People protesting greed Spencer Platt | getty images

对不平等现象的清算

发自剑桥——当涉及到自上世纪70年代在美国和其他一些发达经济体所出现的经济不平等扩大现象时,真正的问题并不在于我们选择哪种收入分配措施:因为这些措施都无法遏制不平等的扩大。与此同时,虽然人们对此提出了许多这样那样的解释,我们也不是非得要在对事件成因的看法上达成一致,大家照样可以搁置争议,携手推行合理的政策来应对这一问题。

有很多种方法去测量不平等状况,而每种方法都会告诉我们一些不同的东西。许多亚洲国家近年取得的经济成就在某些测量方式(比如贫困率大幅下跌)上减少了不平等现象,但从其他方式上看则不然(高-低收入差距有所增加)。而在美国,一切测量不平等的方法自世纪之交以来都指向了同一方向,反映出经济增长所带来的好处了几乎全都归了位于社会顶层的那一小撮人。前0.5%的人收入占全社会总收入的份额已达14%,上次出现这样的情况还是在1920年代。

通常人们会觉得找到这类根本性转变的成因才是开出药方的必要步骤。但在这种情况下,你会被一大堆看似合理的解释淹没,陷入选择困难,最终消磨掉了所有决心。

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