制造业之谬论

纽约——

很久以前,经济学家们就纠正了亚当·斯密的谬论:认为制造业应该在一国经济中处于头等地位。事实上,亚当·斯密在他的第二本《国富论》中指责那些“牧师、律师、医生及诸如演员、小丑、音乐家以及歌剧歌者舞者等文人”的劳动都是没有生产性的。也许我们同意斯密说的关于律师的无用性,但是肯定不同意他对奥利维埃、福斯塔夫以及帕瓦罗蒂的指责。但是对制造业的痴迷一次次地重现,最近的一次发生在危机后的美国。

在20世纪60年代中叶的伦敦,世界级的剑桥经济学家兼工党重要顾问尼古拉斯·卡尔多警告人们“去工业化”的危害。他宣称,当时正在进行的由制造业附加值产业向服务业的转变是有害的,因为制造业能带来科技进步,而服务业不能。他甚至说服当时工党的财政大臣詹姆斯·卡拉汉于1966年颁布“特定就业税”,规定服务业的职员要比制造业的缴纳更多的税额。在1973年,这项税收被废除了,因为人们认识到这对旅游业造成了冲击,而旅游业带来亟需的外汇。

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