In an intereview about a Deliberative Poll that found support for a difficult tax increase in order to avoid the privatization of the nation's underfunded pension system, Jim Fishkin explains how the public came to view the problem.
"This is another case where policy experts had very strong views about how the so-called "funded system" or what, in the United States, would have been called a "privatized system" of pensions, was an appropriate solution. But, the public did not want the risk of such a solution. There was a gap between the experts and the people.
"But, the public realized that there is a big problem, but they were very interested in the particular problem of the failure of collective action, the problem that--because of the Japanese concern with privacy--it's very difficult to know whether people are really paying into the pension system in the way that they’re supposed to.
"There's a fairness issue that's very fundamental in the Japanese system. The indication, to me, that the people were really, seriously, deliberating is that there was a strong movement, I think 19 points or something, in the direction of increasing the consumption tax in order to keep the "pay-as-you-go system" solvent.
"Well, that’s a big sacrifice! Anytime people are willing to support a big sacrifice like a tax increase, that gets my attention because they're weighing very difficult choices."
Read the entire interview by clicking here.