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February 2010
 
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Sat, Feb. 6th, 2010 12:26 pm
Growing old in, and with, Japan

29CommentReply

imomus
imomus
imomus
Sat, Feb. 6th, 2010 12:56 pm (UTC)

Just want to add a footnote. It sounds rather as if Haffner is portraying this...

11 workers supported two retirees in 1960

...as the good old days. It's worth bearing in mind that what that figure reflects isn't just a vibrant young thrusting nation. It's also a nation that's recently seen big parts of its population wiped out in a war, and a nation where people die much younger (through worse nutrition and lower standards of living) than they do now.

Japan's problems today are, in a sense, "the problems of paradise".

Also: the population of the UK (an only-slightly-smaller island, 244,000 square kilometers compared to Japan's 377,000) is about half the size of Japan's. Population density in Britain is 248 people per sq km, in the Japan it's 336. Even with a really radical population reduction, Japan simply becomes Britain (with better food). Is that so terrible?


ReplyThread

(Anonymous)
Sat, Feb. 6th, 2010 02:00 pm (UTC)

Even with a really radical population reduction, Japan simply becomes Britain

Not really, because the demographics will be very different. The average age in Japan will be much older, which in turn will affect Japan's creativity, energy levels, etc.


ReplyThread Parent
imomus
imomus
imomus
Sat, Feb. 6th, 2010 02:04 pm (UTC)

Well, right now the average age in the UK is 39, in Japan it's 42.


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Sat, Feb. 6th, 2010 02:16 pm (UTC)

That gap will surely widen as Japan's population levels decline.


ReplyThread Parent
imomus
imomus
imomus
Sat, Feb. 6th, 2010 02:27 pm (UTC)

I expect so. Population growth, 2002-2008: Japan 0.25%, UK 1.95%.

Japan is one of the few nations in the world to have, as Wikipedia puts it, "severe enough or sustained sub-replacement fertility to have population decline", along with Russia, Lithuania, and Ukraine.


ReplyThread Parent
jdcasten
J.D. Casten
Sat, Feb. 6th, 2010 03:05 pm (UTC)
Sweet Spots: Growth & Decay

This is a hunch, w/o statistics to back it up, but I’m not sure that I see growth, of say, popular access to the media, declining all too soon… I think more and more people in the future will be plugged into media (anecdotally, like so many Xbox live players already are), plugged into both the mass media and the long tail of various sizes of “independent” media producers, archives, etc… one would hope that a materially minimized and highly media virtualized economy would be more stainable… and allow for perpetual harvested growth atop perpetual decay (albeit renewable energy and recyclable materials would be key to sustainable growth harvesting too).

That is, growth has always only been possible with decay—from harvested crops, to newborns replacing the dying, to the evolutionary appearance of new life forms possibly at the expense of other life forms: wouldn’t a decline in one area simply open doors to other types of growth? An equilibrium between decay and growth might be a “sweet spot.”

I don’t think you, Momus, are an economic minimalist (or for some sort of communist state where only the minimum requirements for everyone’s life and health are met in some sort of well oiled and planned economy): You mentioned a “sweet spot” in a recent post: somewhere between excess wealth and dire poverty. I personally don’t see a skeletal economy as working well for a lot of people… some will want to flesh that out with favorite books, family heirlooms, etc.—and the health care industry is so intertwined with others, a skeletal health care economy would require almost all the rest; and I think health care is going to continue to be a huge part of the economy going into the future (with increasing elderly populations)… there will probably have to be a “sweet spot” for health care adequacy too.

BTW: Is retirement akin to the “after gold?”


ReplyThread Parent
imomus
imomus
imomus
Sat, Feb. 6th, 2010 03:31 pm (UTC)
Re: Sweet Spots: Growth & Decay

Sweet spots FTW!


ReplyThread Parent
jdcasten
J.D. Casten
Sat, Feb. 6th, 2010 04:00 pm (UTC)
Re: Sweet Spots: Growth & Decay



I've been trying to disentangle the "propaganda" in this StarBurst series from its rock cliche mockery educational element for children-- the assumption "frames" = brands can be critical of bands? Makes me think of Radiohead and No Logo too... bands vs. brands, etc.


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Sun, Feb. 7th, 2010 01:50 am (UTC)
Re: Sweet Spots: Growth & Decay

FYI Alan McGee interview in the new Nylon Men's magazine. And a mention of an upcoming documentary on the creation of, er, Creation.


ReplyThread Parent