Thursday, November 12, 2015

Japan's Next Generation of Youth: Latchkey Kids.


I was walking by a nursery/kindergarten the other day. It was one of the many that have popped up in my neighborhood over the last few years. 

I wondered why, if the birthrate is so low in Japan - along with the smallest population of children since WWII, and all these pre-schools and nurseries are being built (three new ones in my neighborhood over the last 2 years or so - a neighborhood full of senior citizens), then why has the Japanese government reported that there are over "23,000 children on waiting lists to get into pre-school"? (There were over 44,000 in 2014). Why have two of my close friends told me that they, "Couldn't find a nursery or preschool to put their 1-year-old into" while they go to work.

I got it! It's simple really, when you stop to think about it.... 

Even though the birthrate is dropping seriously, the economy is is the shitcan; families can no longer depend upon the husband's job nor support the family on one income... Hence, the wives have started working... 

When the wives have to work, they have to put the kid's into daycare. Pretty simple, right?

The same phenomenon happened in the USA... Then throughout the 80s. Remember, "Latchkey Kids"

Yep. 

We are brewing an entire new generation of Latchkey Kids now in Japan too because of the BS the government is doing to the currency and the economy; which leads to more and more debt and a situation whereby the mother has to work in order for the family to survive financially.

I think this is terrible. How well did this situation serve the United States and American families?

You can judge for yourself if this is a desirable condition or not.

1 comment:

Michael McThrow said...

Shinzo Abe has been promoting "Womenomics" as an effort to get more women in the workforce in an effort to help turn around Japan's economy. While much media coverage has focused on the struggles of highly-educated women in Japan with professional careers and how Womenomics, combined with initiatives such as additional public daycare centers, would help them, this blog post has made me think harder about Womenomics. Perhaps Womenomics is not necessarily about female professionals, but is more about preparing Japan for one of the consequences of the inflationary parts of Abenomics: women being forced to work in order for households to make ends meet.

How did Japan get to this situation? From the 1950s until the early 1990s, the Japanese economy was performing well. During this time, men were expected to perform well in college-entrance exams, attend a good university like Todai or Waseda, and then join a well-known corporation immediately after graduation, where he would be guaranteed employment at the company until he retires at 60 years old. By the time a salaryman would reach his 30s, his salary would approach the level where it could provide a middle-class lifestyle for a wife and two kids. Since salaries at traditional Japanese companies are seniority-based, they would grow as he gets older. As for women, they were expected to attend two-year colleges after high school and then get employed in temporary jobs as "office ladies", receptionists, flight attendants, or other "feminine" occupations until they got married, which would typically be between the ages of 25 and 30. After the wedding or during the first pregnancy, these women were expected to quit their jobs and become housewives, which they'd remain so until their children became independent. From the 1950s to the early 1990s, this was family life in Japan.

But when the housing bubble of the latter half of the 1980s burst in the early 1990s, Japan's economy entered a long period of decline. To cope with a declining economy, major Japanese companies started gradually reducing the number of lifetime employment positions for fresh college graduates while increasingly replacing them with temporary jobs, which pay less than the lifetime employment positions do and have fewer benefits. To make matters worse, lifetime employment positions are generally only available to fresh college grads, so if a person fails to land a position with lifetime employment upon college graduation, he or she may be stuck working temporary jobs for the rest of his or her career. There are many Japanese people in their 20s, 30s, and 40s who are in this predicament. Rising inflation and taxes does not help matters.

Japan is in trouble with its aging population and its declining population, but I still believe that Japan has some time to recover, provided that it repudiates its Keynesian debt spending policy that it has pursued for over two decades, which has led to a debt load so big that just servicing the debt consumes a scarily-high amount of Japan's revenue. Japan must get its debt in control and stop its current inflationary policies. Otherwise, it risks becoming the first developed nation in a while to default on its debt obligations, and the inflation could rise to dangerous levels, causing massive levels of hardship to Japan's burgeoning elderly population, who is dependent on their savings and pensions.