Eamon Fingleton discusses "The myth of Japan's 'lost decades'" over at The Atlantic. Interesting piece - think the South Park episode where the Japanese claim they have small penises to deflect attention from their plans of world domination. I was talking about it with a friend and we didn't think it quite passed the smell test. Our conversation is after the jump.
My tack lately has been "you know, the US doesn't really even offer great opportunity anymore. i think maybe i'll go somewhere that does."
people should be responsive to that, because supposedly the whole point of the exercise is to make america "great" or something
great for whom?
and if we're losing Ph.D. scientists, that's not a good plan.
yeah well that's a good point
they don't like things like science and facts
one of my favorite lines is "creating a new industry is not like opening up a
but the way i see it
it takes real infrastructure, regulation etc
that's what they want…everybody to open up a burger king
fuck dude, you guys have no fucking clue what you're talking about when it comes to "innovation" you supposedly value, do you?
Check out James Fallows' blog over at the Atlantic, real interesting article arguing that the Japanese have done exactly this and are taking advantage of Chinese growth to drink America's milkshake
"the myth of japan's lost decades"?
from the title i'm thinking i might not agree with this piece entirely
I think he elides the growth in working poor due to casualised work
The fact the Japanese haven't tackled aging combined with loss of working population
i'm reading this and hearing only "dude, japan is better now than it was in the 80s"
i hate to mention this, but the city of hakodate cannot afford to mow the grass in its public parks
and hasn't been able to for five years.
the trade numbers are great but
debt-to-GDP is 2:1 and showing no signs of going anywhere but up
the workforce is in shambles
and the Japanese can't borrow on the cheap forever
education is fucked up
like, seriously, fucked up
and he spent this whole piece talking about the export economy
which is like 10% of the japanese economy
and which is, admittedly, awesome
but it has to be, to prop up the other 90%
It would be interesting to see one of those economists debate him then
Do you think he's trying to make a name for himself by picking a fight with the big dogs?
as long as they're not fucking idiots and they've been in the 'pan long enough that he can't pull the "have you even ever been to japan?" card. yeah i think it's possible
i wonder if the "debate" will just turn into him trying to ridicule them
cos he's been living there since 85 and understands the nuances of Japanese culture
"oh you just look at numbers but you have no idea what they mean because you've never been there" blah blah blah
he's the one who has the japan story right
and by god, he got it right in the 80s too
and they've been ignoring him ever since
i dunno man
even the yen strength
has exactly dick to do with the long-term prospects of the japanese economy
which are fucking bleak
is that because Japan was doing well, or because America was doing badly?
i tend to think it's more the latter
and didn't the strong yen hurt exports?
that's why when it was around 100 to the USD the BOJ was freaking out
and trying to keep it above 100
i mean, when i look at it, i think
okay, what's the main reason someone would want to buy yen?
well, other than to buy japanese products (okay, there's some of that going on), it's buying japanese assets
japanese stocks (nobody wants to own them because they're not worth the paper they're printed on)
japanese real estate (yeah, right)
japanese bonds (don't make me laugh)
Well the Japanese are trying to get the population to buy bonds
yeah and it's working
which is why their debt situation is fundamentally different from, say, the US
because they owe the money to the people
yes, rather than to, say, china.
that only works as long as people don't have to sell their bonds
to generate cash
say, for retirement?
there's a thought, isn't there?
Not like there's any danger of large numbers of retirees any time soon, eh?
and of course
since nobody wants to buy them
at like 1% interest for a 30-year term
eventually something's got to give, i figure
but i'm no japan expert
and i didn't call the crash in the 80s
i'm just not as sanguine on japan's future