Monday, March 02, 2009

And They Will Go Bonkers All Over Again

Or maybe they will try to ignore him, hoping he will go away.

In The New York Times, Tamamoto Masaru of the infamous Affaire Tamamoto gives his critics a whole new set of reasons to spit when they hear his name.

But what most people don't recognize is that our crisis is not political, but psychological. After our aggression — and subsequent defeat — in World War II, safety and predictability became society's goals. Bureaucrats rose to control the details of everyday life. We became a nation with lifetime employment, a corporate system based on stable cross-holdings of shares, and a large middle-class population in which people are equal and alike.

Conservative pundits here like to speak of this equality and sameness as being cornerstones of "Japanese" tradition. Nonsense. Throughout much of its history, Japan has had social stratification and great inequality of wealth and privilege. The "egalitarian" Japan was a creature of the 1970s, with its progressive taxation, redistribution of wealth, subsidies and the dampening of competition through regulation. This all seemed to work just fine until our asset-price bubble popped in the 1990s. Today, the hemmed-in Japanese seem satisfied with the knowledge that everyone around them is equally unhappy...
The whole opinion can be read here.

No anti-Tamamoto screed on Komori Yoshihisa's blog site yet -- at least as far as I can see.

No comments: