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A letter to the editors (Rick Mott)

There exists a magazine called "Business Tokyo" which provides an interesting
glimpse of Japanese politics, business, and culture.  In a recent issue, a
guest editorial appeared which was written by none other than Ralph Nader.
He argued, apparently perfectly seriously, that Japan's major problem was
a shortage of lawyers which hampered the advancement of consumer protection.
I was moved to write the following:

	Business Tokyo
	104 5th Ave.
	New York, N.Y. 10011

	Dear Sirs or Madams:

	Mr. Nader is absolutely correct in his assessment that Japan suffers
	from a critical shortage of lawyers ("Meeting Point", February 1991
	issue).  Fortunately, the United States possesses the wherewithal to
	remedy this problem at once.

	Clearly, all right-thinking Americans should request -- nay, demand!
	-- that their Congresspersons immediately authorize the export of
	some small fraction (say, 40,000) of America's lawyers to our friends
	in Japan.  Furthermore, Congress should offer to pay their salaries
	for the ten years deemed necessary to bring Japan's regulatory and
	liability litigation climate up to America's advanced standards.

	Our government has shown that, when the interests of society are at
	stake, it is willing to pay people not to do something; witness the
	farm support programs.  I have long thought that this philosophy
	could usefully be applied to the activities of the legal profession.
	Here we have a golden opportunity to double the benefits of this
	approach while taking the moral high ground.  The $6-8 billion/year
	cost of the program would be repaid manyfold by the elimination
	or, possibly, complete reversal of America's trade deficit with
	Japan by the end of the decade.  We could undo the damage wrought
	by Mr. Deming at a single stroke.

	The only tiny flaw in this otherwise admirable scheme is the
	likelihood that the Japanese may miscontrue our beneficence
	as an act of war...

		     				Sincerely yours,

						Richard B. Mott
						Princeton Gamma-Tech

(From the "Rest" of RHF)

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