[ExI] Two Japanese reactors on red alert

Samantha Atkins sjatkins at mac.com
Sun Mar 13 05:45:21 UTC 2011

On Mar 12, 2011, at 12:44 PM, Kelly Anderson wrote:

> On Sat, Mar 12, 2011 at 9:08 AM, Adrian Tymes <atymes at gmail.com> wrote:
>> The point is to kick loose money that people had been hoarding.  They
>> might not have invested it otherwise, but they will invest in rebuilding.
> Japan will get an "investment" in the form of loans and charitable
> donations from around the world. This will help lessen the impact of
> the earthquake economically. It will jump start the construction
> industry in Japan, but at the expense of other industries.

Japan is the most indebted successful economy on the planet.  They have been running national debt over 200% of GDP for some time.  Fortunately they have a tremendously strong balance of trade.   The recovery will be painful.  

Calling savings "hoarding" is counter-productive and borders on evil.  We in the US would be much better off if we had done a great deal more of this "hoarding".  

> Japan's real long term economic difficulty is partially in the
> demographic of it's aging populace. They aren't having children, and
> they aren't allowing many people to immigrate. This leads to more and
> more young people taking care of more and more old people. The old
> people aren't as productive as the young, and the overall economy
> suffers terribly.

This is not their primary problem.  They over-stimulate in the 80s including a huge housing/land bubble then suffered a crash from it in the early 90s.  They have not to date fully recovered.  They are strong enough in some aspects to not get sucked under by their huge debt and the amount of centralized meddling in the economic ecology that they "enjoy".  But the cost of losing a lot of productive capacity and the costly infrastructure that supported it is going to be a blow.  It is too early to have a reasonable guess as to how much of a blow.  

> If the earthquake leads to more births, then it will help. :-)

Children are not a great deal cheaper to support than the elderly much of the time.  

- samantha

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