Toshio Masuda

Toshio Matsuda, Commentator & Intl Economist

Straight from the Shoulder No.582

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"Straight from the shoulder " by Toshio Masuda March 23, 2010
( Free of charge to the people I met)

The Health Care Reform Bill has been Enacted!

On March 21st, the US House of Representatives passed the Health Care Reform Bill by a narrow margin of 220 to 211 which was passed earlier by the Senate on Christmas Eve of last year. The issue had been an ongoing problem for ages which has finally been solved by the Obama administration. The new law will cover around 32 million Americans currently without health insurance since coverage has now become a right for citizens rather than a privilege.
I feel that America is finally leading the world and has entered the 21st century, the age of change, by passing the bill into law for the first time in 100 years. (For information concerning how changes in the 21 century will affect the markets, please refer to Vol. 10 of my booklet.)

Changes in the 21st Century

Lead mainly by capitalism, America is a society composed of both “winners” and “losers” with freedom and competition serving as its foundation.
Until today, there was absolutely no reason for the “winners” to help the 32 million uninsured “losers” in such a country that defines capitalism. The $940 billion health care reform cost will be covered by tax increases for individuals who receive yearly incomes of $200,000 or more and on investment returns such as dividends and capital gains. In order words, the “winners” are now 100% responsible for taking care of the “losers”.
During the 20th century, developed nations with a focus on America were wealthy and experienced rapid economic growth to the max through competition they were prepared to go to war for. Then, the economic growth stopped in these developing nations where it seemed like a family of five would eventually have a car for each person. What is necessary for societies that have experience rapid growth but have stopped growing? Do they need further competition or is the spirit of competition opposed to the distribution of human wealth? Although the American public chose these changes adopted by President Obama, both President Obama and the American public probably care themselves about these changes for equality, something which is not born as a result of competition.
Since the flow of history is now changing, we must about the factors that change the flow of the markets. As expected, the flow of the stock, bond, foreign exchange, and commodity markets will also change.
This is because important things are changing for mankind.
The Hatoyama cabinet has decided allocate five trillion yen towards free high school tuition and childcare expenses.
Under the current conditions of the Japanese economy where deflation continues since the country cannot break out of the recession, if that five trillion yen had been used for the expansion of domestic demand, business tax reductions, and other similar needs, it may have lead the economy towards prosperity through a rapid increase in competitive power.
The decision made by the Hatoyama cabinet concerning the use of those funds is clearly aimed at equality rather than competition. The problem is perhaps that like America, Japan has become a country that has reached its competitive peak due to easing regulations. Or more specifically, Japan, a country among developed nations with its middle class being the largest and universal health care, may be heading too far towards equality and probably needs to become a bit more competitive. In the next election, I would like to see debate occur concerning the direction that Japan must head towards.
At any rate, I would like to continue to report the outcome of the unfolding drama starring the developed nations entering the 21 century together with the advancing and underdeveloped nations striving to achieve the same success of those developed nations.

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