7-6-13 Hodgepodge

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Internet Cafés vs. Homelessness?

In Japan, some workers affected by the depression are living in Internet cafes.

At a discounted monthly rate of about 1,920 yen ($21) a day, the 24-hour cafes offer private rooms with computers, reclining chairs, and an endless supply of coffee and soft drinks. Shared bathrooms and laundry service are also included.
Government estimates in 2007 put the number of people staying in Internet cafes on any given night at nearly 61,000, and long-term at 5,400. A Japanese documentarian is reporting on the phenomenon in order to, "reveal a glimpse into the lives of the people being affected by the global economic downturn".

Weekend Reading

"This research asks you to uncritically accept and to take for granted that the physical makeup of the brain determines your emotions." -- Michael Hurd, in "Programming the Brain" at The Delaware Wave

"Thousands of books and interviews based on the opinions of supposed 'experts' insist that countless years must be spent analyzing the past - but nobody has ever explained why!" -- Michael Hurd, in "Get Past the Past!" at The Delaware Coast Press

"On the issue of racial quotas, a precursor of affirmative action, Rand had choice words[.]" -- Tom Bowden (introducing a republished essay by Ayn Rand), in "How Would Ayn Rand Have Commented On Last Week's Supreme Court Race Ruling?" at Forbes

My Two Cents

I am glad to see that Ayn Rand's essay on racism is appearing in print again. Neither the left nor the right had the right stand on the issue when she wrote about it back in the 1960s and nether has the right stand now. As she puts it in her essay, "[T]he smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights, cannot claim to be defenders of minorities." There is no place in the laws of a civilized country for laws based on racial heritage.

Google is as Google Does

Headhunter Nick Corcodilos comments on Google's recent admission that its "brain teaser" interview questions were bunk:
Google's admission is no surprise. Managers who interviewed using goofy questions like, "How many barbers are there in Chicago?" were basically saying, "Search me!" about who was worth hiring. Trouble is, they're still saying, "Search me!" when they use canned personnel jockey questions to figure out who can do the work.
It amazes me (though it shouldn't) in how many fields I see the same phenomenon as we see here: The conventional wisdom is idiotic, but so are many alleged departures from it. Corcodilos is right to point out that everyone here is missing the big picture by failing to connect their actions with their goals.



Vigilis said...

Internet Cafés vs. Homelessness?

Until about 1989, "nonregular" employees comprised less than 25% of Japan's work force, including part-timers, subcontractors, temps and others outside the lifetime employment system.

By 2009, 35% of Japan's 55.3 million workers were nonregular employees, according to the Internal Affairs Ministry.

For most full-time employees in Japan unemployment benefits have been compulsory and based on non-bonus income (about 80% of gross income in Japan). For the average salary worker $32,000) the benefit is 67% of last salary payable for 90 - 150 days. The benefit can jump to 330 days if the worker’s industry is in recession, or much longer for older workers.

Why do I bring this up? At the $2,000/mo average unemployment pay, the monthly internet cafe cost ($650/mo), provided by CAPITALISM seems a bargain to the owner as well as her 'homeless' clients.

Of course, this comes as no surprise to us.

Gus Van Horn said...

Hmmm. It sounds like the Japanese government is providing lots of negative incentives to employers there to have "regular" employment.

Anonymous said...

Here's a great video on the Japanese internet cafes. It's from 2009, when the Japanese economy first dipped into recession. A sign of things to come?


Gus Van Horn said...

Thanks for passing that along.