Large public debts are not always bad for an economy, just as efforts to rein them in are not always beneficial.
The focus on a balanced budget in the United States, for example, has led some elements of the Republican Party to block normal functions of state and even federal authorities, supposedly in the name of fiscal discipline. Likewise, the eurozone’s recovery from the 2008 financial crisis has been held back by strict fiscal rules that limit member countries’ fiscal deficits to 3% of GDP.
Contrary to popular belief, aggregate demand and the price level (inflation) are not dictated only – or even primarily – by monetary policy. Instead, they are determined by the country’s net wealth and the liabilities of the central bank and the government.
When government deficits are lower, investing in government debt becomes more attractive. As the private sector purchases more of that debt, demand for goods and services falls, creating deflationary pressure. If the central bank attempts to spur inflation by expanding its own balance sheet through monetary expansion and by lowering interest rates, it will cause the budget deficit to fall further, reinforcing the cycle. In such a context monetary policy alone would not be adequate to raise inflation; fiscal policy that increases the budget deficit would also be necessary.
John Maynard Keynes’ The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money, which argued for active fiscal policies, was published in 1936. Forty years later, a counterrevolution took hold, reflecting sharp criticism of fiscal activism. After another 40 years, Keynes’ key idea is back, in the form of the FTPL (fiscal theory of the price level). This may be old wine in a new bottle, but old wine often rewards those who are willing to taste it.
There are calls for the New Zealand and Australian Navy to prevent Japanese whaling in the Antarctic Ocean.
Two whaling vessels have departed the port of Shimonoseki to hunt 333 minke whales, despite the International Court of Justice ruling it illegal.
Sea Shepherd’s Kiwi coordinator, Michael Lawry, says Australia and New Zealand have done good work in the past.
“The next thing they could do, and we hope they would do this, would be for the Australian and New Zealand Governments to send a patrol ship down to the Southern Ocean to escort their ships out of the Southern Ocean whale sanctuary.”
Sea Shepherd is heading to the Antarctic Ocean in two weeks’ time to confront the Japanese whaling fleet.
Mr Lawry says the international community needs to act.
“If they get away with it, and they’re the fourth biggest economic power in the world, other countries will say, ‘Well why can’t we go to the Southern Ocean and kill 333 minke whales as well?’ And then you’ve got even more of a problem.”
But he says his crew is better equipped than ever.
“The ship we have is the Ocean Warrior, and it’s a game changer. We were donated $12 million by the Dutch postcode lottery, and we’ve built a new ship – high-speed, long-range.
“For the first time, we’ll be able to outrun their fleet and really take it to them this year.”
No wonder they can’t procreate enough. No time and no energy.
In a country where the majority of workers will rarely switch companies or careers once they’ve secured a position, and have among the lowest allotted annual leave benefits of any country in the world, employees are notorious for their unhealthy working hours.
Almost a quarter of companies there have admitted that some of their employees work well beyond hours, with some companies admitting their staff did more than 100 hours of overtime a month.
The World Bank found Japan to be one of the least generous countries in the world for paid leave.
Employees in Japan on average are only entitled to 10 days’ paid leave, and zero paid holidays. Many won’t use even half their allotted days off for the year. NZ Herald
In an abandoned Japanese village, cows grazing in lush green plains begin to gather when they hear the familiar rumble of the ranch owner’s mini-pickup. This isn’t feeding time, though.
Instead, the animals are about to be measured for how they’re affected by living in radiation ” radioactivity that is 15 times the safe benchmark. For these cows’ pasture sits near Fukushima, a name now synonymous with nuclear disaster. NZ Herald