As the elderly increase in the Japanese population, the government, on the one hand, has enacted a series of statutes to provide care for the elderly. Adult Guardian Laws, passed in April 2000, are typical examples of the statutes of this kind. On the other hand, however, the restoration of fiscal balance, the primary objective in the present policy of the Japanese government, causes marked reduction of the budget for elderly care. Perceiving this change of governmental policy, a recent Senryu* verse goes as follows:“Ye elderly, die please-for the sake of thy country”. True to this verse, the elderly will not be able to sustain their lives, if the contemporary fiscal policy is pushed further. One may even say that this policy seeks the demise of Japanese elder generation. How would the government answer this criticism? How should we, the seniors, cope with this present situation? In this paper, I would like to ask this question to my colleagues. *Senryu is a traditional Japanese satirical verse of 17 syllables the genre of which in Edo era.
In Negishi (1986), I developed my view on the so-called Mill's recantation of the wages fund doctrine, the short-run theory of wages in the classical school of the economics. According to a survey article on the recent John Stuart Mill interpretations, “a further twist to the debate has been given by Negishi (1986). He reminds us that Mill, in the 1871 edition of the Principles, retracted some of his earlier enthusiasm for Thornton. There he in effect rejected the idea that disequilibrium trades in any way undermine the importance of the principle of the equality of supply and demand, and cautioned that it was too early to adduce any firm conclusions from the discussion engendered by Thornton's book”(De Marchi, 1988). I have three purposes in this present article. The first one is to offer a Japanese version of Negishi (1986), which I think it worthwhile, since there are still no Japanese translation available of the related literature referred and quoted there, i. e., Thornton (1869), Mill (1869) and Thornton (1870). Secondly, I wish to record the appearance of some related literature published in 1990's, like Ekelund (1997), Forget (1991), Fukagai (1995), Mawatari (1997), Mirowsky (1990), Negishi (1998), Vint (1994), and White (1994). Particularly, I wish to make some detailed rejoinders to comments given by Mawatari (1997). The final one is to consider, from the point of view of the modern economic theory (Arrow and Hahn (1971), pp. 324-346, and Negishi (1972), pp. 207-227), how Mill should have replied to Thornton, who asked the significance of a small amount of trade at equilibrium prices, which are arrived after a great bulk of goods were already sold at disequilibrium prices (Thornton, 1869, pp. 53-54; 1870, p. 65). As is easily seen at a glance at Figures 6, 7 and 8 in the text of the present article, i. e., those of box diagram and of utility frontier, the importance of the final small amount of trade at equilibrium prices is that the Pareto optimality is assured.