Japan: An Economy to Emulate
It is difficult to believe the United States could actually get some advice on how to improve its economy from a country smaller than California. Japan has better planning, direction, and a more responsive government than the United States. It has such a successful economic base that countries like Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, and China are all emulating the Japanese model. Japan has spent a lot of time observing our government and the inner workings of our economy. They have learned from our mistakes. As a result, Japan is flourishing.
Japan has roughly 4 percent of the United States’ land mass, and the vast majority of Japan’s terrain is mountainous and difficult to cultivate. It has inadequate natural resources, except for fish, and is forced to import most of the resources required for modern industry. Despite the factors working against it, the Japanese economy remains strong. Wage rates in Japan are equal to or higher than wage rates in the U.S. and the average Japanese family actually ends the year with some sort of savings, whereas the typical American family persists in debt.
In the face of obstacles, the Japanese still manage an annual trade surplus with the United States. In 2007, Japan had a record breaking $236 billion account surplus with the rest of the world. The U.S. had a $731 billion balance-of-trade deficit with the rest of the world during the same period of time.
To put matters into perspective a bit more, the population of the U.S. is considerably larger than that of Japan—two and a half times larger. The U.S. also has much more land and natural resources. Despite this, we are producing less while our imports and debt soar. We had borrowed over $1 trillion from Japan as of January 2012, just to keep our government operating. Our manufacturing base is deteriorating at an alarming rate due to outsourcing. Gone are the days when the United States led its competition on the global economic stage.
Japan is doing something right. Their leaders took the necessary time and effort to design a plan for economic success, and those plans are working well—so well that other nations are looking toward Japan as an economy to emulate. When will America’s leaders wake up and do something to pull us back from the edge of economic disaster and steer us back toward economic prosperity? Spread the word and contact your congressional representative. Demand better from our leaders before America becomes something we no longer recognize.