Wall Street New York City Sergi Reboredo/ZumaPress

美国人会变得更穷吗?

美国剑桥—西北大学的罗伯特·戈登(Robert Gordon)发起了一场既生动又重要的关于美国未来经济增长率的争论。尽管他的书《美国增长的兴衰》(The Rise and Fall of American Growth)要到2016年1月才出版,但他所提出的话题已经吸引了《经济学人》(Economist)和《外交事务》(Foreign Affairs)的报道。显然,戈登对美国增长前景的悲观态度值得认真对待。但果真如此吗?

戈登认为,过去提高生活水平的重大技术变化比未来任何东西都要重要得多。他援引自来水、汽车、电、电话、中央供暖等例子,指出所有这些东西对于生活水平的提升所起到的作用远远高于互联网和移动电话等最近的创新。

我同意戈登,我宁可放弃手机甚至互联网,也不愿忍受没有自来水和电。但这无非意味着我们幸运地生活在现在,而不是一个世纪前(当然,比生活在两个世纪前或生活在中世纪就更加幸运了)。这些重大创新发生在过去这一事实并不构成对未来悲观的理由。

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