再Demography may explain secular stagnation, November 22nd 2014 P68 (年齢構成と不況)


再Demography may explain secular stagnation, November 22nd 2014 P68 (年齢構成と不況)


In the late 1930s economists trying to explain how a depression could drag on for nearly a decade wondered if the problem was a shortage of people. “A change-over from an increasing to a declining population may be disastrous,” said John Maynard Keynes in 1937. The following year another prominent economist, Alvin Hansen, fretted that America was running out of people, territory and new ideas. The result, he said, was “secular stagnation - sick recoveries which die in their infancy and depressions which feed on themselves and leave a hard and seemingly immovable core of unemployment.” A year ago Larry Summers of Harvard University revived the term “secular stagnation” to describe the rich world's prolonged malaise. Weak demand and excess savings were making it impossible to stimulate growth with the usual tool of low short-term interest rates, he argued. Demographics may play a central role in the ailment Mr Summers described - indeed, a more central one than in the 1930s. An aging population could hold down growth and interest rates through several channels. The most direct is through the supply of labour. An economy's potential output depends on the number of workers and their productivity. In both Germany and Japan, the working-age population has been shrinking for more than a decade, and the rate of decline will accelerate in coming years. Britain's potential workforce will stop growing in coming decades;America's will grow at barely a third of the 0.9% rate that prevailed from 2000 to 2013. All else being equal, a half percentage-point drop in the growth of the labour force will trim economic growth by a similar amount. Such an effect should be felt gradually. But the recession may have accelerated the process by encouraging many workers to take early retirement. In America the first baby boomers qualified for Social Security, the public pension, in 2008, on turning 62. According to several studies, this can probably explain about half the drop since then in the share of the working-age population either working or looking for work, from 66% to below 63%. (This echoes the experience of Japan, which slid into stagnation and deflation in the 1990s around the same time as its working-age population began to shrink.) The size and age of the population also influences how many customers and workers businesses can tap, and so how much they will invest. Keynes and Hansen worried that a falling population would need fewer of the products American factories made. Contemporary models of economic growth assume that firms need a given stock of capital per worker - equipment, buildings, land and intellectual property - to produce a unit of output. If there are fewer workers to hire, firms will also need less capital. In a research note, Eugenio Pinto and Stacey Tevlin of the Federal Reserve note that net investment (gross investment minus depreciation) is close to its lowest as a share of the total capital stock since the second world war. This is partly cyclical, since the recession led businesses to curtail expansion plans. But it is also secular. Growth of the capital stock slowed from 3.1% a year in 1994-2003 to 1.6% in the subsequent decade. The economists attribute about a third of deceleration to slow growth in workforce, and the rest to less innovation. In other words, businesses are buying less machinery because they have fewer workers to operate it and fewer technological breakthroughs to exploit. The third means by which demography can influencd growth and interest rates is through saving. Individuals typically borrow heavily in early adulthood to pay for education, a house and babies, save heavily from middle age onwards, and spend those savings in retirement. Coen Teulings of Cambridge University has calculated what various countries' collective savings should be given their demographics. Higher population growth and shorter retirements require less saving;older populations more. For America, the required stock of savings equalled -228% of GDP in 1970:households should have been borrowers rather than savers since their relative youth and lower life expectancy meant they had ample future income to repay their debts and finance retirement. But as the population aged, its growth slowed and time in retirement lengthened thanks to increased lifespans, the required savings rose to 52% of GDP in 2010. For Japan, required savings went from -176% to 119% of GDP in the same period, Germany's from 189% to 325%, and China's from -40% to 86%. The simultaneous effort by so many countries to save for retirement, combined with weak investment, slowing potential growth, fiscal retrenchment, corporate cash hoarding and inequality (which leaves more of the national income in the hands of the high-saving rich) is depressing the “equilibrium” interest rate that brings investment and saving into balance. There is, however, at least one obvious policy fix. “A higher retirement age reduces saving,” Mr Teulings and Richard Baldwin of the Graduate Institute in Geneva write in a recent e-book. “There simply is a limit to the extent to which we can save today in exchange for leisure and high consumption tomorrow. Somebody has to do the work tomorrow;we cannot all be retired by that time.” Moreover, at some point, an ageing population starts to use up the savings it has accumulated. Charles Goodhart and Philipp Erfurth of Morgan Stanley note that the ratio of workers to retirees is now plunging in most developed countries and soon will in many emerging markets. Japan is already liquidating the foreign assets its people acquired during their high-saving years;China and South Korea are starting to do so and Germany will soon. This, they predict, will drag real interest rates, which are now negative, back to the historical equilibrium of 2.5-3% by 2025.











の仙ガイ和尚が記した 『老人六歌仙』を 渋沢秀雄氏が注釈した随筆を読みました。

「 老人六歌仙 - 渋沢秀雄」文春文庫 巻頭随筆1 から

《一 「しわがよる ほ黒が出ける 腰まがる 頭がはげる ひげ白くなる」現実曝露の悲哀で、身につまされることばかりだ。若い読者にはぜんぜん関係ないと思うだろうが、若者も生きている限り老人にならざるを得ない。先物を買うつもりで、味読していただきたい。
二 「手は振るう 足はよろつく 歯は抜ける 耳はきこえず 目はうとくなる」いよいよ心細くなってきた。老いが身にしみる。
三 「身に添うは 頭巾襟巻 杖目鏡 たんぽ(湯婆)おんじゃく(温石)しゅびん(溲瓶)孫子手(麻姑の手)」頭巾襟巻杖もナイトキャップ、マフラ、ステッキと呼べば、いくらか若返って聞こえる。目鏡はむろん老眼鏡だ。
四 「聞きたがる 死にとむながる 淋しがる 心は曲がる 欲深うなる」どうも哀れだ。「聞きたがる」は知識欲旺盛の意味ではなく、この場合は自己中心的好奇心を指すのだろう。そして「欲深うなる」も、事業欲みたいな規模の大きなものではなく、俗にいう「死に欲」の類と見るべきだと思う。 
五 「くどくなる 気短になる 愚ちになる 出しゃばりたがる 世話やきたがる」くどくどなるから簡潔な言動を物足りなく感じる。気短だからカンシャクをおこさやすい。愚痴っぽいのは、事物の短所ばかり見るからだ。出しゃばり、世話やき、共に相手の立場や思惑[おもわく]を無視する自己満足。老いたる相談役が社長時代の惰性で、余計なサシズをしたり、姑が嫁をいびったりするのも、おおむねこの心境のさせる業[わざ]らしい。
六 「又しても 同じ話に 子を誉める 達者自慢に 人はいやがる」記憶力の減退に反比例して、自己主張は強くなるから、同じ話を幾度もくり返す。酒に酔った人によく似ている。つまり年に酔っぱらうのだろう。そしてほかに自慢の種もないから、子や孫を誉めたり、自分の健康を誇ったりする。 》







1/3「第五章 「西寒川線[にしさむかわ]」・清水港[しみずこう]線・岡多[おかた]線・武豊[たけとよ]線・「赤坂[あかさか]線」・樽見[たるみ]線 - 宮脇俊三」河出文庫 時刻表2万キロ から


1/3「第五章 「西寒川線[にしさむかわ]」・清水港[しみずこう]線・岡多[おかた]線・武豊[たけとよ]線・「赤坂[あかさか]線」・樽見[たるみ]線 - 宮脇俊三河出文庫 時刻表2万キロ から


再2/2Container ships, December 20th 2014 P36 (コンテナ船)


再2/2Container ships, December 20th 2014 P36 (コンテナ船)


When Mr Jensen started sailing in the mid-1970s more than 30 people were needed to operate a container ship. The Marie Maersk crossed the South China Sea with 22, and can manage with 13. Jakob Skau, the chief officer, says that modern container ships can mostly sail themselves. Ship engines, like car engines, now self-diagnose:when something goes wrong they display the equivalent of a car's “check engine” light. That means fewer engineers. Paint has become more weather-resistant, which means ABS (Able Bodied Seamen, the ship's dogsbodies) spend less time painting - which means fewer ABS. E-mail has done away with radio officers. At night the only light on the bridge comes from the glow of screens showing the ship's pre-plotted course, engine performance, ballast-tank levels and speed, while radar displays depict nearby vessels and their courses as blobs and contrails of lurid green. Port calls that used to take a week now last eight hours. Cargo used to come in barrels, boxes, cartons, bundles and drums, all of which had to be loaded and unloaded by hand. Now cranes stack containers in an order predetermined thousands of miles away. At Tanjung Pelepas some containers await lorries to carry them up the Malay Peninsula, others the ships that will convey them to smaller ports:Sihanoukville, Brisbane, Auckland, Tanjung Priok. The efficiency has put paid to extended shore leave. “Sail around the world see nothing,” jokes David Staven, the ship's bearish third officer. And if automation has made ships easier to sail, it has also made sailors easier to watch. Maersk's are constantly monitored from a control centre in Mumbai, where a giant screen displays the position and course of every Maersk Line vessels in the world. The captain of a ship that deviates from its planned course or travels too quickly (thus using more fuel) can expect a prompt query. On this leg, for instance, Mr Jensen decides to sail east rather than west of the Paracel Islands, lengthening the journey but taking advantage of the current, which in October runs southward along the Vietnamese coast. “I send [the control centre] a long e-mail explaining our decision,” says Aditya Mohan, the ship's swaggering, Marlboro-smoking second officer, “and when I don't hear anything back, it's because they know I'm right.” Still, sailing has always been tribal, and bean-counters on shore forever regarded as alien. The crew resembles those of Melville's day in other ways, too. Then the American whaling industry was centred in Massachusetts, and many ships were owned by Quakers from Nantucket, but crews were wildly cosmopolitan. The Marie Maersk's crew are Filipino, Danish, Ukrainian and Indian. Their meals reflect this diversity:Filipino greens, cooked in sweetened soy sauce, incomprehensible Danish cold cuts. A mid-19th-century crewman described his quarters thus:“Black, and slimy with filth, very small and hot as an oven. It was filled with a compound of foul air, smoke, seachests, soap kegs, greasy pans, tainted meat.” Except for a couple of ABS, the crewmen on the Marie Maersk have their own rooms, which would pass muster at an American motel. The biggest complaint is the unreliable internet connection. “People come down,” says Mr Jensen, “have dinner for five or ten minutes, then go back to their laptops.” Mostly the sailors are motivated not by adventure or escape but by the salaries. Ronald Rivera, the engineer, says his is double what he could make in the Philippines. Yet along with the mass-produced goods, container ships provide commodities that have grown increasingly rare. One is elemental awe:to board a ship is still to step into an in-between world, perhaps the only one this side of the grave defined equally by boredom and sublimity. Even when the ship pitches and rolls in a thunderstorm, the computers do the steering. But the crew watch. Eventually, as they come through, panels of white afternoon light slice through the grey on the horizon. Old hands stand transfixed, for a few moments, staring out through the bridge's high windows. Then there is the scale, Ishmael, who narrates “Moby Dick”, asks, “Why is almost every robust healthy boy with a robust healthy soul in him, at some time or other crazy to go to sea? Why upon your first voyage...did you yourself feel such a mystical vibration, when first told that you and your ship were now out of sight of land?” That sense of smallness and transience remains thrilling. In port the Marie Maersk seems huge, and on a map the distance between southern China and Malaysia looks tiny. At sea, those proportions are reversed. Even one of the world's biggest ships is a speck in a vast, peaceful emptiness. Beneath the sky is just sea, and above the sea just sky. Finally, the silence. Conrad wrote that “the true peace of God begins at any spot a thousand miles from the nearest land.” The Marie Maersk never gets that far on the South China Sea. But late one evening, after the captain has lingered at dinner telling old stories (sharkfishing off Mauritius, minatory pods of killer whales at Vancouver Island), natural-gas rigs belch commas of fire into the cloudless night. The ship sails forward, through a silent crescent of Vietnamese and Cambodian fishing boats, beneath an impossibly broad and luminous canopy of stars.










旨いもの、上手い料理法、旨い店、などの随筆をコチコチしているが、正直言ってあたしは味音痴でありまして旨いものは分かりませんし、旨い酒も分かりません。ここのところへ来て、 井上ひさし氏、野坂昭如氏の食べ物に対するお考えを知り、嬉しく思っております。


セントルイス・カレーライス・ブルース - 井上ひさしちくま文庫 カレーライス大盛り から

《 ところで、私は食べ物というものにまったく関心がなく、白米の御飯があればそれで満足、あとは出されたものをただ食べるだけの、じつにつまらない人間である。どういう食べ物を「ごちそう」というのかも分からず、したがってこの解説にしても書きようがなくて、こうやってしきりに油を売っているのだが、前出の『ヌードさん』には、ストリップ劇場における「踊り子の階層」についての説明が省略してあるので、そのあたりへ筆を遠征させて、今後もできるだけ「ごちそう」には近づかないようにしたい。》


《 「抜けきれぬ餓鬼根性 - 野坂昭如」中公文庫 風狂の思想 から





Waterfront News

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CTB announces its preventive efforts in 2019 in the form of seizure reports



「大隠は朝市に隠る - 中野孝次」文春文庫 清貧の思想 から


「大隠は朝市に隠る - 中野孝次」文春文庫 清貧の思想 から