I am scared.
Scared for the future of the country and the effects of our current economic situation on the next generation. I am, I feel, the last of the generations where it was assumed that we would just automatically do better than the one before us. And for the most part that has born out to be true.
But I fear those times are coming to a sudden end. While our troubles have not hit the depths, or the deflation, that the Japanese are facing, I fear that the toll that our situation is taking on the next generation could be long lasting and hard felt. Honestly, I am scared for my children and hope like hell that things can turn around for them by the time they get old enough to enter the job market, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it will not.
As you can see from the NY Times article, the recent economic struggle that Japan faced has created a culture of "essimism, fatalism and reduced expectations". They have resigned themselves that this is how it is and it will not get better.
Is that the direction we are headed ? I sure the hell hope not, but all great societies hit their tipping point and I just wonder if we have hit ours.....
The scary part about all of this is that one of the tools Japan used to battle recessions was called "Quantitative Easy" which is basically flooding the economy with cash made out of thin air ... we see where that got the, a large dose of deflation. This Quantitative Easing is being considered by many in the government and economists here in the US as the next step to turn the economy around.
Good idea ?, I think not, just read the article and decide for yourself.
OSAKA, Japan — Like many members of Japan’s middle class, Masato Y. enjoyed a level of affluence two decades ago that was the envy of the world. Masato, a small-business owner, bought a $500,000 condominium, vacationed in Hawaii and drove a late-model Mercedes.
Few nations in recent history have seen such a striking reversal of economic fortune as Japan. The original Asian success story, Japan rode one of the great speculative stock and property bubbles of all time in the 1980s to become the first Asian country to challenge the long dominance of the West.
Read more at www.nytimes.com
Just as inflation scarred a generation of Americans, deflation has left a deep imprint on the Japanese, breeding generational tensions and a culture of pessimism, fatalism and reduced expectations. While Japan remains in many ways a prosperous society, it faces an increasingly grim situation, particularly outside the relative economic vibrancy of Tokyo, and its situation provides a possible glimpse into the future for the United States and Europe, should the most dire forecasts come to pass.