Maybe not all bad
Paul Krugman asserts in this article over at Truthout.com that Japan's stagnation due to economic policies has hurt not only its economy but its society:
[Charles Hugh Smith] points out that young workers, having endured so many layoffs and seen their opportunities diminish over the past two decades, have become less competitive. Many perceive as pointless the years of schooling and hard work needed to compete for a dwindling number of elite, well-paying jobs.
Well, yes, from an economic standpoint it's a disaster. But... does this mean the end of kids committing suicide over non-outstanding grades? Does this mean salarymen get to spend more time with their families and less time at the office? Does this mean fewer karaoke bars with drunken salarymen getting into fights? (Or even less karaoke by drunken salarymen?)
It may be an economic problem, but it may actually mean a healthier society in many ways. Which is not exactly bad. If there's something I've discovered over the years, it's that money and "success" is not the be-all and end-all of life.