Not the right man to lead Japan
News On Japan via Bloomberg -- Jun 22
What many observers see as bold leadership, I see as the handiwork of a leader beholden to Japan's powerful utilities and bereft of fresh ideas. This judgment also applies to Noda's push to raise taxes. It's the easy and obvious thing to do, not something to inspire trust that Japan's leaders are considering new and creative ways to manage the economy.
There is no doubt Japan needs to gain control over its fiscal policies. Its demographic trajectory is as ugly as they come, with the population aging rapidly and young couples having fewer babies. But raising the consumption tax is little more than a generational wealth transfer, from young to old. Japanese longevity is straining pension plans and the health-care system, increasing the risk of credit downgrades that would raise the cost of financing the nation's deficit spending.
What if it turns out that higher taxes end up exacerbating the country's debt burden, not helping to fix it? Japan, remember, tried this before. In the late 1990s, a similar measure short-circuited Japan's post-bubble recovery. Fifteen years later, deflation is eating away at living standards while companies are moving more jobs to cheaper locales overseas.
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A deri heru (“delivery health”) call-girl tells the tabloid that she is often requested to arrive at major hotels in the Shinjuku and Ikebukuro entertainment areas of Tokyo by Chinese visitors. (Tokyo Reporter) |