四条脱身之策

    伯克利--当经济陷入萧条之际,政府可以采用四种方式把就业恢复到正常水平并且把生产恢复到其潜在水平。我们可以把它们称为财政政策、信贷政策、货币政策以及通货膨胀。

    通货膨胀最为容易解释,也就是说,政府印制大量钞票并且把它们花出去。经济体内的额外现金提高了价格。当价格上升的时候,人们并不想把现金藏在口袋里或者放在银行帐户上,因为它们的价值每天都在消失。因此,他们加快花钱的速度,试图把他们的财富从日益贬值的现金中取出来,放到值钱的实务资产当中。这一花钱运动把人们从失业中解救出来并且找到工作,把产能利用推高到正常水准并且把生产提高到“潜在”水平。

    但是有理智的人更愿意避免通货膨胀。通货膨胀是一个非常危险的权宜之计,它会破坏价值标准,几乎无法进行经济测算并且随意重新分配财富。正如凯恩斯所言,“没有比破坏货币更为微妙和确切的手段来颠覆社会的现有基础的了。这一过程把所有经济规律的隐藏力量都放在了破坏的一边,其破坏的方式无人可以分析。”但是政府在允许另一场经济大萧条发生之前将求助于通货膨胀。如果我们还有其他方式来恢复就业和生产,那么我们还是情愿不要走这一条路。

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