民主党的容忍限度

伯克利——1928年弗兰克·拉姆齐的著作出版后,经济学家就接受了一种功利主义的观点,那就是良性经济意味着投资回报不会特别高——只比人均经济增长率高出不到三倍。在投资利润与增长率高度相关的经济里,储蓄和投资肯定都略显不足。

这一理念还导引出一种强有力的假设,那就是如果整体经济储蓄和投资不足,那么政府应该积累盈余来协助解决问题,而不是累积赤字来抽干私人储蓄这潭池水,导致用于投资的资金短缺而使问题进一步恶化。这就解释了为什么多数经济学家都加入了赤字鹰派的行列。

当然,政府需要在经济萧条的时候累积赤字,目的是刺激需求,遏制不断攀升的失业率。此外,将大笔经常项目紧急政府开支看作国家储蓄和投资的组成部分其实再恰当不过。无论富兰克林·D·罗斯福对美国和世界的未来做出怎样的投资,都不可能比发动抗击阿道夫·希特勒的全面战争更加行之有效。与此相似,乔治·H·W·布什和比尔·克林顿总统应该认识到,在20世纪90年代,制定类似马歇尔计划的东欧战略,协助这些国家完成从共产主义的过渡应该是对未来世界一次绝好的投资。

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