33. Adjusted Gross Income (=AGI、調整後総所得)という言葉はとても大事だ。Form 1040を見てみると、１ページ目の最も下の行がAGIとなっている。言ってみればForm 1040の1ページ目はAGIを出すためにあると言っても良い。
On the day of his departure from Hokkaido on April 16, 1877, at the end of his tenure as the first president of what later became Hokkaido University, William Smith Clark left his charges, and Japan, with a parting message: "Boys, be ambitious." For the next century plus, Japan was ambitious, creating the advanced, prosperous nation we all know today.
Sadly, while Clark's words are still well-known, their significance has been largely forgotten.
There was little reason to expect much from Japan in 1877. It was poor, lacking in natural resources, still emerging from centuries of isolation, and hemmed in by the great powers of Europe and America. But, as Clark sensed, the Japanese people could achieve great things if they were ambitious and believed in themselves.
Japan is incomparably wealthier today than it was when Clark made his famous remarks. And yet 21st century Japan is, in some ways, poorer than the Japan of 1877, or 1987.
Japan today suffers from an ambition deficit, a poverty of confidence. Yes, Japan has real problems that must be urgently addressed, from swelling debt to competitive pressures in its export markets, to rising income inequality, to a looming demographic disaster. But Japan will not be able to solve its problems unless it first gets its mojo back.