Friday, November 28, 2014
16

后危机时代的危机

发自纽约——在欧元危机和美国财政悬崖的阴影之下,人们很容易会忽略全球经济的一些长期问题。但当我们着眼于解决燃眉之急时,这些长期问题却在忽视中逐步恶化。

目前最严重的问题是全球变暖。尽管全球经济的差劲表现导致了碳排放增速的相应放缓,但这也仅仅是一个短暂的缓解。在这个问题上我们已经非常落后了:由于我们对气候变化的反应一直都极为缓慢,导致将来要大幅度削减碳排放量才能免于触及全球气温上升2摄氏度这个限制目标。

考虑到当前经济放缓,有人建议我们应该把全球变暖这个问题放到次要位置。但恰恰相反,为气候变化而改造全球经济可能会有助于恢复总需求和增长。

与此同时,科技发展和全球化的步伐迫使发达和发展中国家都要实现快速的结构性变革。这种变革会带来某些创伤和冲击,但市场通常无法很好地做出应对。

就像大萧条的其中一部分成因源自于把经济从乡村小农经济向城市制造业经济转型的困难一样,引发当前经济问题出现的部分原因也因为经济从制造业向服务业转变的需要。我们必须创建新的企业,而现代金融市场相比起为新兴企业提供资金(尤其是中小企业)却更善于投机和剥削。

此外,做这样的转变需要对人力资本进行投资,而个人通常难以负担相关支出。在那些人们想获得健康和教育的服务中,政府在其中两个领域起着很重要的作用——这是因为这些市场在这些领域中的固有缺陷并出于社会平等权益的考虑)。

在2008年的危机之前,有很多人谈到全球经济不平衡及贸易顺差国(像德国和中国)需要增加其消费。这个问题并未消失;确实,德国无法抹去的长期性外部顺差正是欧元危机爆发的重要成因之一。中国顺差占GDP比重已经下降,但其长期的影响尚未显现出来。

如果不增加国内储蓄,并对全球货币安排实施更加根本性的改革,美国的总体贸易逆差就不会消失。然而前者会加剧美国经济的放缓,而且这两种变革似乎都遥遥无期。随着中国不断提高其消费,它不一定会购买更多来自美国的商品。事实上,中国很有可能增加其非贸易商品的消费——比如医疗和教育——这将对全球供应链造成深刻的扰乱性影响,尤其会影响到那些过去一直为中国制造业出口商提供输入产品的国家。

最后,还有一个贫富差距方面的全球性危机。问题是当许多国家的贫困率也不断上升之时,高收入人群在经济大饼中占据的份额不断加大,而中等收入群体却未能从经济增长中获益。在美国,机会平等已经成为了一个虚构的神话。

尽管大萧条加剧了这些趋势,但显然它们早在大萧条之前就已经出现了。确实,我(以及其他论者)曾经提到,不断加大的贫富差距是经济放缓的原因之一,在某种程度上也是当前全球经济深度结构性变革的后果。

一个不为大部分公民服务的政治经济体系是无法长久延续下去的。最终,对民主和市场经济的信念会遭到侵蚀,而现存制度及安排的合法性将受到质疑。

好消息是新兴国家与发达国家之间的差距在过去三十年里已经大大缩小了。然而,数亿人仍处于贫困线上,而在缩小最贫困国家与其它国家差距方面则进步不大。

不平等的贸易协议——包括保留减少了许多穷困国家赖以生存的收入的不正当农业补贴——发挥了影响。发达国家都未能履行它们2001年11月在多哈的承诺——创建一个能促进发展的贸易体制,或是它们2005年在英国格伦伊格尔斯G8集团峰会上的誓言——显著提高对最贫困国家援助。

市场本身并不会解决这些问题。全球变暖是一个典型的“公共物品”问题。要做出全世界所需的结构性转变,我们需要政府发挥更积极的作用——尤其是当欧美不断要求削减支出的时候。

当我们与今天的危机做斗争时应当时刻反省自身解决问题的方式是否会加剧长期问题。由赤字鹰派与紧缩倡导者制定的方案既削弱了今天的经济又破坏了经济的前景。讽刺地是,尽管全球经济疲软的主要来源是总需求不足,还有另一种选择:投资我们的未来,采取这些方式有助于我们同时解决全球变暖、全球收入差距与贫困以及结构性改革需求的问题。

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    1. CommentedNicolas Bollion

      Stiglitz is once again exagearating in this article. According to an OECD report I read, inequality has grown in almost every industrialized country but all levels of income have improved. That's the general picture. Globalization and economic policy are a few of many factors that have contributed to this increase in addition to a reduced redistribution within families (more singles and educated increasingly marrying educated) and immigration (mostly low educated people, increasing the number of people in the lowest income brackets). In some countries however the gap got smaller (Spain, Ireland, Greece, Turkey), as economic development moved landinward during these years. In France inequality stayed flat. In developing countires the picture is also mixed: inequality dropped in Brazil, with poorest and middle incomes rising faster than the highest incomes. In China it rose considerably but that is mainly because untill recently it were regions that were already more advanced that benefited most from globalization and foreign investment. The poorest provinces now grow faster than the richest. Income inequality in these emerging countries is matched by huge productivity differences. Yet, in all these countries, the poorest have advanced fast. And look at the poorest of the poorest: malnutrition rates are dropping and so do infant mortality and illiteracy rates. I agree inequality is a problem but the poorest in this world are doing better every year and these factors contributing to rising inequlity in the west will soon come to a halt or be reversed. Unit labor costs f.e. in low cost countries (China/Eastern and Central Europe) are rising fast. All this alarmism is not improving the economic climate Stiglitz is so worried about.

    2. CommentedOle C G Olesen

      For CLARITY i repeat the Links provided below as they did not work when i tested them

      You do Youself a favour ..by taking a look !


      http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21228354.500-revealed--the-capitalist-network-that-runs-the-world.html


      and

      http://mailstar.net/money-masters.html



    3. CommentedOle C G Olesen


      There is a very SIMPLE SOLUTION to the current World Economic Crisis :

      ( the ONLY solution ! )

      NATIONALIZE ALL BANKS !... and ALL their Holdings :

      The REASON for this necesary HUMANITARIAN step are FACTS :

      Research by the Technical Institute, University of Zurich, Switzerland :

      http://www.newscie...uns-the-world.html

      add to this the Vast Stock-holdings embedded in OFF SHORE Havens and we can safely estimate
      that these approx 150 Companies own between 50 - 75 % of THE WORLD

      We also KNOW who owns the lions share of CONTROLLING INTEREST in these 150 Companies

      furthermore

      Citation from : http://mailstar.net/money-masters.html :

      Let's take a look at the Fed shareholders: according to researcher Eric Samuelson, as of November, 1997, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (which completely dominates the other eleven branches through stock ownership, control, influence, having the only permanent voting seat on the Federal Open Market Committee and by handling all open market bond transactions), which has 19,752,655 shares outstanding, was majority-owned by two banks - Chase Manhattan bank (now merged with Chemical Bank) with 6,389,445 shares or 32.35%, and Citibank, N.A., with 4,051,851 shares or 20.51%. Together those two banks own 10,441,295 shares or 52.86%: majority control.

      We do KNOW who controls Chase Manhattan ..and CITI Bank not to mention other involved secretive Banks Controlled by a few Individuals … I could name names.. but ABSTAIN … You can get a hint by reading Above well documented narrative : “ Money-masters “ .. a remarkable piece of research and knowledge ..

      So ... There are NO CONSPIRACY THEORIES ... there are only FACTS ..plain to see .. for everyone !

      We therefore KNOW who controls between 50 and 75 % of all Capital in the world
      As well as the US Dollar System and the Federal Reserve System

      These entities have now STOLEN somewhere between 25 and 35 TRILLION US Dollar from the Public coffers across the Western World and have been bying Equity shares but no Gouvernment Bonds for the free capitals

      Therefore the TIME has come ..in the Interest of HUMANITY
      to STOP these CRIMINAL MEGALOMANIACS
      who with the HELP of subservant POLITICIANS
      during the last 5 Years have comitted the biggest FINANCIAL THEFT known in History

      To Paraphrase CATO : Secretae Argentarii delendae sunt !

      And to the latin scholars : please correct as appropriate

    4. CommentedAnton Astakhov

      Maybe it was not the problem itself - the move from rural agrarian economy to urban, manufacturing one, but rather the solution?

    5. CommentedLaurence Logan Lechumanan

      Can I say that the Laissez-faire economy / free market has failed to lead and create a better world. If G is to be present strongly 'Doha... & G8...' than what is democratic about liberalising an economy.

    6. CommentedCarol Maczinsky

      It would be easy to overcome the surplus, simply by a massive investment program. The surplus is not the reason of the Euro zone crisis but its symptom.

    7. CommentedAbdella Abdou Abdou

      Professor Stiglitz,

      I enjoyed your article. I like to see some more on your concluding statement. That is, how do we "address simultaneously the problems of global warming, global inequality and poverty, and the necessity of structural change." Hope one of your next articles elaborates on this.

    8. CommentedNirmalan Dhas

      We need to be clear on the type of changes required and the amount of resources required to make the change. We know the rate at which we consume these resources on a daily basis and so we can work out how long what we have left will last. If we subtract the amount of resources we require to make the change from the total amount of resources we have available we will know how much we can consume before we run out of the resources required to make this change and how long it will take to consume this amount. This will give us an idea of the time we have left within which to complete the transition. While miracles may happen, in general it is not possible to argue with global warming or ask it to wait for our political processes to get their act together. I think most of us have seen Australia burning…

    9. CommentedPhilani Lubanyana

      “The great financial crisis of 2007-09 called into question market fundamentalism. The trickle-down theory of market fundamentalism has not worked. While it has generated growth, some of which are financially fictitious and unsustainable, it exacerbated inequality, unemployment and poverty. However, rather than taking corner solutions of either market fundamentalism or total state control, we should engage in theory and in practice to find the right mix between the two, realizing that there is NO SINGLE MODEL for all societies. There is a role for both market and state forces; and they should be harnessed and regulated to achieve sustainable development from an ecological, social and economic viewpoint… There are three pillars to development – growth, Africa distribution and sustainability” Vicente Paolo Yu. We need to emphasize that Washington Consensus have failed to uplift the African economies, now most of African countries are looking toward East (Beijing Consensus). Although the world economy is sluggishing but Africa’s economy is booming thanks to China’s hunger for commodities. Although African economy is thriving but it is not diversifying! Although the African economy is blooming but the levels of inequalities are still enormous! The question that needs to be asked is: will this boom be sustained? Philani Lubanyana@Umlazi.South Africa

    10. CommentedTodd Clay

      Everyone's beating around the bush. It's not just global warming...it's global POLLUTION! That's what all this boils down to is pollution whether it's in the air or water or too much light or noise. It doesn't matter until we address every element of what unbridled capitalism has done to the planet. Every where you go no matter what corner of the earth...in the middle of the ocean we have the plastic bag island, at every oil rig there's ground level pollution that we don't even acknowledge that seeps into existing waterways and ends up killing people. People need to get real!

    11. CommentedJoseph Concordia

      Dr. Stiglitz thank you for including this crucial fact in your article. Economic disparity is at the root of so much social and political conflict throughout the world it is amazing that it does not receive more direct priority attention by governments, informed public, and academic institutions. The reason for this certainly is easy to discern. With the power structure populated by the "haves" it leaves the "have not" demographic incapable of making the fundamental changes in policies, laws, or practices needed to reverse the condition. What I fear is that the ultimate result of continuous degradation in the distribution of economic resource and franchise is a move to anarchy by those being deprived. While many say it will never happen in the USA, I believe it can happen here as it did many years ago in France, and in Russia, and elsewhere. The political philosophy that is most responsible for continuing this dangerous trend is that espoused by extremists of Libertarian thinking. Their utilitarian philosophy ignores the reality of the natural distribution of human capabilities. Some people are able to make it on their own, others cannot and will always need help. Ignoring the needs of the needy will eventually expand the demographic of the have-not and drive it to the level where they will demand the changes, under force of arms, that should be granted freely and fairly by a responsive aristocracy.

    12. Commentedsrinivasan gopalan

      Few would question the due concerns flagged off by Mr Stiglitz but the apathy with which most of the countries treat global warming issues reveals abysmal level of understanding the real calamitous implications such gross ignorance entails. In recent years, floods, famines, biting cold and flinty summer had been the bane of many a nation but nobody seems to dig deeper into these natural aberrations that cause incalculable pains to millions. Even as the reference to inequality within and across countries is a matter of worrisome concern, the plight of dispossessed and poor due to the weather-related aberrations continues to be irremediably acute. It is time that responsible countries of G 20 even as they coordinated to rescue the failed banking industry across the world in general and the developed countries in particular should show some modicum of real concern for the damaging repercussions of environment-related problems. Nature abhors vacuum and if the global leadership is lamentably jejune with any fresh idea to stem the global warming before long, the future for mankind is fraught with grave forebodings of no less ravaging dimension than the financial meltdown inflicted in the aftermath of 2008! G.Srinivasan, Journalist, New Delhi

    13. CommentedJohn Brian Shannon

      Hi Joseph,

      Kudos on yet another seminal article, one which should be required reading for (federal) government leaders around the world.

      But further (and complementary to your excellent piece) on this topic, I must say that the massive agricultural subsidies we have seen in some Western nations over the past decades, (especially the U.S. and France) effectively prevent entire continents from feeding themselves.

      How? In Africa for example, it is often cheaper for consumers to purchase imported foods and other items from the West, than it is to build up the infrastructure and industry necessary to allow Africans to grow their own crops, raise their own livestock, or build their own tractors.

      Therefore, this is one of the reasons the formation of a middle class ratio comparable to developed nations has grown markedly slower in Africa over the decades than it would have been without Western (domestic) ag subsidies.

      Quite without bad intent, but nevertheless still extant in the worldwide economy, Western nations have been holding back African agricultural investment and growth for decades, but only on account of our massively subsidized agricultural sector.

      But dropping our subsidies quickly now would cause great harm to vulnerable families in Africa, Asia and South America -- as prices would steeply and immediately rise to their non-subsidized benchmark.

      If free trade agreements are successfully concluded between Canada, the U.S. and Europe, those subsidies will at some point disappear, but this must be done very carefully -- as thousands, perhaps millions of lives will hang in the balance.

      For example; Can anybody tell me what would happen if 300-million+ consumers in Africa, Asia and possibly South America suddenly couldn't afford to buy groceries if a clumsy free trade deal created by the West were to go into effect?

      It IS logical to streamline trade arrangements between nations with the hope that barriers to trade will increase investment and opportunity.

      The benefits could be more competition, lower prices for consumers (without having to use multi-billions of taxpayer dollars to achieve those lower prices!) better quality goods and more choices for consumers. With lower or nonexistent tariffs, taxes, and a universal regulatory environment between Western nations, domestic businesses could then afford to go on a hiring spree, in order to meet higher demand. Resulting in real GDP growth.

      All of these things and more, are certainly possible with the right agreement and could easily benefit millions of citizens in all signatory nations.

      These particular free trade agreements are about more than just the normal bi-lateral trade and regulations between two continents (North America and Europe) -- as the implications for other continents are almost too large to contemplate.

      Still, these agreements are long-overdue and I look forward to successful and outstanding agreements, ones which take into careful account the impacts they will have on developing nation economies.

      Best regards, JBS
      http://jbsnews.com





    14. CommentedShane Beck

      The most serious global problem is population. The AGW is merely the result of the population X consumption X environmental impact. As Indian and Chinese middle class grows so will their environmental impact. Also under globalization, carbon emissions are basically just exported to the least restrictive environment. The only way to restrict such carbon emission transfers is through carbon tariffs (gasp, protectionism!!)
      On the jobs front, America's economic transition from a manufacturing based economy to a service based economy is not going to be very successful. The first reason is that services are less jobs intensive than the manufacturing sector. The second reason is that ultimately service jobs can be offshored to the lowest common denominator.
      The third problem is that previous booms depended upon the availability of cheap energy in the form of cheap oil. It is no coincidence that the GFC hit when the price of oil went sky high. In a sense the price of oil is in itself a regulating feedback system, if Europe, the United States and China were to recover and experience a boom, the demand and price of oil would send them back into a slow growth mode. Maybe the extraction of large quantities of shale oil will provide a cheap energy source for economic recovery, but I doubt it. The costs of transitioning an economy to alternative energy sources must be taken into account not only in monetary terms but in time costs. It took over 50 years for the western world to become "motorized" and that was in an environment of cheap oil and cheap money. It is going to be a lot harder to transition a economy in an environment of slow growth, national deficits and high welfare expenditures.

    15. Commentedprasad p

      Who is responsible for 'Global Warming' problem? A.Private sector/Corporates ? B. Government policy C. People. D. Bank Lender.

    16. CommentedProcyon Mukherjee

      Dr. Stiglitz raises a number of issues, almost a complete range of issues that plague the world economy, but I would like to single out one that has been constantly raised as a means for salvation, education. In the developing world, this is almost as important as basic needs, but are we sure that this is that simple a case for the developed world? U.S. for example where student loans touch $1 Trillion, makes no connection between where the jobs are and where education is headed and in absence of a market clearing mechanism, the price of education has been peaking; this is further aggravated by surplus graduates pushing salaries down further while jobs have to wait for students who are still to enroll in the right programs to be able to avail the opportunity.

      Procyon Mukherjee

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