Saturday, December 27, 2014

Turning Japanese? I really think so

I was thinking about the election for some reason today, and that got me thinking about Japan. It seems like the American voter is whipsawing between political parties and political extremes in part because of bigger problems with solutions beyond the capacity of either party, whether that problem is ending the war in Afghanistan, creating jobs, or reducing the deficit. As for the economy, we all know that Japan has long been mired in an economic slump from which it never fully recovered -- and I wondered, not being a student of Japanese politics, whether that had resulted in political instability.

Turning Japanese? I really think so

 
I was thinking about the election for some reason today, and that got me thinking about Japan. It seems like the American voter is whipsawing between political parties and political extremes in part because of bigger problems with solutions beyond the capacity of either party, whether that problem is ending the war in Afghanistan, creating jobs, or reducing the deficit. As for the economy, we all know that Japan has long been mired in an economic slump from which it never fully recovered -- and I wondered, not being a student of Japanese politics, whether that had resulted in political instability.

Uh, yeah:

Japan had a remarkably stable leadership from the end of World War II until their bubble burst in the 1990s. As the country has stumbled over the last two decades, unable finally to extricate from its slump, it has suffered through a rapid of succession of leaders, several of whom, like Obama, have stirred hopes of renewal and reform, only to create disillusionment and despair within the electorate. From 1950 to 1970, Japan had six prime ministers. It has had 14 from 1990 to the present, and six from 2005 to the present. That kind of political instability is both cause and effect of Japan’s inability to transform its economy and international relations to meet the challenges of a new century.

So when the Tea Party's whole nopey-strangey thing doesn't work out by 2012, I guess will turn to the Americans for Bloomberg Party, and then when that doesn't work? We'll just keep on, in the words of the great Graham Parker, discovering Japan:

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Will Bunch
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