In his letter "How to compete with the Japanese--and win" (Readers Report, Feb. 17), T. Boone Pickens Jr. has once again given the public misinformation, ostensibly to further explain his own lack of success in Japan's business world. While he is correct that the keiretsu system has been successful for Japanese companies, to state that this form of business organization represents government-sponsored cartels is incorrect. And to further claim that in Japan there are no such things as shareholder, consumer, or workers' rights is just untrue. Pickens finally hits a true chord with his comment that the U.S. won't find the answers to our trade deficits and unemployment figures in the Far East. Those are simply symptoms of problems that must be basically managed at home. But to the contrary, those symptoms do suggest that the U.S.'s traditional version of capitalism is up for review, because in its present state, it isn't working well.
Stanley P. Krueger
Boone Pickens' obsessive Japan bashing is sour grapes because of his inability to dominate or "raid" in his failed attempts to do business with Japanese companies. I disagree with his assertion that a young Japanese individual cannot start a business. I saw many, many, small businesses when I visited two years ago.
I think Pickens should concentrate his energies toward helping correct the mess we have created in our own country, i.e., high umemployment, inadequate health care, a litigious environment, perpetuating welfare, declining industrial base, political and business corruption, declining middle class, crime, etc., etc., etc. Pickens, leave the Japanese and their quality-built, reasonably priced products alone for awhile and see if you can go out and create 100 new jobs. That would be more productive than what you're doing, especially since the Japanese have created thousands of jobs in this country already.