Blaming The Mobile Phone For Economic Troubles, Stupidity
from the seems-a-bit-much dept
Someone who prefers to be anonymous sent in this opinion piece, supposedly written by an economics professor at Kyoto University looking at the troubles in the Japanese economy over the last thirteen years and then, at the very end, blaming it all on mobile phones. The article looks at consumer electronics, the entertainment industry and the automobile industry, but then shifts gears to look at mobile phones, noting that even while mobile phone sales are “booming,” it’s done nothing to help the economy. Then, the professor points out that so much mobile phone use is leading to high bills which “dampen household spending” (assuming, of course, that “household spending” doesn’t include mobile phone bills). Then, even though he has already complained that entertainment revenues are down because there aren’t “sufficient” services to provide them, he complains that Japanese young people are “wasting hours each day” text messaging and playing online games. Finally, he concludes: “The cell phone is the cause of the business slowdown as well as the erosion in young people’s intelligence and scholastic abilities.” So, basically, it sounds like the thesis is that spending on mobile phone service is somehow “bad” because it takes away from other spending, which is somehow “good.” Seems a bit hard to back up.
Comments on “Blaming The Mobile Phone For Economic Troubles, Stupidity”
Not enough new jobs
I sent in the story by the way. 😉
The professor’s argument is full of flaws, though I can think of a legitimate point: cell phones and IT in general have raised productivity, but often at the cost of eliminating existing jobs. The few new industries that new technologies created (online services, games, etc.) have created jobs that number only in the thousands, and only for highly skilled workers. The information age has not created millions of jobs for average joes, the way the auto industry did. Although the scarcity of jobs should serve as an incentive for kids to study harder, cell phones and video games are instead providing more distractions for them to goof off. In the USA, parents point to hard-working immigrant students to tell their kids to study harder, but Japan is more isolated and complacent. Japanese universities have tried accepting more foreign students, but there have been sensationalized stories of crimes by foreigners, and it has not yet led to Japanese kids taking their studies more seriously.
Re: Not enough new jobs
“In the USA, parents point to hard-working immigrant students to tell their kids to study harder, but Japan is more isolated and complacent.”
Ironic. I grew up when the great fear in the US was competition from Japan, and hard-working Japanese immigrants were offered to us as examples of why our lazy, shiftless, high-school-aged asses were dooming the US to second-rate status. Now while Asian immigrant students are still used iconically in that manner, it seems the focus has shifted to hard-working Chinese and Koreans. I guess our culture is fortunate — as soon as the Japanese youth get as shiftless good for nothing as we are, we have lots of other Asian varieties to choose from. (Joke.)
Re: Re: Not enough new jobs
It is absolutely true. Almost all Asian math/science grad students in the USA today are either Chinese or Korean. The few Japanese grad students that do come here will go for stuff like business school or fashion design. I stay away from other Japanese because I don’t want their anti-intellectual influences. Their culture has unfortunately gone downhill.
>> Someone who prefers to be anonymous sent in
>> this opinion piece,
> by dorpus […] I sent in the story by the
> the professor points out that so much mobile
> phone use is leading to high bills
> which “dampen household spending” (assuming,
> of course, that “household spending” doesn’t
> include mobile phone bills).
Here’s a point of reference… Honda and Toyota are considering bundeling cell phone service with their cars due to the fact that the average cell phone bill is larger than the average and declining (in number) car payment.
> Japanese young people are “wasting hours each
> day” text messaging and playing online games.
Sounds like the prototypical “cranky old Japanese man not adjusting well to change” syndrome.
> In the USA, parents point to hard-working
> immigrant students to tell their kids to study
Huh? I always got told to study “like the Japanese do”. I think maybe the professor suffers from the similar cultural delusions that my parents did.
> but Japan is more isolated and complacent.
Isolated… Yes, maybe, but that’s going to change. Complacent? No, not really. The “problem”? China. Very cheep labor (which is what Japan used to be after the war) and a place where you can be one in a million person and still be one of thousands. India too!
> Japanese universities have tried accepting
> more foreign students,
Uh, no they haven’t… they’ve actually been busy kicking Chinese studens out… but that’s going to change in a *LARGE* way too.
> but there have been
> sensationalized stories of crimes by
> foreigners, and it has not yet led to Japanese
> kids taking their studies more seriously.
Uh, so, uh, gaijin crime is reponsible for Japanese students not studying hard? Somebody needs to take some sabatical time off… You know, if a professor made a statement like that in the USA, they’d be forced to take sabatical and might even lose their tenure.
You know, that entire “gaijin crime” thing is a bit of a cop-out by the Japanese press. Sell papers, but has very little to do with reality.
> The few Japanese grad students that do come
> here will go for stuff like business school
That’s because there are *FAR* better engeineering schools *IN* *JAPAN*. Duh.
> I stay away from other Japanese because I
> don’t want their anti-intellectual influences.
Huh? I’m not even going to bother explaining just idiotic that statement is.
> Their culture has unfortunately gone downhill.
You’re funny when you type. This *HAS* to be troll; no sane person would actually believe you.