22 January 2013

Japanese Finance Minister: Government Should Let Old People 'Hurry Up And Die'

"Japan's finance minister Taro Aso said Monday the elderly should be allowed to "hurry up and die" instead of costing the government money for end-of-life medical care.
Aso, who also doubles as deputy prime minister, reportedly said during a meeting of the National Council on Social Security Reforms: "Heaven forbid if you are forced to live on when you want to die. You cannot sleep well when you think it's all paid by the government."
Read the complete Business Insider article here.

The article I've quoted and linked to goes on to describe Aso's statements as him "putting his foot in his mouth." Really? I don't think so. Then again, I'm not a politician who will say anything and/or hide any truth so as to cling to power.

This is the truth. The longer people live who do not have their own funds with which to do so, the longer someone else must pay for them to exist. The only real problem with Aso's statement, unless Japanese culture is very different in this regard, is that hardly anyone loses sleep over "the government" paying for the prolonging of their metabolic functioning (as opposed to their life - two very different things). In the minds of most people "the government" is some sort of real entity separate from the individuals who make it up, and the individuals it forcibly extracts resources from. This reification of an abstract allows many to carry on being supported by theft without experiencing a shred of guilt.

Aso's statements also reveal a further bit of truth, and that is the nature of the relationship between an individual and a collectivist society: if you're not an asset, you're a liability.

Don't fool yourself into believing that this only applies to the elderly.

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