Geography Archives: Japan

  • Before October: The Unbearable Romanticism of Western Marxism

    Most Western Marxists suffer from a deep resentment: they have never experienced a successful communist revolution.  For some unaccountable reason, all of those successful revolutions have happened in the ‘East’: Russia, Bulgaria, Romania, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland, China, Vietnam and so on.  And none of the few revolutions in the ‘West’, from Finland to Germany, […]

  • Sayonara Nukes Rally in Tokyo, Ustreamed

    さようなら原発5万人集会 Meiji Park, Shinjuku, Tokyo, 19 September 2011 Update: “さようなら原発 / Sayonara #Nukes Rally in #Tokyo: 60,000 in Meiji Park alone. Aerial shot: #Nuclear #Japan” — MRZine For more information about the Sayonara Nukes rally, visit <>.  Cf. 大江健三郎さんら、新政権に脱原発迫る〜19日には5万人集会, <>.   var idcomments_acct = ‘c90a61ed51fd7b64001f1361a7a71191’; var idcomments_post_id; var idcomments_post_url; | Print  

  • UN Troops in Haiti Accused of Sexual Assault

    The video is profoundly disturbing.  It shows four men, identified as Uruguayan troops from the UN mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), apparently raping an 18-year old Haitian youth.  Two of them have the victim pinned down on a mattress, with his hands twisted high up his back so that he cannot move.  Perhaps the most unnerving […]

  • What Does S&P’s Downgrade of Japan’s Debt Mean?

    The New York Times reported on S&P’s downgrade of Japanese government debt to the 4th highest level.  It explained the downgrade by noting Japan’s continued weak growth, political problems, and concerns about deflation.  These are factors that might concern the Japanese public when they vote for their leaders, but it is difficult to see what […]

  • Bounce in Core Energy Prices Lead to 0.5 Percent Rise in CPI

    The Consumer Price Index rose 0.5 percent in July, following a 0.2 percent fall in June.  Over the last three months, headline inflation has run at a 1.8 percent annualized rate, compared with 6.2 percent from January to April.  Consumer prices less food and energy rose 0.2 percent last month.  Since April, these core prices […]

  • Deficits, Debts, and Deepening Crisis

    Standard and Poor’s downgrades US debt, stock markets gyrate around the world, Sarkozy and Merkel perform yet another empty summit, the Chinese and Japanese economies look worrisome.  Serious commentators worry about global recession, another global banking collapse, eurozone dissolution, and austerity programs that only make matters worse.  Nouriel Roubini, famed Professor at NYU’s Stern School […]

  • A First Ever Default?  Closing the Gold Window, Forty Years On

    During the recent “Debt Ceiling” debacle, many warned that the failure to lift the debt ceiling would lead to a “first ever” US default and to numerous financial catastrophes, including the demise of the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency. “First Ever Default?”  Think again. Forty years ago this month, on August 15, 1971, […]

  • Looking Back for Insights into a New Paradigm

    It is becoming widely acknowledged that the leading ideas of some of the most prestigious late-20th-century economists (such as Alan Greenspan and Lawrence Summers in the American government) are outmoded and that a new paradigm of economics is needed.  Part I of this essay will focus on two issues which we think it has to […]

  • On the S&P Downgrade

    The decision by Standard & Poor’s to downgrade U.S. government debt reflects its own failings as a credit rating agency.  It says nothing about the creditworthiness of the U.S. government. The Treasury Department revealed that S&P’s decision was initially based on a $2 trillion error in accounting.  However, even after this enormous error was corrected, […]

  • Weak Consumption and Shrinking Government Slow GDP in Second Quarter

    Consumption grew at just a 0.1 percent annual rate in the second quarter, while government spending shrank at a 1.1 percent rate, holding GDP growth to 1.3 percent in the quarter.  This report also revised down first-quarter GDP growth to just 0.4 percent from a previously reported 1.9 percent.  Together, these numbers indicate that the […]

  • Jamaica Remains Buried Under a Mountain of Debt, Despite Restructuring

    As the eurozone authorities move closer to accepting the inevitable Greek debt default/restructuring, there are some who have pointed to the Jamaican debt restructuring of last year as a model.  It’s hard to imagine a worse disaster for Greece.  It is worth a closer look at what has been done to Jamaica, not only as […]

  • What Happened at Fukushima and Why It Can Happen Here

      “The primary cause is an extended loss of power at the power plant, as ironic as that might be.  When the earthquake occurred, the normal grid was lost, and the plant’s own in-plant power from the generators was also lost because of the result of the earthquake. . . .  The tsunami came in […]

  • Raising Prices to Curb Inflation

    The deputy chairman of the Planning Commission made an extraordinary statement the other day, namely that the oil-price increase, which everybody opposes for adding to inflation, was really an anti-inflationary measure; it would reduce inflation.  The deputy chairman’s is an exalted position; and the current incumbent is an economist of repute.  There is a danger […]

  • Let’s Join TEPCO!

      東電に入ろう(倒電に廃炉) Among you, gentlemen, here Anyone wants to join Tokyo Electric? Anyone wants to make a name for himself? TEPCO is looking for talent Let’s join TEPCO, TEPCO, TEPCO Join TEPCO, a heaven on earth All the men’s men are joining TEPCO Ready to die a hero’s death Anyone dying for thrills? Come join […]

  • You Can’t See It, and You Can’t Smell It Either 2011

      It’s safe!  It’s safe!  It’s safe!  It’s safe!  Nuclear!  It’s safe!  It’s safe!  It’s safe . . . until there’s a screw-up!  It’s safe!  It’s safe!  It’s safe!  It’s safe!  Nuclear!  It’s safe!  It’s safe!  It’s safe . . . until it’s not! 誰にも見えない、匂いもない 2011 Music and Lyrics by Rankin Taxi.  Performed by Rankin […]

  • Falling Energy Prices Push Overall Inflation Below Zero in June

    Weak growth in hourly wages leaves little optimism for economic recovery. The Consumer Price Index declined 0.2 percent in June — the first fall in the broad measure since a 0.2 percent drop in June of last year.  The headline rate of inflation has declined steadily since peaking in March, but the decline is driven […]

  • The Myths of Capitalism

    There is a pervasive view that growth under capitalism, though it may worsen poverty, even absolute poverty, to start with, eventually leads to a lowering of poverty.  The experience of the English Industrial Revolution is invoked in this context.  There has been a huge debate among economic historians about the impact of the Industrial Revolution […]

  • Severe Accident Management Guidelines for Nuclear Reactors

    The disaster at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant in Japan prompted some people to contend that since U.S. reactors have Severe Accident Management Guidelines (SAMGs) they are less susceptible to disaster. A recent NRC audit of SAMGs at the nation’s nuclear power plants, however, suggests otherwise.  One of the lessons from the 1979 Three Mile […]

  • A Resurgence of Nuclear Power Poses Significant Challenges

    Advocates of nuclear power are promoting a “nuclear renaissance” based on claims that a new generation of reactors will produce relatively cheap electricity while solving the threat posed by global climate change.  U.S. power producers have proposed building more than 30 new nuclear reactors — and some proponents have called for building as many as […]

  • On the Political Economics of Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s Political Death

    What follows below is about the economic and political significance of the arrest of Dominique Strauss-Kahn (DSK hereafter), the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund.  It will say nothing about the merits (or lack thereof) of the charges against DSK.  All cases of alleged sexual assault brought against high-profile men place two equally important […]