onsdag, september 09, 2009

Murakami Ryu i NY Times

Forfatteren Murakami Ryu har et indlæg i NY Times, som handler om resultatet af det nyligt afholdte valg. Jeg er ikke enig i det hele, men han har nogle pointer og så er det i øvrigt fint i tråd med hans forfatterskab. Her er et uddrag:

"In the past, the government was able to fix our problems. After World War II, Japan’s growth was largely state-directed. The people expected the government to build roads and hospitals, to protect their businesses and to guarantee their employment. Today, in part because of our aging society and our troubled pension system, the government simply doesn’t have the money to make everything better...

The party [LDP] bought the support of provincial voters by shoveling money to farmers, builders and small- and medium-sized businesses. Early in the postwar era, bringing public and private enterprises to one’s own district through connections and backroom deals seemed to be the main occupation of politicians. They functioned more as lobbyists than as politicians, and it’s hard to imagine a softer job. That’s why they love to have their sons and daughters follow in their footsteps.

The days of plenty eventually disappeared, but competing demands for the government’s largess continued. One group in a given district might want the government to subsidize highway construction while another wishes to see the local hospital rebuilt. A major problem here today, amid the worsening business climate, is that hospitals are under financial stress.

But a landslide victory won’t give the Democratic Party the money to both construct all the roads and finance the hospitals. National and local government finances are on the verge of collapse. The Japanese are not naïve enough to rejoice over a change of administration at a time like this, or foolish enough to believe that their lives are about to improve.

The depressing truth is hitting home. Though one stratum of Japanese society may benefit from the change in government, others may be hurt. Major corporations may be rescued with tax cuts while workers’ wages remain stagnant. If the minimum wage is raised, then corporations will shift production overseas.

The days when everything worked like a dream and everyone’s standard of living kept rising are over, and have been for a long time. Now that there is no longer enough money, the Japanese public has to make some hard choices. "

Læs resten her.

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