November 12, 2004

SHRINK YOUR POPULATION, SHRINK YOUR ECONOMY:

Shocking quarterly slowdown in Japan's economy (Richard Hanson, 11/13/04, Asia Times)

"The economy is like a living creature and needs further monitoring," minister of finance Sadakazu Tanigaki said Friday after the government reported a shock slowdown in the nation's growth rate in the current quarter to an annual rate of 0.3% compared to 1.1% in the April-June quarter.

The only bright spot is that the figures reveal that the economy achieved sixth quarterly growth in a row. Consumer demand remained strong over the hot summer, especially fast-selling electronic goods such as big-screen televisions, in view of the Athens Olympics. But there were dismal numbers for key supports of solid growth - such as exports and capital spending by companies - that might signal a slump ahead.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 12, 2004 7:56 AM
Comments

...but not your standard of living.

Posted by: Perry at November 12, 2004 9:04 AM

I don't know what the Japanese can do. They are hamstrung by the cost of energy. It's physically impossible to lower interest rates any more than they have. How can they reduce the yen against the dollar which would strengthen their exports?

Posted by: Bart at November 12, 2004 9:32 AM

Bart:

Their interest rates are artificially high and they need to allow massive immigration, start breeding, and convert to Christianity.

Posted by: oj at November 12, 2004 9:40 AM

Oj,

They have a well functioning society, very ordered, socialist in many ways mostly through the corporation, but it works. Even their bums are happy people. You could lose your wallet in Shinjuko train station which is the busiest in the world and half of them would ignore it while the other half would break their neck getting it back to you. Yea there are some suicides, but I donot think it is because they are all that depressed, mostly I feel it is just being trendy which can get out of hand in Japan.

They donot need to grow if they donot grow their population. The biggest problem is still the lack of financial transparency in their institutions. Fix this and their capital markets will boom.

Why do you have contempt for other ways of life which do you no harm?

Posted by: Perry at November 12, 2004 10:03 AM

Perry:

No nation has ever had a declining economy and a healthy society.

Posted by: oj at November 12, 2004 10:14 AM

OJ,

How can interest rates of less than 1% be artificially high?

There's no room in Japan now, so how can they take in immigrants?

Posted by: Bart at November 12, 2004 10:22 AM

Bart:

Because they should be negative again, as they have been in the past.

Posted by: oj at November 12, 2004 10:31 AM

--Why do you have contempt for other ways of life which do you no harm?---

Perry, their neighbors wouldn't agree.

Posted by: Sandy P at November 12, 2004 10:53 AM

Oj,

Japan's economy is roughly the same size as it was in the 80's, hardly the harbinger of a decaying society. If maybe it was negative GDP in the 4% range quarter after quarter I might agree that wouldn't be healthy but wouldn't you expect the economy to be roughly the same size with the same number of people? Makes sense when you consider productivity growth makes up for shifting oldster demographic increase.

Besides, it is silly to say the only measure of a healthy economy is growth. Japan's economy, the skill of its people and the processes they use to make what they do make is world class. Fixating on delta is meaningless and dangerous. Japan is much better situated than the hypergrowth Chinese over the next 20 years. Japan will most likely own Chinese business is what is funny

Posted by: Perry at November 12, 2004 11:13 AM

Sandy,

Nanking in the 30's I agree, but those mili-terrorists are gone.

I was very saddened to read Iris Chang died, very sad indeed.

Posted by: Perry at November 12, 2004 11:19 AM

Perry:

That's the definition of a decaying society. If our economy were the sisze it was in the 80s there'd be revolution.

Posted by: oj at November 12, 2004 11:31 AM

If our economy goes two quarters without growth it's a world-historic catastrophy and the worst economy since the Great Depression (if a Republican is president).

Posted by: David Cohen at November 12, 2004 2:30 PM

Wait. Shrink population = shrink economy But don't you guys also that having a billion people in China is the recipe for an economic meltdown?

Christ, man, which is it?

Posted by: Seven Machos at November 12, 2004 3:09 PM

Seven:

I'm not sure why you find this so confusing. China's problem isn't population but state size. It'd work fine if it devolved into a number of nations, all of whgich should have growing populations..

Posted by: oj at November 12, 2004 4:40 PM

Agreed, OJ, but the central planning is the worst aspect. Federalism would work just fine in China.

Posted by: at November 12, 2004 5:09 PM

Doubtful. What do Tibet and Hong Kong have in common?

Posted by: oj at November 12, 2004 5:17 PM

"That's the definition of a decaying society. If our economy were the sisze it was in the 80s there'd be revolution."


The Japanese don't let in 3 million Mexicans a year, they don't need to grow the economy.

Posted by: Perry at November 12, 2004 6:25 PM

Perry:

If you made less each year than the year before would you consider yopurself to be doing well?

Posted by: oj at November 12, 2004 6:34 PM

I'm sure he means in real terms per capita, OJ.

Posted by: Bart at November 12, 2004 7:15 PM

So do I

Posted by: oj at November 12, 2004 7:48 PM

??


I haven't argued the Japanese are making less onlyt that their standard of living hasn't changed much in 20 years. Roughly same number of people, same size economy.

Posted by: Perry at November 12, 2004 9:48 PM

But it has declined.

Posted by: oj at November 12, 2004 11:48 PM
« TOO LATE: | Main | PALESTINE'S PRAGMATIC MOMENT: »