Paul Krugman writes from Tokyo to make a point that Joe Weisenthal made a few weeks back:
Although Japan’s economy is always invoked as the worst-case scenario following a financial collapse, there’s really a lot to be said for the place.
Namely, nearly full employment, gleaming infrastructure, and impressive social services.
Meanwhile, Krugman argues, if the Republicans sweep to power in November, and John Boehner follows through on the economic plan he supports (tax cuts for the rich and spending cuts for the government), things will get so bad in this country that we will soon gaze longingly at Japan:
… we’ll be lucky to do as well as Japan did at limiting the human and economic cost of the economy’s financial woes. But it’s by no means certain that we’ll do even that much. If the Republicans go beyond obstruction to actually setting policy — which they might if they win big in November — we’ll be on our way to economic performance that makes Japan look like the promised land.
It’s hard to overstate how destructive the economic ideas offered earlier this week by John Boehner, the House minority leader, would be if put into practice. Basically, he proposes two things: large tax cuts for the wealthy that would increase the budget deficit while doing little to support the economy, and sharp spending cuts that would depress the economy while doing little to improve budget prospects. Fewer jobs and bigger deficits — the perfect combination…
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