What happens when a government tries to save a wrecked economy with a massive stimulus package? Ask Japan. For almost two decades, Japan pumped trillions into infrastructure projects, building up a debt totaling 180 per cent of its entire economy. Did it work? Yes and no. Too much money was wasted on useless roads and bridges, or “hakomono” (the Japanese equivalent of a “white elephant”). Some say the money wasn’t spent quickly enough. But proponents say it did save Japan from an all-out depression. Regardless, most agree that America can learn some very important lessons from Japan’s experience.