(11 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
From Ignoring Asia
As with any trend, fad or period of history things ascend and descend some at glacial speed others like a meteor.
In 1980 Ronald Reagan became President of the United States beginning the rise of conservatism in American politics aided and abetted by the likes of Ralph Reed who helped found the Christian Coalition of America, Rush Limbaugh and the rise of Conservative Talk Radio.
Even though George H.W. Bush followed Reagan one of Americas most popular presidents he was unable to win reelection in 1992 losing to Bill Clinton. Even with that win 1994 brought about the Republican Revolution led by Newt Gingrich and his Contract for America
American conservatives would obtain their biggest triumph with the election of George W. Bush allowing them to control all branches of America’s government until 2006 midterm elections.
The Liberal Democratic Party has dominated Japanese politics since 1958. Under their policies the Japanese began its assent to what would become the worlds second largest economy. Using what became known as the convey system. Where the Ministry of International Trade and Industry would work in cooperation with banks and leading industrial corporations to not only promote Japanese business interests but to protect them.
The LDP’s other power base lay in the way seats in the Diet were proportioned. A uniquely Japanese system was created one which was not democratic or by any means representative of Japans voters. The multiple seat constituencies were weighted towards rural areas rather than the cities where a majority of the population now resided.
Even though the LDP led Japan in its most prosperous times this party like the Republicans is now descending but its decent was one made by a thousand cuts.
Japan’s Bubble Economy
In 1985 the deregulation of interest rates on deposits began. Prior to that time bank were not allowed to pay interest on deposits. The removal of this prohibition led to competition between banks for deposits and hence to interest payments. Japanese banks did not raise interest rates they charged borrowers and thus did not offset the effect of the higher costs of their funds. They made up for the drop in their profits by selling the shares of stock they owned for a long time and counted the realized capital gains as profits. But because of the obligation of cross-holding of stock among the members of a keiretsu they immediately bought back the shares at the new higher price. This meant that they were able to count the capital gains as a profit, and had to pay tax on the capital gains and yet were back again with the assets they started with. They thus experienced a net loss of cash flow on the operation. Furthermore any decline in the stock market then would mean a disguised capital loss.
With the collapse of the Bubble Economy Japan under the LDP failed to correct the situation for 10 years out of fear. Using this go slow approach a decade was lost (The Lost Decade) causing Japan’s economy to contract and consumer spending to dry-up while savings increased at a rate higher than at any other time in its history this from a country known for saving.
Today the LDP and the Republican are as popular as a used car salesman. Why?
Because both of these parties have failed to look forward rather than to the past.
For reasons that are beyond me the Liberal Democratic Party embraces policies that are Nationalistic and Inward looking policies that remind one of the 1940’s and 50’s. They are, even with control of the Diet unable to pass an economic stimulus package, can’t recognize that single parent families exists, that education isn’t about denying history while at the same time embracing the horrors that the Yasukuni Shrine represents.
America’s Republican party has become a shadow of its former self. Once a national party it has become a regional party.
One that embraces racism, believes that the top 1% of Americas wage earners (the wealthy) should receive the full protection and services that only government can offer while ignoring those most in need Americas Middle and Lower wage earners, rather than believing health care should be a right they fight to prevent care reaching the 47 million Americans without it. Living in fear of a major health care crisis.
These two parties have become irrelevant one did it in two years while the other has done it over a period of almost 20.