Would Marcy Kaptur like 1990s Japan?


Marcy Kaptur, member of Congress from Toledo, Ohio, has vowed to vote NO again on the emergency economic rescue bill.  Perhaps she would have liked living in Japan in the 1990s. 

We have relatives and friends in Japan who lived through the whole thing.  The stores and shops remained open, but people ate more seaweed and rice, less melon; women avoided buying a new coat, making do with the old one.  House prices declined.  Foreclosures strained family relations.  It was a decade of no growth, no salary increases, skipped bonuses for middle managers.  In 1990, unemployment was something Americans had, not Japanese.  Layoffs were an American disease.  (It must be said, however, that women were pushed out of many companies after 30 years of age, and not counted as unemployed.) In the year 2000, Japanese unemployment officially exceeded American unemployment.  Layoffs had become common.

Nick Kristoff explains, much better than I, the peril of becoming like Japan in the 1990s:


Nihongo wo hanashimasu-ka?


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One Response to “Would Marcy Kaptur like 1990s Japan?”

  1. Jack Kloskowski Says:

    Cannot agree more with your comment. The Japanese parallel is highly appropriate. I am bewildered how many people succumb to political demagogy, no seeing that they are undercutting the branch we are all sitting on. I vividly remember some comments (published in WSJ back in late 90’s and early 00’s) perpetuating views of the obvious advantages of American over Japanese economy and claiming supremacy of US banking laws. Well, as all good things must come to end, in this challenging times we have an opportunity to prove these theories right or wrong. It took us some time to acknowledge that the problem is not contained; what we do next will have profound consequences.

    The following article published not long ago in “The Economist” suggests where in the bust cycle we actually are:


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