It’s well documented that Japan’s population continues to age, while younger generations fail to have enough babies. This is putting enormous pressure on the country’s government welfare programs. In response, new finance minister, Tara Aso, said this about seniors who need medical care: “I would wake up feeling increasingly bad knowing that [treatment] was all being paid for by the government," he said. “The problem won't be solved unless you let them hurry up and die.”
Once human value is reduced to purely economic terms, the step from rhetoric to action is pretty small. Today it’s the inconvenient elderly, tomorrow it’s the chronically or mentally ill, and the list goes on.
This is yet another reason why handing more and more of these types of decisions to government is disastrous for human value. Their calculator only adds numbers. A society with strong and healthy mediating institutions, especially the family and the church, will use a better measure.