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Noah Smith
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Apr 13, 2015
The hunt for the cause of recessions continues
While theories abound, economists still really don't know what causes recessions.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Apr 6, 2015
U.S.' best Asian friend deserves a trade deal
The Trans-Pacific Partnership represents the best aid the U.S. can give to Japan, a crucial ally that could use all the help it can get.
COMMENTARY / World
Mar 27, 2015
Guess what's weakening the U.S. middle class
There are roughly three main hypotheses for why American middle-class wages have been falling: robots, unions and China. Evidence may point to the least favored answer as the right one.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Feb 23, 2015
Will Japan become Asia's next autocracy?
The LDP's draft constitution contains elements that would move Japan toward illiberalism and autocracy if it was adopted.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Jan 23, 2015
Making babies makes a comeback in Japan
The slight rise in Japanese fertility since 2005 — despite the sharp recession and natural disasters that happened in the meantime — suggests there is hope that work-life balance will help to stabilize the populations of developed nations after all.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / Japan
Dec 9, 2014
High-level disorganization still hobbles Japan
Although many Westerners think of Japan as a highly unified, hierarchical nation, it often more closely resembles a squabbling confederation of loosely affiliated gangs.
COMMENTARY / World
Dec 7, 2014
Evidence suggests Keynesianism boosts GDP in recessions, but good luck explaining why
Casual evidence indicates that government spending during recessions (a pillar of Keynesianism) boosts GDP. But we don't have a satisfying macroeconomic model that explains why.
COMMENTARY / World
Dec 6, 2014
Americans becoming fatter, sicker, poorer
The epidemic of fat in the United States is so great that more than one in five Americans is said to be too heavy to enlist in the armed services.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY
Nov 3, 2014
Only catastrophe can rob China of No. 1 spot
For China not to become the world's largest economy, it would take a collapse on a bigger scale than anything we've seen in recent world history, short of Zimbabwe or North Korea.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Oct 24, 2014
Give Abe a break on 'womenomics'
What matters for Japan — after two female ministers resigned this week from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Cabinet — is not the number of women in the Cabinet, but whether Japanese women get good jobs en masse.
COMMENTARY / World
Oct 20, 2014
U.S. can cope with the next China slowdown
The U.S. economic boom in the 1990s even after the Japanese economy slowed dramatically suggests that the U.S. will cope with the next slowdown in China.
COMMENTARY / World
Sep 9, 2014
China's PLA is getting more bang for the buck
The U.S. on paper may outspend all its rivals to ensure 'military dominance,' but China and Russia, for example, get more bang for the buck with lower salaries and fewer benefits for their soldiers and, in many cases, would pay much less to transport military personnel and equipment to a conflict zone.
COMMENTARY / World
Aug 11, 2014
Obama is no wimp in the foreign policy game
Regardless of whether you think U.S. hegemony is a good thing or a bad thing, it's hard to avoid the conclusion that the U.S. is doing very well at the international Great Game under President Barack Obama.
COMMENTARY / World
Jul 17, 2014
Liberal values on gender are saving marriage
One view of American society surprisingly has the more educated people — despite being much more socially liberal than their less educated counterparts — espousing more traditional family values today. They get married more, get divorced less and pay more attention to their children.
COMMENTARY / World
Jul 13, 2014
Dummies ignore perks of foreign brainpower
By keeping out high-skilled immigrants, the U.S. government is like a football quarterback running the wrong way and scoring a touchdown against its own team.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Jul 1, 2014
Japan's status quo crumbles with an apology to a woman
When Tokyo city assemblyman Akihiro Suzuki bowed to assemblywoman Ayaka Shiomura and apologized for publicly heckling her over her unmarried status, some people caught their breath, convinced that they were witnessing something epochal in Japan.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Jun 13, 2014
Abe might be the world's best leader
An American finance professor who says he used to be a Shinzo Abe skeptic now calls Japan's prime minister the most effective national leader in the world right now.
COMMENTARY / World
Jun 5, 2014
Forget self-driving cars, make me a cyborg
A finance professor and sci-fi fan thinks that the next big technology is 'cyborg technology' but that the press is ignoring it. It will include a number of health care technologies involving the integration of living tissue with engineered machinery.
COMMENTARY / World
Aug 17, 2001
Co-opting new elites divides Communists
"The 'Three Represents' is completely elitist," Cabestan said, referring to Jiang's well-publicized formulation for making the party represent the "most advanced production technology, the most advanced culture, and the broadest interests of the people."

Longform

Things may look perfect to the outside world, but today's mom is fine with some imperfection at home.
How 'Reiwa moms' are reshaping motherhood in Japan