‘Tax Handsome Men, Increase Birthrate’ Says Economic Analyst

Morinaga Takuro, television personality and economic analyst, suggests an ikemen tax

The falling birthrate in Japan has been a major concern in Japanese society for several years, since if it continues it could have huge economic effects, particularly when coupled with the issue of an aging population.

A television personality and economic analyst, Morinaga Takuro, has come up with a novel solution for combating the problem, which he expounds in an article in the Asahi Shimbun. Likening the capacity of ugly men to date successfully to the economic issue of inequality of income, or the ‘wealth gap’, Morinaga talks about a ‘love-gap’, which he sees as being a fundamental cause of the falling birthrate.

The solution to Morinaga’s ‘love-gap’ is simple: impose tax on ‘ike-men’ [handsome men]. If you’re handsome, attractive, or cool, then Morinaga thinks you should be paying for it. Fair enough, perhaps, if you want to level the playing field for men, but what about women? Is this tax really going to be enough of an incentive for them to close their eyes and think of ….the Emperor?

From Asahi Shimbun:

Morinaga Takuro: ‘Correct The Love-Gap Through Handsome Tax’

‘If we impose a handsome tax on men who look good to correct the injustice only slightly, then it will become easier for ugly men to find love, and the number of people getting married will increase’. Economic analyst Morinaga Takuro proposes such an idea as a strategy to combat the falling birthrate in Japan. It may seem like a surprise move, but the man himself is deadly serious.

‘The income-gap is often focused on, but what’s more severe is the gap in appearance. Men who look good get an unbelievable amount of women. There are even men who’ve had relationships with over 100 women at the same time. Consequently, the problem arises that women only focus on one group of men.’

Morinaga, who has many opportunities to learn about the love lives of these so-called handsome men due to his television appearances, suggests the following.

As important elements of love, Morinaga raises (1) appearance, (2) wealth, (3) charm, and of these, the most significant is appearance. ‘No matter how much ugly men live it up at go-con group dates, in the end the girls always like the ike-men, that is the men who are the most attractive. But people can’t do anything about the way they look. Therefore, by redistrubuting the wealth, we will correct the inequality.

How much would Kimura Takuya pay?

How much would Kimura Takuya, frequently voted the most handsome man in Japan, pay?

On one hand, while Morinaga’s idea will double the income tax of ike-men, the income tax of men who are not all that attractive will be reduced by 10 – 20%. Since the highest bracket of income tax is 40%, handsome men who have a high income will the be taxed at 80%. The judgement as to whether or not a man is attractive will be made by a jury of a randomly selected women.

For Morinaga, the idea that he supported men who are, like himself, ‘otaku’, is important. While you can’t say that there are no otaku who are not also ike-men, Morinaga sees otaku as men who are not good at love and dating. ‘Their opportunities to encounter women fall, and they become increasingly bad at dating women. They fall in love with the 2D female characters from anime and manga. But I want to tell them that human women are also great fun!’

Morinaga with his collection of toys

Morinaga with his collection of toys

He also appealed on behalf of the charm of otaku men, saying ‘They are law-abiding, earnest, and faithful. A lot of them are good men.’

Morinaga suggests that the root of the problem of the falling birthrate in Japan is a falling marriage rate. ‘Increasing the number of couples that get married will be the most effective solution.’ As for enhancement of ‘child support’ such as maternity/paternity leave, Morinaga says, ‘We need support for people who already have children. It just doesn’t seem like the number of children will rise.’

Comments from 2ch.net:


Damn, I’m going to have to pay a fair bit…


Don’t try and exploit any more from me than you already have!


Seems like there’d be more income from tax if they taxed the bald and the beastly.


How can there be a level to judge whether someone is ugly?


Exempt from ike-men tax=Confirmation from the nation that you’re ugly. You’d want to die before you fell in love.


I bet the human rights people are livid.


Moritaku [abbreviation of Morinaga Takuro], are you saying this for real, or is it just part of your act?


It would be worse to call it a tax break for the ugly


So, there’d be stuff like hotel discounts for the ugly, and ugly coupons would be handed out and stuff? w


I could never laugh at such a stupid joke. So were there only handsome men around in the old days?


Handsome/Average/Ugly. How are these groups demarcated and who decides?! w


I guess handsome men have to put in the effort to be handsome. Morinaga, before you say stuff about handsome guys, try to make yourself as handsome as possible


I already have nothing to do with the taxation system.


Teacher Morinaga, are you sick in the head? You’re not an ugly 2ch dweller, you shouldn’t say such things in the real world!


I’m ok with it if it comes with a ranking list of who’s paying the most ikemen tax. I guess I’m going to be like 1000th on that list.


Does he know that these statements are a violation of human rights?


I guess it’s his job to think of things like this as an ‘economic analyst’?


For those bastards who have a full head of hair, let’s have a full-head-of-hair tax.


Share This Article
Help us maintain a vibrant and dynamic discussion section that is accessible and enjoyable to the majority of our readers. Please review our Comment Policy »
  • Ruaraidh

    The absolute last thing Japan needs is to create an artificial selection pressure in favour of otaku.

    • Oh yes, because all otakus are ugly right ? Wow, you must have done years of research and is totally not stereotyping.

      • Paul M

        I think you need to go check out the ‘lost and found’ office and see if anyone has turned in your sense of humour.

        • I’m not joking. But it is understandable that people of a lower intellect would consider my comments as a “bad joke”.
          Please respond.

          • Paul M

            Oh no, I would never have mistaken your comment for a joke. However you failed to realise that Ruaraidh’s comment was.

        • chicken nugget


  • vanyuelding

    since highschool the ugly and socially awkward always came with vicious ideas… well it continues in the adult life #survivalofthefittest

  • Brett

    Funny this tax was proposed by such an unattractive person.

    Wouldn’t it make sense to tax all unmarried women, as opposed to handsome men? It doesn’t matter whether a man is attractive or not if every childbearing woman of age isn’t married and giving birth…

    What am I talking about, this is retarded. Just do what Korean men do and import other SE Asian women to bear children. Everyone wins.

    • Thanh Phú

      South East Asian men loses. Everybody loves having a son in East Asia. The gender ratio is out of balance everywhere, not just rich countries.

      If only they would import men too… (rolls eyes)

      • Brett

        Understand completely… I didnt mean to offend anyone. Maybe SE Asian women could import men. Promises of less stressful living and plenty of sun;)

      • Jon

        Women prefer winners, and SE Asian men look like losers compared to the rich, organized East Asians.

        Life sucks. I know.

    • linette lee

      Why should they tax unmarried women. That is the most stupid thing I have ever heard. People who wants to give birth in Japan can have as many kids as they want. People don’t want to give birth why should they be penalized? Japan needs to come up with a law to encourage and give incentive for people to give birth. Like the more kids you have the more tax benefits or free this and that. Or paid work leave etc…. Also Japan should encourage adoption like give them tax benefits.

      • Brett

        “…the most supid thing [you] have ever heard”… More stupid than taxing handsome men?

      • Ruaraidh

        Blanket incentives to give birth are a stupid idea anyway, in the UK at least it just seems to have a dysgenic effect.

      • Peter

        No. Any chance of population decrease should be welcomed. May the soshoku danshi (herbivore men) phenomenon spread to other countries. MGTOW in the west gives us hope for the planet.

        • Chris Steward

          what does MGTOW mean?

          • handy jay

            MGTOW = Men Going There Own Way. It’s men who have become aware of how overly gynocentric & feminist our legal system & society has become, & refuse to marry or commit to women, because of it. These men choose to use their money & resources on themselves, rather than using it to wine & dine women, buy them gifts, pay their bills & debts, support their bastard children, etc. Also, they don’t “hate” women. They simply refuse to subject themselves to all drama, BS & whims, of spoiled princesses. You can learn more about MGTOW at the link below.

  • vanyuelding

    are the Japaneses too proud to order mail brides from vietnam & all like their korean fellows ?

    • Brett

      Definitely too proud to be calling Koreans “fellows”.

    • chucky3176

      What do you mean “fellow Koreans”?

    • Peter

      I don’t think they want any brides at all and good luck to them. Both the sosoku danshi (herbivore men) and the himono onna (dry fish women). It’s case of “no sex please, we’re Japanese”.

  • Paul M

    This guy reminds me of the 40 year old Virgin, what with all the toys and stuff.

    • Peter

      Not that there is anything wrong with that. I am over shamming people.

  • ChuckRamone

    So, he’s saying handsome men make more money than ugly men, and women would therefore be more likely to choose an ugly man because he’s now making the same amount as a handsome man? Something about this logic doesn’t add up. Would the handsome men be getting taxed so much that they’re living in poverty or something?

    The handsome men would have to start advertising their incomes with an asterisk (*before taxes and fees).

  • Zappa Frank
  • Erdos

    He may be speaking in jest, but he sort of has a point, at least, in a roundabout sort of way.

    See, part of the problem with the modern dating arena is that there aren’t strict codes of conduct enforcing monogamy anymore. Couple this with the fact men’s physical standards are usually lower than women’s (men evaluate most women to be ‘average’, women evaluate most men to be ‘below average’) and what you end up with is a poisonous environment in which a small part of the male population of any given group monopolize a majority of the women ranging from average to very desirable.

    Think of it like this: A 5/10 woman manages to hook up with an 8/10 man. This isn’t inconcievable. Contrary to popular belief there are far more average looking women with attractive men than vice versa. The problem is that the women don’t understand that when you punch above your weight, you’re much more likely to get cheated on, so it essentially creates a system of de facto hypergamy, where top tier men are screwing all the women.

    Psychologically, the women don’t understand the reason they keep on getting chucked to the curb is because they’re going after a small portion of men who has the luxury of receiving huge amounts of female attention, and are simply going to cheat sooner or later.

    This ability of average women to obtain highly attractive men, however transiently, creates the false impression in their female mind that this is the baseline standard of man they should be aiming for. In short, they overestimate their worth and discount men who are actually their equivalent in terms of looks, simply because they were able to hook up or have a casual ‘relationship’ with a top-tier man a fair few times. The end result is that women go into their 30s waiting for very highly attractive men who have already married women far more attractive than the women who are waiting.

    I’m also one of those people of the opinion that money only helps you go so far. Looks seem to overrule money on a primal basis.

    In short, women need to lower their standards. Most men aren’t nearly as shallow as women believe. I’m of the opinion that if someone can stay healthy/fit, they’re going to reach at least a baseline standard of attractiveness 9 times out of 10, and the fact men will screw women less attractive than themselves also proves men are less shallow.

    • ChuckRamone

      This post explains a lot – about you.

    • Ruaraidh

      It’s only natural that a few men are vastly more successful in this way, believe me I take no pleasure in this but you sound like such a sperg writing this post. Women don’t owe you anything, expend some more effort to compete, rather than bitching about how it’s not fair and it’s women who are to blame for your shit.

      And before you respond that you’re personally doing fine, no one writes a post like that who doesn’t have an axe to gind.

      • Fellow Sperg

        He’s spot on, this is just evolutionary biology.

        You sound like the angry one here. And nobody denied that it’s “only natural” that this occurs. The problem is something OP pointed out in the beginning of his post, that the mechanisms that societies created to discourage hypergamy and encourage monogamy are breaking down, and that this isn’t good for the overall cohesion of societies as a whole. Those mechanisms were put in place for more than just artificial religious reasons, there are biological and social reasons behind it.

        You’re breaking a dam without realizing what lies behind it. This isn’t just a case of bitter men. It’s the fact one of the things that underpinned civilization is coming apart, and everyone is suffering as a result.

        • Ruaraidh

          I’m not suffering, I see no reason why monogamy should be encouraged. You’ve no real basis behind the assertion that society is going to break down, and your mention of evolution/biology seems confused.

          • Erdos

            >no real basis

            There’s only no basis if you believe that civlized societies can exist in a vacuum sans ethical systems governing codes of conduct, mating practices etc. There are societies that exist without these things, but they sure as shit ain’t civilized.

          • Ruaraidh

            Where’s the evidence that losers not being able to get their end away constitutes a breakdown of ethical systems? Your ‘argument’ is nothing but assertion. You’re in favour of affirmative action, where people who can’t compete sexually should have the goal posts moved in their favour.

          • youmad

            There’s all kinds of ‘goalpost moving’ that affects sexual selection you tard: Welfare, child support, public spending for contraception etc.

          • Ruaraidh

            Where did I write that there was nothing currently influencing sexual selection?

            You virgins-with-rage really are coming out of the woodwork on this topic, did somebody link this to the loveshy forums or something?

        • ChuckRamone

          Where’s the evidence that women’s standards are too high and that they are not marrying because they’re waiting for Mr. Perfect? It’s a possibility, but there’s no definitive proof. Plenty of women, actually, settle for an average man, or even a man that many would consider her inferior socially, economically and even physically. The opposite is true as well. Some people think why is that guy with her? She’s nothing special. You can’t really predict or model relationships that easily. There’s also a general trend in developed countries of birthrates and marriages going down that can’t be pinned solely on too many women waiting for a prince on a white horse. A lot of people are just not interested in traditional families.

          • WhoKnows3000

            It’s getting rather obvious, they’re just speculating. The idea that this is a issue on the female-side is baseless. Women are likely more reluctant to commit, because of the patriarchal paradigm. If relationships were more equitable – men played a much larger role – we’d probably see increased fertility.

            This isn’t the case in poorer societies, because in most cases, women don’t have the choice. However, keep in mind that even poor and/or fundamentalist states such as Armenia, Iran, Trinidad & Tobago, have seen plummeting birth rates. Generally TFR appear to correlate with mortality rates. Higher survival rates means less need to reproduce.

      • cqn0

        I think you’re making assumptions about the OP without knowing a thing about him. I don’t think he’s suggesting that women owe him anything – he has a perfectly valid sociological argument. This is just a problem from a societal point of view (in Japan), and something may have to be done to correct it. Otherwise, there will be enormous economic problems for Japan.

        Historically, polygamous marriage was actually the norm. That system disappeared in modern times due to laws banning it, but you can’t ban an unmarried man from practicing polygamy (well, you can, but it would never get popular support in this millenium). Adultery was even illegal in many countries (such as the US) until the 2nd half of the 20th century. I doubt those laws were strictly enforced, but they no doubt reduced rates of polygamy and the keeping of mistresses. More importantly, there was a social taboo on having such polygamous relationships.

        Nowadays, marriage rates are much lower because women are working and don’t need a man to support them. This means that you have a lot more people (men and women) in their 20s whose relationships are no longer restricted by the law. In such a situation, things revert back to their natural state – polygamy.

        Like Fellow Sperg said, this is just evolutionary biology. Biologically, one man can serve as the mate for dozens of women a year – he just has to splooge in her until she gets pregnant and his (biological) job is done. But for women, she can only carry the baby/babies of one man to term at a time, a process that takes roughly a year (counting post-pregnancy recovery time). This creates an inherent gender inequality in sexual relationships, even if they’re not for reproductive purposes, since most young people are just having recreational sex while using contraception. But the way men and women view one another remains the same.

        In any case, you really don’t need as many men as women. In ancient times, the men were just killed by one another (or by doing dangerous things, like hunting) until only a fraction survived. In modern times, that’s obviously not feasible or humane. So if you don’t solve this problem, you get stuck with a huge number of men who can’t find mates. This is NOT good for society as a whole.

        This is actually a real problem for Mormon fundamentalist cults. They end up with a surplus of young boys, since the church elders take all the young girls for themselves. SInce the Mormons are just a small part of society, they kick the boys out. They’re known as lost boys: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lost_boys_(Mormon_fundamentalism)

        • Kate

          I was reading an article the other day that stated the opposite of what you just said—polygamy being norm. The article said something to the effect of that not being true even in ancient times because polygamy actually hurts the species in the offspring are much, much more likely to survive to adulthood if it had a mom and dad present at the same time. That monogamy came about in that two better parents are better at ensuring survival of offspring instead of one. What’s the point in spreading your genetics but not contributing to survival if the baby just ends up dieing? Monogamy is the norm for men too because they need to stick around to help ensure their baby grows up to continue on the line.

          Maybe in recent times this doesn’t hold as necessary because now the state will take care of food, housing, etc for the dad if decides to run off. But wouldn’t a man be more compelled to actually help raise his child since its chances of survival greatly increase if he does? And sure a guy can have multiple women to have his babies but at some point, unless he is really wealthy in resources, then he will be spread to thin to provide.

          • cqn0

            I think that wealth inequality was much greater in prehistoric times, which allowed for one man to provide for many women.

          • Ruaraidh

            The evidence from sexual dimorphism and genetics suggests humans are naturally predisposed towards being weekly polygamous. The average was probably around three and a bit breeding females per breeding male. Testes size suggests that sexual relationships were likely stable, with successful males having a small harem of females, rather than just spreading their DNA and leaving the woman to do all the work on her own.

            If you’re interested in human evolution I’d highly recommend The Selfish Gene and The Ancestor’s Tale as both books touch on this subject, and are fascinating reads in general.

          • Schmidt, custodial engineer

            polygamy would only work if there were less males due to war or from hunting harsh prey. Otherwise, a lot of males would figure out a dude with three wives will get tired, he just has to wait for him to fall asleep and zip his throat with some animal sinew or cord made of vines, bango presto, dudes done, bunch of single ladies. Meaning, polygamy would attract attention of aggressive males who’d kill to get what they need.

          • WhoKnows3000

            That is assuming that we always lived in patriarchal societies that were more urbanized. However, humans, for most of their history, were hunter gatherers where social structure and the concept of wealth accumulation did not exist.

            In these polygamous societies, child raising was a communal responsibility. We still see that in many hunter gathering societies of today. Monogamy, on the other hand, was incorporated during the Greek/ Roman times to award soldiers who were not able to attract a mate in an urban society where male-polygamy was permissible.

        • Ruaraidh

          He’s saying that women should be less discerning about who they have sex with, and even intentionally pick inferior men over better ones. And now you’re suggesting that we need to ‘solve the problem’ of female sexual choice.

          Greater sexual freedom and choice is good for society and human evolution.

          • Erdos

            I’m not saying women should be less discerning. I actually think selective breeding that encourages high fertility between two partners of high intelligence should be emphatically encouraged.

            Clearly no rules whatsoever is not good for human evolution as it encourages dysgenic fertility. Have you looked at fertility rates stratified by IQ scores, or academic achievement recently? The stupid outbreed the smart across the globe at a fairly high rate. This cannot continue in perpetuity, the existence of civilization depends upon smart people having children with other smart people. Literally.

          • Ruaraidh

            Sorry, let me specify; you were saying that women ought to be less discerning about who they have sex with on grounds of physical attraction.

          • cqn0

            Yes, we need to solve the problem. That’s exactly what I’m saying. In the context of modern society, where male mortality rates are not much higher than female mortality rates, reverting to the natural state of a small number of men having all the women will create social chaos.

          • Schmidt, custodial engineer

            depends on how smart you were, if you figure out someone’s gotta sleep sometime just wait. take the bastard out when he’s tired. It doesn’t matter how tough some one is, smart’s always tougher, least that’s what the infantry taught me…

  • Taegeuk

    What a stupid idea. People like him are not meant to have children. Natural selection at its finest.

    • Fellow Sperg

      But he’s a professional economist with probably a very respectable IQ.

      Why on earth shouldn’t he have children? Civilization needs him to have children more than it needs bumfuck Ethiopians to have children, you idiot.

      • Canadian Jerry

        Qualifications, certifications and designations do not dissociate people from their personalities. 😛

      • Taegeuk

        Nice, taking shots at Africans.
        Anyone who lacks the balls to approach women and spends their time and resources collecting toys have no need to produce offsprings.

    • No, we don´t need more japanese, they live in a small island overpopulated.

  • Cleo

    I wonder if Masako will get walking away money when Naruhito figures out a way to dump her without making himself look less than (weeping) angelic?

  • bigwin80

    So that means the only men in Japan who would suffer from this tax are foreigners.

  • Canadian Jerry

    This is probably the most retarded idea that I have ever heard in my life. “Unattractive” people are just too lazy to make themselves look better.

    I was overweight, didn’t wear fashionable clothes and was socially awkward. It took me four years to change my image but it’s still possible!

    Besides, “attractive” people spend more money to look good!

  • splooge

    this is just female hypergamy at work. 70% of girls chase after the top 30% of men. The alpha male always get dibs on mates. Watch even in the west its like this only difference is we dont have words for this.
    Sucks though now hitting on women is getting stigmatized even though we are expected to make the first move.
    The hook up culture really ruined dating,family life and demographics

  • KnxGuy MGY

    Lets not fix the anti.male.legislation in family law, female preference in every situation and a gynocentric mindset and law enforcment… Lets just tax MEN more… Women need more welfare so, pay up men…

    Yeah… That’ll work………-.-

  • kurt9

    Wouldn’t the “handsome” men simply leave the country if they are subjected to increased taxation? Such men would be quite popular among females of S.E. Asia and, perhaps, Chinese. Some of these guys are attractive to Western women as well.

  • This is so stupid it makes me really angry!! I wonder how many years they had to research that! I’m half japanese and half french and not the most handsome one but still, some guys out there are more handsome than the others and it’s not a matter of choice… what I would say from my many stays in Japan and anybody going there will easily notice the same: japanese people have rotten teeth! Braces cost so much than most people can’t even afford it since there’s no social security paying for it!! and having a good dental care and straigth teeth is one of the best ways to make the ugly japanese guys get on the right track. Here in France, braces are free for all children until they are 18 (after that they have to pay and I did but it still was a fraction of what that costs in Japan)… it is ridiculous to say that ugly men can’t get no girlfriends… In France, you’ll see sometimes even the boldest guys can get them and why is that? because they have great dental hygiene that’s affordable… great dental hygiene makes you want to express yourself, you’re not afraid of speaking in public because of rotten teeth… you’re confident and “kissable” when you have that! Nobody wants to kiss some guy with a horrible mouth thus nobody want to have sex with them: logical! No “tax on the handsome” is going to arrange that: it’s a race to the bottom and I don’t want that for this brilliant country it makes me very sad that public figures think that way!

  • brb_bob

    The problem lies in the use of technology. Not the way anyone looks. If people put down their phones, turned off their computers and televisions ALOT more then they would interact with other people in more ways than just text messaging or video chats. I suppose because the country is a very populated island people mostly stay indoors at home or at work. The pressure to succeed financially must be so high that having friends is not a good decision because it distracts people from work. And since most families can’t survive on 1 income a woman with a child would need to work and who would want to be called a devil wife?

  • Bupitibape

    this doesn’t sound like it’ll solve the problem without making more problems in the process. I agree with some people here that making incentives (financial or otherwise) for married couples and those that have children is a ‘healthier’ solution, rather than punishing a select few for ‘taking all the women’ — to me, that just sounds spiteful of you mr takuro-chan.

Personals @ chinaSMACK - Meet people, make friends, find lovers? Don't be so serious!»