All you need is love, and open borders

A Japanese diplomat visiting Philadelphia today said Americans probably won’t face the dire economic problems in the next decade that beset Japan coming out of that nation’s infamous “lost decade” of economic troubles in the 1990s.

Chalk it up to love – the nation’s still-healthy birth rate, that is – and a relatively open immigration policy.

Japan’s deputy consul general, Yasuhisa Kawamura, said in a meeting with the Inquirer editorial board that population growth and the influx of newcomers pursuing opportunity here will enable the U.S. to avoid the deflation and staggering national debt that hit Japan.

On immigration, there's an implicit warning that a country's xenophobia can be hazardous to its economic health. As for the birth rate, there's a sort of virtuous cycle at work: the better the economy, the more likely people are likely to form families; the more families, the more consumer demand rises.