Friday, September 4, 2009

The DPJ and Japanese capitalism

I have an essay up at the website of the Far Eastern Economic Review that questions the notion that the DPJ is somehow anti-capitalist.

You can find it here.


Nusyirwan Hamzah said...

In your essay you said that: The party is trying to find ways to restore public confidence and therefore boost economic demand without going deeper into debt.

Following Koizumi, I also wonder what sleight of hand they’re going to use...

soma said...

Good article as always - I assume Japan experts are going to have to forever write these kind of articles as a public service. left/right, nationalist/pacifist, capitalist/anti-capitalist, whatever, seldomly seem to nicely fit Japanese politics as you well know. Some I have spoken to here believe they are anywhere from socialists to"conservatives" (something to do with Japan wanting a slightly more independent foreign policy being seen as nationalistic I gather...)
And that is excluding the "weird" opinions!

Noah said...

Great article.

Marc Sheffner said...

Interesting article. However, after reading, I'm still unconvinced.
1) Saying that Hatoyama was saying little that was new, and much that was similar to what Aso had been saying, still does not answer the question. Gordon Brown was saying the same "it started in America". BS is still BS even if everyone else is saying it. How can you build an economy without capital, Mr Ozawa?

2) I don't know what "Keynesian worship" really means, or how whoever used that phrase defined it, but simply "not going on a carefree spending binge" does not necessarily clear the DPJ (or the LDP) of the charge. Keynesianism is, and has been, pretty much THE economic theory espoused by politicians everywhere(because it gives them an economic and even moral rationale for spending money), especially in Britain and the US. Only relatively recently is it being challenged, largely thanks to efforts by Texas Senator Ron Paul and investment manager Peter Schiff, as well as by the Mises Institute.

Anonymous said...

From the article:

"But in its focus on raising consumer confidence (and incomes), the DPJ at least realizes what the LDP has failed to do for two decades: shift Japan’s economic growth model from dependence on foreign demand, especially American demand, for Japanese goods to a more balanced growth model in which Japanese consumers and businesses spend the cash they have hoarded during Japan’s long crisis."

But the above prescriptions is totally Keynesian.

1. The Keynesian prescription is almost always to stimulate consumption, that is demand. (Here it is suggested the Japanese must start demanding more stuff.)

2. Savings is represented as hoarding. (For Keynesian private savings is a sort of bugaboo.)

How is this *not* Keynesian?