Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Japan's Government Headed for Ouster? Good. The Sooner, the Better.

Well, in my New Year's predictions, I said he'd be out by June 1st, so my prediction seems to be off. But the voices to kick Japanese prime minister Naoto Kan out of office are growing louder.  Let's hope they become deafening.

Yahoo reports:

Japan's centre-left Prime Minister Naoto Kan, under fire for his handling of the response to the March 11 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster, faces the threat of a no-confidence motion this week. Although Kan's opponents have only a slim chance of rallying enough support for a successful motion in the Diet legislature, the move would be a fresh headache for the PM, who has been in office for less than a year. Leaders of the main conservative opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its smaller ally the New Komeito party threatened the move on Friday against Kan, Japan's fifth prime minister in as many years.

Last night, at InterFM, I met with several nice foreigners who are doing wonderful charity work here in Japan for the Tohoku disaster and they said that they were unhappy that there was talk about getting rid of the prime minister. They were of the opinion that we should, under the current circumstances, allow him to stay.

Pete Seeger - Waist Deep in the Big Muddy
Classic anti-war / anti-government song

This kind of thinking always confuses me. Why?

Well, here are some folks who, like everyone else, on the one hand complain that the government handling of a crisis was inept and incompetent, yet on the other hand, they want to give that same government more time to handle the crisis? 

I don't get it.

I chuckled and asked these good folks "Hasn't the current government already done enough?" (damage?)

The indoctrination that people receive all their lives from government run public schooling once again rears its ugly head. People get brainwashed so that the idea that government is here for our benefit is so deeply ingrained in their beliefs that they cannot see the illogical notion behind it. 

Let's just take a few very brief examples, an overview really, of Japan's case. I ask you:

1) Is there anyone who feels that the current Japanese administration competently and properly responded to the Fukushima crisis in a quick manner and timely manner? 

It seems that most people do not. For evidence of that, another Yahoo report shows that: Almost three quarters of Japanese voters are unhappy with the centre-left government's handling of the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster, a newspaper poll indicated on Monday. 

Why would anyone think that, after such poor mishandling of the situation that, if given another chance, the government would suddenly straighten out and do a better job?

2) The current debt of Japan is 225.8% of GDP. Now, while much of this debt is not completely the fault of the current government, it has skyrocketed (almost 10%) under this administration.  

Why would anyone think that, after such poor mishandling of the situation that, if given another chance, the government would suddenly straighten out and do a better job?

3) Japan's economy is in shambles and unemployment has risen to 4.7% and household spending has fallen 3%.  Also, because of the economy and the worsening unemployment situation, according to Bloomberg, Japan faces another credit downgrade risk. 

In spite of these very bad signs for the economy, the current administration sticks to the typical Japanese government response to all crises over these last 20+ years: spend and raise taxes.

Google reports:

Japan's centre-left premier is taking steps toward a consumption tax hike, a report said Monday, days after the central bank chief warned of the government's "very serious" fiscal state. Prime Minister Naoto Kan plans to set up a body that would propose by mid-June a doubling of the tax to 10 percent by 2015, in a bid to cut Japan's sovereign debt, the Yomiuri Shimbun daily said. The Yomiuri said Kan would head the so-called Core Member Council which would include 16 senior officials of his Democratic Party of Japan. 

The economy is bad enough as it is, unemployment is up, household spending is down, Japan's credit ratings is about to be lowered and this idiot wants to increase sales taxes.  

Why would anyone think that, after such poor mishandling of the situation that, if given another chance, the government would suddenly straighten out and do a better job?

But let's forget the current administration for a moment. This post is actually about a more philosophical question than the problems with Japan's current government. Actually, I am talking about pro-government indoctrination everyone receives all their lives from all public schooling all over the world. 

Think about it, is there anyone of us who can give a consistent, good example, of a well governed nation throughout the history of mankind? 

Back to locally, how about the great result Japan's World War II government achieved for Japan? 3 million dead and her cities carpet bombed to ruin? How about the over 160 million deaths "organized" governments proudly accounted for in the 20th century alone?  

No. Government is not the friend of security, peace and freedom. Government is the sworn enemy of the little guy (that's you and me). Whenever you hear someone say, "We're from the government and we're here to help" the best thing you could do is turn and run away as fast as you can.

Some of my friends last night said that they admired the American example of government. They liked the idea of a new president, elected by the people, every four years. 

"Nonsense!" I retorted.

For one, if voting could change anything, it would be illegal. Two, regardless of who is president of the USA, nothing really changes. Current president Obama is the third Bush administration. He promised to end the Iraq war, end the war on drugs, create transparency in government, blah, blah, blah. 

We are still in Iraq. The war has expanded in Afghanistan. Now we are bombing Yemen, Libya, and other middle eastern nations. The war on drugs has expanded and there is no transparency in government. What's really happened under an Obama administration? Things have gotten much worse.

The USA is the 21st century's Nazi Fatherland. How can people admire our criminal government behavior? It's obvious that Americans do not control the beast that is the US federal government. That monster is out of control.  

And changing US president doesn't matter either. Think about this: Rome had many emperors. They had Nero, Cesar, Caligula, Augustus, etc. Many emperors. Ultimately, though, it was still the Roman empire. And that empire was built on war and taxation.

It is the nature of government - all government - to expand its powers and its taxation base as an answer to all problems.

The current Japanese government is no different as shown by recent actions and the repeated attempts to raise taxes.

No, my friends, this government has to go. They don't need anymore time. They need to be booted out as soon as possible.

Since Japan's experience with inept and incompetent government recently (over these past several years) has been a bad one, I think, then, we cannot expect a "better" government to come in to replace the current clowns we now have (see my comments above about the nature of government). Our best hope is for no government or deadlock within government.

At least, with a deadlock, the government cannot pass any new laws nor can they raise our taxes. 

Considering recent history (well the history of government since the beginning of time) that seems to be the best that we can hope for.


This article inspired by the guys from Sunset Drive (web page, blog & info here) who are holding a charity event for New Zealand Earthquake and Tohoku disaster victims on this Sunday June 5 at What the Dickens in Ebisu.

 Doors open at 5 pm. Entrance fee is ¥1,000 featuring Auctions, raffles, prizes and more fun. Performing that night will be Sunset Drive, icon girl pistols, Ruby Room Orchestra, Natccu and DJ's TIMUTAKU, goldifoxx, Abe Takayuki. Sunset Drive is really starting to happen in Japan. Check them out here.  


Anonymous said...

Great entry. Though I don't necessarily believe that the government is all for the benefit, I don't think the situation's entirely their fault either. Could it have been handled better by the LDP? Perhaps. But at the same time, it is important to recognize that...
1. By nature, the consensus based decision making process so prevalent in Japan makes it difficult for any administration to respond in a speedy manner. Was it mishandled? Yes. But the rate itself could not have been quickened, and Japanese politicians used to the status quo are unlikely to bark orders (i.e. American-style/top-down leadership) when they are so used to doing otherwise.
2. The government has certainly done a poor job of managing the country's national debt. Under better fiscal leadership, however, we could see some improvement, and it certainly isn't impossible. South Korea, which is comparable to Japan in many ways, runs a debt to GDP ratio of only 24%.
3. Wanton spending is an issue, but Japan's sales tax of 5% is ridiculously low for an industrialized country. The VAT in EU nations is at least 15%. It's 13% in Canada and 10% in Australia. You have to pay for the debt in one way or another; if it isn't a cut in some service, it's going to be a tax. I'd rather have the latter; at least you can control your spending.
4. Political deadlock defeats the purpose of government. Whether it chooses to pass new laws or raise taxes is one thing, but the last thing you want to do is pay taxes to an establishment to do basically nothing.


Andy "In Japan" said...

Best solution is for the government to resign and for all of the ruling party bosses to receive something like $1,000,000 worth of Yen to stay at home and never come back.

With all of the the incompetent and selfish leeches on society (government employees) at home and not replaced, the people can get back to their lives, creating wealth and trading things.

With a zero percent tax, no regulations, and free entry in the market for money, Japan would soon become the economic envy of the world.

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