Friday, February 6, 2009

Spending Did Not Help Japan

What can we learn from Japan?
02/06/09 - CafeHayek by Russell Roberts
[edited] Most Japanese economists take a bleaker view of their nation’s track record, saying that Japan spent more than enough money, but wasted too much of it on roads to nowhere and other unneeded projects.

Dr. Ihori surveyed public works in the 1990s. The spending created almost no additional economic growth. Instead of spreading beneficial ripple effects across the economy, the spending led to declines in business investment by driving out private investors.

Critics said decisions on how to spend the money were made behind closed doors by bureaucrats, politicians and the construction industry, and often reflected political rather than economic considerations.

The Japanese Didn't Try Hard Enough?
02/07/09 - Blog.Mises.Org by Tim Swanson

[edited] This NY Times story discusses the Japanese government spending packages during the 1990's.

The story notes that most Japanese consider all of the plans to be resolute failures. Yet, a number of Western economists believe that Japanese taxpayers simply did not spend enough!

How much was not enough? Japan spent $6.3 trillion on construction-related public investment between 1991 and September 2008. [That is $6,300 billion.]

Read the "Stimulus Package Unveiled" from the WSJ and "Japan" by Benjamin Powell.

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