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Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012

READERS IN COUNCIL

Sure way to kill economic growth


By JEFF JONES
Osaka

Regarding the July 31 front-page Kyodo article "New growth strategy to focus on autos, FTAs": It's fine for the government to have a growth strategy, but the best one is just to get out of the way and let Japan's many innovative people and entrepreneurs lead the way.

What concerns me is the failed notion and belief that Japan and the rest of the world are ready to be led out of their economic malaise by some sort of magical new green economy.

Wherever this drive to create a so-called green economy has been tried through political dictate and not market forces, it has failed. Barack Obama, as a U.S. presidential candidate, ran on a platform of changing the economy — as if that could be done- to a "Green Economy," with the promise that it would launch some sort of golden era. His wishful thinking and efforts failed miserably.

Look at the solar, wind and ethanol industries in the United States: one failure after another.

All three survive on the back of government subsidies and mandated purchases, including false demand. The money to keep those industries alive has to come from somewhere. Those funds are taken from productive wealth-creating industries, which are thus deprived of the chance for further growth in favor of inefficient politically correct industries that create no wealth and zero growth. Spain, which was at the forefront of the green energy craze in Europe, has ended all subsidies for government-driven renewable energy projects.

More efficient and environmentally friendly energy sources will come one day, but not by government officials picking the winners and losers and supporting products people don't want. How do you know people don't want them? Because they don't buy them. Mandating and subsidizing the drive for a green economy is a sure way to kill economic growth and wealth creation.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer's own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.


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