@Benjamin -- For all the gloomy talk about Japan, whenever I visited, it seemed like a really pleasant place to live. I think being forced into ERE is the problem. As with non-ERE lifestyles, being forced into a particular lifestyle is going to make some people very unhappy, but lets other people live in a manner better suited for them.
@Robert -- I wouldn't hold my breath for a revolt in China. Some gradual change sure, but the government has too many resources and is too paranoid for an actual revolt to get off the ground. Also, I imagine most people either remember or have close relatives with stories from the Cultural Revolution, so pretty much everyone is willing to take whatever indignities exist now compared to full-on revolutionary turmoil.
in any case, my philosophy about China is that it's a good place to make money for now, terrible place for me to ERE. And with all this talk about Third World America, by the time I ERE back in the US, it may be a nice, affordable third world retirement country like Thailand or Costa Rica.