再诘弗里德曼夫妇

伯克利—眼下,我案头摆着两部书:记者诺阿(Timothy Noah)的新书《大分化:美国日益严重的不平等性危机以及我们可以如何做》(The Great Divergence: America’s Growing Inequality Crisis and What We Can Do about It and Milton and Rose Friedman’s classic Free to Choose)以及弗里德曼夫妇的经典之作《自由选择:自白》(Free to Choose: A Personal Statement)。把两部书合起来思考,我的感觉是:放在今天,弗里德曼夫妇会发现,论证和支持小政府自由主义比1979年时要困难得多。

1979年时,弗里德曼夫妇给出了世界如何运转的三个有力的实证结论——从当时的情况看,这三个结论是对的,或者似乎是对的,或者至少很有道理;但如今,这三个结论看上去显而易见是错的。弗氏夫妇的小政府自由主义基本上便以这三个结论作为基础,故而从今天看也早已站不住脚,因为世界似乎并不赞同他们关于自己如何运转的结论。

第一个结论是,宏观经济灾难是由政府引起的,而不是由不稳定的私人市场引起的,或者,换句话说,产生经济稳定所需要的宏观经济管理是直观的并且非常容易就能实现。

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