Real GDP growth rate per working-age person between 2000-2010 was higher in Japan than in the United States.

While the aging population in Japan means its GDP growth will be relatively slower, the fact is Japan's per-worker income growth-the key measure of economic success-exceeded the United States' in the last decade. It's time for the "Washington Economic Consensus" to stop writing off Japan as an economic basket case and recognize that the U.S. economy continues to face real challenges.