroy their currency, which is self-serving for US interests. In reality of-course Japanese are hurting their own people by destroying their purchasing power. If you still don't get it - if companies want to sell more of their stuff in weak currency and thus get less purchasing power for what they sell, they can lower their prices, and the government is absolutely wrong to lower their prices for them by devaluing the yen and stealing from their own people.

Re:They should definitely abolish their 'economics (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38900173)

They are hard workers

Japanese work ethic hides inefficiencies [bbc.co.uk]

have excellent education

Japanese history textbook controversies [wikipedia.org]

are very smart

Japanese Higher Education as Myth [amazon.com]

and highly motivated.

List of countries by suicide rate [wikipedia.org]

Re:They should definitely abolish their 'economics (1, Troll)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38898219)

See, people like you shouldn't even be allowed to participate in the discussion. You're ignorance is vast.
Setting aside the fact the Keynesian economist predicted the economic collapse 3 years before it started, and the includes detials on why and which policies woudl cause it.

They also did it in the 80's economic situation; which was worse then the current one.
SO it hard for me to dismiss it when it's shown repeated predictive power.

"who really caused their economy to stagnate for 20 years. "
WTF? Japans economy hasn't stagnated. Clearly you are a clueless loud mouth. If you muster up enough energy to engage your 75 IQ and actually look up facts, you would begin to understand the vast ignorant cavern you call an opinion.

Do you realize the Japan growth rate is one of the highest?
No of course you don't, what was I thinking? That would you require to look things up instead of having pundits tell you how to think.

You fail to take into account japans aging population, the fact that their unemployment rate is only about 5%, and have an incredible diverse manufacturing base.

" switch to saving and trading in gold"
ah. Another moron who doesn't know history or why government moved away from the gilded cage. Gold has a limit, and very real limnt. And that limit impacts growth and investments.
People s ignorant as you really shouldn't be allowed to participate in the discussion. You don't help, and your ignorance is a wet blanket on the candles of knowledge.

How about you AT LEAST get some basic facts right?

Re:They should definitely abolish their 'economics (3, Interesting)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#38898411)

Keynesians are not economists, and real economists predicted economic collapse DECADES in advance, at the moment when Nixon took US (and thus the world) off the gold standard.

Keynesians have no predicting power at all, their 'predictions' are akin to their 'solutions' - start wars, even if with aliens. [youtube.com]

Japanese economy stagnated awfully, with their productivity prices should have been falling hard and instead they either had stagnating prices or even some rising prices.

Japan's population problem is not worse than of others, Japan needs strong money to buy commodities, which they lack naturally, and if Japanese companies feel they must sell more in nominal terms, they shouldn't be attacking the currency and devaluing it, they should be dropping prices.

You probably are completely ignorant on the fact, that for companies to sell more in devalued dollars is worse than to sell more with reduced prices while money is appreciating - the earnings would buy more and competing would be easier.

h. Another moron wh

- Oh, just got to that part.

Goodbye.

Re:They should definitely abolish their 'economics (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38898487)

Only a profoundly deluded person could think that the vast amount of time separating the predicted crash and the actual crash was a sign that somehow the prediction was accurate. It's actually a sign of the exact opposite.

According to you, your brand of economists predicted economic collapse in 1970 or so, and then the US economy went through a pretty great period for about 40 years over which period real GDP tripled and real per capita GDP more than doubled. Those are based on figures AFTER the recent recession, by the way.

In other words, your brand of economists completely and utterly failed in their predictions.

Re:They should definitely abolish their 'economics (0)

marco.antonio.costa (937534) | more than 2 years ago | (#38899919)

choke on this [youtube.com] , weasel.

Re:They should definitely abolish their 'economics (1)

blue trane (110704) | more than 2 years ago | (#38899385)

Japan has deflation, not inflation. Their currency is not being destroyed, they consider it too high.

Re:They should definitely abolish their 'economics (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#38900967)

Japan SHOULD have deflation, but they have inflation, because they are creating insane amount of money not to let their currency rise.

Japanese are very productive and they should enjoy strong yen and falling prices, instead they 'enjoy' inflation created by government and high prices in exchange for all that productivity.

I know they 'consider' it too high, they bought into Bernanke's plan from over a decade ago, and they are wrong and it's been hurting them for 20 years now.

Re:They should definitely abolish their 'economics (1)

dkf (304284) | more than 2 years ago | (#38900889)

Keynesians are not economists, and real economists predicted economic collapse DECADES in advance, at the moment when Nixon took US (and thus the world) off the gold standard.

Quite apart from the No True Scotsman parts of that argument, the problem you've got is that economics is full of faddishness and a tendency to say that reality needs to conform to models rather than the other way round. This means you'll always be able to find some economist somewhere that will say something that you can use to "prove" your point, but actually getting a useful prediction out of them is hard to the point of pointless. Which they won't tell you.

If I wanted the sort of predictions you're basing your argument on, I wouldn't ask economists. I'd ask some old men in a pub who would be happy to tell me that everything was better in their day. Yes, it still wouldn't be useful but at least it would only cost me a round of beer and I'd be certain just how much it was worth.

Re:They should definitely abolish their 'economics (0)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#38900979)

There is no need to look for any 'true Scotsman', when the problem is obvious and is always the same:

1. Government spending is a tax.
2. Government destroying currency is a tax and causes destruction of economy.
3. Government regulation is a tax.

--
Now, Japan has been suffering for 20 years, they can continue on their current course for another 20 years and another 200 years, or they can admit that they are wrong and stop this nonsense.

They need to stop their government from destroying their currency.

In fact the 'Scotsman' problem is all that Keynesian charlatans have, because their solution to everything is: print/spend more, and if it's not getting better, it means you aren't printing/spending enough. THAT is 'true Scotsman' problem. The solution is not to allow government to print at all, and limit the spending to a proportion of spending that the public is willing to do, thus income/corporate/payroll taxes must be abolished and printing presses must be stopped.

The real regulation of economy comes from market, thus market money (whatever market decides it to be, and it's obviously gold) and whatever market decides to spend and not save/invest, thus taxes must be proportionate to spending or consumption taxes, not production taxes.

Re:They should definitely abolish their 'economics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38898467)

What about Japan's enormous national debt?

It is currently 225% of the GDP, and they currently have a massive deficit.

If they had a awesome economy and really productive how did that massive debt happen?

Re:They should definitely abolish their 'economics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38899437)

Reagan proved debt doesn't matter.

Re:They should definitely abolish their 'economics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38898831)

Dear fuck, you're ignorant.

"They also did it in the 80's economic situation; which was worse then the current one."
Wrong. Japan's economy thrived during the 80s. It crashed in the early 90s.

"WTF? Japans economy hasn't stagnated."
Wrong. The 1990-2010 (esp. the 1990s) are called "the lost decades" in Japanese.

"Do you realize the Japan growth rate is one of the highest?"
Wrong. Japan's GDP growth is less than 1%, which is less Canada, the US, France, Italy, etc.

Re:They should definitely abolish their 'economics (1)

blue trane (110704) | more than 2 years ago | (#38899477)

Knowledge growth is the important thing.

Re:They should definitely abolish their 'economics (4, Interesting)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#38898529)

Your post makes no sense. First you say they need to stop with Keynesian economics, then you go on about stopping them and their ability to print money. Which is a central keynesian ideal. So which is it?

Oddly Japan seems to be doing fine after learning from their housing bubble in the 90's, which the US didn't learn from. And you believe japanese unemployment is a problem? At 4.3%? Wait, let me guess, you're the same type of person who believes that when it was the same during Bush's term it was disastrous, but during Obama's 10% it was perfectly okay.

Give your head a shake.

Re:They should definitely abolish their 'economics (3, Informative)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 2 years ago | (#38900333)

That 4.3% is an absolute lie and the Japanese know it is. First off they consider anyone working even an hour a week as "employed", secondly the number masks the massive number of people(mostly middle aged older men who used to work in factories or were middle managers) they hire to do absolutely pointless shit. In a country with one of the lowest crime levels in the world, they have an awfully large number of security guards. And then there are the guys they hire to go around putting "tickets" on bikes, and the guys they hire to hold signs telling people not to use their cell phones while driving, and the guys they hire to man crosswalks with perfectly valid signals(the list can go on for days), not to mention the massive over-construction and not counting a large number of women as being "unemployed" because they "voluntarily" quit work to have kids. The real Japanese unemployment number is easily over 10%, probably closer to 15%. The US number isn't perfect, but it is a much more accurate reflection of the true unemployment rate than the Japanese number is.

Re:They should definitely abolish their 'economics (2)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#38900933)

The first rule of economics like crime stats that you learn is that rates are calculated differently from country to country. I'd hazard that 4.3% isn't true either, rather it's closer to around 8.5%. Which is still marginally better than the US. The US on the otherhand, is much closer to 16.8%. Canada on the other hand is around 7.8%, though if you figure everything out it's right around 8.3% in total numbers of unemployment.

That you even say the US number is more accurate is laughable. It's off by nearly 8%, and anyone who even has a passing interest in economics, plays the markets, or even plays with currency knows this. I actually trust the japanese numbers more than the US, because the Japanese markets, not to mention the FM is more open on exactly how they're floating against the USD.

Re:They should definitely abolish their 'economics (1, Flamebait)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#38901005)

Your post makes no sense. First you say they need to stop with Keynesian economics, then you go on about stopping them and their ability to print money. Which is a central keynesian ideal. So which is it?

- can you re-read this and try to explain to yourself, how come 2 statements, both of which are true, are contradictory?

Yes, Japan needs to stop Keynesian charlatanism, which means they need to stop government spending and for this they need to stop printing currency. They need market money, not political money, which means in almost every case that they need gold, not paper.

Oddly Japan seems to be doing fine after learning from their housing bubble in the 90's, which the US didn't learn from.

- so you don't know what Japanese zombie banks and zombie corporations are?

And you believe japanese unemployment is a problem? At 4.3%?

- that's nonsense. The real unemployment is over 3 times as high.

Wait, let me guess, you're the same type of person who believes that when it was the same during Bush's term it was disastrous, but during Obama's 10% it was perfectly okay.

- what? What? What the fuck is this nonsense?

I am 100% against Obama. I was 100% against Bush. 100% against Clinton. The last US presidents that actually made sense were Grover Cleveland, Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge.

I don't understand how your post is moderated up, but it's some truly confused moderation on every level.

Re:They should definitely abolish their 'economics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38898559)

>they need to allow their currency to appreciate

You mean depreciate? Buying yen right now is insane.

Re:They should definitely abolish their 'economics (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#38901015)

What? Was I not clear?

They are doing everything to keep their currency down, same as Swiss are involved in, all these currency wars hurt the population of their countries only. Who wins the currency wars? Those who hurt their own people the most.

I wouldn't buy Japanese yen for the same reason I don't want any paper currency, but Japanese yen would be at least 5 times as strong as it is now if it weren't for their insane government policies of the last 20 years and Japan would be much more prosperous than it is now.

Their government officials responsible for this need to do to themselves what has been in their culture long ago for those, who dishonour themselves.

Re:They should definitely abolish their 'economics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38899027)

Americans telling other people how to do economics...
It's just fucking hilarious!

Fix your own economy. Then you can open your mouths.

Re:They should definitely abolish their 'economics (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#38901021)

Shut up, dumb ass, if you didn't notice the same exact problem has been destroying the economies of USA, Europe, former USSR, Japan, Canada, Australia, South America and Africa and Asia - the entire world is on paper currency, which is insane and an abomination.

BTW., I ain't an American.

Re:They should definitely abolish their 'economics (4, Informative)

Guppy (12314) | more than 2 years ago | (#38899551)

Japan needs to rebuild their infrastructure in many places, so they need to allow their currency to appreciate, so that more investments would be put into it, so they could buy more, and they need to stop listening the insane Keynesian charlatans, who really caused their economy to stagnate for 20 years. Nobody should be bailed out and nobody should be protected from rising currency with government intervention. Having currency fall looks good on a quarterly statement due to more sales in devalued currency, but it's terrible for the actual citizens and consumers, who have rising prices because the government destroys the money.

You'll be happy to hear that the Yen has been running record highs for many months. It's probably reduced the costs of their recent jump in fossil fuel use (following the post-Fukushima shutdown of nuclear power), but hasn't been all that good for their unemployment rate.

Re:They should definitely abolish their 'economics (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#38901039)

1. Yen would have been 5 times as high if it weren't for the policies of the last 20 years.

2. What do you mean: "you'll be happy to hear"? What do you think I post these comments without participating in markets? Really?

3. Their unemployment is caused by their government destroying their currency, it's been their policy for 20 years and it will continue for another 20 years and 200 years, whatever it takes them to realise, that they need to let their currency go where the market takes it, and in fact they need to stop taxing capital gains and income and thus allow gold to be used as money, and it would bring enormous amounts of investments into their country.

Chinese understood this decades ago, and investments have been flowing in and they are now the economic engine of this planet, Japanese could have some of that if they didn't follow the prescriptions that Bernanke gave them near two decades ago.

People really need to evaluate their understanding of economics, obviously history and facts don't sway them, but I think this global depression will either break it or make it for all of these socialist heavens, and they'll either go full dictatorial or finally kick the socialists and fascists out and let the markets work.

Re:They should definitely abolish their 'economics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38902495)

People really need to evaluate their understanding of economics, obviously history and facts don't sway them

Other way around, it is you who is not swayed by history and facts.

Dictatorships is the norm for human history. The rich and powerful have always tried to control economies for their favor, at the expense of everyone else.

Whatever example of freedom winning out are exceptions to the rule.

So historically, dictatorships and socialism always return. Freedom always lose. You're the one who is not swayed and thinks that this time around, it'll "make or break" it.

Re:They should definitely abolish their 'economics (1)

Beeftopia (1846720) | more than 2 years ago | (#38899721)

I've wondered about societies that value harmony and falling into line and "the nail that stands up will be hammered down" attitudes, etc. What kind of leaders do they get? I'm guessing they get real sociopaths since leadership qualities go against the ruling social paradigms in those cultures.

In the US, we certainly have narcissistic assbags who would sell out the country for a dollar as leaders, but leadership here is considered a good thing, and many parents encourage leadership traits in their kids. So you don't have to be a sociopath - oppose the ruling social paradigms - to be a leader here. So how much worse is it societies which actively oppose leadership traits?

Bad news given Fukushima's disruption (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38897881)

This is the second round of cuts.

In the first round of hearings rast November, the major cuts recommended at facilities such as the SPring-8 synchrotron in Harima and a pranned supercomputer caused a storm of protest among researchers, but the budgets that incorporated the recommendations refrected only modest decreases.

Such recommendations are not regarry binding, but they are submitted to the head of the GRU, Naoto Kan, who is also the government's finance minister. Fairure to compry would probably affect the success of the next budget request.

Yes. (4, Funny)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 2 years ago | (#38897931)

Japan should merge the Nuclear Science department with the Zoology group.

What could possibly go wrong?

godzilla? (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38898071)

hay that's a idea pay up or you will have godzilla come over and smash you.

Re:godzilla? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38901321)

Good thing we have Mecha Streisand and that guy from The Cure to counter him.

Let's Go, Voltron Force! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38897961)

Heard during a recent meeting: "...and I'll form...the head!"

Re:Let's Go, Voltron Force! (1)

JackAxe (689361) | more than 2 years ago | (#38899153)

Arrrgh! I was going to post a Voltron comment. :)

With Japanese penchant for things like hentai... (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38898065)

... reading of their "plans to merge major science bodies" sounds like more kink than I ever want in my rope.

Science? (1)

santax (1541065) | more than 2 years ago | (#38898083)

Yeah, we all know whale, eh what they mean with science.

cost of war. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38898135)

USA take note: This is what happens when you spend all your money going after the wrong enemies, the Dolphin and the Whale.

I asked Stanford Profs about "US Dept. of Science" (0)

peter303 (12292) | more than 2 years ago | (#38898227)

All R&D agencies and funding consolidated in one government department. They said "No Way!". They like the current system because they can apply for grants to multiple sources with the hope at least one succeeds. A Dept of Science would all your eggs in one basket.

With a single grant source, administrative costs would be greatly reduced at both ends. Current government agencies would hate this too because each one wants to be in control of its own R&D empire.

Re:I asked Stanford Profs about "US Dept. of Scien (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38898339)

Centralizing funding mean centralizing control
With the very large effort to kill science in this country, I would rather it was multiple agencies.

Plus, each field should have it's own group of people that understand the field the grant is being applied for, and that becomes cumbersome.

The grant system has some issues, but I feel most of those could be solved with small entities that package the grant application ot the appropriate people with the purse string. The goal being to minimize the scientists time formatting text. Hell, Ideally it wuld be a standardization grant application the the person applying can fill out online. I suspect we will do that eventually, and the application will be automatically routed to the correct agency. A grant workflwo program.

Sadly, its not likely we will just jump there.

It will always be difficult.

Re:I asked Stanford Profs about "US Dept. of Scien (2)

WhiteStarTech (2559381) | more than 2 years ago | (#38898973)

I worked for CSIRO(The Australian government run science organization) as a computer monkey and before the recent government meddling they produced a LOT for the size of the org. (we aren’t the US) The cross communication lead to a lot breakthroughs. Eg A medical researcher was talking to a friend working on hydraulics, noticed the way he has been joining the hydraulic lines and got the idea to do the same thing for major high pressure arteries. It was radical for its time and it worked, took off big time after trials. (don’t know if its still done that way.) This may not be a bad thing if they take it seriously and really invest.

The need to hire (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38898273)

me! Cave Johnson.

"Cave Johnson, we're done here."

Worked at RIKEN, work at NIMS now (4, Informative)

toQDuj (806112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38898505)

I can honestly say this is not going to work. The working style at NIMS and RIKEN are completely different, and their administration is completely incompatible. This will likely cause headaches all over. Also, one organization does not improve communication between the scientists. I found at RIKEN that the one group was not allowed to talk to the other group at RIKEN in fear one would be copying or taking up time of the other.

Re:Worked at RIKEN, work at NIMS now (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38901011)

I found at RIKEN that the one group was not allowed to talk to the other group at RIKEN in fear one would be copying or taking up time of the other.

As a current RIKEN employee, I can only confirm this. My guess is that the government is slowly trying to wean RIKEN off the big money nipple in a 'death by a thousand cuts' sort of way; seriously downsizing RIKEN risks real political backlash (by Japanese standards, anyway), but nobody other than the affected employees and their friends is going to bat an eyelid about this sort of amalgamation.

RIKEN is doomed long-term, so rather than bleed tens of billions of dollars over a decade or two, it's probably better to help it out of its misery, and I think the government is doing that in the most diplomatic way possible (again, by Japanese standards.)

So Cool! (1)

HtR (240250) | more than 2 years ago | (#38898511)

If I had a voice in this, I'd vote for Stephen Hawking and Bill Nye.

Wait, do they have to be alive? If not, I'd vote for Einstein and Newton!

Don't use the D word (1)

TopSpin (753) | more than 2 years ago | (#38898555)

In its battle against a sluggish economy

Right... be sure to carefully avoid mentioning stupid huge budget deficits when discussing Japan and its science funding problems. They've only been running giant deficits [tradingeconomics.com] since the '90s, accumulating debt equal to 200% GDP, a ratio worse than any of the European deadbeat PIIGS and twice as bad as the US. Why? Let's see what the Japanese themselves concluded 10 years ago [cao.go.jp] :

lowered individual income tax ... two special tax cuts in FY 1998 ... permanent cuts in individual and corporate taxes ... frequent economic stimulus packages ... payments to the social security ... disposing of failed financial institutions

Sound familiar?

Japan has become so unproductive it now has a trade deficit [japantimes.co.jp] . The first since 1981. Why? Just like us they're busy [wikipedia.org] outsourcing their industrial base to China.

Deficit spending, 'stimulus', monetary easing and all that other gunk doesn't work. Endless tax breaks don't work. Pretending deficits don't hurt doesn't work. Evacuating the productive elements of your economy to third world hell-holes to avoid your own regulatory regime doesn't work. Stop electing the statists that govern this way.

If you like well funded government science you need to figure out how to reconcile yourself with the need for actual prosperity based on actual productivity, despite your banana [wikipedia.org] training. Otherwise, live with the decline. Quietly.

Also, for those of you that believe Japan's debts are inconsequential because most of it is held by its own citizens; who do you think is going to take the inevitable "hair-cut?" How much less hesitation will their statists have disappearing that savings when the time eventually comes due to the lack of diplomatic consequences? Retirements, endowments ... poof. Gone [businessweek.com] to money heaven.

Re:Don't use the D word (3, Informative)

tsotha (720379) | more than 2 years ago | (#38899293)

I agree Japan is too far in debt, but the 200% number everyone likes to bandy around is exaggerated, as it includes inter-agency borrowing. The net debt/GDP figure is something like 130%.

Re:Don't use the D word (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38899313)

This is the kind of reasoning that led Japan to prematurely try to cut budget deficits in the late 1990s, making the economy much worse. If anything, Japan needs to create more money. Money is artificially kept scarce by bankers who claim some sort of divine right to create it and automatically attach debt to it, because otherwise how would they get attention?

Stop subsidies of whale slaughter to start with (2)

Serindipidude (939235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38898585)

Japan could save a a small fortune by stopping the goverment subsidy to slaughter whales in the name of culinary 'science'. Especially since the only place they can find them now is ilegally in protected marine parks off Australia in the Southern Ocean.

Goku could teach them how to do this properly. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38898679)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFr92zHO2dQ&feature=related

Maybe... (1)

SwampChicken (1383905) | more than 2 years ago | (#38898949)

...they just want to fast track the production of giant mechs?

consolidation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38899361)

Consolidation almost always cut short term costs. Because the organizations are now one large organization, you obviously need to keep the all the managers, because there is so much more to manage. When time for cost cutting comes, the "managers" cut personnel, and by personnel, we mean the people that do the work. So now you have fewer workers answering to more "bosses". Innovation gets stifled by not just non-responsive, but downright hostile management. Because, to a manager, the one thing that came make them look bad is having anyone under them who appears (actually is) more productive than them. Long term, consolidation of research efforts results in massive bureaucracy, group-think, corruption, and is ridiculously expensive.

But hey, let's go with it anyway. Why let a well-documented history of failure slow us down? We're managing.

Merging bodies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38899705)

Fission didn't work out so well. Might as well try fusion.

Sad (1)

Ryanrule (1657199) | more than 2 years ago | (#38899731)

I'm starting think there will be no forced mating at all.

Bureaucracy Wins ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38899767)

We Loose.

I merged that from a old AVP trailer of some years ago.

For instance. The geographic map of the United States of America is quite different from the Political Map of the United States of America.

Everyone is familier with the geographic map of the United States of America. Yet, were I show the Political Map of the United States of America, with the Distric of Columbia surpassing the size of the entire North American Continent, with the happless States as mear pimples on the buttox of the Imperial DoC, well, that would tell you how the President considers you, just a pimple on a pimple, and not a meaningfull one at that.

What's the org-chart look like now? (1)

Shag (3737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38900593)

I work for one of the 5 bodies under Japan's National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS), which in turn is under the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). It doesn't look like any of the bodies being consolidated are under NINS, but topically, it seems like they'd fall under MEXT, so I'm curious how they're currently organized.

This should be done worldwide (1)

GerardAtJob (1245980) | more than 2 years ago | (#38901549)

This should be done worldwide, not just in Japan.

Science discoveries should be flagged as GNU stuff, free for all or every country who contribute to the common knowledge.

But that won't happen anytime soon...

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