“Sex Sells And The Japanese Are Buying”: A Look At Japan’s Love Industry

Tokyo, and the entire country of Japan, which the documentary below describes as “a place where socially awkward people gather and use money to resolve their communication problems”, has a ticking demographic time-bomb: on one hand the population is getting so old that sales of adult diapers now exceed those for babies; on the other as the chart below courtesy of Mark Adomanis shows, the number of actual births each year has dropped to a record low.

The issue: young people in Japan just don’t want or have any interest, in commitment to the other sex, nor do they seem to have any interest in procreating in a narrow sense, or sex in a broad one (a topic further pursued in “Why have young people in Japan stopped having sex“). In short:

  • 50% of Japanese women 18-34 are single
  • More than 60% of Japanese men 18-34 are single

Whether it is the women’s fault, described as “so infatuated with their careers that work trumps a boyfriend or husband”, or men “a generation obsessed with virtual reality and so intimidated by real women that they prefer cyber girlfriends over real relationships” is unknown, and irrelevant.

There is another angle. As this documentary from Vice investigates, “sex sells and the Japanese are buying.” The reason: Japan has a “seemingly infinite menu of relationship replacement services.” And who really needs the hassle of a steady significant other when on one hand the gamma radiation levels keep creeping higher and higher by the day meaning the threat of a random mutant appendage emerging is no longer negligible, and on the other Abenomics is making everyone feel wealthier, even as everyone actual purchasing power implodes, leaving everyone but the 0.1% broke and starving.

Has Japanese society crossed the Rubicon into full devolution (and after watching the video below you will understand why), where cheap single-serving sexual thrills and intimacy replacement have overtaken the household unit as the hub of society?

The reality is that unless something drastically changes between the demographic singularity the country is rapidly headed toward, the Fukushima disaster which hits new spilled radioactivity records on a daily basis, and the emotional detachment that the locals (don’t) feel toward each other, in a few years none of this will matter.

Worst of all: Japan is merely the test tube baby, pardon the pun, for the rest of the insolvent “developed” world. What happens in Japan, is coming to a broke centrally-planned country near you.

For all this and much more (those who want to skip the autistic Japanese parts and go straight to the Yakuza meeting, proceed to 9 minutes into the clip) watch the Vice clip below.


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/zqwbjPrguyo/story01.htm Tyler Durden

"Sex Sells And The Japanese Are Buying": A Look At Japan's Love Industry

Tokyo, and the entire country of Japan, which the documentary below describes as “a place where socially awkward people gather and use money to resolve their communication problems”, has a ticking demographic time-bomb: on one hand the population is getting so old that sales of adult diapers now exceed those for babies; on the other as the chart below courtesy of Mark Adomanis shows, the number of actual births each year has dropped to a record low.

The issue: young people in Japan just don’t want or have any interest, in commitment to the other sex, nor do they seem to have any interest in procreating in a narrow sense, or sex in a broad one (a topic further pursued in “Why have young people in Japan stopped having sex“). In short:

  • 50% of Japanese women 18-34 are single
  • More than 60% of Japanese men 18-34 are single

Whether it is the women’s fault, described as “so infatuated with their careers that work trumps a boyfriend or husband”, or men “a generation obsessed with virtual reality and so intimidated by real women that they prefer cyber girlfriends over real relationships” is unknown, and irrelevant.

There is another angle. As this documentary from Vice investigates, “sex sells and the Japanese are buying.” The reason: Japan has a “seemingly infinite menu of relationship replacement services.” And who really needs the hassle of a steady significant other when on one hand the gamma radiation levels keep creeping higher and higher by the day meaning the threat of a random mutant appendage emerging is no longer negligible, and on the other Abenomics is making everyone feel wealthier, even as everyone actual purchasing power implodes, leaving everyone but the 0.1% broke and starving.

Has Japanese society crossed the Rubicon into full devolution (and after watching the video below you will understand why), where cheap single-serving sexual thrills and intimacy replacement have overtaken the household unit as the hub of society?

The reality is that unless something drastically changes between the demographic singularity the country is rapidly headed toward, the Fukushima disaster which hits new spilled radioactivity records on a daily basis, and the emotional detachment that the locals (don’t) feel toward each other, in a few years none of this will matter.

Worst of all: Japan is merely the test tube baby, pardon the pun, for the rest of the insolvent “developed” world. What happens in Japan, is coming to a broke centrally-planned country near you.

For all this and much more (those who want to skip the autistic Japanese parts and go straight to the Yakuza meeting, proceed to 9 minutes into the clip) watch the Vice clip below.


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/zqwbjPrguyo/story01.htm Tyler Durden

Ron Paul Rages On the Debt Ceiling Deal: DC Wins, America Loses

Authored by Ron Paul via The Free Foundation,

Washington, DC, Wall Street, and central bankers around the world rejoiced this week as Congress came to an agreement to end the government shutdown and lift the debt ceiling. The latest spending-and-debt deal was negotiated by Congressional leaders behind closed doors, and was rushed through Congress before most members had time to read it. Now that the bill is passed, we can see that it is a victory for the political class and special interests, but a defeat for the American people.

The debt ceiling deal increases spending above the levels set by the “sequester.” The sequester cuts were minuscule, and in many cases used the old DC trick of calling reductions in planned spending increases a cut. But even minuscule and phony cuts are unacceptable to the bipartisan welfare-warfare spending collation. The bill also does nothing to protect the American people from the Obamacare disaster.

As is common in bills drafted in secret and rushed into law, this bill contains special deals for certain powerful politicians. The bill even has a provision authorizing continued military aid to opponents of the Ugandan “Lord’s Resistance Army,” which was the subject of the widely-viewed “Kony 2012” YouTube videos. Most of these unrelated provisions did not come to public attention until after the bill was passed and signed into law.

Members of Congress and the public were told the debt ceiling increase was necessary to prevent a government default and an economic crisis. This manufactured fear supposedly justified voting on legislation without allowing members time to even read it, much less to remove the special deals or even debate the wisdom of intervening in overseas military conflicts because of a YouTube video.

Congress should have ignored the hysterics. A failure to increase government’s borrowing authority would not lead to a default any more that an individual's failure to get a credit card limit increase in would mean they would have to declare bankruptcy. Instead, the failure of either an individual or a government to obtain new borrowing authority would force the individual or the government to live within their means, and may even force them to finally reduce their spending. Most people would say it is irresponsible to give a spendthrift, debit-ridden individual a credit increase. Why then is it responsible to give an irresponsible spendthrift government an increase in borrowing authority?

Congress surrendered more power to the president in this bill. Instead of setting a new debt ceiling, it simply “suspended” the debt ceiling until February. This gives the administration a blank check to run up as much debt as it pleases from now until February 7th. Congress can “disapprove” the debt ceiling suspension, but only if it passes a resolution of disapproval by a two-thirds majority. How long before Congress totally abdicates its constitutional authority over spending by allowing the Treasury permanent and unlimited authority to borrow money without seeking Congressional approval?

Instead of seriously addressing the spending crisis, most in Congress would rather engage in last-minute brinksmanship and backroom deals instead of taking the necessary action to reign in spending. Congress will only take serious steps to reduce spending when either a critical mass of Americans pressures it to cut spending, or when investors and foreign countries stop buying US government debt. Hopefully, those of us who understand sound economics can convince enough of our fellow citizens to pressure Congress to make serious spending cuts before Congress’s reckless actions cause a total economic collapse.


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/w5ptrf3uaus/story01.htm Tyler Durden

Why Bill Ackman May Not Want To Short Stocks In China

After writing more than a dozen articles criticizing the finance of a major state-owned construction equipment-maker, journalist Chen Yongzhou was arrested (accused of defamation). Though not a 300 page PowerPoint presentation, Chen’s arrest, which coincides with new curbs on journalists, lawyers and internet users in China, throws into question the role of whistleblowers even as the country’s leadership moves to eradicate graft. Of course, as Reuters reports, no police comment was made but the company added, “we did it to safeguard the legitimate rights of the company,” after Chen (ironically) reported that Changsha-based Zoomlion Heavy Industry Science and Technology Co. Ltd. engaged in sales fraud, exaggerated its profits and used public relations to defame its competitors, accusations strongly denied by the company. Media experts said the commentary was unusual but not highly controversial, though it definitely makes one wonder how soon “negativity” will be clamped down in the US.

 

Via Reuters,

A Chinese newspaper pleaded with police on Wednesday to release an investigative reporter accused of defamation in an unusual public rebuke amid a wider government crackdown on freedom of expression.

 

 

Chen was detained after writing more than a dozen stories criticizing the finances of a major state-owned construction equipment maker.

 

Chen’s arrest, which coincides with new curbs on journalists, lawyers and internet users in China, throws into question the role of whistleblowers as the country’s leadership moves to eradicate graft.

 

“When the government is cracking down on freedom of expression and arresting journalists … it seems to cast serious doubt on how serious this anti-corruption drive is,” said Maya Wang of Human Rights Watch.

 

Chen reported that Changsha-based Zoomlion Heavy Industry Science and Technology Co. Ltd. engaged in sales fraud, exaggerated its profits and used public relations to defame its competitors, accusations strongly denied by the company.

 

 

“The reason we did it was to safeguard the legitimate rights of the company,” Zoomlion vice president Sun Changjun told Reuters, declining further comment.

 

 

“Even though Zoomlion is very strong and pays a lot of taxes in Changsha, we are still of the same class,” the commentary said. “Uncle police, big brother Zoomlion, we beg you, please let Chen Yongzhou go.”

 

 

In a July statement on the Hong Kong stock exchange, Zoomlion said it had been under an “all-round malicious attack by its competitor” since the fourth quarter of 2012. It insisted there was nothing wrong with its books.

 

Analysts said the decision to detain a journalist, though not uncommon, is not made lightly.

 

Zoomlion is a company that must have a strong and close relationship with authorities in Hunan,” said Jin Zhong, publisher of Hong Kong-based Open Magazine.

 

The fierce competition between Sany and Zoomlion amid a slowdown in the construction equipment market has sometimes turned ugly, with each company saying the other engaged in corporate spying.

 


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/Fm1Z13-SHDg/story01.htm Tyler Durden

Alan Greenspan’s Greatest Bloopers, Part 1: “The Stock Market Stimulates The Economy”

Back on August 1, 2010, Alan Greenspan – who is once again making the media rounds in a desperate attempt to peddle his ridiculous book about forecasting (in which he explains it wasn’t the Fed’s models that were wrong; it was reality, and all those who inhabit it, that had a glitch) and is arguably the man who created the single biggest credit expansion in the Pre-New Normal era who no longer has access to the money printer so needs to sell books, and soon enough he may devolve to pitching newsletters – issued one of his most memorable post-Lehman bloopers. To wit: “if the stock market continues higher it will do more to stimulate the economy than any other measure we have discussed here.” We decided to investigate his claim…

First, since August 1, 2010, the stock market has risen a mind-boggling 74%, or 18.2% annualized: a return that has outperformed roughly 95% of all actively managed hedge and mutual funds, implying his successor, Ben Bernanke, is easily one of the best portfolio managers of all time. Except for Bernie Madoff of course.

So, if non-Superman Greenspan was right at least this one time (because he never was prior to this, as he refused to apologize ealier) the economy should have performed comparable right? Wrong.

Here is a simple comparison between the most recently preceding period in 2010 and currently:

Then:

  • Annualized GDP was 3.9% and 2.8% in Q2 and Q3, 2010

Now:

  • Annualized GDP is 1.1% and 2.5% in Q1 and Q2, 2013

* * *

Then:

  • Americans on foodstamps: 41.8 million

Now:

  • Americans on foodstamps: 47.6 million

* * *

Then:

  • People not in labor force: 84 million

Now:

  • People not in labor force: 90.6 million

* * *

But, it’s not all bad news:

Then:

  • Household net worth: $60.8 trillion

Now:

  • Household net worth: $74.8 trillion

* * *

And there you have it: despite the 70%+ increase in the stock market, the US economy is no growing at roughly half the pace it was back then, the middle class has seen 6 million people migrate away from the labor force, and into foodstamps…  but at least household net worth has increased by $14 trillion.

So much for Alan Greenspan blooper #1: perhaps it is time for a minor revision: “if the stock market continues higher it will do more to stimulate the “wealth effect” of the 1% while stealing from everyone else than any other measure we have discussed here.”

Which incidentally explains the Fed’s policy for the past 5 years. Only it doesn’t sound quite as palatable for Sunday morning TV if the former Fed chairman were to tell the truth that all it does now is to make the super wealthy super wealthier.

Oh, and don’t expect anything to change. When in another three years the S&P is 70% higher than where it is now, driven purely by the Fed’s balance sheet, and there is no US middle class left to even mention, well – we have these brilliant economists who have never held any real job outside of their academic ivory towers to thank. Of course, by then it will be too late to change the inevitable outcome, so well-rehearsed in a rather angry late 18th century France, but it is too late now anyway.


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/w3SBygHas4E/story01.htm Tyler Durden

Alan Greenspan's Greatest Bloopers, Part 1: "The Stock Market Stimulates The Economy"

Back on August 1, 2010, Alan Greenspan – who is once again making the media rounds in a desperate attempt to peddle his ridiculous book about forecasting (in which he explains it wasn’t the Fed’s models that were wrong; it was reality, and all those who inhabit it, that had a glitch) and is arguably the man who created the single biggest credit expansion in the Pre-New Normal era who no longer has access to the money printer so needs to sell books, and soon enough he may devolve to pitching newsletters – issued one of his most memorable post-Lehman bloopers. To wit: “if the stock market continues higher it will do more to stimulate the economy than any other measure we have discussed here.” We decided to investigate his claim…

First, since August 1, 2010, the stock market has risen a mind-boggling 74%, or 18.2% annualized: a return that has outperformed roughly 95% of all actively managed hedge and mutual funds, implying his successor, Ben Bernanke, is easily one of the best portfolio managers of all time. Except for Bernie Madoff of course.

So, if non-Superman Greenspan was right at least this one time (because he never was prior to this, as he refused to apologize ealier) the economy should have performed comparable right? Wrong.

Here is a simple comparison between the most recently preceding period in 2010 and currently:

Then:

  • Annualized GDP was 3.9% and 2.8% in Q2 and Q3, 2010

Now:

  • Annualized GDP is 1.1% and 2.5% in Q1 and Q2, 2013

* * *

Then:

  • Americans on foodstamps: 41.8 million

Now:

  • Americans on foodstamps: 47.6 million

* * *

Then:

  • People not in labor force: 84 million

Now:

  • People not in labor force: 90.6 million

* * *

But, it’s not all bad news:

Then:

  • Household net worth: $60.8 trillion

Now:

  • Household net worth: $74.8 trillion

* * *

And there you have it: despite the 70%+ increase in the stock market, the US economy is no growing at roughly half the pace it was back then, the middle class has seen 6 million people migrate away from the labor force, and into foodstamps…  but at least household net worth has increased by $14 trillion.

So much for Alan Greenspan blooper #1: perhaps it is time for a minor revision: “if the stock market continues higher it will do more to stimulate the “wealth effect” of the 1% while stealing from everyone else than any other measure we have discussed here.”

Which incidentally explains the Fed’s policy for the past 5 years. Only it doesn’t sound quite as palatable for Sunday morning TV if the former Fed chairman were to tell the truth that all it does now is to make the super wealthy super wealthier.

Oh, and don’t expect anything to change. When in another three years the S&P is 70% higher than where it is now, driven purely by the Fed’s balance sheet, and there is no US middle class left to even mention, well – we have these brilliant economists who have never held any real job outside of their academic ivory towers to thank. Of course, by then it will be too late to change the inevitable outcome, so well-rehearsed in a rather angry late 18th century France, but it is too late now anyway.


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/w3SBygHas4E/story01.htm Tyler Durden

Fayette County arrest reports — Oct. 1–14

The following arrests were reported by local law enforcement agencies for the time period noted. All persons are considered innocent until proven guilty:

Tuesday, Oct. 1 – Monday, Oct. 14

Fayette County Sheriff’s Office

Michael L. Barnes, born in 1961, of Ga. Highway 81, McDonough, for entering auto.

Kathern L. Cox, born in 1986, of Bridge Road, Douglasville, for revoked or suspended license.

Amber N. Dill, born in 1991, of Garden Lake Drive, Riverdale, for no driver’s license.

read more

via The Citizen http://www.thecitizen.com/articles/10-23-2013/fayette-county-arrest-reports-%E2%80%94-oct-1%E2%80%9314

Why I Will Never, Ever, Go Back To The United States

Submitted by Michael Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

I have been cursed at a Chinese border. In Dubai, my passport was studied by three veiled women for over an hour and my suitcase completely dismembered. In the Philippines I had to bribe someone in order to get my visa extended for a few days. Borders, they can be tough, especially in countries known for corruption.

 

But never, ever, will I return to the United States of America.

 

– Excerpt from a must read article by Niels Gerson Lohman

Recently, one of my best friends from college had a horrific experience at the Canadian border. He told me he would write about his experience and allow me to post it on this site, so I hope to have that up in the near future. In the meantime, please take the time to read the story of Niels Gerson Lohman, a Dutch writer, designer and musician who had such a horrific experience at the border he has vowed to never return to these United States. This is an utter embarrassment and reminds me a lot of one of the more popular posts ever on this site:  Why I’m Leaving America by Michael Fielding.

From the Huffington Post:

After a year of traveling, I had planned a last, short trip. I was going to take the train from Montreal to New Orleans. The travels I had been undertaking earlier this year had brought me to places that were meant to form the background of my second novel.

 

This trip, however, was for my dad. He, a trumpet player, loved New Orleans and had died a year ago. It felt like the first sensible trip I undertook this year. I had been searching for ways to forget about the last hours at his deathbed. He had been ill for 15 years and his body just would not give up. It was a violent sight. I had decided the trip to New Orleans would put an end to those memories.

 

The customs officer walked by and asked everybody on the train a few questions. Where they were from, where they were heading. The usual stuff. Everybody who was not a U.S. or Canadian citizen was to head for the dining car to fill in an additional green form.

 

I had not finished my novel yet, but my passport was complete. It was filled with pretty stamps. He did not like the stamps.

 

First, he saw my Sri Lankan stamp. The customs officer raised his eyebrows.

 

“Sri Lanka, what were you doing over there?”

 

“Surfing. Traveling. My best friend lives there. He is an architect.”

 

The officer flipped on, seemingly satisfied. Secondly, he found my stamps from Singapore and Malaysia.

 

“What were you doing over there? Singapore and Malaysia? Aren’t those countries Islamic?”

 

Looking over my shoulder, his eyes searched for his colleague’s confirmation.

 

“Malaysia, I think so, yeah. But not Singapore. It’s a melting pot. A very futuristic city. Airconditioned to the ceiling. To Singapore I went mostly for the food, to be honest.”

 

“Sure.”

 

“I’m sorry?”

 

“Nothing. And how about Malaysia?”

 

I explained flights departing from Malaysia were cheaper compared to Singapore. That I only went there for a few days, but also, a little bit, for the food. The customs officer went through some more pages. Then he found my Yemeni visa. He put my passport down and stared at me.

 

“What the hell were you doing in Yemen?”

 

“I went to the island Socotra, it’s not on mainland Yemen. It’s a small island closer to Somalia. A very special place, some call it ‘Galapagos of the Middle East.’ I think 85 percent of the plants and animals there, are indigenous.”

 

In the five hours that followed, I was questioned twice more. During the first round I told, amongst others, my life’s story, about my second novel’s plot, gave my publisher’s name, my bank’s name and my real estate agent’s name. Together we went through all the photos on my laptop and messages my phones had been receiving for the past months. They wrote down the names of everybody I had been in touch with. In my pirated software and movies they showed no interest.

 

“So… what’s the verdict?”

 

“We are under the impression you have more ties with more countries we are not on friendly terms with than your own. We decided to bring you back to the Canadian border.”

 

They brought me back. In the car, no words were said. It was no use. I was defeated. To the Canadian border they said:

“We got another one. This one is from the Netherlands.”

Yep, you got him alright cowboy. Thanks for embarrassing an entire nation.

The Canadian officer looked at me with pity. She asked if there was anything I needed. I said I could use some coffee and a cigarette. She took my passport to a back room and returned within five minutes, carrying an apologetic smile, a freshly stamped passport, coffee, a cigarette, and a ticket to the next bus back to Montreal.

This ladies and gentlemen, is what we have become.

Full article here.


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/b8BP7lMGq88/story01.htm Tyler Durden

F’ville TAD delayed, will be readvertised

The Fayetteville Tax Allocation District (TAD) redevelopment plan designed to stimulate economic development in some of the city’s older commercial areas was back on the Oct. 17 agenda after being tabled earlier this month. But the resolution to move ahead with the plan had not been advertised correctly so the resolution was put on hold for the second time.

read more

via The Citizen http://www.thecitizen.com/articles/10-23-2013/f%E2%80%99ville-tad-delayed-will-be-readvertised

Fayette Commission replies with stormwater answers

In an effort to promote passage of the Core Infrastructure Special Local Option Sales Tax in advance of early voting, the Fayette County Commission has released a list of questions and answers about the proposed tax. The questions and answers have been posted on the county’s website at www.fayettecountyga.gov.

The two-year tax, which would fund $16.8 million in stormwater projects in the unincorporated county, would also provide $14 million in road and cart path maintenance for Peachtree City and $6.7 million for a variety of projects in Fayetteville.

read more

via The Citizen http://www.thecitizen.com/articles/10-23-2013/fayette-commission-replies-stormwater-answers