Minimum Wage Hikes Tom Williams/Getty Images

工资恐慌的报应

伦敦—如果其他方法都行不通,那么试试此前感到不可想象的。对于处于最好时光的经济政策来说,这是一个不坏的原则。如今,这个原则可能就是我们需要的:许多西方国家——美国、日本和德国显然如此,英国也许如此,很多欧元区国家很快就会如此——应该让政府直接干预工资讨价还价,特别是对收入最低的群体。

在过去十五年中,日本都在与增长缓慢、家庭需求长期萎靡(特别是较贫穷家庭)以及不平等性和贫困加剧作斗争。类似的情况现在也出现在美国;事实上,它们是特朗普当选总统的助力之一,制造了一个足够庞大的被特朗普相当恰当地称为“被遗忘的美国人”的群体。而在特朗普获得胜利前,这些情况促使英国所谓的“落后者”投票支持英国脱欧。

如果工资不能大幅增长——主要是法定最低工资——民粹主义就会继续兴盛,大部分西方经济体也将继续陷于慢增长。不平等性——不仅包括收入和财富,也包括政治话语权和影响力的感受——将继续加剧。而短视解决方案——如关闭边境和采取保护主义——的诱惑将变得不可阻挡。

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