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Japan faces a snap election on Dec. 14 with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s “Abenomics” on trial. From the conventional economics perspective of growth measured in gross domestic product, we are told that Japan is “stagnating” with excessive debt.

Economists dispense their usual bromides: “open up the economy”; “join the Trans-Pacific Partnership”; “cut government spending”; “tax more”; “tax less”; “print money” — lurching between austerity and stimulus.

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