I can personally vouch for what Dr. Adamson is saying because he treated my then-teenage son for high risk leukemia back in the 1990s. Today my son is an MD/PhD who, together with his wife, also conducts research in cancer genetics. Between them, they have three boys of their own. I can't express how proud I am of my grandsons and their parents.
Our family was lucky, but back when we were in treatment, we were friends with other children who did not survive. We owe it to their memories to carry a torch for them and proceed vigorously with the tasks Dr. Adamson is describing. Instead of an endless "war on terror", wouldn't increased investments in education, medical research, and scientific development be better allocations of our national resources?
Bin Laden caused more damage than he ever could have imagined in his wildest dreams. We've thrown the Constitution out the window and instituted a costly new "security" state. Our economy is a shambles. Our leadership talks in cliches. And we have wasted ten years of national consciousness, preoccupied with things that do little or nothing to help us build our nation. In the eyes of the rest of the world, we have become the "evil empire." Bush and Cheney have a lot to answer for.
Rebalancing the distribution of wealth in our society will be a pitched battle. Surely, the profitability of the financial sector reaching upwards of a third of all corporate profits suggests its inability to reallocate resources within the economy efficiently. On the contrary, the financial sector appears to be looting the system. We need to be rooting out "waste, fraud, and abuse" in finance. What kind of toilet seat is Wall Street trying to sell us? Only good governance will have the force to affect real change.
The answer is quite simple. We need to raise our tax revenues to cover our spending. Those revenues can be found "where the money is": from the wealthy, who have hardly been taxed less while enjoying such wealth, and from the corporations, who have hardly been taxed less while enjoying such profits. A good society--one affording decent wages, fairness, and social justice-- may never be "better for the economy" according to Prof. Barro's lights. Barro fails to account for the ways that effective government promotes the growth of a good life.
Prof. Feldstein fails to prescribe the "right" growth strategy for Japan. In every nation, rebalancing will prove to be a high wire act. Feldstein fails to mention that Abe's project would make Japanese exports cheaper, perhaps the most obvious route to growth. By not offering a balanced review, Feldstein throws his whole analysis into doubt.