Home > Blog > The Old Boys’ Club (Feedback)

February 14th, 2014 | Author: David

The Old Boys’ Club (Feedback)

Thanks for all your input. The blog is much easier for me to read now that all the comments are relatively short, and it’s nice to see more and more people contributing to the discussion.

The problem with the Old Boys’ Club is that it creates a vicious cycle. I think the situation was best summed up by Animal Farm with this comment:

the older people tend to choose older people. Politicians tend to favor people who vote for them.

Because the politicians are elected by old people, they have to follow policies that favour the old at the expense of the young. This makes young people worse off and therefore less willing to start a family, so the population keeps falling.

The forthcoming rise in consumption tax is a good example of a policy that robs from the young in order to pay the old. Older people today paid little or no consumption tax while they were working, so cars, houses, and household goods were all cheap. Now that they have retired, however, they need medical care and social security, so the young people have to pay more tax in order to support them. Raising the consumption tax doesn’t really affect older people because they do not buy a lot of expensive things now anyway.

I read an interview with a woman in Tokyo the other day who said she was voting for her chosen candidate because “he understands the problems of senior citizens.” What that means, of course, is that he will enact policies that transfer money from the younger generations to the older ones, and so the cycle will continue. It’s a difficult problem, and I can’t imagine how Japan will solve it.

Anyway, here is some feedback on your comments.

I am wondering if politicians are trying to use this policy as excuse for their clinging onto the positions.
I am wondering if politicians are trying to use this policy as an excuse for clinging on to their positions.

One of the sixteen candidates was 35 who works for an IT company.
One of the sixteen candidates was a 35-year-old who works for an IT company.

Yes, indeed. It is really embarrassing to the world.
Yes, indeed. It is really embarrassing.

Though I couldn’t vote in the Tokyo governor election, if I could, I would not know which person were better, Mr. Masuzoe or Mr. Hosokawa.
Even though I wasn’t able to / eligible to vote in the Tokyo gubernatorial election, even if I had been, I would not have known whether to vote for Mr. Masuzoe or whether to vote for Mr. Hosokawa.

they seem to be much more genki and far more fond of the jobs than younger people.
they seem to have much more energy and be far more wiling to do the jobs than younger people. (This is a good point. I’m not saying that old people should not be politicians, just that we need some young ones as well.)

encouraging younger people to live on their own might be the fastest way to get them vote!
Nice sentence, and a good point. Young people in Japan are taught to trust their elders for everything without question. This means relying on their parents at home, on their bosses at work, and on senior (=old) politicians to run their country.

but I think it’s not necessarily connected to social responsibility.
but I don’t think that is necessarily connected to people’s sense of social responsibility.

It seems almost impossilble for politicians to escape from bonds with powerful groups.
This is true in every country, but it is especially problematic in Japan. I had a friend in Sapporo whose father worked for a construction company. He was arrested for bribing public officials, but he told my friend that he had no choice as that was the only way for construction companies to be awarded contracts. He was just unlucky enough to be caught. I find it strange that giving money to public officials is a crime, but offering them a well paid, easy job after they retire is fine! Surely it amounts to the same thing.

But I think the situation of Japanese government hasn’t changed.
However, I don’t think the situation within the Japanese government has changed.

Have any of you heard of Youhei Miyake?
I hadn’t, so I googled him. I think Japan needs more people like him!

That’s all for today. Have a great weekend.

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Comments

  1. Anne
    Commented on
    2014/02/14 at 11:45

    Hi David,
    Thank you for your feedback as always.
    Yes, fresh air is always necessary.

    Hi Naoko,
    I haven’t said “Hi!” yet. Nice to have you with us.

    It was snowing this morning and now the snow has changed into rain. I hear the sound of melting snow dropping from the roof. I put on boots and went out today. i walked carefully so as not to slip. I’m going out tomorrow too, so I hope it won’t snow again.

    Have a lovely weekend,everyone!

  2. Biwa
    Commented on
    2014/02/15 at 11:59

    Hi David,

    Thank you for the feedback. I always learn lots of expressions from your writing, and I’d like to try these next time; “start a family” “the forthcoming tax-rise” “rob from the young in order to pay the old” and “enact a policy.”

    I totally agree that the whole thing is creating a vicious cycle. I don’t really understand these older people(both politicians and the voters) because I’m sure that many of them must have children and grandchildren themselves. I understand that older people have concerns about their life, especially after retirement, but I wonder why they try to sustain their level of life at the expense of their own children. I hope getting old doesn’t mean getting near-sighted!

    Hi Mimi,

    I googled Yohei Miyake, too. Thanks for the information!

  3. Animal Farm
    Commented on
    2014/02/15 at 12:48

    Hi David,
    Thank you so much for your feedback!

    Hi Biwa and Tsuneko,
    Thank you for your reply too!

    HI Mimi,
    I also googled him. I like his vision. He says that「全ての武器を楽器に」。
    Hopefully, some day humans will choose not to use weapons as a method to solve our problems. Call me an idealist.

    Hi Everyone, please have a great weekend! See ya!

  4. Fumie
    Commented on
    2014/02/15 at 10:22

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your feedback! I think people who can change old systems are enthusiastic young people so I hope innovators like Yohei Miyake voice their opinions. Thanks Mimi, I didn’t know him either so I googled him.

    It snowed in Osaka yesterday so my son enjoyed playing in the snow. Have a great weekend, everyone!

  5. Tsuneko
    Commented on
    2014/02/16 at 3:23

    Hi David and everyone,

    I’m sorry again I’m late to say ‘thank you’ for your corrections and feedback. I needed time to understand all. I liked your correction: they seem to have much more energy and be far more willing to do the jobs than younger people.

    By the way, I feel becoming a politician in Japan doesn’t look very challenging for the youth because you will easily lose the position if you make a mistake and you will soon get hammered down if you act like a nail that stick out. I think we including mass media must change this way in order to get younger energetic people become politicians.

    Thank you.

  6. Mimi
    Commented on
    2014/02/16 at 10:08

    Hi David and everyone,

    Thank you for your feedback and googling(having an interest).

    I think when older people have a look at him, they feel antipathy to him.
    But I believe it might be fun who like him are in politics.
    And if We take action towards realization, we can call it a realist.
    However, as a personal opinion, I am most interested in monetary easing and the revision of the Bank of Japan method at the moment.
    Stop deflation please.

    I hope you had a great weekend, see you!

  7. Megumi
    Commented on
    2014/02/17 at 3:37

    Hi David and everyone,

    Thank you very much for your feedback.

    >but I think it’s not necessarily connected to social responsibility.
    but I don’t think that is necessarily connected to people’s sense of social responsibility.

    >But I think the situation of Japanese government hasn’t changed.
    However, I don’t think the situation within the Japanese government has changed.

    I think ……not……
    I don’t think………

    When I read these sentences, I think the meanings in Japanese look the same. However, are these sentences different in English?

    My son had 10 years old ceremony (1/2 coming age ceremony) at school last week. Every kid declared his or her future dream. Unfortunately, there was no one who presented to become a politician. I don’t think we have many children who are interested in politics in Japan. I wonder if that is the same in other countries.

  8. David
    Commented on
    2014/02/17 at 11:19

    Hi everyone,

    Sorry I didn’t have time to do an entry today. I’ve been really busy with work and the new house, and I’m afraid tomorrow is going to be more of the same, so I might not be able to do a new topic this week.

  9. Biwa
    Commented on
    2014/02/18 at 8:17

    Hi David,

    I hope your house-building is going all right. It seems that the recent heavy snow has badly affected many places. Well, I know people in Gifu are used to hard winters, though!

    Hi everyone,

    According to the morning paper, Italy is having a 39-year-old new leader. His name is マッテオ・レンツィ(I don’t know how it is spelled in English.), married with three children. He seeks(?) to become like the British ex-prime minister Tony Blair. It must be a very hard mission since he has to form a coalition government, but I really wish we had a young leader, too. I think a young leader makes people expect a real change to the old system.

  10. Biwa
    Commented on
    2014/02/18 at 8:24

    Sorry for commenting twice, but I’m not sure about my adjective order. Should it be “a new 39-year-old leader?”

  11. Naoko
    Commented on
    2014/02/18 at 2:56

    Hi David and everyone,

    Thank you so much for your feedback and warm welcome. Your ideas made me think of this difficult issue more seriously.

  12. Biwa
    Commented on
    2014/02/19 at 8:56

    Hi Megumi,

    >When I read these sentences, I think the meanings in Japanese look the same. However, are these sentences different in English?

    Do you have David’s book “A-Z of Common English Errors”? If you do, you can find the answer to your question under the key word “negative sentence word order.”

    In case you don’t, here is an extract:
    “Proficient speakers of English tend to prefer to put negatives at the beginning of sentences. …particularly after “I think,” it sounds unnatural if you do not follow this pattern: I think he can’t⇒I don’t think he can…”

  13. Megumi
    Commented on
    2014/02/19 at 2:05

    Hi Biwa,

    Thank you very much for answering my question!
    I didn’t know the difference of these sentenses.

    I should get a David’s book:)
    Japanese edition and English edition…I’m wondering which one is better for me…

  14. Kattie
    Commented on
    2014/02/19 at 7:02

    Hi everyone,

    I don’t have time to comment at the moment because we have just moved house. We’re staying in a holiday cottage for a week while the main jobs are being done to the new house. Tom and I are really busy wallpaper stripping at the moment.

  15. Anne
    Commented on
    2014/02/20 at 5:49

    Hi David,

    I hope building work for your new house is going well and it won’t snow again.

    Hi kattie,
    >Tom and I are really busy wallpaper stripping at the moment
    Congratulations moving to the new house. Both of you must be thrilled.
    Are you doing a lot of things like painting or papering?

  16. Biwa
    Commented on
    2014/02/20 at 9:59

    Hi Kattie,

    Congratulations on your everything, at last!
    I can easily imagine you two excitedly stripping wallpaper. :)
    Please tell us all about what you have gone through when you are ready. I’m curious!

    Hi Megumi,

    Glad to be of help. (^o^)b
    Have you decided which one to get? I have the English edition because I wanted to know how to explain things in English, but I guess I’m just a weirdo! I think most people would buy one written in their own language, or maybe both??? Of course, I’m not David’s sales agent.(lol!)

  17. Megumi
    Commented on
    2014/02/20 at 12:08

    Hi David,

    I hope your various things are going well.

    Hi Biwa,
    I decided to get the Japanese edition first. I tried out the book date in Japanese and in English, and I have no confidence to translate the English edition exactly. If I have much pocket money, it may be fun to get both of them. Anyway, thank you very much for your suggestion!

  18. Anne
    Commented on
    2014/02/21 at 4:59

    correction:
    >”Congratulations moving to”should be “Congratulations on moving to.”

    Hi everyone,

    Mao Asada’s figure skating this morning was amazing. I couldn’t stop crying. Even though she couldn’t get the medal because of yesterday’s failure, I really admire her.

  19. Biwa
    Commented on
    2014/02/21 at 1:45

    Hi Anne,

    Yes, I was glad to see her smiling at last.
    I saw her performance and interview through the morning news, and she looked very different from yesterday.
    By the way, I think the media often goes too far by interviewing the athletes too much, especially right before the competition or right after they fail. I wish the media would leave them alone for a while.