分担艰难时期的义务

普林斯顿——2008年吞没世界的经济阴影已经让很多人开始疑惑之前显而易见的繁荣景象是否真实。我们知道在中国、印度、俄罗斯和美国等不同的国家,亿万富翁的人数急剧增加。从更为广泛的层面上看,前百分之一富人的日子越来越好过。可是富人和穷人之间的差距也越拉越大,至少在美国,穷人和中产阶级的收入增长陷入停滞。

因此现在许多人对制定纳税人出资的计划来挽救银行、保险公司甚至是汽车企业开始持怀疑态度,这并不值得大惊小怪。这是不是政界人士在又一次确保即使在困难时期,支持他们的富裕精英阶层也能过得比普通人更好?

可是在评估经济发展成就的过程中,关注富人和穷人之间的收入差距是拉大还是减小是个错误。如果某人的年收入从300美元增加到500美元,可能已经足以令他脱离极端贫困,也会为他本人及其家庭的福利带来巨大的不同。如果在同样的时间段内,挣百万美元富人的收入增加了10万美元,那么收入差距就会进一步拉大。但因为10万美元对一个年入百万者的福利起不了太大作用,所以富人和穷人之间的差距将会有所缩小。

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