Never-Ending Sequels

The announcement has rolled through Wisconsin. $3 billion in aid will land a total of 13,00 jobs somewhere around Kenosha. Or maybe less. Or maybe it won’t happen at all, like past promises. But it’s a great deal, one that will create jobs.

It’s hard to say exactly what the Taiwanese electronics manufacturer is going to do given how quickly the breathless announcement came out. What matters is that it had to be announced because it’s not actually about jobs or anything tangible. All of this is just a very expensive form of political theater, allbeit with stakes lower than last week’s show. Government is here to fix the economy and provide jobs, right? So here ya go.

Like many sequels dished up by Hollywood this is a must-see summer thriller. It’s following a well established formula that everyone loves. And like those movies, it begs the question – where did this come from?

Continue reading

Growth? Hai Domo!

Are you ready for the next Ronald Reagan?  Not here, in Japan.  The new Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, has been in office for less than a month and is already making a lot of waves with a bold new vision – spending  whatever it takes and a strong dose of saber-rattling nationalism.  It’s the latest – or really the first – plan to get Japan out of the two decade long doldrums and back onto the world stage.  Will it work?

Continue reading