Sunday, January 25, 2004

Japan as Anything but 'Number One'

It irritates me to no end that people continue to peddle Japan as an example of successful protectionism in practice. To counter this erroneous notion, I can think of no better antidote than to read Jon Woronoff's prescient 1991 book, "Japan as Anything but Number One". Here is a guy who foresaw the stagnation that would become Japan's lot right up till the present time, even as charlatans like Ezra Vogel and fearmongers like Michael Crichton were still playing up the notion of a monolithic, hyper-efficient, infallible "Japan, Inc." Here's hoping that this book awakens a few souls from their dogmatic slumbers.