People walk along Wall Street in the financial district in New York City Spencer Platt/Getty Images

什么在阻止左翼?

坎布里奇—为什么民主政治制度没有能够足够快速地对仇恨做出反应,导致专制民粹主义者成功利用了它们——不平等性和经济焦虑、社会地位感的下降、精英和普通老百姓之间的裂痕?政治党派,特别是中左翼如果能采取更果断的日程的话,也许右翼本土论政治运动的崛起本可避免。

理论上,不平等的加剧导致再分配的要求。民主政客的应对之道应该是向富人征收更多税,并将所得到的收入用在后进人群头上。这一直觉由艾伦·梅尔泽尔(Allan Meltzer)和斯科特·理查德(Scott Richard)的著名政治经济学论文形式化:中位和平均选民的收入差距越大,税收就越重,再分配程度也越高。

但在实践中,民主政体与此南辕北辙。所得税的累进性下降,对累退的消费税的依赖增加,对资本的征税出现了全球竞相降低的现象。政府不去刺激基础设施投资,反而采取对低技能工人伤害尤其大的紧缩政策。大银行和公司得到援助,但家庭却得不到。在美国,最低工资没有得到充分调整,其真实水平有所下降。

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