Japan's Budget Black Hole: Deregulation of the Workforce and Shortfalls in Government Revenue (Hardcover)
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This book describes the astonishing policy failures of populist politicians in Japan. Focussing on popular tax cuts in Japan as a salutary case study, the book details their serious side effects: government debt, cuts to social security expenditure, inadequate public services and even the potential for a national default. The book argues that the only way to maintain a tolerable level of social services is to increase taxation because a government burdened by massive debt levels is unable to respond adequately to a serious threat such as Covid-19. The book then examines the role of the workforce to economic growth. Due to the dominance of conservative political forces over a long period, workers' protections in Japan are limited, and deregulation of the workforce has led to a decline in wages since 1997. Declining wages and a reduction in social security expenditure have inevitably led to lower consumption and lower economic growth. This examination leads to the conclusion that the way forward is to restore taxation to a sustainable level, which is necessary in order to reduce government debt, to increase expenditure on social security, education, and other essential services, and to combat growing inequality. Only by redistributing income to those who need it and will spend it, consumption will increase, and the economy will grow.
About the Author
Shimono Keiko is a policy-oriented economist whose work is based on Keynesian theory and statistical data analysis, focusing on economic growth, labour issues, inequality, social security and government.