August 14, 2014

KEVIN WILLIAMSON: Economic Lessons Unlearnt.

“Abenomics,” the stimulus-oriented economic program put forward by Prime Minister Shinzō​ Abe, has — or had — many admirers in the United States, especially on the Democratic side of the aisle. Paul Krugman, holding up Abenomics as a model, described Japan’s policy as the only operating alternative to the “economic defeatism” of the West: “Nobody else in the advanced world is trying anything similar,” he wrote, though he was befittingly cautious, offering his judgment on it as “So far, so good.”

Matt Yglesias, identifying “important lessons for us,” declared that Abenomics “seems to be working” and praised Abe for having “brushed off the doubters and plunged ahead with new fiscal stimulus,” “leading the path forward to recovery.” Mr. Yglesias’s headline writers were even more confident than he was: Slate heralded the “Triumph of Abenomics,” called it “The Salvation of Japan,” and eschewed caution almost entirely: “Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s bold recovery strategy is working.”

Shockingly, it didn’t turn out that way.

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