Japan had a quick run up to modern first world status since 1860 when the doors were forced open there by Admiral Perry but now it is in a steep slide downwards. A Tokyo hit by 5.6-magnitude earthquake shook Japan today and is a reminder that most of the country’s businesses and people live in the shadow of major tsunamis, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. This fragile existence has led to a culture of resignation and defiance. Ever since the Bubble burst, resignation has been the general rule with fascists now in control trying desperately to whip it into maniacal martial hysteria in a fight with gigantic, billion plus people China that is on the rise, not dying like Japan. This is doomed to failure. Meanwhile, the rich in Japan have decided to decimate overtime laws so they can exploit workers more efficiently which is the exact opposite of what voters want.
First, the bad news continues: Japan posts Y53.4 bil trade deficit in April ‹
But thanks to lower oil and gas prices, the deficit fell more than forecast, nearly 94% from April 2014, when the deficit was 825.5 billion yen, the Finance Ministry reported Monday.
The Japanese yen, now trading around 121.60 to the U.S. dollar, is at its lowest level in price-adjusted terms since January 1973, according to Richard Katz of The Oriental Economist Report.
Abe and the Bank of Japan printed money like mad and gave this to the huge industrialists who got richer. The trade deficit isn’t so horrible now thanks to this but then, it was aimed at making the US deeper in trade deficit and that worked, too. This doesn’t save Japan at all since all the wealth created this way stays in the hands of the very few just like here in the US.
Hardest hit, arguably, are single mothers, but most of the women Spa! profiles are either childless or not assuming responsibility for their children. Among the latter is Yumi. She was 18 when she gave birth – “so the child would be nine now.” Unmarried, she left the baby with her parents and drifted to Tokyo. What she expected to find there she doesn’t say; anyway, she didn’t find it. She tried sex work but couldn’t adjust to one of its main premises: you don’t choose your partners, they choose you.
Marriage is dropping, women are no longer forming families, men have learned in Japan that if a woman has a child, she can leave them and they will never see their child again. Foreign fathers learn this harsh lesson after fantasizing that Japanese girls are deferent and loyal. They are not. Like inner city minority women on welfare, the bulk of children taken or rejected by their fathers are raised mainly by grandmothers. This is not a good solution for active children who benefit from a whole family with young parents. Japan is literally dying. The US middle class youth, burdened by school debts, is forming families slower and slower and having fewer and fewer children while the underclass is multiplying…and killing itself…at a much higher rate.
The fix for the free trade system is to work males to death and prevent them from being fathers. The dissociative system set up by this form of trade has a very dire effect on families. When 90% of labor was on farms, this strengthened families even slave families since production of more slaves depended on women bearing children and being able to raise them successfully. Factory life hit families harder separating the labor from the family unit, moving the workers daily far from the household to work elsewhere.
The new system sent jobs thousands of miles away, selecting places with strong peasant populations like China or Southeast Asia and…Japan! These strong agricultural family structures can take the stress of factory and city labor because of their cultural strengths overcoming the deficits of working in this anti-family economic system. But over time, this kills families:
Working to death in Japan: Health warning over ‘no overtime’ law ‹ Japan Today: Japan News and Discussion has all the ugly details how the business lobby in Tokyo is changing the laws insidiously so they won’t have to pay for any overtime, ever, if they pay a salary instead of by the hour. The comments are most illuminating:
Supey11MAY. 25, 2015 – 09:11AM JST
Consider this alternative: If Japan not only reversed this idea, but instead upped the overtime rate to 50% instead of the current 25%, then did both a crackdown to enforce it as well as for taking full vacations, and then did a publicity campaign about this to prevent worker compliance in secretly allowing it, then this would have a wave of Abenomic effects.
-People would leave on time and maybe spend it with their family. Families would benefit, more sex would happen as people wouldn’t be so tired (so up the population figures) and there’d be potentially less domestic family issues.
-Those without families (or with) would simply just spend. They’d shop, drink, do a hobby, or even just run the A/C and TV at home a bit more which would result in more energy spending. With this the GDP would go up and the amount collected in both consumption tax and corporate tax on profits would increase.
-They’d use their vacation to travel, probably to smaller places in the countryside, which would help rural economies and make jobs there. And those without hobbies would now have time (and energy) take up one, and then spend a bunch of money buying whatever hobby gear was necessary.
-But here’s where all the Abenomic arrows leave the quiver: Then the companies would have to hire additional people to cover the hours they weren’t inclined to pay a 50% surcharge on (or for the days people weren’t there due to vacation). This would not just give more opportunities to women, but it would put pressure on overall worker availability in companies, not to mention in restaurants, hotels, shops, and other places people would be spending their new-found free time. Accordingly, workers would be in demand and usually the way to entice them is through higher salary. So very quickly wages would rise (as well as the tax collected) as companies actually competed for labor, and they’d be able to afford it because people were now spending more since they had more time off.
Unlike the current method of -overwork, underpay, stress, lack of time off to spend, and expectations for companies to pay more anyway without giving cause to how or why-, this reversal method would essentially do exactly the opposite and everyone would benefit. Even the stalwart companies would too since they’d be selling more and earning more profit.
But guess what, if the thinking is instead to begin removing overtime pay because it’ll somehow reduce work hours, then I’d say there’s no hope for… umm, I mean there’s just no hope.
ScroteMAY. 25, 2015 – 09:49AM JST
When I worked in a Japanese company my boss was always grumbling about overtime payments and saying he wished the law would be changed.
He should be happy now the LDP have made the change. The result will not be fewer working hours, but more. Incomes will fall and the economy will suffer. On the other hand, profits will rise and corporate donations to the LDP will increase.
Tony W.MAY. 25, 2015 – 11:10AM JST
This problem is not unique to Japan. In Singapore there is a similar compuction on employees to sit at their workstations until late in the evening, regardless of whether there is actually work to do or not, so as to avoid disapproval from their bosses. And both countries wonder why their birthrate is declining to worryingly low levels!
The bankers and industrialists don’t care if this kills off families. They move their capital and production elsewhere! The Nazis had ‘national socialism’ which was supposed to help build families again only…Hitler used this to run massive wars that killed millions of Germans and many millions of victims of Naziism, one of the more horrible regimes, ever. The Soviet system was the same: millions dead, families shattered, society collapsing.
Instead of learning from history and figuring out how capitalism, social services and families interact, we have ideological battles that ignore the obvious. The left embraces the utter annihilation of families by excusing the mess created by welfare financing of families with no jobs and the right wing wants to work everyone to death and enslave the remainder who don’t want to work. These two extremes are very deadly, both communists and fascists make a mess of things. We once had a real economy: protectionism, control of immigration, strong dollar, public works to prevent idleness during slow economic times, etc. All lost, it seems.
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