Friday, May 20, 2005


Piggybacking on Charles' Japan Post...

I was particularly struck (oowwww!) by this paragraph from the Guardian article Charles cited yesterday:

During Japan's crisis, western - mainly American - witch doctors advised that the only solution was to abandon Japanese customs like lifetime employment and adopt more Anglo-Saxon practices such as shareholder value. The age-old western habit of believing that its arrangements - of the neo-liberal variety, in this instance - are always best proved as strong as ever: it is in our genes. The fact that the US was at the time in the early stages of its own bubble might have suggested a little humility was in order. In the event, Japan largely ignored the advice and has emerged from its long, post-bubble recession looking remarkably like it did before the crisis.
Shorter version: An economy that's based on caring about everyone is healthier, more efficient, and more resilient than one that's based on screwing your employees into the ground just so you can have a second yacht.

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