Tag Archives: economy

Label Wars: Made in China, Japan, or America

American bikini Asian girl

Do you care where your clothes were made? It seems like virtually everything you buy at the store now has the “made in China” label on it, but that’s not stopping consumers or retailers from dealing with such products. American companies deal with tons of sweat-shop workers in China and elsewhere for cheap labour, and it seems there is no end in sight. Even Japanese people, who currently have probably the most negative views of Chinese people in the world, still consume goods from China. So what’s the deal?

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What are the Fattest Countries in the World? (America is NOT #1)

Fat AmericasIt’s time for Americans to jump for joy – and I’m sure they would if they were in any shape to do so – because they are no longer considered the fattest people in the world. What happened? A mix of diet, geography, and culture has given American’s neighbors the new distinction, though they are in a tight race for the top spot. No, not Canada. The new fattest country in the world is Mexico.

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Gender, Age, Socioeconomic, and Cultural Differences in Social Networking Site Usage

Anime high school girls in London-esque BG

Online social networks has become an interesting platform for research, and hundreds if not thousands of studies around the world are investigating how we interact with others online. This article looks into recent studies that analyzed data regarding differences in age, culture, gender, and socioeconomic status.

Gender Differences

Researchers from the Santa Fe Institute used a multiplayer game “Pardus” to analyze social networks. Online video games have become increasingly seen as a gold mine of data on social interactions in recent years, and, as it turns out, many of the same gender differences seen in the real world were observed in the social networks in Pardus.

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Japan Introduces New Environment Tax

The Japanese government has introduced an carbon tax on Monday, in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This tax comes on top of an already existing one for businesses paying for crude oil and coal imports. The government will raise the tax every two years until 2016.

Companies are likely to raise prices in order to cover higher fuel bills, which will obviously affect consumers. Gasoline and utility costs are expected to rise as well. The money gained will be used to boost clean energy and power-saving projects, but many people are arguing that this tax will have only a small effect.

Posted in Japan, Legal Issues | Tagged | 1 Comment

Top 20 Most Expensive Cities in the World

The cost of living in any given country gives one sense of what it may be like to live there. Obviously big cities tend to be the most expensive, which is why Japan’s three biggest cities rank within the top 10 among expensive countries for expatriates – they’re huge. And all of the little things – like food and transportation – add up. New rankings were released on the cost of living among 214 cities; so check below to find out if your city made the list.

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Land of the Falling Sun – Japan On its Way to Becoming an Insignificant Nation

It pains me to say this nation that I love so much is falling off the world stage as a major player; but it needs to be said. A few weeks ago, India overtook Japan as the world’s third-biggest economy in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP) – a calculation of the amount of money needed to purchase the same goods and services. And now, it looks like it won’t be long before Brazil overtakes Japan next. But this is not the only reason I think that Japan will lose its significance in decades to come. The fact of the matter is that the awful Japanese economy, along with the population falling off a cliff, means that we’re looking at a bleak future of Japan. In just a few decades, Japan will be dramatically downgraded unless there are some substantial changes.

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Is Getting Rid of Low-Value Currency Good for the Economy?

“Free your pennies from their prisons,” said Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty last week. This is his call to get Canadians’ coins from their piggybanks to the market place, where they can finally be retired. That is, the government’s federal budget for 2012 left the penny out of the equation, and the Royal Canadian Mint will no longer produce them. What kind of impact may this have on the economy, and is this a good thing for Canada ?

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2011 World Ranking of Most Gender-Equal, Corrupt, Generous and Prosperous Countries

BELLA-FIGURA-A-NERO-PAYMENT

With the end of 2011, it’s a good time to think about where the world is in terms of extremes. That includes the most populated, most gender-equal, most corrupt, most generous, and most prosperous countries in the world. I specifically wanted to compare Japan with other countries, which is why I make sure it is in each list, even when they are very far down it (e.g., gender equality). It seems that two parts of the world are particularly doing well, and the countries of those regions are to be lauded.

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Cute Pink Bunny Teaches Japan about the U.S. Economy

A website I have been frequenting recently, called the “Manga Newspaper” – which reports world news in manga (Japanese comic) form, not news about manga – has been making some nice articles recently. Unfortunately, it does not seem to have any English translations, so non-Japanese speakers are stuck with only the pictures for each story. I’ve decided to start translating articles sporadically, depending on stories that catch my eye, or for their unique Japanese-comic flair or local opinions. In this comic, they talk about the economic problems the lower class is facing in America. I bet you’ve never seen the economic collapse reported like this.

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Skeptikai Notices (Aug9) – Video games, news, hacking, Japan, science

Video Games:

Robots use Kinect to understand our world – Robots can’t view the world like we do, but technology is advancing, and soon they may be able to understand it enough to convince us that they can experience it similar to us. Researchers at Cornell University’s Robot Learning Lab have manipulated the Kinect system – created essentially for entertainment purposes for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 video game console – so that the robots could image their environments in “colored 3D pointclouds.” The accompanying video shows the world as they see it. The robots can locate objects, and robotics will probably be advancing exponentially, now that we have examples of robots learning skills through reinforcement – such as the robotic arm that learned to flip pancakes after 50 trials.

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