Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Young Are Not Always The Agents Of Change

I do not like writing about the Trans Pacific Partnership. I know too little about it to appreciate shifts in details. I know just enough about it to be revolted by the cynical avoidance strategies, preposterous PR campaigns and pressure politics.

Nevertheless, here is a little TPP item worth looking into. The Mainichi Shimbun, in its most recent public opinion poll (16-17 March 2013) asked voters whether or not they supported the Abe government's announcement of Japan's formal participation in TPP talks. The poll found that 63% of all respondents supported the government's plans.

When the Mainichi broke down the respondents into age cohorts, however, it found the very youngest voters, those in their twenties, were not very enthusiastic about the plan to join TPP talks. Only 50% supported the government's move. The newspaper guesses that these younger voters are concerned over potential job losses resulting from accession to the TPP. (Link - J)

Perhaps the Mainichi or some other news gathering organization will follow up, finding out exactly why relatively more of the very young in this blessed land are opposing the TPP, or, conversely, why more of their elders are for it.


Peregrine Lancelot-Smythe said...

Wasn't there also a survey a couple of months back which suggested that young people thought their girlfriends should quit their jobs after marriage; or girlfriends wanted to quit their jobs after marriage?

Young people seem to come in for a lot of criticism in this country. They are seen as inward looking (i.e. not going overseas for study); unadventurous (seeking life time employment in these stodgy old firms, rather than being enthralled with this Westcoast entrepreneurialism and start-up culture); conservative (1950s style marriage and now opposed to open trade) etc.

I of course see a lot of outliers around town, but then I see these terrifying hoards of identikit cheap suits, daft haircuts and pointy shoes. Whether there is something more interesting beneath this facade is a bit more uncertain. I have employed a couple of young guys but they were unable to do anything without having each minor point and detail explained to them. It actually took longer doing this than the proper work, which in the end turned out to be pretty shoddy.

All a bit worrying.

MTC said...

Mr. Lancelot-Smythe:

Several polling organizations have had polls in recent years showing that more women expect to quit work after marriage and childbirth than their same-age male cohorts. A surprising fraction of the youngest men and women of working age believe that "man outside the house working/woman inside the house doing housework and child rearing" is the desirable and proper division of labor.

Anonymous said...

Young or old there is a problem of ascertaining what TPP is to have an opinion. TPP is a pig in a poke, a bag full of bad surprises still in making. We can already predict that the US driven part of the agenda is counter to normal understanding of what a national interest should be (including US national interest) but instead is comprised of a hodge podge of extremely specialist/narrow interests that find opportunistic ways to hijack trade policy for short term money making schemes.

The IP agenda is pure rent seeking specialist lawyer driven crap which would work against public interests and against new-comers/innovation, although for most part we can only guess. Tariffs on goods and services are the least of the worries.

Trade treaties will be used to circumvent normal domestic regulations in all participant countries. It will work in the same absurd way that a US domestic pipeline project somehow becomes a matter for the US State Department and not matter for domestic agencies.
(How does one circumvent the EPA? Just have it become a foreign trade issue.)

I would be concerned about protecting public services and utilities, not being forced to have privatized incarceration schemes, and stifling of invention and creativity in the interest of permanent copyrights and ridiculously cumbersome patent regimes. I also would be concerned about getting poisoned by big-pharma and Monsanto then getting Tasered before being incarcerated in some private prison.

If I were in SE Asia, I would also be concerned about big tobacco looking to lock in its last viable market.