[p2p-research] Japan's Demographic Crisis

Michel Bauwens michelsub2004 at gmail.com
Mon Aug 17 06:17:18 CEST 2009

I know this is a very popular theme in the U.S., and very attractive to
young people ...

hell, the boomers you are critiquing where saying the exact same things
about their parents 40 years ago ...

but then as now: 1) there are poor and rich youth, and their situations are
very different; 2) there are poor and rich old people and their situations
are very different

Social change needs broad coalitions that need a focus on commonalities.

Blaming poor old folks for exploiting rich youngsters will get us nowhere,
it's an instrument of division ...

People who have worked their whole life deserve access to health care and
decent pensions, and young people deserve all the support they can get to be
creative in the world without extreme precarity ...

Why would we have to choose between both options, and not combine them???

If you start discussing 'generations' as if they were truly existing
coherent entities, then the old folks would say with justification: you are
wasting your time gaming and internet-ing, not being socially engaged to
solve any of the real issues in the world ..

would that be fair ... perhaps for some ... but would it get us anywhere?

On Mon, Aug 17, 2009 at 3:04 AM, Paul D. Fernhout <
pdfernhout at kurtz-fernhout.com> wrote:

> Ryan Lanham wrote:
>> http://www.businessinsider.com/japan-is-dying-2009-8
> From there:
> "Japan's population shrunk by the most ever, 45,914 people, in the year
> ended March 2009 based on latest data. Japan's demographic death is getting
> worse.It's a bad time to be young in Japan. Not only are there fewer of you,
> but your parents' generation is putting you further into debt with cushy
> benefits. Meanwhile, you fight for fewer traditional jobs. ... The most
> recent data shows that things are getting worse, not better, and if this
> continues we would expect GDP declines to become a permanent feature of the
> country. Perhaps now we understand corporate Japan's fascination for
> robots."
> Exactly. And this would be the United States too, if it weren't for
> immigration and births by immigrants who still know how to have fun and
> raise families. A lot of Western Europe is facing the same issues. And,
> someday soon, the rest of the world may face it too, as family and community
> gets replaced by gadgetry and virtualization.
> That is just as I said towards the end of my previous post (the "solar pv
> is cheaper than coal" one). Forget "Peak Oil". The industrial world is
> facing a "Peak Population" crisis. :-) We are "amusing ourselves to death".
> We desperately need to convince people to invest in having bigger families
> and using more (sustainable) resources before it is too late. :-)
> And, despite all that, there are few good jobs for the young. Now, beyond
> Greek kids rioting, French kids are rioting again:
>  "Second night of unrest near Paris "
>  http://www.philly.com/inquirer/world_us/20090811_In_the_World.html
> They know they're getting a raw deal. They have just been so heavily
> schooled they have trouble seeing exactly what went so wrong.
> We desperately need to reorganize the basis of industrial society (basic
> income, the end of compulsory schooling, local 3D printing, peer production,
> gift economy, free commons, etc.). It is indeed a *social* crisis, not a
> *technical* crisis (except to the extent that our technical infrastructure
> reflects our social assumptions and political priorities).
> And, just like in Japan, in the USA oldsters are saying the young should
> suffer to pay for oldster benefits while getting none of their own (except a
> thirteen year prison sentence is Prussian schools). Example (again, and with
> my commens in brackets):
> http://www.nydailynews.com/news/2009/08/14/2009-08-14_seniors_give_pol_an_earful_want_mouthful.html
> """
> One senior [with US government supplied comprehensive health care supplied
> through Medicare and a US government supplied basic income called Social
> Security] wanted to know how the government would pay for a program to cover
> some 47 million uninsured [young] Americans [most who were paying payroll
> taxes of 15.3% of all their small income to supply his health care and basic
> income]. "Where are the doctors and nurses going to come from to cover all
> these new people?" he asked [after likely having voted in such a way as to
> prevent those young people from having enough wealth or initiative to become
> doctors, or to be successful enough in life to pay even more to support him
> in his own age.]
> """
> It's a supreme dysfunction of a society -- a society drowning in the
> potential for universal abundance and universal community and universal
> happiness and universal health. It is a society where oldsters invest in
> immortality by living an extra few miserable years of "frailspan" rather
> than invest in immortality through "paying it forward" to a next generation
> by voting for them to have a chance for a decent life, basic medical care,
> and a family. And so, the youngsters strike back like in Greece and Paris.
> And maybe soon everywhere.
> Rich versus poor. Oldster versus Youngster. All drowning each other in
> fresh water because they are worried there will not be enough water to
> quench tomorrow's thirst while we live on the coast of the Great Lakes.
> Maybe this is somebody somewhere's idea of a big joke? :-)
> But it is the kind of joke that is not so funny when it happens to your own
> civilization. :-(
> --Paul Fernhout
> http://www.pdfernhout.net/
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