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Two decades of economic stagnation or sluggish growth and declining prices. Not spending enough to stimulate the economy.

Or Success?

Japan as failure reflects the view of mindless pro-growth economists that fails to compare Japan to other nations. Japan, in fact, is successful economically, socially, and environmentally:


  • Sustainable steady state or slow growth economy high standard of living;
  • 5 percent or less unemployment, far less than the US
  • Low income inequality; broadly shared prosperity
  • Needs are being met; trickle down has already trickled down
  • Not living off credit
  • Manageable speculative bubbles and government debt
  • Strong industrial base, strong exports; positive balance of trade and payments
  • One of the world's leading exporters


  • Health care for all of its people, efficient health care
  • Highest life expectancy
  • Low rates of infant mortality
  • At the top in literacy
  • Low rates of crime, incarceration, homicides, mental illness and drug abuse


  • Low rate of carbon emissions, doing its part to reduce global warming.

Abstracted from Steve Hill's Reconsidering Japan and reconsidering Paul Krugman,, December 11th, 2010.