Nintendo, Economic Development, and Asceticism

Photography by Larry D. Moore Today marks the 20th birthday of the Nintendo 64 (N64) gaming console. Don Reisinger offered a great tribute at Fortune: On this day in Japan 20 years ago, Nintendo introduced the gaming system, among the first consoles to create realistic-looking 3D worlds filled with monsters, soldiers, and blood. Continue Reading...

‘A Flight From Human Intimacy’

Japan is a nation going under, demographically speaking. It is estimated that Japan will lose 10 million people in population over the next ten years. Like many nations, Japan is not having babies fast enough to keep its population stable. Continue Reading...

Japan’s Slow Disaster Relief and a New Plan for Renewal

As Japan basks in the success of its World Cup champion women’s soccer team, the impact of the recent tsunami on the country is still very real. Although it has been over four months since the tsunami struck Japan, and one may assume clean-up efforts are going smoothly, restoration progress has actually been greatly hindered. Continue Reading...

Global Problems, Global Solutions

There’s a saying that when goods cross borders, armies don’t (it’s the correlative to the observation attributed to Bastiat: “If goods cannot cross borders, armies will.”). The point is that trade tends to bring people together who might otherwise have cause to be hostile. Continue Reading...

The Green Energy Rhetoric Continues

Last week President Obama gave an address outlining his new energy policy. In light of the tragic events in Japan, the speech was much anticipated especially considering the president’s prior commitment to nuclear energy. Continue Reading...

Green Patriarch: No Nukes

With the terrible human toll from Japan’s earthquake and tsunami catastrophe only now being comprehended, and the grave follow on crisis at the country’s nuclear power plants unfolding by the hour, the anti-nuclear power crowd has already begun issuing statements such as the one Greenpeace put out saying that “nuclear power cannot ever be safe.” Predictably, reports Geoffrey Lean in the Telegraph, “battle lines” are being drawn: On Saturday, some 50,000 anti-nuclear protesters formed a 27-mile human chain from Germany’s Neckarwestheim nuclear power plant to the city of Stuttgart to protest against its government’s plans to extend the life of the country’s reactors. Continue Reading...

Japan Quake, Military Aid, and Shane Claiborne

Waking up to the devastation today in Japan was heartbreaking. Malcolm Foster, reporting for the AP, notes: A ferocious tsunami unleashed by Japan’s biggest recorded earthquake slammed into its eastern coast Friday, killing hundreds of people as it carried away ships, cars and homes, and triggered widespread fires that burned out of control. Continue Reading...

Japanese Comics and Cultural Economics

A few weeks ago I was listening to a very engaging American RadioWorks documentary, rebroadcast from last October, “Japan’s Pop Power.” The show focused on the increasing cultural imports to America coming from Japan, which by some estimations will soon dwarf industries typically associated with American-Japanese trade like automobiles, technology, and electronics. Continue Reading...

Hasta La Vista, Siesta

In this week’s Acton Commentary, Anthony Bradley takes a look at the Spanish economy as it faces a “dilemma,” as he puts it, “simultaneously needing immigrants and seeking to curb them.” Bradley also notes that “institutions like marriage and family seem silly to many Spaniards.” As APM’s Marketplace reports, shifting trends in Spain might claim another Spanish institution, the siesta. Continue Reading...

Follow-Up on Climate Change at the Economist

About a month ago I posted some responses to the editorial position taken at the Economist. One of their claims was with regard to the Kyoto Protocol and that “European Union countries and Japan will probably hit their targets, even if Canada does not.” At the time I registered skepticism with respect to these estimates. Continue Reading...