Tuesday, April 18, 2006
The Laffer Curve Doesn't Work In Japan, Either (Unless Your Goal Is To Eventually Make Most People The Slaves Of A Lucky Few)
Japan, too, is now seeing the bad results of applied trickle-down: namely, that it helps the already-rich to get richer while they trickle all over everyone else.
Thought your provided link does beg the question: if Japan's system was working so well with a top tax rate of 75%, why change it? Well, the egalitarianism promoted by the government (evidenced by that tax rate and nevermind the nonperforming Japanese loans from the 80s and 90s) led to a nasty decline in folks who could pay for the lives of others. Socialism done gone bankrupt. Doh!
What are you trying to say here? Sounds like you didn't finish your sentence.
And do you have any evidence for the rest of your assertions? In the course of a decade, under the Bush-style Laffer Curve "reforms" of Koizumi, Japan's economy has gone nowhere but down, and just as in the US, the only beneficiaries are at the very top.
However, Japan isn't quite as bad as the US -- yet. Japanese workers still earn living wages for the most part, and their top executives don't yet get the obscenely-high compensation rates that ours do. (It used to be in the 1980s that the CEO of a typical Japanese company would be paid between eight and ten times what his lowest-paid worker got. During that same period, the typical American CEO got 80 times what his lowest-paid worker got. Now, it's gone up to around 500 times what his lowest-paid worker gets.)
The egalitarianism dates back to World War II and the MacArthur constitution, which was enormously progressive. The idea that if the company and the nation prospered everyone would prosper brought out the best in people. They worked unbelievably hard and saved.
However, key elements of the original constitution were damaged by the Cold War. Among those was the power of labor unions. And so the old zaibatsu that had brought the military dictatorship into being were gradually reconstituted. Still, one saw remarkable business-government partnership, and as long as incomes were rising, people didn't complain.
So the system worked...until the late 1980s. At that point, a culture of money took hold. Japan changed from Bedford Falls to Pottersville. The nonperforming loans of the era very closely resembled our own Savings and Loan crisis, and the Enron scandal.
So, Mr. Anonymous Rightwing Coward #62,845, the "socialism" you so ignorantly decry is actually Halliburtonism. Crony capitalism. Using the public treasury for the enrichment of a few.
In the USSR, the joke went, "They pretend to pay us, and we pretend to work." That's socialism. and that's increasingly what the United States is becoming under the blind leadership of rightwingers who very likely couldn't find Japan on a map.
1. It provides you with enough money on an hourly basis that you don't need to work so many hours as to damage your health to meet basic human needs.
2. The basic human needs it should supply are: (a) living space no less than 400 sq. ft. for a single person (more for families), and including electricity, telephone, sanitary and cooking facilities, as well as hot water, (b) sufficient food to sustain a typical healthy diet, (c) money for transportation to and from work, (d) basic medical care, (e) basic clothing, and (e) sufficient additional money to permit savings for the following normal human events: medical emergencies, the births of children, higher education for qualified children, and old age.
You want a dollar figure? Fine: look at what is defined as poverty. That's about 20% less than a living wage, worse in cities.
How much is the maximum that a CEO should get paid? In my experience, once people earn more than about 10 times more than the lowest-paid employee, they start getting delusions of self-importance. This is a significant problem in the Republican Party.
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