Nicole’s note on the cynicism of governmental shovelism reminded me of this item in the New York Times a few days ago about the death-spiral of Japan’s economy (the Times describes it as “the Great Deflation”). The most interesting passage:
Many economists remain confident that the United States will avoid the stagnation of Japan, largely because of the greater responsiveness of the American political system and Americans’ greater tolerance for capitalism’s creative destruction. Japanese leaders at first denied the severity of their nation’s problems and then spent heavily on job-creating public works projects that only postponed painful but necessary structural changes, economists say.
Good thing we sidestepped that policy pothole.