Washington, D.C….free of common sense for your well-being!

Posted: November 14, 2011 in Economy, Japan, Jobs

Sez me…

I consider myself to be a Republican, but lately I’ve found myself leaning a bit more Libertarian on the social end of the scale.  In terms of economic activity, though, I’ve been consistently trumpeting a need for properly targeted, funded, and administered government stimulus program to help create jobs.  Knowing the unemployed having the most difficult time finding work (at least in my neck of the woods) are those who worked in construction and engineering-related fields, and combined with the amply documented state of deterioration of our country’s various infrastructure elements, my focus has been a multi-faceted, long-term infrastructure construction program.  In addition to the direct economic activity of job creation, equipment sales, tax revenues and such, we reap the added benefits of more reliable, safer, and more environmentally friendly infrastructure facilities.  Energy efficient schools.  Safe bridges.  Smart grids.  Mass transit.  Cost savings on maintenance and repairs.  Seems pretty win-win to me.

A lot of recent economic discussion has focused on China, that their economy is about the only global growth activity out there and they need to find a way to stop manipulating their currency to ensure that their economic growth remains sustainable.  Basically, if they grow too quickly, they could ultimately outpace demand and their growth could quickly drop off and leave a lot of people hanging.  But the more interesting recent news is coming out of Japan.  It seems that they’ve been able to grow at a sustained clip adequately to bring an end to the recession that gripped the country since the March earthquake and tsunami.  A Reuters article via Yahoo Business News highlights this, but also raises concerns.  The author notes that the recent Thai floods present another risk to their manufacturing supply chains, networks which only recently returned to nearly full capacity after the Tsunami.  To top that off, the euro debt crisis serves to minimize external demand for Japanese goods.  Citing several economists, the author notes that in Japan the onus for economic activity “…is now on public spending in the nation’s biggest rebuilding effort since World War Two to sustain the recovery.”  In fact, Japanese economists say that the bulk of contribution to GDP in the near future will not come from external growth but rather from publicly funded reconstruction efforts.  The expectation is that this internal activity will serve to sustain Japan’s economy until the global economy recovers enough to reestablish external demand for Japanese goods and services.

Sounds like something that could work here in the US as well, don’tcha think?

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