Poor, Helpless, Weak Japan

pms laflame at mindspring.com
Mon Feb 8 14:21:36 PST 1999

Hey. Could a whole country run as a non-profit? Is that sort of what Japan was doing in the '80's? If you have a lot of assets, maintain a good life-style, and replace assets consumed, could you keep that going? Like, what alternative is there to accumulation? Does it have to be dissipation?

Just a thought-p

At 11:11 AM 2/8/99 -0500, you wrote:
>Dennis R Redmond wrote:
>>Ah, benighted Japan... just another poor, helpless economic superpower,
>>with cash reserves piled higher than the Himalayas, and the most efficient
>>accumulation engine in world history, and a per capita GDP 15% higher than
>>the US.
>But Dennis, those cash reserves are as much a sign of (present) weakness as
>of (past) strength - they can't invest the damn money profitably. And I'm
>not talking U.S. profit rates, but something even in the mid-single digits.
>There were estimates that the rate of return on new capital investment in
>Japan in the mid-80s was negative - certainly the explosion of financial
>gimmickry (zai-teku) and the flood of foreign investment testified to low,
>if not negative, profit rates. For sure, the talk of collapse so
>fashionable in the English-language press is way overdone, but you can't
>run an accumulation engine on sub-5% profit rates.

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