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Archive for February, 2009

I’ve been toying with the idea for a couple of months, so why not? Wouldn’t it be cool to have “Trust-buster” under your name on a business card?

Someday, I too may have the chance to do this.

This could be me one day.

Plus, then I could sleep at night knowing that I helped make the playing field just a little bit more fair.

Also, then I could fulfill my life ambition to become a “bringer of justice,” a goal that Katherine always makes fun of.

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I just started reading Paul Krugman’s Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008 for my Rhetoric of Contemporary Politics class, and in my opinion it’s a great read if you want to get a better grasp of the current economic situation. I’ve only read the first couple of chapters so far, but it gives a good economic history of Latin America in the 1980s/early 1990s and thirty-year slump Japan seems to be stuck in, and then asks probing questions on whether or not government solutions worked. Like I said, very relevant. Plus, it’s pretty short.

extremely informative yet easy-to-read.

Krugman's new and improved Return of Depression Economics: extremely informative yet easy-to-read.

I’ve turned into quite the news junkie since I ended my summer internship at NPR last year (I guess that’s what getting AP wires straight to your inbox does to you). It’s only gotten worse this semester, since one of my classes (that I have since dropped) offered a heavily discounted student subscription to the Wall Street Journal at $2/week. In addition to reading the WSJ in print, I also get the New York Times, Financial Times, Times, and The American Prospect delivered to my inbox. That’s 5 regular news sources! I also get the Nation and AlterNet, but those have turned far too liberal for my taste in the past couple of years. I also haven’t been keeping up with the National Review…just not enough time to be balanced I suppose.

But back to Japan…my attention was first turned to it when I noticed a Capital Journal article in the WSJ a week or two ago, which noted that part of the Republican resistance to the stimulus package stemmed from the lessons learned (or not learned?) from what happened to Japan in the 1990s. For those of you that don’t know the back story, Japan was in an extremely similar situation in the 1990s; burst real estate bubble, credit crunch, low interest rates, and slow rate of economic growth. The government injected a huge stimulus package…that didn’t work (or at least, it didn’t return growth to what it used to be). Now the country is faced with a huge tax burden to pay off that hefty package.

The current economic crisis has left many a businessman feeling more than a little gloomy.

The current economic crisis has left many a businessman feeling more than a little gloomy.

Only things are much, much, worse. On top of negative fertility rate, Japan’s index has taken a nosedive while its currency value has been rising (meaning that doing business with Japanese firms will be more expensive). The Financial Times says that growth is at a 35-year low and that the Nikkei is at a 3-month low. To top it off, their finance minister is resigning due to an embarrassing drunken appearance at a G-7 event. Ouch.

Japan just can’t catch a break these days.

I think those that remember Japan rightly have reservations about the stimulus package. History teaches us to learn from example. Let’s try to learn from mistakes that have already been made so we can avoid making the same ones ourselves.

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