2018-12-30 — truthdig.com
Abenomics has been declared a success even by the once-critical International Monetary Fund. After Abe crushed his opponents in 2017, Noah Smith wrote in Bloomberg, "Japan's long-ruling Liberal Democratic Party has figured out a novel and interesting way to stay in power--govern pragmatically, focus on the economy and give people what they want." Smith said everyone who wanted a job had one, small and midsize businesses were doing well; and the Bank of Japan's unprecedented program of monetary easing had provided easy credit for corporate restructuring without generating inflation. Abe had also vowed to make both preschool and college free.
Not that all is idyllic in Japan. Forty percent of Japanese workers lack secure full-time employment and adequate pensions. But the point underscored here is that large-scale digital money-printing by the central bank to buy back the government's debt, combined with fiscal stimulus by the government (spending on "what the people want"), has not inflated Japanese prices, the alleged concern preventing other countries from doing the same.
There seem to be some good ideas about public banking/national-treasury-based lending in here. However, it's not at all clear the non-inflationary result can be separated from general conditions of austerity present in the same economies (of course, if general depressionary conditions are a prerequisite for public banking recovery programmes to work en masse, that might both explain this result and motivate for its use under particular conditions).
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