Following up on Brian's earlier post on the amount of pork infrastructure projects in Obama's economic stimulus package, I would refer everyone to Amity Shales' editorial in today's WaPo on how this investment in infrastructure was tried and failed in Japan in the 90s.
United States today. A dramatic market crash and a plunge in real
estate prices shook what had been a confident nation. Japan turned
inward; economists talked earnestly about paradigm shifts. The
obsession with exporting no longer seemed to be serving the country
well. Leaders cast aside their previous concerns about budget deficits.
The then-Ministry of International Trade and Industry sorrowfully let
it be known that there were "areas in which Japan lags behind major
And we all know how well this has turned out for Japan…