Thursday, April 24, 2014
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误算的财富

发自剑桥——尽管人们在创造一个更一体化也更稳定的全球经济方面已取得了诸多成果,但一份由联合国秘书长全球可持续发展高级别小组发表的名为《可复原的人民,可复原的星球:一个值得选择的未来》的报告则认为,目前的全球秩序未能,甚至根本无法实施真正“可持续发展”所需的重大改革。

该报告代表了一种关注“地球可持续发展,社会公平以及经济发展”的远景,同时还提出了56项政策建议来实现这一目标。而这也堪称迄今为止在根本上重新设定全球经济方面最为响亮的国际呼声。


但在洋洋洒洒数万言的报告内容中,我们却无法找到太多明确具体的解决方案。其最具价值的短期建议——用更全面也更具概括性的财富测量方式来取代当前的发展指标(比如GDP)——看上去更像是某种亡羊补牢式的修修补补。而如果没有迅速而决定性的国际行动来令可持续发展优先于现状之上的话,那么这份报告就可能重蹈1987年那份开创性的《布伦特兰报告》(Brundtland Report)的覆辙——正是当年那份报告首次提出了可持续发展的概念,也同样呼吁类似的范式转换,却最终遭到了人们的忽视。

《可复原的人民,可复原的星球》报告开篇引用了狄更斯的名言:这是个最好的时代,也是一个最坏的时代。作为一个整体,人类已经取得了旷绝古今的繁荣;在减少全球贫困方面的力度也极大;科技发展彻底颠覆了我们的生活,驱除了许多疾病,也改变了人与人之间沟通交流的方式。

而另一方面,严重的贫富不均现象依然挥之不去,并在许多国家愈演愈烈。对此的短期应对策略就是不断地鼓动消费主义和借贷,再和全球人口增长——即将在2040年达到近90亿——结合在一起,使得地球环境所面临的压力越来越大。据高级别小组所说,到2030年,“世界至少需要增加50%的粮食供应,45%的能源供应,以及30%的水——而于此同时环境因素却限制了这些资源的供应。”尽管在去年25年取得了巨大的进步,人类却未能保护资源,保育自然生态系统,或者用其他方式维持自身的长期生存。

那么这样一份冠冕堂皇的报告——虽然相当有分量——能否为我们带来改变?世界上的人们能否走出1987年的误区,响应小组关于“全球经济转型”的号召?事实上,或许真正的行动必须由危机中催生出来。正如小组所指出的那样,当前形势已经越来越清晰地表明,我们需要一个可以真正实现全球可持续发展的范式转换。

但有谁能去协调一个研究如何推进这一转换的国际进程?又有谁能确保相关科学发现能最终触发一个富有成效的公共政策进程?

首先,必须有一项大型国际间跨学科研究来全面应对这方面事务;对此小组的建议是建立一个国际性科学小组——这是正确的一步。但建立这样一个机构需要时间,而困难则在于如何尽快将最先进的科技介绍给政策制定者们。

使用人均GDP作为指标来衡量我们的生活是错误的,这是社会科学家们最近达成的共识,而由法国总统萨科齐倡议组建的经济表现和社会进步国际委员会(International Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress)于2010年发布的报告也对此表示了认同。我们需要新的指标来告诉自己是否正在破坏那些支撑自身福祉的生产力基础。

联合国大学的“国际人文因素计划”(Human Dimensions Programme)早已着手为其所谓《包容性财富报告》寻找相关指标,希望找到一个基于自然,生产,人文和社会资本的可持续发展方式。而这个报告正是在联合国环境计划的支持下形成的,致力于对财富的不同组成部分进行综合性分析,并针对不同国家的国情,这些组件与经济发展以及人类福祉的关联,以及指导对这些资产进行社会管理的政策进行研究。

第一份《包容性财富报告》将注意力放在全球20个国家身上,并定于在即将召开的“里约热内卢+20可持续发展峰会”上正式发表。而初步的发现将在本月末的伦敦“地球危机会议”上公布。

这份《包容性财富报告》意味着全球经济发展范式的转换即将迈出决定性的一步,可以确保我们在评估自身的经济发展和福祉方面能拥有正确的信息来重新评估需要和目标。虽然报告起初并不是想将建立一个关于可持续发展的全球指标,但它确实为来自环保,社会和经济领域的人们提供了一个讨论的框架。

目前的时机非常关键。正如《可复原的人民,可复原的星球:一个值得选择的未来》报告恰当地指出,“修修补补”已经不再顶用了——这对那些依赖可再生能源技术和绿色经济来解决问题的人来说堪称一个警告。高级别小组再度提起了实现全球经济体系深远变革的呼吁。而我们的挑战则在于如何把言论变成现实。

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  1. CommentedJonathan Lam

    Gamesmith94134: The Middle Class Goes Global

    MEDDLE IN CLASSES

    Mirror, mirror on the wall; who is the Fairest of all?
    Desire, vision, revolution gives the mirror to his call.
    Economy, sovereignty compares in shapes when he howls.
    Prosperity, Democracy shifts where middle-class flights like fowls;
    Developed, emerging market, eye-leveled shelf Aphrodite loaded.
    Future reveals travesty blurred his eyes, heart-fell surrealism loathed.
    Equitable, reserves bounces, nothing shows on the crystal ball.
    Strife to middle-class, he cries. How do I look like the one on the wall?

    May the Buddha bless you?

  2. CommentedJonathan Lam

    Gamesmith94134: Dr. Doom Warns Wall Street and Washington---- Heed Karl Marx's Warning!


    Mr. Gert van Vugt,

    You make the best description on the theory on the economical growth Paradigm that the economic change seems like Malthusian’s diminishing return, and I agree. However, Mr. Roubini makes his point on the social disruption reverse itself through the diminishing demand. If we can put away the elements like the Ponzi scheme and benefactors in social caused deficiency or defects to growth. Corruption by capitalism and the dependency by socialism among societies both caused failure in the economical and societal development.

    Perhaps, we focus on the circuitry on the accumulation of wealth and consumable wealth that runs the economy. It seems both the capitalism and socialism ran short and proven wrong in the economical model or social model that became self-destructive; eventually, the economy runs from diminishing demand to diminishing return, or vice versa. So, if we use the living standard as the equilibrium position to the supply line of the circuitry of wealth balanced by both of the diminishing return and diminishing demand.

    How about I call my paradigm on the wealth circuitry in economical and social growth that supports and balances both accumulated wealth and consumable wealth; and it created a “Z” shaped development running both on the diminishing demand and diminishing return; which is based on the assumption, the route above the standard of living equal in length with the one below the standard of living is in agreement of its living standard to sustain a viable growth, which contains;

    • The base line as the diminishing return where the societies kept peace with its populace that consumable wealth that cause economical displacement like with its negative growth or no growth; it provides entitlement or social programs with non-productive individual citizens for example, 27% of its population on welfare with add-on with subsidies to sustain a standard of living.

    • The top line as the diminishing demand that ended with accumulated wealth favors of concentrated wealth owned by individuals that ended with profitless, 1% holds 27% of the global or national wealth, plus those with extra wealth is not in production yields to no growth.

    • And the diagonal line that connected to both ends is the support of the price and value in the middle is the standard of living which contains the most of the productive individuals who is moving up and down the ladder of growth.

    If more of the wealth accumulated than the wealth consumed, then it causes saturation of the wealth. The diminishing demand under the standard of living agreement made the demand idle because of the shortage of consumption. In the process, the standard of living will go down to meet its demand after the deflationary measure to make it consumable. In reverse, the wealth consumed is over the wealth accumulated, as it is less profitable. Then, it triggers the inflationary measures to aggregate demand to accumulate more wealth in its diminishing return mode; eventually it will balance itself again with the agreement of the standard living with a viable growth.

    It is not the supply and demand. It is rather the circuitry of wealth under the spells of the lower living standard that diminishing demand is being part of the deflationary measure. If the accumulated wealth became saturated, then it means the lower living standard that made the demand finite like lesser demand in loan of dollars in ECB.
    I am certain I am not being introspective; I may twist the theory a little; but the proof of the lower living standard in Europe made it plausible.

    May the Buddha bless you?

  3. CommentedZsolt Hermann

    People do not act without motivation, so whatever we suggest, we plan we need to figure out if there is any motivation for people to follow our suggestions.
    Usually when we spring into action we can be motivated by positive, pulling influences, or negative pushing influences.
    In terms of our lifestyle, our present attitude, global socio-economic system we are in a historical moment when both the positive and negative motivations could be found together.
    This report, or similar factual, transparent, scientific publication describing the present global situation, the inevitable collapse of our present constant growth, expansive, exploitative system, but at the same time providing practical steps for solving the crisis can be considered the positive, pulling motivating forces.
    At the same time the deepening, unsolvable global crisis, basically dismantling all the human institutions we have built so far, causing actual and potential significant suffering for most of humankind, can provide us with the negative, pushing motivating force.
    If we think and act wisely, we always take a step towards the positive direction, a step ahead of the blows inevitably coming behind us.
    If the scientifically assembled global educational information packages, available to all nations and all social layers are successful in explaining each and every human being that we all exist in a totally interconnected and interdependent system, and our individual, or national health and prosperity fully depends on the health and optimal function of the system as a whole, then each and every one of us would accept and join a proposed, global, integral human system willingly without any tricks and coercion.
    This is going to be the only way of building something truly sustainable.

  4. CommentedGordan Zelnicki

    That is only the first step, Inclusive Wealth Report is expected to create a International intervention on a massive scale as Procyon Mukherjee suggested. The question is how much permanent damage and destruction we produce along with the growth. The resources of our planet are not exclusive property of the corporations that exploit them. Think of the BP and the oil spill...

  5. CommentedProcyon Mukherjee

    The U.N. Report 'Resilient People, Resilient Planet: A Future Worth Choosing' highlights the need for rejecting the silos that we have created around food, water and energy and the nature of treatment that we give to each. It has called for identifying the ‘planetary boundaries’ that define our livelihood for the future and the urgent need to create a consensus around how to price goods and services for all and the same applies to the pricing of opportunities that need to be made available to the majority; the investments needed for working on social exclusion cannot be left to the vagaries of small institutions and provincial governments, but would need national and international intervention on a massive scale.

    Procyon Mukherjee

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