Nota bene - This below is a rant, not an attempt to harm. I just cannot suppress an intense feeling of frustration with the subject.
Hello, do you know me?
I am Martin Fackler, Japan correspondent for The New York Times, the most powerful and influential newspaper on the planet. I am famous, or should I say infamous, for a certain article I wrote about an unknown performance artist's portable drink dispenser disguise being symptomatic of -- or was a metaphor for? -- oh, well, whatever -- a rising fear of crime in Japan.
That article earned me a special, special place in the hearts of many, many of Japan's inhabitants.
Anyway, you may have noticed I have been on a tour of Japan outside the metropole. In my contact with real persons, rather than Japan corporate image- and foreign relations-management types, I have managed to craft a set of decent reports, including an admirable one on Hamada's Marine Bridge which provided background to the debate on Obama Administration's fiscal stimulus proposals, contrasting the American situation with the runaway Construction State's despoilage of Japan's environment and finances.
Now a lot of you might be thinking, "Hey, all that Fackler needed was to get out of the Kantō Plain to stop producing vignettes that obsfucate rather than illuminate."
To this I say, "Phooey!"
Witness what I have produced today, "Hime Island Journal: A Workers' Paradise Found Off Japan's Coast". From out of a cynical joke regarding a bronze statue of a mayor erected by his son, I manage to misrepresent an LDP local heavy's whitewashing of his family's having leveraged public money into the creation of an impregnable, hereditary electoral lock as being a socialist, workshare arrangement offering an alternative to the liberal reforms proposed by former Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichirō.
It is a tour-de-force of buying into the proposition with a bemused, side-long glance.
Of course, I could have detonated the whole, sunny charade by asking a few, simple questions:
"But where do the funds for the worker's paradise ultimately come from?"
"If the village government is the major employer on the island, could not the mayor threaten to cut off families of workers who ask, say, to be paid at a rate closer to the national average?"
But if were to ask the tough, critical questions, then I would lose the "backlash against economic liberalism of the Koizumi Era" angle I so desperately want to offer in microcosm.
Econ 101 and data (reply to David Henderson)
13 hours ago