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290 Visitor Messages

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    I studied Japanese during my spare time, usually around 3-4 hours a day (if homework didn't interfere). I would change it up a bit, reading and kanji on one day
    and listening skills on another. I did this for about 4 years before I was fluent in it (it also helps that I have some patient Japanese friends).

    I am a self-proclaimed "linguistic nerd". I have always had a passion for languages. I find them fascinating and Japanese even more so (I should end it there before I start sounding
    like a crazy person).:P
  2. View Conversation
    Don't worry about it. I didn't really find it harsh, so no problem.:3

    As for Japanese, I am conversationally fluent in it. Which mean I am fluent when it comes to speaking it and understanding it (raw anime anyone?).

    My reading could use some work (and my writing for that matter) but I can read manga and Japanese newspapers without much of a problem (books cause some issues though).
  3. View Conversation
    Then perhaps I misinterpreted the part where you said "Some of Britain's public debt is probably owned by Britain's private sector.".

    Basically, she privatised them all (they were state-owned at the time), which is to say she sold them off to private foreign companies. Some were sold to private national companies as well, but they jumped abroad to escape the unpopular poll tax she introduced later, which is why many workers today in the manufacturing sector are unemployed - cheap labour from abroad has no doubt added to that fact as well.
  4. "The private sector may indeed be partially responsible for the country's debt, and perhaps owe the government money as well..."
    I'm not sure what you mean by indeed, because I never said those things.

    Also I'm having trouble understanding some of the things you're saying. For example:
    " Prime Minister, Margaret Thactcher sold all it's manufacturing companies to developing countries overseas"
    How did she sell manufacturing companies?
  5. View Conversation
    (Message continued...)

    And yeah... I'd say the documentary is suggesting that the government should privatise more of it's services. But it's not really a question of services being privated or state-controlled; it's about whether the services themsleves are competitive and can actually make the country real wealth. And ultimately that comes down to innovation and manufacturing. Britain virtually has no national manufacturing base any more... and this is largely due to the fact that the then Prime Minister, Margaret Thactcher sold all it's manufacturing companies to developing countries overseas under the principle of capitalism. At the time Britain did indeed profit from this, due to the sheer strength of its currency... but the government hadn't taken into account what would happen if those countries suddenly considered the idea of borrowing money as well, or advancing their economy to the standards of more developed countries.
  6. View Conversation
    The private sector may indeed be partially responsible for the country's debt, and perhaps owe the government money as well... I won't pretend that the private sector in Britain is necessarily good because first and foremost, it's a business, and like all businesses it's purpose is to make profit. But I think the idea of drawing money from any sector to pay off a national debt is immoral and just not viable - especially when the government encouraged and perpetuated it in the first place... and against the general wishes of the public, I might add. So much for democracy here in my opinion... But you're right... the government can't just seize money from rich people either, which would be just as immoral. However, the fundamental issue is the fact that the country borrowed money in the first place.
  7. "the increasing of taxes does not automatically make the government more money"
    Well, the purpose of taxes is to transfer money from the private sector into the public sector. The government can't arbitrarily seize millions of dollars from a billionaire to pay of debt anymore than it can default on the debt. Some of Britain's public debt is probably owned by Britain's private sector.

    If the documentary is correct in saying that the largeness of Britain's public sector is to blame, that ultimately means that the government must privatize some of its services.
  8. View Conversation
    (Message continued...)

    Furthermore, any money made by the public sector actually depends on public spending, which depends on both the value of the currency and the spending power of the general public. In addition to decreasing value, high inflation also discourages people from spending and drains consumer confidence. Also, since taxes are high in Britain, most people do not make enough money to spend on public services as the government would like... much less to buy products or services from the private sector or address a national debt problem... Hence the goverment borrowing more and more money year after year to sustain economic growth in the country. I say economic growth because in reality, Britain, like many other countries has to compete against the faster rate of economic growth from other countries (not least, China and India, whose rate of economic growth continues to accelerate year on year).
  9. View Conversation
    (Message continued...)

    Maybe the situation is different in the US; but in Britain, the increasing of taxes does not automatically make the government more money... because in the first place the goverment doesn't own any. Strictly speaking, all money belongs to and is generated by the public... and because the public sector doesn't actually manufacture or export products, it also doesn't really make any profit.
  10. View Conversation
    I wouldn't say the documentary were particularly addressing the cost of policies. However, it did suggest that increased government spending in the public sector in Britain were a key factor behind the country's debt crisis. Generally, the reason for Britain's debt comes down to increased expansion of services in the public sector, which in turn has lead to the shrinking of the private sector... However, it's the private sector that determines real wealth in Britain, since in that sector all competitive production is done. So in other words, real wealth comes down to manufacturing, which in turn reduces the need to borrow money in the first place.
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