I’m just watching the tv programme The Ascent of Money by Niall Ferguson. A comment he made about the Japanese welfare state struck me as interesting because many health experts have us believe that the secret to the amazing health and long life of the Japanese people is down to their diet and lifestyle. Not once have I heard that they have a very advanced welfare state that takes care of all their citizens.
Being British I’ve always been given the impression that the UK has one of the most advanced welfare states yet we have a poor life expectancy and standard of life compared to other nations. Well Niall Ferguson states that Japan in fact have one of the best welfare states in the world. This in fact is becoming one of their biggest problems with it’s drain on GDP. But it’s not the economic consequence that interests me here. It’s the idea that maybe the Japanese are just better supported by their state than other countries. Maybe that’s got a big part to play in their amazing longevity and health!!!