Question on GDP

I had a chance to take a seminar at Roppongi Academy Hills the other day finally after quite some time.  The tile of the seminar was quite attractive: “Direction of Japanese Economy: Challenge of transforming its structure including Womanomics.”  The lecturer was Ms. Cathy Matsui, Managing Director of Goldman Sachs Japan Co., Ltd and the moderator was Prof. Yoko Ishikura whom I really have a great esteem. 


I was and still am interested in whether Abenomics would be able to turn the Japanese Economy around and how the Womanomics would be effective in recovering the Japanese economy.  Simply, the answer is it will turn around once some conditions are satisfied.  Of course!  Well, it is important to find out what are “those conditions.” Regarding Womanomics, she mentioned that when more women come back from household work and get involved in monetary value added work, then, they will be able to earn money to spend for goods and services: this will generate profits for companies and, as a result, Japanese stock market will rise.  Yes.  This is also true.


Looking at the recent real estate market in Japan (especially in Tokyo), anybody can see that foreign capital are coming back to invest in buildings, land and stocks due to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic effect.  As the value of the Japanese yen recently depreciated against US dollar, the price of property in Tokyo became quite attractive.  Talking about Japanese stocks, once you can identify the movement of foreign investors, and follow them intelligently, you will be able to earn some capital gains in comparatively a short time.  However, one thing that you should notice is that the Japanese market is quite volatile as foreign investors are short-sighted and quickly close their positions.  My advice is to close all the positions on either stocks or real estate well before 2020.


Another advice from me, from the point of view of spirituality, is that you do’nt want to chase money and materials any more:  Instead, you’d better accumulate good deeds so that you will be able to board, for example, Noah’s Ark. Fortunately in Japan, more and more younger people are less interested in money and goods but instead started to search for something that they can do for other people or something intangible.  Many at 50’s through 60’s who experienced the bubble economy in Japan still want more money and spend on luxurious goods and services, something tangible.


During the lecture at Roppongi Hills, I suddenly thought about the reason why we still use GDP as the benchmark of national power. GDP is defined as the market value of all officially recognized final goods and services produced within a country in a year (Wikipedia).  In other words, it is a monetary value based on business activities.  OK, then, if the value of GDP is low, the power of the country is always weak and the people in that country poor?  


GDP and industry growth rates are control factors of growth target of companies.  Should it be the same for a country?  Does “richness” and “strength” of a country depends on how much added monetary value that the country generate?  Is this all?  What about spiritual strength, moral fiber, or honorable poverty?  I wrote this before but we are living in the time of reviewing the definition of “richness and strength” and inventing a new benchmark instead of GDP.


The new benchmark should, in addition to the spiritual aspects mentioned above, take something like the speed of new business model like “forestry based capitalism” to be spread in the country.  Of course, in the short term, we should have a good economic model like Abenomics but not for a long time.  Depending too much on the old benchmark like GDP, we might lose potentials of a new business idea and economic model: uniqueness of a country to grow for the next generation might be lost.


If any of you know any types of project to create a brand new benchmark to measure the strength of a county, please let me know through e-mail!  I am pretty much interested in that.

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