Over at Steve Sailer’s, there’s a discussion going on about Japan’s slow economic growth and aging population not reflecting the reality of good living standards on the Japanese ground, something that you will rarely see addressed by mainstream American economists with their corporatist agendas to push. This comment by Anonymous is insightful:
It’s about “Who, whom?” as usual.
Foreign investors i.e. American hedge funds, banks, etc. don’t like Japan because Japan’s real estate and financial markets have been flat. That’s what’s meant by “lost decade”. It’s not that it’s been that bad for ordinary Japanese, what’s been “lost” is the opportunity for these foreign investors to make capital gains and extract more money out of Japan for themselves.
What the foreign investors wanted was for Japan to sell its people out and gin up its real estate and financial markets by things like immigration population growth.
A flat, low real estate and financial market is not necessarily a bad thing for your ordinary citizens. It keeps the costs down for your ordinary citizens to buy.
This applies not only between foreign investors and ordinary Japanese, but also between Wall St. and ordinary American citizens in fly-over country.
Everyone has their interests. Bankers (cue lzzlollzzlol) and realtors rely on the churn created by population growth and demographic shift (in the US’s case, stimulated by massive open borders immigration) to line their pockets beyond any reasonable value they create for society. Academics, as well, profit from the globalist program: hollowing out the status and pay of blue collar, working class jobs by advocating for the importation of millions that will not directly compete with their own elevated sinecures has helped energize a rush of fearful mediocrities into college, diluting the brand but fattening the wallets of the robber profs.
There is no doubt this strategy by the elite (or 1%ers, if you will) has been sound, from their perspective. Undercutting wage labor and inflating real estate values through diversity lending and the exploitation of the ancient human tribal instinct to agglomerate into ever-smaller cordoned enclaves of fellowmen has boosted corporate profit margins and enriched the coffers of institutional investment houses.
A good faith economist — someone who’s willing to buck received wisdom — will question the assumption that economic and population growth is an unalloyed good. Or that human capital isn’t constrained by innate preconditions, on both an individual level and a group level. Or that human behavior often manifests irrationally from an economic point of view, and can’t be “fixed” without incurring hefty costs.
Japan may be aging and they may be naughty for not throwing open their borders to tens of millions of non-Japanese to spur real estate bubbles, but from reports on the ground, it sounds like life over there is pretty good for the average Japanese. Maybe America could learn a thing or two about the benefits of lost decades.