American Enterprise Institute Fellow Blames Cosplay For Poor Economy

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

American Enterprise Institute Fellow Blames Cosplay For Poor Economy

17-deadpools

In a poor economic climate, a columnist at the American Enterprise Institute claims cosplayers are too busy dressing up in costumes to get jobs.

Cosplayers signal bad signs for the U.S. economy, James Pethokoukis, American Enterprise Institute fellow and columnist, wrote yesterday in The Week.

Pethokoukis examines the economic situation of Japan - decades of stagnation that now hurt Japanese young adults who are unable to find permanent jobs and live with their parents. Pethokoukis cites an interview with Masahiro Yamada, a Chuo University sociology professor, which states many young people have taken to dressing up as heroes and escaping to games, anime, and cosplay. Yamada states economic growth in Japan has declined while the rate of unmarried people has increased.

"After all, it's not that these young adults in Japan are resisting becoming productive members of the economy - it's that there just aren't enough opportunities for them," Pethokoukis writes in The Week. So an increasingly large number of them spend an increasingly large amount of time living in make-believe fantasy worlds, pretending they are someone else, somewhere else. This is a very bad thing for the Japanese economy."

Transitioning to a poor economic situation for young adults in the U.S., Pethokoukis notes cosplay visibility has increased recently. Last year the show Heroes of Cosplay premiered on SyFy, and more attendees have started cosplaying to large events such as San Diego Comic-Con.

This weekend in New York City, cosplayers are attending New York Comic-Con in costumes they either made or purchased. NYCC even has a cosplay craftsmanship competition.

This all takes place during a slow economic recovery in the U.S. Pethokoukis uses this to argue, "When you're disillusioned with the reality of your early adult life, dressing up like Doctor Who starts looking better and better. It's not to say that all or even most cosplay aficionados are struggling to find work. It's only to say that any rise in people fleeing reality for fantasy suggests problems with our reality."

However, evidence shows that many different kinds of people cosplay. Last year, Business Insider asked cosplayers attending New York Comic Con about their jobs and found that while many cosplayers were students, many also held jobs in teaching, security, and finance. Some cosplayers even make costumes and attend events professionally, such as Yaya Han of Heroes of Cosplay. Li Kovacs works with Nintendo to model as characters for upcoming games.

Pethokoukis' previous article in The Week argued American businessmen are ruining the U.S economy.

Source: The Week

Permalink

Well, I read it and... not sure if serious...

His last article was right on the nose about the desire for an immediate profit being ultimately destructive, but this one is a bit mental.

Wait. This headline is entirely misleading!

This columnist is not blaming cosplayers for a failing economy. He is noting that there is a rise in escapist activity within the younger population when there are less opportunities for them in the real world.

He is saying cosplay is a symptom, not the cause!

Could America have NEETs on the level that Japan does?

Now I'm interested to find out what kind of things contributes to enabling so many NEETs to exist.

Well... The dude does have a point- reality sucks and I want out. I just don't dress up to escape... Just the occasional declaration of immortality, supreme evilness and what not. You know, using a god complex to justify reality.

Defective_Detective:
Wait. This headline is entirely misleading!

Yeah, seriously.

The paragraph before what's quoted says "It's hard to blame them. After all, it's not that these young adults in Japan are resisting becoming productive members of the economy - it's that there just aren't enough opportunities for them."

Rose, how do you go from "it's hard to blame these people, there's not enough opportunities for them" to "I blame them"?

I Cosplay to break up the monotony of life, not really to escape.

I still have my 10-7, but every now and then, I like to break the routine and see something different.

Defective_Detective:
Wait. This headline is entirely misleading!

The title is just reversed. Hes blaming the rise of cosplay on the poor economy.

Raziel:

Defective_Detective:
Wait. This headline is entirely misleading!

The title is just reversed. Hes blaming the rise of cosplay on the poor economy.

No. No, it isn't "just reversed". It's misrepresenting the columnist's entire article. It should be changed.

"... Fellow blames cosplay for poor economy..."

Look how that reads. It implies cosplay is a cause for a poor economy, which is not the content of the discussed article if you even have a cursory glance at the content.

It is almost click-bait worthy.

Defective_Detective:

Raziel:

Defective_Detective:
Wait. This headline is entirely misleading!

The title is just reversed. Hes blaming the rise of cosplay on the poor economy.

No. No, it isn't "just reversed". It's misrepresenting the columnist's entire article. It should be changed.

"... Fellow blames cosplay for poor economy..."

Look how that reads. It implies cosplay is a cause for a poor economy, which is not the content of the discussed article if you even have a cursory glance at the content.

It is almost click-bait worthy.

And even if reversed, really is applicable to Japan, and not so much to the US. As the article pointed out, people that cosplay in the US are students, in security, fincance, ect. And how do you afford to cosplay without a job?

Defective_Detective:
Wait. This headline is entirely misleading!

This columnist is not blaming cosplayers for a failing economy. He is noting that there is a rise in escapist activity within the younger population when there are less opportunities for them in the real world.

He is saying cosplay is a symptom, not the cause!

Gadzooks, never before have I seen such a thing on the escapist.

Defective_Detective:
It is almost click-bait worthy.

Surely not sir, this bastion of calm and reason would never stoop to such a thing.

Yeah, interesting article, people try to escape more when reality isn't quite as shiny, never thought I'd see the cosplay barometer of economic trends, along with the skirt length and waitress attractiveness index. Shame about the title.

Anime, manga, and cosplay can be a pretty expensive hobby. I don't know if this is a product of the failing economy.

drkchmst:
Well... The dude does have a point- reality sucks and I want out. I just don't dress up to escape... Just the occasional declaration of immortality, supreme evilness and what not. You know, using a god complex to justify reality.

Yep. These kids should escape reality like 'real' adults.
Go to a bar, drink until they black out and wake up next to a werewolf with a baby in the oven. Yeesh.

roseofbattle:

"After all, it's not that these young adults in Japan are resisting becoming productive members of the economy - it's that there just aren't enough opportunities for them," Pethokoukis writes in The Week. So an increasingly large number of them spend an increasingly large amount of time living in make-believe fantasy worlds, pretending they are someone else, somewhere else. This is a very bad thing for the Japanese economy."

Okay, that headline is click bait, pure and simple. He says the exact opposite of what you state he's saying in the title. He's saying that Japanese youngsters want to get jobs, but because of the bad economy they can't. And to escape the situation they play make believe.

Unless I'm horribly interpreting that quote, he is absolutely not saying that cosplaying ruins the economy.

Defective_Detective:
Wait. This headline is entirely misleading!

This columnist is not blaming cosplayers for a failing economy. He is noting that there is a rise in escapist activity within the younger population when there are less opportunities for them in the real world.

He is saying cosplay is a symptom, not the cause!

True. But a site called "The Escapist" might not want to advertise that escapism is a sign of bad economy. :P

Anyway, the last paragraph held a lot of truth.
Cosplay can be a profession and is rapidly becoming an industry.

Maybe you could look at just Uncle Scrooge cosplayers and blame them for not spending enough to stimulate the economic rise. ;)

While I agree that the title is misleading, James Pethokoukis is still so wrong about this. He still implies that the rise of cosplay is a sign of how the bad the economy is, as if cosplaying is a negative symptom of the economic situation. He's basically saying "See what you did, Washington? You turned good, Chritian Americans into unmanly, childish japanophiles. The endtimes are coming."

Yes, surely if anything cosplay is a sign of a *thriving* economy - isn't it basically a whole bunch of people spending large amounts of their disposable income on a frivolous pursuit? And in the process creating a whole industry that didn't previously exist?

I've always felt that the existence of cosplay, gaming culture, and pretty much everything else celebrated on this site is a clear demonstration that our society is essentially prosperous (perhaps *too* prosperous, and maybe that prosperity is built on the backs of poor people elsewhere, and maybe we're basically living in the last days of Rome. But you know. Gladiators! Yay!)

Defective_Detective:
Wait. This headline is entirely misleading!

It does seem a little backward.

OT: You could say this about all forms of escapism, people need engagement.

Captcha: Have fun!

I'm trying.

theSteamSupported:
While I agree that the title is misleading, James Pethokoukis is still so wrong about this. He still implies that the rise of cosplay is a sign of how the bad the economy is, as if cosplaying is a negative symptom of the economic situation. He's basically saying "See what you did, Washington? You turned good, Chritian Americans into unmanly, childish japanophiles. The endtimes are coming."

And it didn't occur to him that what's happening in Japan isn't the same for America. Over there, they view anime and manga as kid's stuff and view anyone who still likes that stuff into their adulthoods as losers and outcasts.

Defective_Detective:
Wait. This headline is entirely misleading!

This columnist is not blaming cosplayers for a failing economy. He is noting that there is a rise in escapist activity within the younger population when there are less opportunities for them in the real world.

He is saying cosplay is a symptom, not the cause!

The headline is misleading. But his conclusions are still moronic.

Being able to afford to costume and go to conventions to show off your costume without having a full time job to pay for it? Someone needs to write an article on how that's done.

I see, so it's basically the "All nerds are manchildren who live in their parent's basement!" argument all over again but with the added dimension of "and they're wasting all our precious money!"

I see it as a case where the fashion market needs to wake up. Cosplay-inspired casual wear, anyone?

Micalas:
Anime, manga, and cosplay can be a pretty expensive hobby. I don't know if this is a product of the failing economy.

I'm with him. I go to conventions and I've heard people talk about what it took to make so-and-so.

The first thing is that, yeah, this can get expensive. And the more complicated it is, the more cost there will be.

Second, in order to be able to MAKE any of this stuff, the person must be able to sew and craft. This requires skill. Skills like these are marketable, since they can produce. Some people sell arts and crafts for a living. Some of them even do so at the conventions. This, to me, sounds like a stable economic system.

THIRD, just as an aside, it's not like none of these people hold jobs. In fact, this kind of action acts as a stress-reliever FROM a job. Everyone has a cut-off valve somewhere that they let the steam out with. If that includes creating a life-sized THWOMP and hauling it around a convention center (Actually happened.), then so be it.

UberPubert:

Defective_Detective:
Wait. This headline is entirely misleading!

Yeah, seriously.

The paragraph before what's quoted says "It's hard to blame them. After all, it's not that these young adults in Japan are resisting becoming productive members of the economy - it's that there just aren't enough opportunities for them."

Rose, how do you go from "it's hard to blame these people, there's not enough opportunities for them" to "I blame them"?

well, quite easy.

take the original line: "it's hard to blame these people, there's not enough opportunities for them"

now do some slight editing: i t's hard to blame these people, there's not enough opportunities for them"

and viola! you get "I blame them".

on a side note, James Pethokoukis also confirmed Half-Life 3 will be released Holiday 2016 using the same reasoning.

Defective_Detective:
Wait. This headline is entirely misleading!

This columnist is not blaming cosplayers for a failing economy. He is noting that there is a rise in escapist activity within the younger population when there are less opportunities for them in the real world.

He is saying cosplay is a symptom, not the cause!

Yep click bait headline works again.

roseofbattle:
Pethokoukis examines the economic situation of Japan - decades of stagnation that now hurt Japanese young adults who are unable to find permanent jobs and live with their parents. Pethokoukis cites an interview with Masahiro Yamada, a Chuo University sociology professor, which states many young people have taken to dressing up as heroes and escaping to games, anime, and cosplay. Yamada states economic growth in Japan has declined while the rate of unmarried people has increased.

It's really dangerous to take the Japanese elder generations' view of their economy without also looking at the younger generations being talked about.

Most people in the west don't seem to have paid much attention to it, but Japan has been undergoing a culture shift in the last two decades of economic stagnation that are probably going to turn out to be as paradigm-shifting as the post-war transformation was. During Japan's "economic miracle" years, the social contract was very simple: Men go to a good university, men graduate, men get guaranteed lifetime employment at a large corporation. The man will devote every waking moment to this corporation, if he's lucky getting one day a week he can go home and sleep instead of seeing his kids, and in return he will be guaranteed a job with guaranteed raises based on his age rather than his performance. The guarantee was so sincere that even if he was grossly inept he might not even be fired, he might simply be given a job of looking out the window all day with the hope that one day he'll become so bored and ashamed that he quits of his own volition. Then he can retire at 60-something, finally get to spend time with the wife he has lost all contact with, and die of liver-failure at 70 because of his decades of nigh-mandatory boozing after work with his bosses. Women could go to university if they wanted, but basically their job was to land a husband with lifetime employment so that he could buy her a house to keep clean for him while he worked himself to death and raise his kids.

In the 90s the economic bubble burst, and all of that fell apart. Companies stopped offering guaranteed lifetime employment to any but those on a fast-track to corporate leadership, and instead started hiring legions of temporary dispatch workers who under law were supposed to be made proper employees of the company after years, but this was worked around by the companies just firing them at 2.99 years and hiring a new batch. Now instead of loads of money, guaranteed promotion and lifetime benefits, a lot of Japanese workers get low wages, no chance of promotion, the bare minimum benefits required under law (if their employer obeys the law). However, the endless hours of overtime are still there.

As a result, more and more Japanese youths are turning their backs on the corporate employment system that caused their fathers to miss nearly every milestone in their lives. Most of them will not have the nice homes, nice cars, and nice gadgets of their fathers, but they have the chance to live a life under their own terms. The elder generation isn't dealing with this change very well. They are the ones that broke the social contract with the younger generation, but a lot of them haven't clued into the fact that the young people don't owe them obedience simply because they're older- the young need to actually see a sign they're going to get something out of it. And so the older generation that doesn't get the video games, the cosplay, the rock music, and the spending your evenings and Saturdays with your friends and loved ones thing are in total confusion and dismay. The editorial pages are filled with stodgy old folks angry that they've spent their whole lives killing themselves by inches just to support Japan, Inc., and the young have found a better way.

So when some oyaji claims cosplay is ruining Japan's economy, it's probably best to ask him what his company's hiring policies are before just taking his word for it. Now this guy being cited is a sociology professor rather than a corporate type and his ideas about taking financial burdens off the youth look pretty sound to me, but he sounds like either he's focusing on the symptoms rather than the cause, or he's being quoted out of context to create that impression. People don't engage in escapism unless they have something unpleasant they want to escape from. Give them nice lives to lead and most will enjoy their lives.

Wow, DANGER- MUST SILENCE just demolished this thread. Bravo.

Coincidentally, I first saw this article via twitter from former Escapist's Editor-in-Chief Susan Arendt. Yeah, a lot of people in the thread were not happy. A lot of the article is a gross generalization of many things, but again the previous poster nailed it.

DANGER- MUST SILENCE:
10/10 would quote again.

As usual I came here to talk but you took every word and more out of my mouth. Fantastic post, I guess there are things you just can't learn by simply speaking the language. One of these days I might save up enough money to get a start and actually spend some time living in Japan.

Defective_Detective:
Wait. This headline is entirely misleading!

This columnist is not blaming cosplayers for a failing economy. He is noting that there is a rise in escapist activity within the younger population when there are less opportunities for them in the real world.

He is saying cosplay is a symptom, not the cause!

This is the sum of what I got out of the article as well. I don't entirely believe that it is a valid assertion. My experiences with Cosplayers is that they are highly motivated and intelligent. Most of the really good ones make a living off of cosplay. They are not the type of people that are trying to escape reality.

Darth_Payn:

theSteamSupported:
While I agree that the title is misleading, James Pethokoukis is still so wrong about this. He still implies that the rise of cosplay is a sign of how the bad the economy is, as if cosplaying is a negative symptom of the economic situation. He's basically saying "See what you did, Washington? You turned good, Chritian Americans into unmanly, childish japanophiles. The endtimes are coming."

And it didn't occur to him that what's happening in Japan isn't the same for America. Over there, they view anime and manga as kid's stuff and view anyone who still likes that stuff into their adulthoods as losers and outcasts.

Actually that's a bit backwards. Westerners are much more likely to consider anime "kids' stuff" (hence the Animation Age Ghetto trope), but people obsessing over them are usually only considered mildly weird. In Japan, anime is much less age-restricted, with there being shows that are actually aimed to young-adult and adult audiences shown in prime time slots, however they are also much more conformist and because of that they treat people obsessed with them (and thus sticking out of the line) much more harshly.

Case in point, the "Western Otaku" is usually depicted as weird and annoying but ultimately harmless cosplayer/weeaboo, while "Japanese Otaku" are usually depicted as fat, ugly perverts leeching on others to fuel their hobby and destroying society from within. Kind of a big difference.

As for the actual article, it should be saved, printed outs and placed wholesale into the dictionary right under "Click Bait" as the prime example. I literally only clicked on the headline because I was baffled by how an economist could say something so stupid, and then it turns out they said the exact opposite. Be ashamed Escapist, be very ashamed. >:|

Kenjitsuka:

Defective_Detective:
Wait. This headline is entirely misleading!

This columnist is not blaming cosplayers for a failing economy. He is noting that there is a rise in escapist activity within the younger population when there are less opportunities for them in the real world.

He is saying cosplay is a symptom, not the cause!

True. But a site called "The Escapist" might not want to advertise that escapism is a sign of bad economy. :P

It's better to say that it's the cause? o.O

Kenjitsuka:
True. But a site called "The Escapist" might not want to advertise that escapism is a sign of bad economy. :P

Still shitty journalism though, especially after all the nonsense we had a few weeks back surrounding that sort of thing.

As for that lad himself, it's just another case of mistaking correlation with causation. Not all that interesting. Pretty big clickbait article. Made a misplay here Escapist folks.

Defective_Detective:
Wait. This headline is entirely misleading!

This columnist is not blaming cosplayers for a failing economy. He is noting that there is a rise in escapist activity within the younger population when there are less opportunities for them in the real world.

He is saying cosplay is a symptom, not the cause!

Oh I wouldn't say the headline is misleading, it's straight-up bullshit.
This isn't even a correlation =/= causality mistake. The title says cosplay is cause when their post and the actual article both very clearly take the position it's an effect. Near as I can tell nobody is arguing the position claimed by the title of this thread.
2 words for that: bull-fucking-shit.

So the headline says "American Enterprise Institute Fellow Blames Cosplay For Poor Economy".

But in the article the author being quoted says, "It's hard to blame them. After all, it's not that these young adults in Japan are resisting becoming productive members of the economy - it's that there just aren't enough opportunities for them."

Thus he expressly does *NOT* blame them - he even uses the actual word 'blame' in a manner utterly inconsistent with what the headline is.

Am I missing something here? Because it feels like I'm missing something here.

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here