A Potent Nostalgia: Chapter 1

Once upon a time we nomads settled down and created agriculture. The efficiencies of that agriculture released labour for both trade and the trades which in turn evolved centres of production and consumption which we know as rural villages, harbour towns and market towns. I’ll leave aside the influences (usually malign) of power in the simultaneous creation of walled cities, fortresses, trade blocs, dukedoms, ring roads, cloned towns, retail parks, gated communities and distorted and perverse social systems.

Japan as the new normal: Living in a constrained economy

I am struggling to come to terms with the possibility that Japan may economically be the “new normal”. By “new normal” I mean a situation where the economy is in recession for prolonged periods of time, seeing only fleeting periods of growth. My struggle relates to the fact that conventional wisdom would suggest that after two decades of recessionary tendencies, Japan should be an economic and societal wreck. But quite the opposite is the case. In many respects Japan seems to be doing fine.

Economic Crisis Shakes Old Paradigms

The world will soon enter the sixth year of the Great Recession, and there is no end in sight. In the United States, where stagnation continues to reign, some 23 million Americans remain out of work, are underemployed, or have simply dropped out of the labor force owing to frustration–a condition that now threatens to precipitate Barack Obama’s replacement by a Republican candidate whose program would only worsen the crisis.