Friday, September 7, 2012

Learn From Japan

Yeah, I know. The right-wing are braying like the jackasses they are saying that THEIR favourite politicians should be able to engage in any conflict of interest with no penalties, and that the RCMP is pulling private airplanes out of the sky because they are pulling banners that offend his majesty stephen harper the first. But a big part of all the austerity bullshit, all the keep the homeless homeless and starve the hospitals and beat-up the unions and all the other insanity is the canard of the public debt.

That's why, given how it could illuminate this subject and point to how the "debt" issue is the same reeking bullshit it always was, this essay on how Japan is pretending it is broke is so important and you should read it
Japan’s debt-to-GDP ratio looks bad.  But as economist Hazel Henderson notes, this is just a matter of accounting practice—a practice that she and other experts contend is misleading.  Japan leads globally in virtually all areas of high-tech manufacturing, including aerospace.  The debt on the other side of its balance sheet represents the payoffs from all this productivity to the Japanese people.
According to Gary Shilling, writing on Bloomberg in June 2012, more than half of Japanese public spending goes for debt service and social security payments.  Debt service is paid as interest to Japanese “savers.”  Social security and interest on the national debt are not included in GDP, but these are actually
the social safety net and public dividends of a highly productive economy.  These, more than the military weapons and “financial products” that compose a major portion of U.S. GDP, are the real fruits of a nation’s industry.  For Japan, they represent the enjoyment by the people of the enormous output of their high-tech industrial base.
Good stuff.


Owen Gray said...

It's like quoting from the Bible, thwap. You can find a verse to justify just about anything.

thwap said...

Hah! Too true!