On retirement in Japan at the age of 70 years
Recently the Japanese government has made a public statement saying that it will immediately bring to the Parliament the increase of retirement to the age age of 70. The time has come: those of us who were expecting that capitalism would propose something that its economic and ideological mercenaries had been working on, was taking a long time, but it is already here. They have been dosing their unpresentable and interested proposals about pensions, with the strategic objective of achieving, through globalization and its financial, economic, political and ideological instruments, the privatization of public pensions, the desired and desirable final goal to allow them to maintain their high rates of benefits, since the traditional ones do not cover their expectations of profit and greed.
The test field of this global project of capitalism is Japan, because in this country there are adequate conditions of temperature and pressure, as a scientist would say, so that the result is basically satisfactory to export it to the whole world, getting adapted naturally to the conditions and rhythms of each place.
Japan is a country with important peculiarities, beyond its organizational model, its tradition or its culture. In the first place, Japan has been leading in the last decades the life expectancy ranking at birth. Currently, the life expectancy at birth of a woman exceeds 87 years. In the case of men it is 82 years old. As a result, and together with its low birth rate (1.40 children per woman in 2013), Japan has one of the oldest societies in the world. It is with this demographic model that the increase in the retirement age and the amount of that increase, will be experimented on.
The demographic parallelism with the Spanish State is undeniable and for that reason the knowledge of the Japanese model confronts us with our own reality and with the solutions that the system proposes.
The Spanish State faces a demographic evolution certainly similar to the Japanese one. We are at the head of the countries of the world in terms of life expectancy (85 years in the case of women and very slightly below 80 in the case of men), at the same time that it has a birth rate lower than 1.5 children per woman. Recent studies on the population structure of the Spanish State are quite conclusive: we are facing a population that is going to age significantly in the coming years. But, although the demographic situation with respect to Japan is parallel, the economic and social situation is not.
Spain has a high unemployment rate, especially in young people, while Japan does not, only of 3.5%. Unemployment rate that adds additional tension to the important challenge of demographic evolution, a central element around which all pension privatization proposals revolve, following the mantra of "if there are fewer taxpayers and more beneficiaries of the public pension system, the public system cannot stand it and is condemned to disappearance and / or misery. " This is the ideological and explanatory line that the globalizing capitalism (Imperialism) and its instruments: IMF, WB, OECD, etc., the EU, and of course our bourgeoisie of the Castilian plateau and of all coats (including nationalists of the periphery), use to justify the need of privatization of public pensions and to enhance private ones.
Everyone knows that, in terms of capitalist economy, Japan is more productive than the Spanish State, and yet the proposals for retirement in the Spanish State made by employers' bullhorns go in the direction of the “new” Japanese retirement. Therefore what happens in Japan will be applied socially in Spain with a really dramatic result if we do nothing to avoid it.
The world vehicle of the Japanese proposal is the OECD, an ideal and "neutral" instrument, which means, technical, not ideological, as capitalism likes to say. But that is a lie: the proposals of the OECD are austere, anti-worker and anti-popular, and it must be clearly stated that the proposals of this entity are deeply ideological: "What the OECD proposes is the pensions to be lowered and to put the retirees to work". It is a criminal proposal. The proposals of the OECD lack any scientific or human foundation, only sustained by the ideological, capitalist, antihuman and exploitative foundation. Undoubtedly, such measures would have very negative effects on the budget for health and dependence, in addition to including a component of injustice. The problem of raising the retirement age is that, in the end, people with lower incomes finance the pensions of those who have higher incomes and higher life expectancy. According to the World Health Organization every time "we live longer, but in worse conditions", for that reason the Healthy Life Hope, which measures the time a person lives without disabling illnesses, is shrinking.
For all these reasons, the Union Trade Union of Pensioners and Retirees (CSUPJ,) invites all class organizations to reject with force and struggle all those proposals that have, directly or indirectly, the objective of increasing the retirement age, denouncing and confronting all those organizations, both political and union organizations, that accept or propose those proposals or similar ones.
Spanish State, December 15th, 2018