• Naha, Okinawa


Regarding Washington Post writer Nicholas Wapshott’s Sept. 24 article, “Keynes was not a ‘big Keynesian’ “: The appeal of Keynesian economics remains strong to various countries under various states of development. If one were to look at Britain and United States alone in the 1970s, one would be seriously mistaken to assume that because Keynesian Economics didn’t work in those two countries, it will no longer work for the whole world.

Economies at various stages of development will still need Keynesian economics. The trick is not to be held captive by one ideology or one school of economics. Each country must decide for itself which ideas will do well under its unique circumstances. Sometimes, it could even be a combination of ideas.

Japan, by any definition, is neither neoliberal nor Keynesian. The late Chalmers Johnson called it developmental state capitalism, which is not far from what China has copied so far — as have other former colonies of the so-called East Asia Co-Prosperity sphere.

In real life, there is a time and a place for everything. Keynesian economics remains useful to some. The U.S., as a specific example, cannot resort to Keynesian economics anymore today, despite the quagmire it’s in, because it cannot internally fund the recovery plan. Japan in the last 20 years still had the money to do so. With or without Keynesian, China and Indian economies chugged along just fine 500 years ago. In those days, it was called Raj or Imperial Economics. Let’s not get too caught up in ideologies.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

umesh bannerjee

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.