Thursday, April 20, 2006

Very possibly the worst Op-Ed ever written about any economy anywhere

I hesitate to open the International Herald Tribune/Asahi Shimbun this morning.

If the editors of the Asahi Shimbun have had this translated into English, white-hot beams of searing stupidity might burn holes straight through to the back of my skull, causing my brain to leak out, killing me instantly.

Now the Asahi Shimbun has always set the standard in economic idiocy among the readily available newspapers. However, Keizai seicho: yutakasa o sasaeru tame ni is, to borrow a cycling term, beyond category. On a scale from one to ten, it is an eleven.

Economics is the disciplined study of tradeoffs and sacrifice. Discussion about the goals of an economy is enriched when a writer confronts the readership with the hard choices facing the nation. Discussion is impoverished when authors write down a list of "nice thoughts about jobs and innovation and competition and globalization" without examining the costs or ever, ever mentioning the word "profit".

Suffice to say, this op-ed does the latter.

In the worst way.

Later - Well, they have done the dirty deed. Here is the editorial opinion in English, in all its platitudinous glory.

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