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A Lost Decade?

Is the U.S. economy heading for a Japan-style lost decade? And if it is, what would that look like? What would it mean?

People wait in line at the 2011 Maximum Connections Job and Career Fair Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011, in Portland, Ore.  (AP)

People wait in line at the 2011 Maximum Connections Job and Career Fair Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011, in Portland, Ore. (AP)

American wages have been in a slump for years. Then came the crash of ’08. The Great Recession. We bailed out and stimulated and waited for the bounce-back — that hasn’t come.

Now, we’ve got storm clouds again. And fear that it may be years before a real upturn comes. Who else has done that? Japan has. It’s Lost Decade was really two. And it’s still struggling.

What’s it mean for a country, for its people, when -– if — a downturn lasts that long?

This hour On Point: Is the US economy headed for a Japan-style “lost decade”? What would that look like? What would it mean?

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Betsey Stevenson, Assistant Professor of Business and Public Policy at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.

Richard Koo, Chief economist with the Nomura Research Institute.

Richard Katz, Editor-in-Chief of the newsletter The Oriental Economist Report.

C Segment — Occupy Wall Street

Patrick Bruner, representative of the Occupy Wall Street protests.

From Tom’s Reading List

Reuters “As the U.S. economy slouches toward another recession and confidence in policymakers erodes, investors are coming to grips with the notion that the country may already be several years into a Japan-style lost decade.”

The New York Times “Another 2.6 million people slipped into poverty in the United States last year, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday, and the number of Americans living below the official poverty line, 46.2 million people, was the highest number in the 52 years the bureau has been publishing figures on it.”

CNN “The economy is still struggling. And Americans are in for a long and painful adjustment period.”

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Lightning first ignited the Meadow fire on July 20, 2014 in Yosemite. By September 8, the fire had charred 2,582 acres. Bernie Krause has recorded soundscapes of national parks destroyed by large areas of forest fires. Listen below.  (National Park Service)

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WDBJ-TV7 meteorologist Leo Hirsbrunner, right, wipes his eyes during the early morning newscast as anchors Kimberly McBroom, center, and guest anchor Steve Grant deliver the news at the station in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were killed during a live broadcast Wednesday, while on assignment in Moneta. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

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