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What will Japanese think December 7, 2016

Posted by hslu in Economics, jobs, Trump.
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You might not know the guy standing next to Trump but I am sure most Japanese do.

His name is Masayoshi Son  and he is a Korean-Japanese businessman who runs SoftBank and owns 7% of Yahoo, most of Sprint and some Alibaba, among other businesses.
He is in the news because of this:

You might think the headline sounds great for America but what will Japanese think? 

How come Masa (that’s how Trump calls him) isn’t investing $50 billion in Japan and creating 50,000 new Japanese jobs? 
Japan is mired in a recessionary economy for decades despite repeated fiscal stimulus from the government, a huge deficit for years, a national debt so large that Japanese people will never be able to payoff and a negative interest rate for years to come?

Doesn’t Japan need Masa’s $50 billion investment more so than the U.S. does?

 Doesn’t Japanese have more ‘宅男’ who can’t or won’t find a job? 

Didn’t Masa make most of his fortunes on the backs of the Japanese people?

Shouldn’t Masa pay something back to the Japanese soceity first before moving his capital out of Japan and into the U.S.?

Are there any behind-the-door deals between Trump and Masa that we don’t know of? 

Is it another example of crony capitalism that Trump seems to be very good at?

Or is it because it is easier to make money in the U.S. than in Japan?

We will see how things play out after Trump is in the WH.

Cronyism and Disruptive December 6, 2016

Posted by hslu in Economics, Global Affair, jobs.
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I usually don’t watch Jim Cramer’s Mad Money, especially his fast-paced, often off-the cuff  stock picks, because I don’t like his in-your-face style and sometimes superficial analysis. But once a while a good piece comes up which deserves some attention.

Greg Hayes, the CEO of United Technology (UTX,) was interviewed by Cramer about Carrier’s decision to stay put in Indiana instead of moving jobs to Mexico. Carrier makes heating and air conditioning units and is a subsidiary of UTX.

UTX's CEO, Greg Hayes, interviewed by Cramer

UTX’s CEO, Greg Hayes, interviewed by Cramer


Moving manufacturing jobs back to America is easier said than done. In this piece, Hayes said that Carrier has to make capital investments to make the assembly line process at Carrier more efficient to counter the higher labor costs in the United States.

But, here comes the rub: efficiency ultimately means fewer jobs. Take a look of the self-check out machines at Walmart and you’ll know what I mean.

Just imaging moving an oversea assembly line back to the U.S. and paying American workers five times more than what oversea workers make. If you were a CEO of such a company, will you make the decision to move your manufacturing plant oversea back to the U.S.?

Probably not.

Another important component of this story is the fact that Carrier got $7 million tax break from the state of Indiana. It was casually brushed off by Cramer in the interview. But we all know that, without this incentive, i.e., other-people’s-money, Carrier can’t stay. This is corporate welfare and it is done selectively. America calls this crony capitalism.

Free market will likely die a slow death in the U.S. under Trump and foreign countries will certainly raise their trade walls to counter Trump’s action.

The Third World War is coming upon us. But more interestingly, who will coming out of this trade war ahead in the years to come?

It will not be the U.S. because Americans will pay for it with higher costs on just about everything.

Oh, I haven’t mention that Trump wanted to send illegal Mexicans, El Salvadorians, Guatemalans and Hondurans back to their home countries yet. After they are gone, who will take up the slack to keep American business going and how much higher will the wage go up to?


花悅庭,長泰廣場 December 4, 2016

Posted by hslu in China, Chinese Food, Restaurants, Shanghai, 浦東.
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​長泰廣場的二樓和三樓有許多餐館。長泰廣場採取開放式,步行街的矮樓房設計,地下一層有商場,噴水池和美食街。地上街道的第一層是商店,步行街和幾個外國餐館:Outback, TGIF, Blue Frog and Pizzaria等等。第二樓和第三樓有專許多為小孩成長和教育而設計的商店:英文教學,遊樂場,繪畫室,陶土工坊和leadership教育場所。除了這些就是餐館了。


























Third Rail Politics December 3, 2016

Posted by hslu in China, Global Affair, Politics, Taiwan, Trump.
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Trump’s call to 蔡英文 Tsai Ing-wen may put Trump one step closer to the third rail of Chinese-American foreign policy.

Was Trump trying to make a statement about the direction of his foreign policy toward China? 

Was Trump trying to pick a fight with China?

Was Trump trying to use Taiwan as a chip to drive a hard bargain with China on trade, currency, jobs, North Korea, Iran and Russia?

Or was Trump simply demonstrating his habitual and compulsive ‘shoot from his hip first’ tendency again without thinking the issue through first? 

I am certain that without his Asian policy in place first, Trump will need to walk back from his previous statements and actions once he is in the office. 

Legalized kickbacks in the U.S. December 2, 2016

Posted by hslu in Congress, Election, Military, Politics, US Government.
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The way to do this legally is this: you make donations to politicians, up to the legal limit, with the understanding that you will eventually get something back. 

Of course, that ‘something;’ many would argue that it is a de facto ‘political kickback,’ depends on the size of your donation.

Let me exolain:

If you can only muster $10, $20 or even $100 to a single politician or two because you think he or she share your believes, say goodbye to your money. It is gone forever. 

You will for sure get a carefully worded email back saying that your money helps make a difference in (fill in the blank: legalizing pot, gay marriage, 2nd Amendment rights, stopping abortion in the U.S. or whatever pleases you.) You will within a week get a ton of emails from other politicians or organizations which claim to have the same believe as you do. They just want your money. Nothing else.

That’s about all you can expect.

If you wish to facilitate your small business’s operation but can only afford a few hundred dollars, contribute to your district representative and his opponent too because you don’t know who will come out ahead. $2,500 or several thousand dollars are more than enough to get his attention after he or she is in the office. Call his or her office when your business runs into small bureaucratic problem with the government. You should be able to get some relief once your representative’s office steps in.

If you are well off and believe that you might need some subtle but preferential treatment from influrencial people in the future, give $50,000 or more dollars to your senator/House representative and/or their opponents. Whether you are bidding for a multi-million dollar federal government project, requesting a $200,000 research grant, applying for a $500 million dollar green energy funds or needing U.S. government intervention on an affair in a foreign country, call his or her office to get a big voice on your behalf.

If you have a very deep pocket and want to be an American ambassador to a foreign country someday, give big money to a presidential candidate or his/her foundation. $250,000 might land you an ambassador to an African country or a place where birds won’t even lay eggs. $500,000 will likely make you an ambassador to a country in western Europe.

$1 million contribution, preferablly more, to a presidential candidate might get you an edge to broker a multi-billion dollar weapon deal or ten F35 fighter jets contract to a Middle East country. 

However, if your guy/gal lose the election, your multi-million dollar contribution will only get you a warm hand shake, a pat on your back, a juicy steak dinner with a bottle of 1982 Chateau Lafleur and a promise to work as hard as he can to win the next election four years from now. 

If you want to learn how to do it and do it well, just follow the money. It will get you what you want, eventually. 

In the land of the free spying on your activities from the ‘big brother NSA’ and the home of the brave special interest lobbyists, the almighty Congress wrote laws to make certain that accepting political contributions is legal. The legalized quid pro quo works just as well in the U.S. as those under-the-table deals so widespread in developing countries.

American politicians, such as Obama, Clintons or Bushs, want your money bad. Elections are getting more expensive every two or four years. If your guy is not in the office, you have no use of him or her.So pick your targets carefully. Many fat cats bet wrong this time around and they won’t have a second time because no one wants an old lady in the WH four years from now. 

But, those guys are making a list and check it twice. They got money and they don’t have any believe per se. Whoever has power now is a good target for them. Heck, they’ll give money to Trump if it comes down to that. 

Money speaks in the U.S. as loud as it does im other countries.

Never doubt me on that.

Article: 21 technology tipping points we will reach by 2030 December 1, 2016

Posted by hslu in Computer, Knowledge, Technology.
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We will be watching and counting.


21 technology tipping points we will reach by 2030


Sour grapes November 23, 2016

Posted by hslu in Congress, Election, Liberal Media, Politics, Taiwan, Trump.
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​”New York hates you!” was one nasty message which greeted Trump when he cast his ballot at a polling place in Manhattan on the election day 2 weeks ago. 

In fact, New Yorkers overwhelmingly; we are talking about 79%, baby, voted for Hillary. And almost 90% of eligible voters in Manhattan wanted Hillary to be their next president. 

Why are New Yorkers so hostile to Trump? 

Well, for whatever reason(s,) she lost a very winnable race to Trump. People in Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennslyvania rejected her. 

America has never had a pseudo conservative billionaire in the WH but they will in about 60 days. Too bad for most New Yorkers because they will be angrily eating sour grapes for the next four years and two months.

Well, NYC is de facto the most liberal city in the United States. It was, therefore, not surprising that they wanted two greedy, lie through their teeth and they-think-they-are-above-the-law liberals in the HW. 

Although I am not a New Yorker, I have paid enough tolls to get there from Virginia; paid enough parking fees and traffic fines once I was there, paid more than an ordinary VA residence’s share of ridiculously expensive meals in NYC, I want to think that I know a little bit about NYC. 

Hmmm…, wait a minute, come to think of it, there were Broadway shows, Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Statue of Libery, Empire State building, the boring I-coulsn’t-see-anything ball drop, Central Park, Fifth Avenue, Time Square, Rockefeller Center around Christmas, Wall Street, Battery Park, Brooklyn Bridge, NYC Subway, Grand Central Terminal, Coney Island, East Village, Columbia University, NYU, Union Square farmers market, Chelsea, Tribeca, Greenwich Village, the Upper East Side, MOMA, NY Stock Exchange, the Charging Bull, World Trade Center before 9/11, ground zero, the West side, Houston Street, George Washington Bridge, Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, United Nations, Flushing, Chinatown, Korean Town, little Italy, little Tokyo, etc. 

In any case, a little more info first on my pocket and NYC: on average, it cost me about $40 in toll each way from VA to NYC. I drove a 4Runner which gave me 17 to 18 miles for each gallon of gas. VA is about 245 miles to NYC. Parking in Manhattan each night was $45. If I took my car to a restaurant around Manhattan, parking fee was $30 for the first two hours. 

So, why the hostility towards Trump? 

NYC has five boroughs: Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island.

Trump took Staten Island because SI is a blue collar community. No surprise here.

People living in The Bronx are predominantly blacks and Latinos. They vote Democrat. Any democrat. They do not like Trump.

Blacks and Latinos made up more than 50% of Brooklyn’s population according to 2012 data. The median age for Brooklyn was only 33 years. They were in general very poor: median income for households was $32,135 and roughly 25% of the population were living below the poverty line. These people depend on government’s social welfare benefits. They don’t like Republicans and they hate Trump even more, even though Repunlican establishment despised Trump. 

Queens is a racially diverdified community: about half of its population were foreign born. Of those, about 50% were born in Latin American. About 10% of Queens’ population are Asians. Trump wanted to build a wall along the America-Mexico border. Before the walk finishes, Trumo wants to deport 11 million illegal immigrants. They fear a Trump presidency because they want to stay in America. They like Obama 2nd: Hillary because they see an amenesty coming under Hillary. Will they vote Trump? 

Hell.no. They have always voted Democrats anyway.

It brings us to Manhattan where a doctor’s annual income of $300,000 only makes him or her squeeze by the gate of middle income class. A 1,000 sq ft condo on upper east or upper west side will cost you a cool $1.5 million. And that kind of money doesn’t buy a view. Rent for a 700-sq ft apartment here will set you back $6,000 a month. 

There are several kinds of people living in Manhattan:

1. Filthy rich and senile. Most likely inheritted his or her wealth. Owns properties in NYC. Has a dog but May even owns a condo or two in properties developed by Trump such as Trump Tower. Have their names on hospital or museum buildings. Makes his or her living through rental income, stocks dividends and bond interests. Has more money than he or she will ever need. These type of people vote Democrats. They don’t pay taxes anyway because they have CPAs to reduce their income taxes. They firmly believe that they belong to a higher class and the lower class people are here to serve them. I once was scolded by an old lady behind me on NYC’s upper east side because I walked too slowly and was in her way.

2. Rich and young but work like a dog for Goldman Sachs, hedge funds, banks and Fortune 500 companies. They are liberals in hearts because they were taught by liberal teachers in high schools and liberal professors in Harvard or other Ivy league schools. They make very good money but spend a lot too. They use Uber and shop at Wholefood. They tip their doorman regularly. 

3. Freelancers who make their living off people in groups 1 and 2: taxi drivers, waitets, waitresses, bartenders, Broadway show performers, store clerks, dog runners, cat sitters, etc. They also work for foreign dignitaries and tourists. They like tax and spend democrats. They vote the same way.

4. People depend on government handouts. NYC has one of the highest tax rate in the U.S. and Democrats will keep the cash coming. Trump might not.

Do you see any conservatives or Republicans in any of the four categories list above?

Probably not.

That’s why Trump was, is and probably will be hated by New Yorkers.

Article: Gravity is the oldest fundamental force ever discovered. Might it not be fundamental after all? November 23, 2016

Posted by hslu in Science.
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Gravity is the oldest fundamental force ever discovered. Might it not be fundamental after all?


Even though I don’t understand the science discussed in this article, I enjoyed reading it a lot.

Topics like this one has always been fascinating to me.

機場捷運跳票第七次? November 20, 2016

Posted by hslu in Taipei, Taiwan.
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Source: 中國時報




夜遊黃浦江 November 20, 2016

Posted by hslu in China, Life, Death and Yuanfen, Shanghai, Travel, 浦東.
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右邊的大樓是 Peninsula Hotel,半島酒店。綠屋頂的是南京東路上有名的和平飯店。它的右邊是中國銀行。這一帶就是外灘。

上海外灘。1839年中英鴉片戰爭爆發。1842年,中國戰敗後與英國簽訂《南京條約》, 賠償2千1百萬銀圓,開放上海通商並割讓香港為英國殖民地。1845年中國被迫成立上海英租界。就是現在的外灘一帶。




那個屋頂上有一個像菠蘿或蓮花的大樓是上海 Westin Hotel.