Tuesday, June 08, 2004


Over the weekend, Japan's dauntless parliamentarians banded against each other and strode forth in endless variations of the 'oxwalk' (a v---e---r---y slow walk to the front of the chamber to cast a parliamentary vote; Japan's polite version of the filibuster)(something interesting has to happen in parliament), to do battle on behalf of the long-suffering public by splattering some pancake makeup on the gaping wound that is the Japanese pension system, a system less comprehensible than even the machinations of parliament.

What they did, basically, after riots in the chamber, flagrant oxwalking and egregious violations of parliamentary protocol, was extend the travesty another decade on its deathbed, while raising pension premiums and lowering pension payouts. So all you young folks out there just entering the workforce, don't count on your pensions, but be sure to pay us ours. And say thanks to the LDP who fights so hard on your behalf, headed by a guy who, these things happen, forgot to pay his pension premiums.

The government is now rethinking the premium hikes, but we all know what happens when governments think.


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