I think we’re turning Japanese

Two quick points.

Apropos of this post, about getting used to ten years of lost wealth and lower living standards, Krugman’s column this morning is called Lost Decade Looming? Talking about the deficit hawks and their cries for Fed tightening, he writes:

Meanwhile, there are continual warnings that inflation is just around the corner, and that the Fed needs to pull back from its efforts to support the economy and get started on its “exit strategy,” tightening credit by selling off assets and raising interest rates.

And what about near-record unemployment, with long-term unemployment worse than at any time since the 1930s? What about the fact that the employment gains of the past few months, although welcome, have, so far, brought back fewer than 500,000 of the more than 8 million jobs lost in the wake of the financial crisis? Hey, worrying about the unemployed is just so 2009.

But the truth is that policy makers aren’t doing too much; they’re doing too little. Recent data don’t suggest that America is heading for a Greece-style collapse of investor confidence. Instead, they suggest that we may be heading for a Japan-style lost decade, trapped in a prolonged era of high unemployment and slow growth. [my emphasis]

And regarding this post, about Reagan and Social Security, I’ll try to put up a few charts and tables this weekend that illustrate its main points with easy-to-digest annotation.

The post itself contains click-throughs to these tables, but I’ll mark them up for you. Thanks to all the commentators for their helpful remarks.


Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States.

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