可持续的复苏

纽约-现在正在持续中的全球衰退,不仅仅是金融恐慌的结果,而且还是世界经济未来方向的更基本的不确定的结果。消费者在购买住房和汽车上紧缩开支,不仅仅是因为他们遭受了股票价格的下跌和房屋价值的下降对他们财富的冲击,也因为他们无所适从。当汽油价格可能再次飙升的时候,消费者应该冒险买一辆新车吗?在今年可怕的食品价格上涨之后,消费者还有能力将食物放上餐桌吗?

有关商业投资的决定更为艰难。各行业在消费者需求下降以及面临借款成本前所未有的风险损失时,都不愿意投资。各种行业也面临着巨大的不确定性。在将来,什么样的发电站是可接受的呢?这些发电站会被允许像过去那样排放二氧化碳吗?美国仍然支撑得住郊区的生活方式吗?在这种生活方式中,房子零乱地分布在遥远的社区里,人们返于工作地点和家之间需要长距离驾驶汽车。

在很大程度上,经济复苏将依赖于对未来经济变化方向更明确的感知。这主要是政府的责任。在布什政府混乱而具有误导性的领导之后——该政府没能给能源、健康、气候和金融政策任何清晰的路径,当选总统巴拉克·奥巴马将不得不开始一个确定美国经济未来方向的旅程。

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