Noah Smith provides an interesting story about lost decades. In doing so he explodes a myth about Japan and also a myth about the US. He also helps us to understand the importance of myths. They are easier to understand than a more complex reality, and perhaps that is why they are so commonly used in societies that often held together by myths. The reality of what has happened in the US and in Japan is not that hard to understand if one looks at some simple data and a few facts. Smith does a good job of uncovering the reality and exploding a common myth. For most people, however, the myth will prevail over reality.