Retiring to a Jail Cell…

If you’re in need of evidence illustrating the wretched moral character of central bankers and other Keynesian quacks, we have it.

Evidence continues to pile-up showing that negative interest rates are forcing Japanese seniors to prison.  These are people who worked and saved for a lifetime, only to be forced to live in utter poverty by crackpot bureaucrats insulated from the consequences of their incompetence.

Here’s what’s happening…

About one-third of Japanese seniors rely on small savings in combination with their government pensions to make ends meet.  But with the Japanese government’s ill-advised attempt to increase economic demand by pushing interest rates into negative territory, these seniors are being destroyed financially.

With no hope of earning interest on their savings, their pension incomes of just ¥780,000 ($6,900/year) are wholly inadequate to provide the basic necessities of life.  So they’ve turned to a life of shoplifting in hopes of securing a two-year prison sentence typically imposed on such criminals.

Crime figures in Japan show that about 35% of shoplifting offenses are committed by people over age 60.  And some 40% of repeat offenders have committed the same crime more than six times.

Why would people who have been law-abiding citizens for decades turn to a life of crime in their golden years?

That’s easy…

While prison may not be the Ritz, it does offer three square meals, a bed, and the all the health care needs an elderly person could want.  And with two-year cost of a prison term costing the taxpayer more than ¥951 million ($8.4 million), it’s the taxpayers who ultimately pay the price.

Of course, the Japanese prison system is being stretched to its breaking point when nearly 40% of the Japanese population require some level of public assistance.  It’s the highest level of welfare assistance in Japan since the end of World War II.  And it’s a shameful indictment on any government that would foster such grotesque living standards for a once proud nation.

More importantly, it’s proof positive of the absolute failure of the Keynesian system of welfare economics to make the lives of anyone other than government bureaucrats better-off.

Which begs the question…

When do the Keynesian economists admit defeat?

There’s a simple answer to that question.

NEVER!

Admitting failure would mean that a generation of lawyers and government economists would be forced to get real jobs in the private sector and pay actual taxes.  They ‘d sooner destroy their own economies before being forced to earn a legitimate living.

You see, there’s a lot of money to be made in bringing a nation to its knees.

Now, before you think this is isolated to Japan, think again…

More than 40% of elderly Americans have little to no savings outside of their social security.  It’s conceivable that they, too, might look at a prison cell as an attractive alternative to “Dust Bowl” living standards perpetrated by the political class.

And with the failure of the effete elite political class to address the looming bankruptcy of social security, that likelihood grows stronger every day.

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