Japan national election results

It wasn’t a surprise result. The governing LDP and coalition partner Komeito managed to get two-thirds majority +1, which is enough to do basically anything they want to do, including changing the constitution (which would still require a referendum).

I just hope Abe doesn’t use this “mandate” (only 35% of the electorate voted) to start working on constitutional revisions or revisionist history projects.

One question I have for some of my friends who describe Abenomics as “trickle-down economics” is this. What I understand trickle-down to be is that tax benefits are given to the wealthy in hopes that they will use the money to create jobs. But fiscal conservatives in the United States are opposed to more government spending in general.

Abe, though, has been printing money, and injecting large amounts into stimulus projects. It always sounded to me like American liberal economics. Almost the sort of thing that the Democratic Party would do if it had control of Congress. I think Republicans in the United States would be horrified at the way the LDP is doing economics.

In other words, I’ve always thought of the current LDP as strongly nationalistic, not really engaged in the “social issues” which consume the United States, and extremely liberal on economic issues.

Am I wrong?

Good for Tim Cook

At a shareholders meeting on Friday, CEO Tim Cook angrily defended Apple’s environmentally-friendly practices against a request from the conservative National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR) to drop those practices if they ever became unprofitable.

NCPPR put forward a shareholder’s proposal asking Apple to disclose how much it spends on sustainability programs. If those costs detracted from Apple’s bottom line, the NCPPR demanded that Apple discontinue the programs and commit only to projects that are explicitly profitable. Cook apparently became angry at the group’s request. According to an account from MacObserver:

What ensued was the only time I can recall seeing Tim Cook angry, and he categorically rejected the worldview behind the NCPPR’s advocacy. He said that there are many things Apple does because they are right and just, and that a return on investment (ROI) was not the primary consideration on such issues.

“When we work on making our devices accessible by the blind,” he said, “I don’t consider the bloody ROI.” He said that the same thing about environmental issues, worker safety, and other areas where Apple is a leader.

He didn’t stop there, however, as he looked directly at the NCPPR representative and said, “If you want me to do things only for ROI reasons, you should get out of this stock.”