Forget The Japan Bashing And Fix The Trouble At Home

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.

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