美国的免费午餐

伯克利——前美国财政部长萨默斯(Lawrence Summers)在今年的IMF会议上颇有想象力:他说,各国政府的做法,就好比是病人明明是脏器问题,却在给他治脚踝。萨默斯是在批评欧洲将注意力集中在希腊问题这样的次要问题上,而更危险的失衡——北欧和南欧之间的失衡、鲁莽银行债权人与监管不力的政府之间的失衡——却在一天比一天更严重。

但在大西洋的另一边,美国人就找不到任何自命不凡的理由了。萨默斯的比方同样可以用来形容美国——美国人一直把焦点放在社保的长期筹资困境上,而对美国宏观经济和失业危机视而不见。

当前,美国政府的30年债务真实(经通胀调整的)利率为每年1%。假设未来两年美国政府多借5000亿美元,并将这笔钱用于基础设施建设——即使这些投资并非生产性的,其社会回报率只有每年25%。假设——目前看来正是如此——简单凯恩斯政府支出乘数 为2。

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