Britain's leading financial newspaper, the London Financial Times, now believes that the U.S. economy may be headed toward a Japanese-style "Lost Decade."
The stalling of the US recovery raises big, scary questions. After a recession, this economy usually gets people back to work quickly. Not this time ... traits seen as distinctive strengths are now weaknesses, and a “lost decade” of stagnation, like Japan’s in the 1990s, might lie ahead.
The Japanese economy has experienced zero economic growth in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) since 1991. In essence, the Japanese have experienced two "lost decades."
President Obama commenced his weekly address on Saturday by subtly blaming sluggish economic growth and high unemployment on his predecessor — the Bush administration. In prototypical Obama fashion, he reminded the American public that the economic plunders of today did not strike on his watch, and that his administration inherited "the worst recession since the Great Depression."
"I wish I could tell you there was a quick fix to our economic problems," the President lamented in his weekend dialogue. "But the truth is, we didn't get into this mess overnight, and we won't get out of it overnight. It's going to take time."
Anyone paying much attention to the news is aware that the U.S. government is now about $14.3 trillion in debt and considering borrowing even more. That $14.3 trillion, however, only includes what the government currently owes. If one includes Uncle Sam’s unfunded liabilities — promised future payments the government does not expect to have revenue to cover — Washington actually owes “a record $61.6 trillion,” according to a recent USA Today analysis.
“The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit,” said the Senator, “is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our government’s reckless fiscal policies.... Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.”
George Soros courageously walked into the Cato Institute on Thursday to debate some of the nation’s leading scholars of the Austrian School of economics.