With so much attention rightly focused on China at the moment (see: Chinese Authorities Arrest Over 100 Human Rights Activists and Lawyers in Desperate Crackdown on Dissent), people aren’t paying enough attention to the budding economic calamity unfolding in Japan.
While “Abenomics” has succeeded in boosting the stock market and food prices, it has utterly failed to raise wages. In fact, wages adjusted for inflation have plunged to the lowest since 1990. As such, a record number of households now describe their living conditions as “somewhat hard” or “very hard.”
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe came to power vowing to drag Japan out of deflation and stagnation. His logic was that rising prices would drive higher salaries and increased consumption. More than two years on, prices are rising, but wages adjusted for inflation have sunk to the lowest since at least 1990.
A record 62 percent of Japanese households described their livelihoods as “hard” last year in a survey on incomes. A sales-tax increase in 2014 helped drive up living costs faster than wage gains. At the same time, the Bank of Japan’s quantitative easing drove down the currency, boosting the cost of imported energy.
Not that verifiable proof of failed economic policies will convince the central planners in Japan or anywhere else to change course. These people are simply dangerously insane and can’t help themselves.
In case you missed it the first time, here’s my most recent important post on Japan: