Japan's "Lost Decade", Zombie-Corporations, and What We Should Have Learned

Started by Shiranu, September 01, 2021, 01:46:53 AM

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Tl;dr: Tariffs bad, Japan's corporations began living more and more in debt ("Zombies" that could never recover), the government continuously bailed them out until their economy collapsed (kept them alive), and today the United States has nearly 20% of the corporations in the same situation.

Global response? Repeat the same thing Japan did and hope it works out okay this time.


My opinion? Co-ops and small businesses need to receive all that bailout money; co-ops have been proven to be staggeringly more economically resilient than corporations. If we want to talk about "lassie-faire" capitalism, then let's actually practice that; the government should not be in the business of keeping dead companies on life support and instead focus that money on keeping blooming companies on the up.

Of course, what a "successful" companies means to the government ("The CEOs make a lot of money") is a lot different from my opinion of success (the employees are paid fairly, the company turns a profit).
Every day is a good day to *remove from server* an autocrat.


Much of any economy (or should I say "pyramid system") depends on a growing population. As the average age increases, productivity declines, health care expenses go up, riskier growth investments decline, a general stagnation as the local economy shifts toward a service economy.

Countries with more intelligent leaders realize this and encourage increased immigration of young families to keep the shell game rolling.


Capitalism is all about the bottom line.  It's partly about satisfying customer demand, but the bottom line will be enhanced by any source available.  A good example was the bank failures of 2008.  Whether this was caused by incompetence of bankers or corruption is irrelevant.  I can't remember if any bank of that period remained solvent.  Some survived, specifically those that managed to put their CEO's into Obama's Administration, but all of them were awash in red ink.  And according to Obama's advisors, they had to be saved to prevent a worse economic disaster.  Well duh??  What would you expect advisors to say, when they represented their own banks.  The favored banks were bailed out.

Now normally, we would expect such gross incompetence/corruption to see it's leaders penalized in some way.  When Mom and Pop's convenience store fails, Mom and Pop take a financial hit.  But the bailout went to pay bonuses to the executives that orchestrated the bank failures.  That's capitalism.  It makes no difference where the profit comes from, be it from people who buy their services, or a government bailout.  It all goes into the bottom line, and that is a PROFIT, and huge salaries are paid to incompetent or corrupt corporate leaders whether they earned it or not.

Some have argued that is not capitalism.  It's a perversion called crony capitalism.  But the thing is that crony capitalism is CAPITALISM. It's all profit earned honestly or not.

I was always skeptical about these types of bailouts, and especially special gifts of tax revenues to big companies.  At first I bought the Obama Administration's claims that the banks needed to be bailed out to prevent further economic collapse.  But the truth of the matter is that no one ever explained (certainly not in any convincing way) why that was true.  And no one offered any other alternative.  Just give the banks enough money, and then some, to make up for all the money that they flushed down their corporate toilet, and continue on as before.

The problem is that we are still continuing on as before with the same failed policy.  OK, there were laws put into place to prevent that from happening again, but they were toothless shadows of the laws that were put into effect after the great depression that kept bankers respectable (if not a bit boring).  They were just window dressing, but the bankers can still invent all kinds of worthless shit they can sell to those with dollar signs in their brains, and get away with it.  And the economy teeters more an more.