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sin

China is clearly doing great. Have you checked out their top ten new buildings;

http://www.trendhunter.com/trends/chinas-ten-amazing-buildings

Dragon

If this story is proven to be true, this guy is a marked man and so are his families. They are dead people walking. They will be dealt with the most severe, efficient, and "cheap" punishment.

OC

Groundhog day for EU and China - 19th Century replay...

Neuro Artist

I like your chart Elaine it pretty much tells it all. The US is going out further on the branch and gain weight while China is sitting by the stem with a saw.

The chinese method of dealing with greed is probably a tad bit more effective than ours, the only sword that is likely to get close to our neck for serving greed during a lifetime is the queens, while knighting the criminal....

aa2

I'm still not convinced that Japan's wages are falling. Maybe base pay, but some of the companies also pay based on profits. For example Honda workers had a bumper year at least outside of Japan, and I'm assuming in Japan. Same with Nissan, last time I looked at Nissan compensation figures in Japan 1/3rd of the pay was in profit sharing type of agreement. Then we also have to include the benefits. For example if your whole family belongs to a health club paid for by the company. What about education benefits for the kids, and spousal benefits.. company car, possibly company housing help for some.

Then if you are in deflation even staying the same in pay is really a pay increase. For example some real estate has fallen like 70% over the past 20 years there. If wages merely stayed level the worker has significantly more buying power. Actually all of the things that are inflation in America don't neccessarily apply in Japan or other nations.

For example the big 5 inflation in America.. Housing, medical costs, education costs, lawyer fees and one more cartel type service I can't remember off the top of my head.

For a Japanese, medical care is excellent government provided. Lawyers are just not a big part of their culture, only 5% as many per capita as America. Housing we know has been falling for 20 years, and that is 40% of many Americans budgets. Education I get the understanding is mainly paid for by the corporations and government. So the Japanese don't see that either.

So whats left? Food and drinks, transportation, internet, computers, television, clothing, electronics, furniture. At best together those are staying level, and honestly looking at the quality improvement falling.

aa2

Here is an example, from what I believe is Japan's strongest industry right now.

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nb20070315a1.html

"As for annual bonuses, Toyota will pay an average of 2.58 million yen, Nissan will give out about 2.13 million yen and Honda said its workers will get an average of 2.46 million yen."

Honda's 2.46 million yen average annual bonus is about $21,500 US.

Not Student

Hrm. Perhaps that's why Elaine keep using the term fake depression?

Neuro Artist

I wonder how much of that average is getting to the base of the pyramid? Further how many auto-workers are there in Japan?

aa2

Not Student.. Ya I like Elaine's writing, especially highlighting the importance of Japan and east asian producers.. I just disagree on that one point that Japan's domestic worker are hurting.

Neuro - Good question... one thing I noticed in studying the auto industry, which I have for some time read about the industry from a corporate stand point... is that for all the big Japanese and American players the baseline workers represent a falling percentage of the workforce. So if 2 in 3 of the workers are not baseline, the compensation of the baseline is only one factor when thinking about the contribution of those wages to national wealth. Yet most media on the job effects of the industry focus exclusively on the factory floor worker.

Having said that Japan's pay scale is much more flat then American, so I would bet the bonus is fairly equally spread.

Which is another point I agree with the articles on this site, national wealth is really based on having a vast middle class with lots of buying power.

Elaine Meinel Supkis

Japan is OUTSOURCING auto production from Japan. To keep labor silent, they pass out bonuses to a SHRINKING JAPANESE BASE. And they use the most robots in Japan.

Wages of the average worker in Japan have been falling. All the statistics make this very clear. Housing: RENTS go up while housing drops in value. This is true in any nation that ceases building houses for workers to buy. No new homes=higher rents.

Health care in Japan: HAHAHA. Right. I covered just last month the horror story of the pregnant woman who couldn't find a hospital and then hours later, the ambulance she was in was in a crash and she miscarried.

And she can't hire a lawyer! Talk about bad.

aa2

1. The world health organization ranks Japan's health care as 10th overall.

2. Japanese auto makers are both increasing production at home and expanding abroad. Its true they are probably at best holding factory floor workers in Japan at constant numbers. But at the same time they are expanding the number of engineers they have.

3. The median price for a home in Japan peaked in 1989 at 420,000$. And then it declined to 240,000$ in 2005. I think it is rising now. But at 2% interest rates, on a 30 year, 240,000$ mortgage, the monthly payment is 886.10$.

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