Social Welfare and Entrepreneurship

Have a look at what is going on in US large cities and some large deficit countries in the EU.   Large crowd are marching and denouncing the high salaries and incentives of fat cats around Wall Street that are partly the bailout based on their levied taxes despite their lack or decreased financial securities or protesting the social welfare cutting imposed by central governments.   In developed economies, there exists conflicting states, the necessity to cut government spending and demand to increase the budget of social welfare.  But the stagnated economies in developed nations never allow to increase the budgets of central governments.  Developed economies also have difficulty to rely on large sized manufactures or retailors, which used to hire a large number of people, to employ more people who will consume a lot and pay taxes a lot after their hiring.

Now, entrepreneurs are expected to start new businesses anywhre in developed nations.  The tendency of their intentions and actions is supposed to keep their business small but wealthy.   In other words, they are not likely to hire a large amount of people.  Neverthless they have extremely important roles because they create businesses, may commence a remarkable projects or invent epoch making products/services, and additionally purchase/ consume products/services/ goods and pay taxes fully.  So, the number of new and small businesses must be increased for sustaining the needs of society.  They should be encouraged to start more businesses and earn a lot.  The government in those nations must consider what tax system is effective to encourage them, how to prepare infrastructure to keep their operations performed smoothly, why current regulations are necessary/ unnecessary and so forth.

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Would the Big Society in the Britain become the great mechanism of the society?

Challenge to mitigate the large budget deficit of UK government has continued.  The UK’s choice of method must be the most radical in the struggling group of nations  including USA, Greece, Iceland, Spain, Ireland and Japan.
The British prime minister, David Cameron insists that there be the great benefits of the Big Society launched in accordance with the manifesto of the Britain’s Conservative Party.  But a number of people disagree to the idea or argue that the idea is wishful thinking and only coverage for public-sector cuts.  It must be appropriate that the current UK central government cut its deficit radically to revitalize its economy and secure the future budget.  The massive cuts should be made despite fierce controversy, to secure the economy of the nation.   I also believe that it be efficient enough if the enormous cuts are interrelated with the idea, the Big Society.   It would be successful, balancing the negative side and the positive.

However, it would not be the reason the idea is wrong.  We should disconnect the harsh cuts from the Big Society to estimate the true quality of the idea.

Then we should understand what is the Big Society.  The definition is listed below:

The Big Society includes a new idea, that is, giving communities more powers (localism and devolution)
  1. Encourage people to take an active role in their communities (volunteerism)
  2. Transfer power from central to local governments
  3. Support co-ops, mutual, charities and social enterprises
  4. Publish government data (open/transparent governments)

In general, what functions a government possess?  Those may include enforcing existing laws, legislating of new ones, arbitrating conflicts via their monopoly on violence, distributing the central budget, controlling currency and military power.  Nowadays leaders could influence societies effectively via media using writing, speech and discussion.  However, the direct functions are the former, not the indirect latter.

Taking the above functions of government into consideration, let us look at each component of the idea from 1 to 5.

  1. Legislation
  2. Enforcement of law and regulation using the government power
  3. Aids for society based on the budget of the central government
  4. Control of the national economy in accordance with the functions of government spending and financial policies
  5. Defence

1. and 2. may not need a lot of money.  The volume of 4. depends on the state of economy and the possible effectiveness of using them.  The cut of 5. could be done to an acceptable level.  The mitigation of 3. should be the focus of the Big Society since 3. needs tones of public money and is only the function out of these 5 functions of central government that non-governmental bodies and individuals can do.

The Big Society should be a splendid idea, the privatization of some of the central government’s social service or welfare.  It is too early to estimate the result of the idea.  But if it becomes successful, other struggling nations in massive deficit problems should introduce the similar tactics.

Cameron's radical idea
Cameron’s thinking deeply or getting away with the matter of painful cost cutting?

The slogan of the concept

The pictures are from the Independent Newspaper, and Middlesex University website/

Austerity – East Japan Disaster

Japanese people have a tradition of personal austerity for centuries. There is an old Japanese proverb, “Even though a bushi (means a Samurai, or Japanese warrior in the past wartime or peacetime) cannot eat enough, he looks at the sky with a bitten toothpick (means pretends to be full or satisfied)”.  This means that a samurai must endure his poverty and should accept that is a desirable state and proud of  it.  Nowadays, a bushi or samurai is synonymous with a Japanese man who has a traditional virtue of Japan.

The explanation of Japan’s traditional virtue, personal austerity, may be odd, when it comes to the largest deficit of Japanese central government in the world if a percentage of GDP is the criterion.  In fact, Japanese people in general changed their traditional attitude a lot and became a bigger spender in and after the era of Bubble Economy in the late 1980s, and the Japanese central government did so even worse. 

Now Japanese people are facing up to the catastrophe, East Japan Disaster.  To deal with the possible shortage of electric power, Japanese people are now voluntarily trying to reduce the spending of electricity as less as they can.  Suddenly it seems to be the national norm and they have quit or postponed many business or entertainment events especially a big one if they are not necessary to do in an emergency. 

I think it is not wise if we choose a desirable attitude as being austere or extravagant.  The former extreme attitude would worsen the whole economy, whereas the latter extreme would waste the resources too much.  It needs a balance.  However there is a tend in the world as a burst of demography, desertification and disappearing forests.  The virtue of austerity could be an expected global notion in the 21st century.

Catastorphe in Japan

A catastrophic disaster occurred at the nothern- east area of Japan on the 11th May 2011.  It may be amazing Japanese people are calmly and harmoniously do their businesses as a responsible citizen at crisis.  No news of looting, robbery or rape even in the devastated areas.  Evacuated people near the directly attacked areas are orderly accommodated at public buildings, peacefully living together and compassionately helping other people who has been searching for their separated family members.   Of course it has not been perfectly organized, but it shows excellent cooperation.  People in metropolitan area are trying to consum electricity less as possilbe as they can, to maintain the infrustructures of the whole society, and many organisations acress Japan are collecting donation for the damaged area. 

Currently the Japanese central government also acts positively and carefully to mitigate the extra disaster, help evacuated people well and command the multiple organisations to work effectiveley, in contrast to the poor planning, implementation, performance and publicity of the Japanese central government so far.  

Another important thing is this occasion is many initiatives of aids from more than 35 foreign countries and international institutions even at the next day of the disaster day.  Japanese people appreciate these initiatives very very much.

I hope the world in the 21st Century become more compassionate and a better place than the 20th when disastrous wars had happened a lot.

Lybian Massacare

There is no mercy on the people who simply demanding their rights and change and accountability of the regime in Lybia.  Allegedly, the regime has fired on the lybian citizens.  That should be the most shameless event in these days.  How can they drop a bomb on their brothers and sisters?

I think that the series of so called Jasmine Revolution or Facebook Revolution would also encourage the citizens of Asia who want change the dictatorial oppression into more democratic mechanism.  China, Myanmar and even North Korea should be the candidates of the group.   

I hope things change peacefully.  But it may be just wishful thinking.   However, at least it must be true that we face a great challenge how to improve the following situation.  Because finding and building a new system or mechanism would be far more difficult than destroying old one.

Social business future and the quotes of A. Carnegie

Social contribution is not an easy task, but sometimes complex project or life work.  Social works need or enhance the supporting people’s motivation, hope, desire to be better and self-management, while they earn money to maintain their organisations, control the resources and do everything necessary to maintain and improve the social businesses.  The important thing is not just to give money to a poor or suffered person but give him/her chance to win or be successful, knowledge and skills to survive, work lively or live better, or courage to refuse coercion or threats.   

“Those who would administer wisely must, indeed, be wise, for one of the serious obstacles to the improvement of our race is indiscriminate charity,” Andrew Carnegie said. “It was from my own early experience that I decided there was no use to which money could be applied so productive of good to boys and girls who have good within them and ability and ambition to develop it.”

A wise social entrepreneur will not waste his/her own or other people’s investments or charitable donation, unlike traditional charity workers who have a good will but few skills to maintain and improve the charity works.  There must be the reason why a social entrepreneur is expected to dominate in the world of social contribution.

Freedom Writers

Freedom Writers.  This is a great film to be highly recommended to everybody especially who is interested in the remedy of  juvenile delinquency and their misbehaviour, and of course to every social entrepreneur and supporter, too.  The masterpiece, Freedom Writers,  indicates  the principle of human education.   It is very worth to watch.  I believe if we can give youngsters a perfect education, even if which may be nearly impossible, we can solve most problems human being have made.

Youth Unemployment

Youth unemployment is one of the largest problems over the world, shown below.  The trend is obviously illustrated that mature economies have higher proportions of youth unemployment than adult’s.  Such untrained groups of youth would affect badly to the  future wealth and growths of these countries, where most of them are suffering decreasing population and expressing aging trends on demography.   While there needs governmental remedies for giving them training and opportunities to work, we should do anything worth  tackle the problem.

Youth umemployment in comparison with adult

refer from: Dec 16th 2010, 13:11 by The Economist online

Innocent Voices

Lately, I watched the movie, “Innocent Voices”,  I wrote down on the last posting.   It was a deeply moved masterpiece.   It should be better to click here (http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi3853386009/) than I explain the story of it here.  But the contrast between the beautiful minds of  ordinary people and evil hearts of leaders of the government has a considerable gap.  We should rethink what is good for children, means what should do we for our descendents of this planet.   Anyway, I recommend this film highly to anyone who are interested in this blog.

Latest good talk event

I visited a talk event in Tokyo on 26th November.  The theme was “Children who have been suffered by wars”.  Two young ladies,  Sahel Rosa and Kanae Doi, talked about it.  Sahel was an Iranian but had been raised in Japan by an Iranian surrogate mother.  Her family had been killed by bomb during Iran- Iraq War in 1980’s and became the only survived family member at 4 years old, and had had hard times since then.  But she has got a little success and is now a TV reporter, programme assistant and actress in Japan.  The other was a Japanese lawyer, Ms. Doi, who was also the leader of Japanese Office of Human Rights Watch, had supported many oppressed people.

 The talks had progressed, remarking Sahel’s severe life story and illustlating of Human Rights Watch’s activities focusing upon child soldiers by Ms. Doi.  I was impressed by their talks as well as my wife and probably as most audience visited.  Perticularly I was surprised by the truth that around from 200 to 300 thousands of children over the world have become soldiers and been imposed an extremely sever childhood.  A film, Innocent Voices (http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi3853386009/) was recommended to watch.

I believe we should know more truth about the dark side over the world based on the remarks of those who experienced their sever life like Sahel or directly dealt with them like Ms. Doi.  And we should understand them well and then can make the change for the better.