Matthew Petroff/Wikimedia Commons

打造学习型社会

纽约—最发达国家的公民已开始认为他们的经济建立在创新的基础上。但创新成为发达世界经济的一部分已有两个多世纪的历史。事实上,几千年来,直到工业革命前,收入一直处于停滞状态。工业革命后,人均收入开始激增,一年更比一年高,只是时常会受到周期性波动的干扰。

60年前,诺贝尔经济学奖获得者罗伯特·索洛(Robert Solow)指出,收入的提高主要不是来自资本积累,而是来自技术进步——即学习如何将事情做得更好。尽管生产率的提高部分反映了重大发现的影响,但大部分都要归因于渐进的小变革。果真如此的话,就应该将注意力集中在社会如何学习以及如何促进学习上——包括学习如何学习。

一个世纪前,经济学家兼政治学家约瑟夫·熊彼特(Joseph Schumpeter)指出,市场经济的最大好处是其创新能力。他认为,传统上经济学家关注竞争市场,这是个错误;真正重要的是为创造市场而竞争,而不是在市场中竞争。为创造市场而竞争推动了创新。根据这一观点,从长期看,前赴后继的垄断者能带来生活水平的提高。

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