Monday, July 30, 2007

Pension Fraud Brings Down Japans Government

In a society that once had cradle to grave employment for its workers Japan for the past twenty years has been in an economic downward spiral. Each attempt to follow American recommendations to privatize their economy has exposed Japan's political establishment as incompetent if not downright criminal.

This weekends election exposed the weakness of such reforms in Japan as well as other existing capitalist economies as they rely on looting public pension funds for venture capital.

However, voters on Sunday were obviously far more concerned with bread-and-butter issues that directly affect their daily lives.

Key among those issues was concern about the state of the public pension system.

Even though the government passed legislation to reorganize the scandal-tainted Social Insurance Agency, the public was clearly not convinced that everything had been done to address their concerns about 50 million or so missing pension accounts or whether the new entity would operate in an efficient manner that would ease their fears about retirement.

Abe learned late last year about the pension debacle, but did nothing to deal with the matter until Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan) raised this issue in the Diet, triggering a public uproar this spring.

Abe had no alternative but to come up with measures at the last minute to placate the public.

Abe promised to sort out every single pension account and notify individuals by next March at the latest about the status of their payments.

However, opinion surveys showed that the public had not yet forgiven the government for its handling of the problem.

In contrast, Minshuto focused on the pension issue by again proposing a minimum pension program. It also proposed other livelihood measures, such as steps to bridge the growing disparity in incomes as well as moves to help Japan's farmers and child-rearing families with direct subsidies.

Sunday's results left no doubt that Minshuto's policies resonated with voters. The major political question now is whether Abe will continue as prime minister.


Japanese State Capitalism

Gambling On Your Future

Public Pensions Fund Private Partnerships

The Importance of Savings

Social Insecurity The Phony Pension Crisis

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