Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images

Une meilleure politique économique pour le Japon

NEW YORK – Il y a 25 ans au Japon, l'éclatement de la bulle des actifs a été suivi de 25 ans de malaise économique, une "décennie perdue" suivant l'autre. Certaines critiques visant la politique économique nippone ne sont cependant pas justifiées. La croissance n'est pas un objectif en soi - c'est la qualité et le niveau de vie qui devraient nous préoccuper. Le Japon a été l'un des premiers pays à juguler sa croissance démographique et sa productivité est à la hausse. La croissance de la production par personne active, notamment depuis 2008, dépasse celle des USA et elle est bien plus élevée qu'en Europe.

Les Japonais estiment néanmoins qu'ils peuvent faire mieux, et je partage leur point de vue. Le Japon a des problèmes à la fois en terme d'offre et de demande, tant dans l'économie réelle que dans la finance. Pour y répondre, il faut une autre politique que celle adoptée récemment qui n'atteint pas sa cible en matière d'inflation et ne parvient ni à restaurer la confiance ni à stimuler suffisamment la croissance.

Tout d'abord, une taxe sur les émissions de carbone dans le cadre d'une "finance verte" pourrait générer d'énormes investissements destinés à moderniser l'économie. Cette stimulation pourrait compenser les conséquences du retrait de l'argent du systéme et celles du "contre-effet de richesse" lié à la diminution de valeur des "actifs carbonés". Ce contre-effet devrait être de faible ampleur ; et le stock de capital étant largement indépendant du nouveau systéme de prix, il sera possible d'investir des sommes considérables - à moins que la stimulation attendue ne prenne plus de temps que prévu.

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