Articles in list format supposedly get more "shares" than those aspiring to be more than a glorified set of bullet points. Today's column will test that proposition using a subject that defies a more coherent explanation anyway: Japanese agricultural regulation.

1. It's mostly about carbs

Simply put, Japanese agricultural policy ensures consumers overpay for carbohydrates, particularly rice. This dates back to the Meiji Era, when tenant farmers paid their rents in grain, giving wealthy landlords an incentive to lobby for import prohibitions.