驯服巫术经济学

美国人的总统大选又一次落幕了,其间针对经济政策的辩论质量糟糕得无以复加。共和党方面,雇用文人、宣传大师、以及许多本应明白事理的人突然之间对一种名为“CPS家庭就业调查”的东西产生了异乎寻常的宠爱,将之当作劳动力市场每月变化的指南。CPS调查从来不是用于做这种事的,但它却为布什政府在就业问题上的糟糕表现抹了一层讨喜的光彩。

而民主党这边,类似的雇用文人和公关人士像激光束一样把焦点聚集在乔治·W·布什执政年间令人沮丧的就业状况上,不理会产量和生产力方面的好消息。而共和党再次做出了颇具倾向性的回应,强调失业率而不是工作数量——仿佛2001年以来疲软的劳动力市场人为地压低了求职者人数是件好事一般。

同样,共和党大肆宣传布什的减税政策——相当于布什总统的父亲,乔治·H·W·布什,在二十年前称之为“巫术经济学”的东西——是经济学智慧的极致。他们不理会布什执政下美国公共财政的不平衡在接下来的数十年中将给美国经济带来的阻力。而民主党却又假装这些减税政策 已经 对经济造成损害,尽管他们应该明白最严重的损害尚未发生。

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