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China or the U.S.? October 19, 2017

Posted by hslu in China, Cold War, 美國, Economics, Global Affair, Globlization, 中國.
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We are talking about the largest economy in the world here. And the answer, according to Noah Smith, is China.

https://www.google.com.tw/amp/s/www.bloomberg.com/amp/view/articles/2017-10-18/who-has-the-world-s-no-1-economy-not-the-u-s#ampshare=https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-10-18/who-has-the-world-s-no-1-economy-not-the-u-s

I started talking about the downfall of the U.S. in 2009. Finally, some one agreed with me eight years later.

What’s even more surprising to me is this: Noah Smith believes that China will eventually come out on top if these two countries engage in a conventional war. He cites China’s advantages in population and manufacture prowess.

I am glad that I get to see this happening in my life time. 中國, The Midfle Kingdom, has come back to glory from the humiliation it suffered after 甲午戰爭, the First Sino-Japanese War, and the signing of 馬關條約, Treaty of Shimonoseki in 1895.

Source: The wikipedia

Source: The wikipedia

Well, 甲午戰爭 and 馬關條約 are history now and, finally, a brand new chapter in 中國近代史 has begun with China’s 十九大, the 19th Communist Party congress, and its 十三五, China’s 13th Five-Year Plan.

While Trump is writing a $25,000 check from his personal account to the father of a dead soldier and arguing with a Democratic Congresswoman about what Trump said to another dead soldier’s family, China is walking its own path and carrying out its expansion plans systematically.

Yeah, let Trump tweets and pisses off at everyone who disgrees with him, McCain, Tillerson, Muller, McConnell, Schumer, CNN, NBC, NFL players and many others, the family feud makes good drama for the world to enjoy. 

Source: Fox News

Source: The Daily Mail.

Source: The Daily Mail.

I am not complaining at all. It’s entertsining and fun to see when the s**** hits the fan.

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Does New York City have fewer Asian beggars? October 12, 2017

Posted by hslu in Cooking, Culture, 美國, Do you know?, Economics, Social Issues, Travel.
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At least this was my observation when my wife and I lived in NYC on 2nd avenue one block north of Houston street.

I do have a partial answer to my own question and it was based on another observation of mine in NYC:

Near Laffayette and Broome close to SOHO.

The answer: they rather work with their own hands instead.

人生苦短 October 8, 2017

Posted by hslu in Economics, education, Life in Taiwan, Taipei, Taiwan, 台灣.
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朋友寄給我一篇短文,文中提到台灣的一個博士生,唸了幾年決定不唸了。他退了學,改開雞排店,鴻海的老闆說他浪費台灣的資源。他還提到他和太太離婚,對人生有許多感慨。

我不甘寂寞,也借題發了一些牢騷。你看看你有什麼想法,不妨也告訴大家。

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

被鴻海郭董點名,浪費教育資源的博士生雞排店老闆,娓娓道來他不寫博士論文卻去賣雞排的心路歷程∼ 

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

我在大學當助教多年,月薪五萬多元,有三個小孩,老婆是高中老師,生活順遂。 

但四年前,老婆決定離婚,她說我令人難以忍受。 

我很痛苦,必須找一件事分散心情,只好去讀博士班,我很會考試,一考就上。 

修完學分我卻發現,很多學長都失業,我怕步上後塵,決定休學去工作。 我做了四個月的房屋仲介,後來自己開雞排店。 

此事上了報,郭台銘說我浪費教育資源。我也只能笑一笑。 

如果是以前的我,一定反擊回去。你知道為什麼我去當房屋仲介? 

我想學習溝通。我一直在想,為什麼老婆要離開我,後來參加人際研習會,才慢慢承認自己個性真的不好。 

以前在家裡,凡事都要照我的意思,像房子裝潢,她很想裝浴缸,我覺得沒必要,就堅持不裝。 

她買的食物常被我嫌難吃、送的禮物被我嫌不實用,我卻沒想過,這些都是她費盡心思挑的。 

我從小讀資優班,後來考上建中、政大,越來越自負。更糟的是,我大學讀法律,發現法律是培養你成為鬥雞,太溫馴在法庭上會被吃掉。 

我口才變得更好,卻不是用來溝通,是好辯,一開口就要找出對方的漏洞、講到贏,難怪前妻曾說:

「你說話傷人不是傷到皮、肉,是傷到骨。」 

做房屋仲介,要去菜市場發 DM 、挨家挨戶按門鈴,我學會跟人溝通,也因為常被拒絕,懂得謙卑,驕傲是一種罪。 

後來我決定創業,開雞排店,客人形形色色,有個公主病的女生,我照例請她勾菜單,她臉一沉:

「你不會幫我勾喔?」

我也沒生氣,就讓她口頭點菜。 

客人都說我親切,朋友也坦白對我說,我以前對人不是很友善,現在好多了;連向來怕我的大兒子,都說爸爸變好了。 

我不知道還有沒有機會跟前妻復合,當初一離婚、我搬走,她就裝浴缸,可見她有多氣。 

如果真的無緣復合,以後跟其他女生交往,要裝浴缸就讓她裝吧,其實又花不了多少錢。  
人在什麼時候最清醒: 
1 .天災降臨後 

2 .東窗事發後 

3 .大禍臨頭後。  

4 .重病纏身後。 

5 .遭受重挫後。 

6 .退休閒暇後。 
人在什麼時候最糊塗:

1 、春風得意時。 

2 、來錢容易時。  

3 、得權專橫時。 

4 、迷戀情愛時。 

5 、想佔便宜時。  

6 、老年癡呆時。 

一語道破! 

1:世界上難以 — 自拔的,除了牙齒,還有愛情 

2:現實中,人們用真名講假話;虛擬中,人們用假名講真話。 

3 :痛苦,本來就是清醒的人,才能擁有的享受 

4:大學就是 — 大概學學 

5:所謂長大,就是你知道那是什麼事; 所謂成熟,就是你知道後,故意說不知道。 

6:感情經得起風雨,卻經不起平淡; 友情經得起平淡,卻經不起風雨。 

7:願意留下來,跟你吵的人,才是真正愛你的人。 在乎你,才爭才吵。留下來的,是不離不棄。++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

以下是我的胡言亂語,姑妄聽之:

我不知道這是一個真實的故事,還是一個編出來的故事。可是這一篇文章點出了許多”無可奈何”的:

1。台灣高等教育的失敗。唸了博士班卻找不到工作。雖然這是浪費資源,可是這是當前社會和經濟環境造成的結果。這跟大學畢業後卻去便利商店或麥當勞做店員一樣的。他不繼續唸博士,大學畢業去翻hamburger是這位博士班學生的錯還是社會與政府的錯?一個好的社會就是”老有所終,長有所用,幼有所養”的社會,如今大學生畢業找不到是,不敢成親,不敢生小孩,這就是一個不好的社會。你怎麽能夠說這是這一位博士學生的錯呢?鴻海如果把它的工廠蓋在台灣,那這位博士學生畢業以後就可能有事做,就不會去開雞排店了。你說這是不是鴻海的錯?鴻海是在台灣註冊的公司,它的生產量是台灣的 GDP,可是公司的錢在大陸蓋工廠,顧大陸的工人,對台灣有什麼好處呢?這些人賺的錢在臺灣付了稅,在台灣買房子,抬高了臺灣的房價,難道這是他們這些有錢人對臺灣的貢獻嗎?

2。在台灣賣雞排比唸書好。當然,唸書要看他唸的是哪一門,唸一個冷門科系出來是不容易找到事的。台灣如此,美國如此,世界上都如此。這是事實,也是現實。不過台灣有太多大學,而有許多大學根本沒有學生。就連台大最好的科系都有招不到學生的事。這是教育系統的失敗,還是政府的失敗。我有一次跟太太去宜蘭參觀她以前唸的護理學校。學校派了一位護理部的學妹給我們講解。這個天主教的護理學校現在已經變成大學了。除了以前的護理部還增加了許多其他觀光食品和服務這一類的科系。都不是跟護理有關的科系。我在這些科系的教堂上看到老師在上面教書,下面的學生有聽老師的,有睡覺的,有同學之間講話的,有面向教室後面的,有劃手機的。我很失望。好在所有的護理班都很有秩序,個個學生都是正襟危坐,努力學習的樣子。不知道台灣一流的大學有沒有這種現象。不知道成大會不會如此。台灣目前只有半導體還有一點競爭的能力,不知道工科的學生畢業以後,前途如何?薪水如何?

3。台灣以服務業爲主,小吃店尤其多,競爭想必也非常激烈。有些餐館,價錢不便宜,還要服務費,可是生意很好,外面還排長龍。看來許多年輕人和學生都不在家裏吃飯了。有些街邊的小店生意清淡,一個禮拜只開幾天,有幾天卻閉門不做生意。我不知道是不是競爭激烈,使得台灣的服務人員變得非常客氣,就像這篇文章中說的一樣。要不然就是社會進步的結果。

4。做律師必須狠,不狠就會被踩到腳下。這是無可厚非的事。順便提一下,現在,美國許多法律系的畢業生出來也找不到工作,除非你是最好 (top 5) 的學校的高材生。這是我第一手的資料。我不知道這篇文章的作者是不是唸法律博士,也不知道台灣的法律系畢業生出來能不能找到事。

5。夫妻之間的關係因人而異,冷暖自知,不可勉強是也。命該如此,也不能說這個不好。不過,文章中說的有道理:如果想要感情長久,知道如何妥協是關鍵。讓她裝浴缸也就是妥協的一種。不過有來有往才能保持長久。至於其中的奧妙只有自己切身體會才知如何拿捏輕重。美國是一個唯物主義和唯我至上的社會。就因為如此,美國現在結婚的男女(也有其他關係結婚的。這是後話,現在不提。),有50%以上的機會會離婚。這也是社會的產物。台灣好像也是一個唯物主義和唯我獨尊的社會。我的觀察是不是不對?

6。如果感情能夠度過風風雨雨,那就應該可以度過平平淡淡。年紀大了以後,風雨應該小了,來的應該也沒有以前頻繁,大風大浪也應該已經被微波徐徐或風平浪靜代替。中國人說的老伴就是這個道理。意會了其中的奧妙,則海闊天空。鑽不出那個死衚衕,就牙痛的苦海無邊,無法自拔了。

7。虛擬之中,並不是所有的人都是假人說真話,有真人說真話,也有假人說假話的。小心為上。

有感而發,隨意說之,也請你隨意聽之。初回台灣,一切還看不清楚,只覺得台灣有亂像。就像現在的美國一樣:美國的根本在動搖,所以亂像叢生,國立衰微,階級鬥爭,從中分裂,自取滅亡,好景不長也。

階級鬥爭,分裂社會 September 30, 2017

Posted by hslu in 美國, Economics, education, Election, Racial Bias, Trump.
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這就是川普搞出來的美國式階級鬥爭:沒完沒了的白人歧視黑人。

我相信,川普一定會打電話給 NFL 球隊的老闆 (大部分是白人),要求他們壓迫這些黑人就範:減薪,罰款,不上場打球等等方法。這些 NFL 球隊的老闆怕 NFL 的電視收視率降低,也會給這些黑人球員施加壓力。不過這個單膝跪地的運動並不會就此結束。後續的發展還有的看的。

川普讓美國從骨子裏亂起。加上美國各地警察和黑人的衝突,把積在黑人心中50年的仇恨一起激發出來了。

至於白人和黑人的仇視有多厲害,你可以看一個救火隊員的話就知道了:

這就是美國白人對黑人真正的面目。

其實,黃種人在美國也好不到那裏去。一般來說,黑人受的教育比較差,住的地方也沒有好的學校,加上這個種族也不是非常努力,加上種族歧視使得他們低收入,導致家庭破裂,使得他們在社會難以立足。但是,亞洲人肯吃苦,肯耐勞,寧願自己犧牲也要讓自己的子女和孫輩進好的學校,接受好的教育,給自己的下一代一個出人頭地的機會。白人歧視亞洲人,可是亞洲人知道上進,會唸書,肯做事,所以亞洲人在社會上的表現就是比大多數的白人要好。白人除了嫉妒亞洲人的成就,也只能接受了。

至於另外一種住在美國的黃種人:西班牙裔的黃種人,就比較可憐了。他們一般來說教育程度不夠,雖然他們肯吃苦,可是他們大多數都從事比較低級的勞力工作,賺的錢比較少,他們的住家環境不好,學校也比較差,小孩的上進心也比較不夠。他們在社會上的地位還需要兩,三個世代才能改善的。所以,一般來說,西班牙裔的黃種人會一直會被美國白人歧視的。雖然他們人數比黑人還多,可是他們的日子還沒有到。再等20年吧!

你等著瞧吧!只要川普在位一天,黑人就不會有什麼好日子過的。

3% vs 2% September 30, 2017

Posted by hslu in 美國, Do you know?, Economics, Health Insurance, Obamacare, Taxes.
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We’re talking about the growth rate of American’s economy in the next 10 years.

Trump, well his underling, said that America’s economy will grow 3% on average for the next 10 years after Republican’s tax reform is enacted as law.

Source: Bloomberg.

You see, Republican and Democrat are ‘兩個烏鴉一般黑’, they are ‘一丘之貉’. They use this kind of financial trick to tell American citizens that even though their program, be it Obamacare in 2009 or tax reform in 2017, will increase deficit, but the resulting higher economic growth will generate enough taxes to make the new program budget neutral: a term you will hear repeatly before the end of this year.

Do you know the impact on American’s national debt if the economy grew 2% instead of 3%? 

About $2 trillion. And that’s assuming the U.S. won’t fall into a recession and no funny accounting gimmicks.

Last year, the U.S. federal deficit was $590 billion but the national debt rose by $1.4 trillion; a whoppying $810 billion difference.

Why? Where did $810 billion go?

Well, check out this link below and read yourself.

https://www.google.com.tw/amp/s/www.forbes.com/sites/johnmauldin/2016/11/02/thanks-to-obamacare-government-debt-is-worse-than-you-think/amp/#ampshare=https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnmauldin/2016/11/02/thanks-to-obamacare-government-debt-is-worse-than-you-think/
Allow me to give you some highlights to get you started:

Do you know that government’s borrowing to make student loans and repairs on highways and bridges aren’t classified as deficit? These items are ‘investments’ so that they don’t count as deficit. In addition, the U.S. government had to borrow some money to pay for social welfare recipiants because the government didn’t collect enough taxes from FICA deductions to pay for social welfare benefits: social security, Medicare and ACA. There are more in the article if your blood pressure is under control.

A warning: as powerful as America is, all bean counters working for the federal government couldn’t figure out where $82 billion went.

This is your America.

Let the fight begin September 28, 2017

Posted by hslu in Congress, 美國, Economics, Taxes, Trump.
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The fight is on tax reform proposed by the Republicans and endorsed by Trump.

The new proposal calls for roughly doubling of the standard deduction which in essence eliminates many tax payers’ incentive to itemize (schedule A). Deductions on medical expenses including health insurance payment, lab, test and doctor fees, medicines and other costs, probably will be gone. 

Mortgage interest deduction will be gone too for some tax payers because their itemized deductions will be lower than the standard deductions. As such, even the new plan calls for retention of mortgage interest deductions, this deduction is basically eliminated for most tax payers.

Well, none of this new rules on deductions will affect me but I’ll be happy to take the doubling of the standard exemption starting with the 2017 tax return.

However, I don’t think Republican’s tax reform proposal will be revenue neutral. Where will the new revenue come ftom to offset the tax cuts for higher income and the super-rich tax payers? Don’t forget the corporate income tax will be cut by roughly 42%, from ~35% to 20%? On top of that, the death tax will be eliminate too.

I know that Republican will rely on a bigger pie to collection more taxes because tax reform, Republican will argue, will grow the economy which will provide a bigger tax base to collect federal tax from.

Conservatives are seriously f%&¥#* by Trump September 13, 2017

Posted by hslu in Congress, 美國, Democracy, Economics, Election, Health Insurance, Military, Obamacare, Politics, Trump, US Government.
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Trump pushed Mitch and Paul under the Chuck-Nancy bus and, with a sneer on his face, folded his arms and declared that he was the boss whether they liked it or not.

All the sudden, thanks to Trump’s betrayal, Republicans was royally f%&¥#* from behind, couldn’t utter a word of rejection and lost all chips on the table to deal with the Democrats.

Trump ran as a Republican not because he was one but because it was convenient for him. He couldn’t run as a Democrat against Hillary because she was favored to win the election before the electiin got started. Don’t forget Trump gave Schumer a lot of money over the years too.
As for tax reform, Democrats will push for no tax breaks for the top 10% and any tax cut has to be revenue neutral. Corporate tax reform (e.g., decrease corporate tax rate to 15% level) will face an uphill battle too because the current personal tax rate is higher than the proposed corporate tax rate. If the new corporate tax rate is indeed lower after the reform, people will form corporates and report their incomes as a corporate instead of a person.

Besides, revenue neutral under any scenario is almost impossible considering all the welfare obligations of the federal government. On top of that, defense spending increae sought by Trump and Republicans, Trump’s beautiful wall, hurricane relief fundings and more troops to Afghanistan are hot items on Democrat’s rejection list. The fact that Republican can’t get 60 votes on Senate for any subject spells trouble for Republican’s effort before it begins.

No tax reform legislature this year. Repeal and replace Obamacare is almost dead after seven years. If the Republican can get tax reform early next year, look for a new speaker in the house and a new majority leader in the Senate after 2018 mid term election.

用錢滾錢怎麼滾 August 27, 2017

Posted by hslu in 美國, Economics, Travel.
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有錢人用錢賺錢就是這樣賺的。

911以後,身價億萬的有錢人在利息超低的時候向銀行借個幾千萬,用銀行的錢蓋高高的辦公大樓和大大的購物中心。

蓋好了以後把店面出租給願意冒險的老闆,然後穩穩當當的做收租公收租婆,過他們坐遊艇,住高樓,吃大餐,舒舒服服的好日子去了。

公司老闆把公司或餐館裝潢好了以後就急忙的開張大吉,等著口袋裏沒幾個錢的小人物來幫自己付貸款,幫那些有錢人賺錢了。默默無聞的一個個小人物一到稍微寬鬆一點以後,口袋裏的錢就在身上亂跳,心裏發癢的難受,急著要把在身上發燒的錢丟出去。為了自己的小確幸,這些小人物揣著自己辛苦賺來的幾個小錢,就去有錢人開的購物中心吃個飯,喝個茶,叫個酒,看個電影,買個東西。幾個鐘頭以後,享受了,貢獻了,錢沒了,不癢了。

溫柔的陽光,淡藍的河水,舒適的情景,誘人的美酒,可口的佳餚為的就是讓你掏出荷包,花光你的錢。

有錢人用銀行借來的錢蓋大樓,收租金。老闆向銀行貸款,裝潢,買設備,請員工。沒有幾個錢的人,貢獻自己,滿足老闆,樂了富豪。

河邊的寧波餐館。

正所謂:

遊客奉上半月餉,躊躇志滿意氣揚,老闆賺錢付貸款,富豪樂的笑呵呵。

用錢滾錢是上策,僱人開店有點難,凡人取得小確幸,打拼以後下次來。

紐約新的世界貿易中心後面碼頭邊的 Brookfield Place 的河邊廣場。這是 2001 年 911 以後新蓋的購物中心。許多遊客去 911 紀念中心以參觀後就來這裏休息一下。

河邊廣場是一個休閒花錢的好地方。哈德遜河口風景優美。大遊輪也在這裏出海。

哈德遜河邊的江濱大道比上海的黃浦江要漂亮多了。

這個新蓋好的玻璃大樓和世界貿易中心遙遙相望。不曉得它是賣還是出租。面對江邊小小的一間單人房大概要美金一百五十萬。

遠遠的雕像就是著名的自由女神。不過美國現在不歡迎回教徒,自由女神也不是那麽自由了。

就這樣,錢就從沒錢人的口袋跑到有錢人的口袋裏面了。

這就是有錢人賺錢的方法。

Shouldn’t Saudi be sanctioned too? August 26, 2017

Posted by hslu in 美國, Democracy, Economics, Global Affair, Trump, U.S. Foreign Policy.
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The U.s. government is putting a new run of sanctions against the Venezuela government because of ‘Maduro dictatorship.’

Source: BBC News

Let’s see which country is a prime example of “violating human rights” and “subverting democracy”: Saudi Arabia. Is Saudi the next target of U.S. sanction?

No.

Why is Maduro’s government the target of sanction by the “U.S.”?

Are we talking about a form of ‘nation building’ using economic means by the U.S. government here?

And the purpose of the sanction is to get rid of Murado and put someone who is a ‘friend’ of the U.S. in the government?

I don’t know so I ask.

The Fed is day dreaming again July 17, 2017

Posted by hslu in Economics, stocks, Stocks.
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Source: Deutsche Bank, Torsten Slok 

The Feds have been consistently optimistic about their ability to predict the arrival of inflation, hence the need to raise interest rate. This chart from Deutsche Bank’s Torsten Slok says it all. The mid points discussed in the chart refer to Fed’s famous dots which are Federal Reserve governors’ predictions of where interest rates will be in the future.

Btw, the Feds haven’t been able to predict the arrival of recessions in the past either. Ditto on asset bubbles and financial crisis.

If they were students in a school, they will get an F based on their records.

After all, the Feds governors are mere mortals. Fed’s recent rate hikes to fight the threat of inflation are probably nothing more than figments of Feds governors’ imaginations.

In engineering language, the governors pick a number from thin air before a board meeting, apply a fudge factor, consider historical trends, add their own intuitive judgement, pass it around for comments, make the necessary modification and call it their official predictions.

The bigger questions are:

  • Why are they so wrong in their predictions in the past,
  • Didn’t they learn from their past mistakes and apply one more adjustment, say a cross the board reduction of 40% to their guesstimates?
  • Does anyone in the financial world listen to them and use their numbers to make investments accordingly?
  • Should individual investors just ignore them all together?

Should these governors be replaced since they fail their tasks so many times?

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