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美国的储蓄危机

纽黑文—美国政客总是哀叹贸易是中产阶级的敌人,是就业和工资压力的主要来源。最近的总统选战也不例外:共和党和民主党都将矛头对准了中国和跨太平洋合作伙伴关系(TPP),说它们是美国工人遭遇困境的祸根。这一解释在政治上也许十分方便,但真相并不在此。

我最近指出,对于贸易问题,美国是自作自受。罪魁是巨大的储蓄赤字;几十年来,美国一直入不敷出,大肆吸引海外盈余储蓄来支撑史上最大的消费狂热。当然,政客不想因为选民的挥霍而批评他们;将矛头指向其他人要容易得多。

储蓄批评值得进一步分析。数据表明,存在储蓄赤字的国家一般伴随着贸易赤字,而储蓄盈余的国家伴随着贸易盈余。美国是最显著的例子,2015年净国民储蓄率为2.6%——还不到二十世纪最后三十年平均水平6.3%的一半——对101个国家存在贸易赤字。

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