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Does the U.S. face a long period of economic stagnation as Japan did?

"At the end of the 1980s Japan was a contender for the number one spot as the world's largest economy. It was the world's fastest growing big country. Its political and business leaders were paragons of long-term strategic thinking, while budget and trade surpluses left it rich with cash. What happened next, of course, is history. Japanese property and stock prices cratered, its banking system siezed up, and a decade (actually, two now) of economic stagnation followed." Excerpt from Greg Ip adapted from his book "The Little Book of Economics: How the Economy Works in the Real World."


Asked by tasches at 6:46 PM on Sep. 11, 2010 in Politics & Current Events

Level 48 (298,202 Credits)
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Answers (8)
  • Longer than necessary but not that long. In the next 2 yrs things will start happening that will reassure Americans and Business owners that all is not lost. Then businesses will start hiring and Americans will start spending. It may take a few years but it won't be a lost decade.

    Answer by itsmesteph11 at 1:23 PM on Sep. 12, 2010

  • I sure hope not.

    Answer by lovinangels at 6:59 PM on Sep. 11, 2010

  • I fear only another World War will get us out of it. But then again, I'm not so sure what our country would be able to contribute if WWIII were to happen, since the majority of our war-time manufacturing options have been outsourced to other countries since the 1940's.


    Answer by LoriKeet at 7:00 PM on Sep. 11, 2010

  • its gonna take awhile but we will get there.

    Answer by mekarevell at 8:37 PM on Sep. 11, 2010

  • It is up to us to be diligent during the these next two election cycles and put people in place that are free market friendly. We have to put people in who want our country to thrive instead of flounder so they can have an excuse to "fundamentally change" us to.......what? That is the $1.3 trillion question. What is out there that we are to change to? I would love an answer to that. Our economic recovery rests, at least in my mind, on that answer. It is the difference between free market and socialism. There is no in-between or gray area. It is one or the other. So, the only change I can see is the socialism because we are a free market. If this is true, we must keep it from happening. If we do, we can fix anything they have broken trying to change us.


    Answer by jesse123456 at 9:55 PM on Sep. 11, 2010

  • There really is no mystery to it: scale back gov't regulation, abolish the EPA, reduce and eliminate taxes so that people have control over all their money ... and voila ! A booming economy !

    Remove the govt regulations and we can USE the energy & other resources which Progressives in Congress have put out of reach. We could SELL to other countries what we don't use for ourselves.

    Scale back the strangling regulations which cost businesses and individuals untold time & money.
    Abolish the EPA, and suddenly huge swathes of productive farmland, etc can come back to life.
    Allow insurance companies to sell across state lines and the larger customer-base + competition will lower premiums.
    Go back to direct customer-pay to doctors, and spiralling health costs will return to sanity. This already works in many other arenas.

    Eliminate many taxes, drastically lower income & sales taxes.

    18 months of sanity and wham! Prosperi

    Answer by waldorfmom at 1:48 AM on Sep. 12, 2010

  • I agree LoriKeet, we "need" another world war. ...shaking my head at the sadness of it.... I am afraid we will get it though. We are fighting an "unpublicized" war in Yemen and Somalia will probably be next and Iran will come into play somewhere. The deal with Iran will end up involving multiple countries and could very well create some surprising allies.

    Beyond thoughts of war, I think we are in for a very long recovery because I do not think we have hit bottom yet.


    Answer by yourspecialkid at 9:54 PM on Sep. 11, 2010

  • No, we have way more natural resources than Japan does. It's a lot smaller and does not have access to the same things we do. We have industries right now that are booming (like oil) and recovering (like natural gas). There's also been an increase in green energy and investment into that sector (which has resulted in an increase in jobs like wind technicians and more). The biggest problem is that the areas seeing these kind of booms are the very places where no one wants to live. Not only that, but many of these areas are not equipped to deal with a large population increase.

    Answer by NonnasMomma at 10:05 AM on Sep. 12, 2010