« Winner gives all | Main | Zizek: Contemporary China and “the party-state” « Kasama »

October 18, 2010


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


I don't know about the Japanese but I can speak for my own experience and that of my friends and aquaintences. We are tapped out - I have no more equity in my house, I have no more room on my credit cards and my credit scores are crap. I would be more than willing to spend if I had the money or the credit - to keep shopping, to keep paying my bills, to afford anything beyond the mimum to get buy. And I am one of the lucky ones - I have a job and so does my spouse. But we are like so many shmucks who figured we could pay our bills later - and of course we have all those unpaid medical expenses that our wonderful insurance refuses to cover. I apologize for sounding so whinney but this post (or the article you reference) implies that not spending is somehow a choice. Certainly for businesses hoarding cash it is - but I question even that assumption. Because consummers have limitied or no access to further credit, there is no source for demand. And with a Republican victory all but assured, government spending is about to drop further - it is like we are living in 1930 or 1931, waiting for the final blow.

yasuo akai

Hello Jodi,
I grew up in Japan and currently live in Tokyo. Having an experience of living in Belgium for several years, I can somehow compare Europe and Japan. It might be true people here are less consuming, though here I don't know anyone who doesn't have a TV set, except for myself. I think young people in Japan are simply becoming normal. I'm optimistic about those young people, because (I think) they are learning how to share things and how to prioritize what they care. They are not doing so as a political choice, of course. But, this cultural change is rather good, if it's really changing. The problem is that the social security is less generous in Japan than in Europe. And also, many landlords in Tokyo are not so happy with sharing, or apartments are simply not built for sharing. The article appearing in the NYT made me laugh.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo