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Op-Ed Columnist - Things Could Be Worse - NYTimes.com
Yet the picture is grayish rather than pitch black. Japan's economy may be depressed, but it's not in a depression. The employment picture has been troubled, with a growing number of "freeters" living from temporary job to temporary job. But thanks to those government job-creation plans, the country isn't suffering mass unemployment. Debt has risen, but despite constant warnings of imminent crisis -- and even downgrades from rating agencies back in 2002 -- the government is still able to borrow, long term, at an interest rate of only 1.1 percent.

In short, Japan's performance has been disappointing but not disastrous. And given the policy agenda of America's right, that's a performance we may wish we'd managed to match.

"Ce qui vient au monde pour ne rien troubler ne mérite ni égards ni patience." René Char
by Melanchthon on Fri Sep 10th, 2010 at 11:14:24 AM EST


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