Wednesday, October 22, 2014
8

奥巴马和罗姆尼的就业问题比拼

伯克利——美国刚刚走完了经济复苏的第三个年头,但失业率依然维持在8%以上,并伴有令人担忧的经济放缓迹象。就业因此顺理成章地成为总统竞选的重头戏,而且候选人提出了截然不同的方法来促进就业。

去年秋天,奥巴马总统提出了“美国就业机会法案”,该法案将落实4500亿美元的财政措施创造就业机会。“美国就业机会法案”约占GDP总额的3%,预定于2012年生效。该法案将在全球经济环境不利的情况下及时推动就业,为美国的经济复苏保驾护航。绝大多数措施已得到两党的一致支持;其中减税约占支出总额的56%;并在奥巴马的长期赤字削减计划下逐渐列支。

一些独立经济学家认为,奥巴马计划将于2012-2013年对就业市场实现重大提振。事实上,美国最德高望重的两名预测人士预测2012年“美国就业机会法案”将创造130-190万个就业岗位,而到2013年底创造就业岗位将超过200万。超党派的国会预算办公室也认为按2012-2013年单位美元预算成本创造的就业岗位数来衡量,绝大多数法案政策的预算效益是排名居前的。

 “美国就业机会法案”遭到参议院共和党人的阻挠,而共和党控制的众议院同样阻止表决这项法案。该法案被目前的共和党总统候选人米特·罗姆尼诋毁为“单纯的刺激”,就像在经济复苏即将熄灭的余烬上泼上一杯汽油。最终奥巴马在赞同该项计划的民调支持下部分通过了两项就业法案政策:包括将雇员的工资税削减三分之一(他原本提议削减一半),以及将失业救济扩展至他所建议的60%。

但国会并未批准将雇主工资税削减50%——类似的削减营业税措施过去曾经受到共和党人的青睐,并在预算效益排行榜上排名居前。尽管选民支持强劲,但国会同样没有批准为州政府提供价值300亿美元的联邦补助,以使他们能够雇佣约135,000名教师、警察和消防人员。2009年至2011年间总计1300万美元的此类补助协助各州继续提供这些至关重要的服务,并继续雇佣提供上述服务的公营部门人员。

罗姆尼反对联邦政府为各州提供资金,声称“当务之急是削减政府开支和帮助美国人民。” 但教师、消防员和警察是为他人提供帮助的美国人。政府就业正以1940年后的最快速度下降,现已跌落至2006年的水平。如果公共就业过去三年的增长速度能像乔治·W·布什总统任期时那样与人口的增长速度相等,那么这800,000个新增就业岗位将使失业率维持在7%左右,而不是8.2%。

同样,尽管美国有至少1.1万亿尚未实现融资的基础设施需求,国会仍未能批准奥巴马追加900亿美元基础设施建设投资的建议,如果上述建议获准通过,将能支持约400,000个就业岗位。此外,基础设施投资不仅能在短期内创造就业机会,还能使长期竞争力得到提升。

归总计算国会留在谈判桌上的就业机会总量至少达100万份之多,导致失业工人的利益被11月总统大选的结果所绑架。

此外,面对媒体的持续压力,罗姆尼也已经推出了自己的创造短期就业机会的刺激政策。这些政策是无法令人信服的。罗姆尼说他将确保美国的能源部门吸纳更多人工作。但尽管石油和天然气工业在2007年以后取得了显著的增长,但吸纳的就业人数少于200,000,这意味着即使该领域的就业人数在短期内翻一番,其所产生的影响也几乎可以忽略。

此外,尽管罗姆尼承诺会开拓新的海外市场,但奥巴马已经在做同样的事,奥巴马通过了三项重大贸易协定,并加大了联邦政府对美国出口的支持。与2001年经济衰退的复苏期相比,美国的出口增速已经接近当时的两倍。此外,罗姆尼信誓旦旦称要控告美国的第三大出口市场中国操纵汇率,并对中国进口产品征收高额的关税,这几乎肯定会招致中国方面的报复,从而损害美国的出口和就业。

罗姆尼还将废除“奥巴马医改法案”——即2010年的医疗改革立法——因为这项法案“吓得小企业不敢招聘员工。” 但这种说法的依据既不充分又站不住脚。最近的一项调查显示多数小企业支持这项改革。绝大多数企业,无论大小,都认为需求不足是他们不愿招聘的主要因素。

罗姆尼立即削减联邦自由裁量开支5%的承诺也不太可能如他所断言的那样促进就业增长。当经济体出现高失业和总需求疲软时,削减开支能够起到紧缩的效果。罗姆尼最近承认了这一点,承认“财政断崖”——布什时代的税收减免将于今年年底前结束,再加上已经预定实施的大规模开支削减计划——将联合起来把经济推入衰退。

最后,除了延长布什的减税政策,罗姆尼承诺将个人所得税边际税率整体削减20%,并大幅降低企业税,以鼓励企业雇用更多员工。但尽管在布什政府开始时大幅削减了所得税边际税率,但2000年到2007年间的就业增长仅为前30年速度的一半。

即便罗姆尼的全新减税政策长远来看强化了投资和增长(根据资助方式的不同这本身还是一个有争议的命题),但是它们短期创造就业机会的作用仍然微乎其微,而且还会招致严重的收入损失。事实上,这些减税措施在国会预算办公室的预算措施效益排名表上表现不佳。

奥巴马创造就业机会的建议很有说服力,而罗姆尼的建议则几乎没有效果——有些甚至可能让局势进一步恶化。选民们需要了解这之中的差别。

翻译:Xu Binbin

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  1. CommentedAlexander Guerrero

    I wonder how can we be a little more consistent on this "The United States has just completed its third year of economic recovery, but the unemployment rate remains above 8%........". How can USA's economy or any other industrialized economy could be recovering with such high unemployment ?. We all know that numbers like those can be found in far less developed economies, particularly commodity producers countries where high rates of economic growth can in the long term survive with high unemployment rates.

  2. CommentedEdward Ponderer

    Point well stated Ms. Jones.

    In a movie version about the Manhattan Project, FDR uncertain what course to take asked to speak with Eleanor for a moment. He asked, "If Hitler had a bomb powerful enough to destroy all of London, what would he do." Without a moment's hesitation came the answer, "He'd use it."

    This may well have been mere dramatization -- but most certainly the sentiment was real. And in the present political climate, with the heat rising from Radical Islam per the Muslim Brotherhood, the situation is more real.

    [Per Egypt, one might ask -- would they kill an entire nation of many million if angry at a few independent citizens? Think what attacking an embassy and burning a flag represent, and the recent intelligence services warnings about attacks (presumably random) that might happen in the U.S.]

    If we are lucky, Iran would only use the treat of nuclear weapons to shield it from the US and the rest of the world to take aggressive actions with its army. But like with Egypt, it may not take much to light the fuse of a very big fire cracker. This is not a fourth of July that America would want to see.

    I was till recently, unemployed myself for 2 1/2 years. With all due respect to all the fraction of struggling former middle class bread winners that Mr. Obama has put back to part time minimum wage work at McDonald's, I was hoping that his foreign policy might have been better than his economic saavy. But its not being so is more frightening, because in a world with a nuclear Iran, things in all ways -- including economically -- could be so much worse.

    We need a world in which we all take mutual responsibility for each other -- it is our only chance out of the present morass of Humanity. But in the world of a nuclear Iran and growing Middle Eastern radicalism that Mr. Obama is leading us to, we'll have lost it.

  3. CommentedBrenda Jones

    Please, with all due respect, forget all this. The main question that should be addressed is the difference between each candidate's stand on Israel. Why? Because, with Iran's movement towards nuclear weapons capability and its determination to eradicate Israel, with the Syrian uprising, the rise of Islamic extremists in Turkey and Egypt, and with terrorists groups stockpiling more missiles, tensions in the Middle East are escalating to break point.

    And, if break point is reached, we could easily find ourselves in a global confrontation, a third world war. This would be more than horrific for obvious reasons.

    Obama is no lover of Israel and based on his record, I would have to conclude that he intends for Israel's destruction.

    In 2010, when Turkey issued a resolution in the UN Security Council to condemn Israel and then demand an investigation of the Gaza flotilla raid, Obama refused to veto it, saying and doing nothing.

    When the President of the PLO, Mahmoud Abbas, held a celebration in February of 2011 honoring the terrorist Dalal Mughrabi for murdering 37 Israeli's, the Obama administration said nothing. There was neither protest nor criticism.

    When in September of 2011, PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas delivered a fiery anti-Israel speech to the UN, denying that Jews have any historic connection to Israel and when he delivered that speech on PLO letterhead showing a map of Palestine with Israel erased, there was no criticism from Obama.

    By diplomatically and politically isolating Israel, by relating to Israel in a way that encourages Israel's enemies, Obama is putting the seal to Israel's destruction and perhaps ours as well since such is a very real threat to world peace.

      CommentedEdward Ponderer

      Point well stated Ms. Jones.

      In a movie version about the Manhattan Project, FDR uncertain what course to take asked to speak with Eleanor for a moment. He asked, "If Hitler had a bomb powerful enough to destroy all of London, what would he do." Without a moment's hesitation came the answer, "He'd use it."

      This may well have been mere dramatization -- but most certainly the sentiment was real. And in the present political climate, with the heat rising from Radical Islam per the Muslim Brotherhood, the situation is more real.

      [Per Egypt, one might ask -- would they kill an entire nation of many million if angry at a few independent citizens? Think what attacking an embassy and burning a flag represent, and the recent intelligence services warnings about attacks (presumably random) that might happen in the U.S.]

      If we are lucky, Iran would only use the treat of nuclear weapons to shield it from the US and the rest of the world to take aggressive actions with its army. But like with Egypt, it may not take much to light the fuse of a very big fire cracker. This is not a fourth of July that America would want to see.

      I was till recently, unemployed myself for 2 1/2 years. With all due respect to all the fraction of struggling former middle class bread winners that Mr. Obama has put back to part time minimum wage work at McDonald's, I was hoping that his foreign policy might have been better than his economic saavy. But its not being so is more frightening, because in a world with a nuclear Iran, things in all ways -- including economically -- could be so much worse.

      We need a world in which we all take mutual responsibility for each other -- it is our only chance out of the present morass of Humanity. But in the world of a nuclear Iran and growing Middle Eastern radicalism that Mr. Obama is leading us to, we'll have lost it.

  4. CommentedMichael Smith

    Her debate with Sir James Goldsmith on Charlie Rose which can be seen in entirety here http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5064665078176641728&hl=en# is all you ever need to know on the amazing benefits of global outsourcing and the wonderful brave new world we now find ourselves in now. If Sir James Goldsmith were alive to today to see his bold and sad predictions manifest to where we are at now. All you need to is watch and see the stark difference between a seasoned, vastly experienced business professional give stark predictions of our brave new world and an ivory tower Keynesian who is completely out of her league in he Socratic school of Debate.

  5. CommentedKen Fedio

    As one of the proponents of NAFTA who garnered the most attention I fail to see how anyone would take Tyson's commentary of job creation with any creedence. She was part of the cabal of economists who, during the Clinton years, opened the chicken coop to the nocturnals of Wall Street. Two decades of Globalization later, look around you. Worked out well for Mexicans and their clients like VW, though. Oh, and Canada too. Thanks Laura. Glad I don't share your citizenship.

  6. CommentedMelanie holzman

    One of the first initiatives by the Obama administration to create jobs AND promote a green policy was to buy functioning old cars and make them not functional. Every "poor" person I met was extremely distraught because the price of a car they could afford -- a used car -- doubled. That did not create jobs; it bankrolled dealers and salespeople.
    Next, the Solyndra bankruptcy. There was also another solar failure and, instead, of hiring American companies, Obama outsourced to Spain.
    No thanks on the job creation.
    No thanks to more police. It's the poor who end up in jail. California is going bankrupt because the cost per inmate is approximately 55K. The US has more people in prison by percentage than any other country in the world.
    No thanks to more teachers. They have turned into nannies rather than educators.
    No thanks to socialized healthcare. Deregulate. Push people to take better care of their own health.
    Absolutely, no thanks to more government. Cut it in half, please, as soon as possible.

      CommentedKen Fedio

      The real problem is failed economic policies foisted upon middle America by failed economists. The Age of the Economists turned middle America into a post-industrialist shell that is just now recovering from the carpet-bombing of off-shored industrialism led by the domestic forces of Globalization.

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