In the FT recently, ‘superstar’ economist Adam Posen, US co-chair of the High-Level Japan-US Working Group on Common Economic Challenges, considered that Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe’s new fiscal stimulus package offers the prospect of a better way forward. Abe aims to increase public spending and lower taxation, giving a positive jolt to economic activity.
Figures presented by the Market Mogul suggest that quantitative easing has been successful in injecting liquidity into the financial sector via central banks, causing ‘an unreasonable euphoria in the financial markets’ but has had, in practice, little or no effect on the real economy due to a lack of buyers and borrowers – a lack of ‘of effective demand’.
Posen reminds us that the first rounds of Abenomics showed the power of spending to increase the availability of public childcare places and cuts to taxes that penalised families’ second earners. This contributed to a substantial rise in women joining the labour force and Posen notes that Mr Abe’s latest stimulus package promises further action on labour market reforms: “The lasting increase in labour supply has enhanced Japan’s long-term fiscal sustainability. We can expect that part of the new package that further promotes participation in the labour force and eases the burden on those caring for family members to have a similarly large pay-off”.
Posen sees another promising aspect of Mr Abe’s package: his proposal to raise the minimum wage and public sector wages for teachers and others. He says that encouraging an upward spiral of wages into prices and back is the best path to nominal GDP growth
Jeremy Corbyn addresses the UK’s ‘broken’ economic model at a leadership election campaign meeting in Dagenham, attended by members of the public, councillors, businesses and the mayor on the 4th of August
An informal shot taken at the meeting
The BBC quoted from his speech which may be heard here: “We need a Labour government that rebuilds and transforms Britain,” Mr Corbyn said, committing to the creation of one million new jobs through investing £500bn in infrastructure, manufacturing and new industries.
He detailed 10 areas which Labour would seek to reform, including promises to create full employment, at least half a million new council homes, a new “National Education Service”, providing universal public childcare, and ending private-sector involvement in the NHS. The money would be raised through an expanding economy and driving down tax evasion.
“A campaign for the entire public to be involved in”
And ended: “This is a preparation for a general election when we can win that general election and produce decency and real opportunity for everyone in our society”.