construction worker Sergei Bobylev/Getty Images

就业两极化的政治含义

发自华盛顿特区——今日美国的一个核心问题——以唐纳德·特朗普早些时候赢得总统大选胜利为标志——就是在面对全球化和新技术所造成的就业两极分化时,有太多的美国人感到无助和缺乏安全感。虽然位于收入分配金字塔顶端的高学历阶层比以往任何时候都过得更好,但那些只接受过高中教育的人却面临着收入,生活水平和自身及子女发展前景三方面的败退。令这些中产阶级中出现了分化的态势。

特朗普的胜利主要是因为他成功说服了宾夕法尼亚州,密歇根州,威斯康星州和其他地区的选民,认为他的政策将在这些制造业衰退的社区产生更好的效果。但事实上,他的政府,在美国国会两院的共和党多数派支持下,可能只会令那些本已艰难度日的美国人雪上加霜

潜在的问题是新技术,尤其是信息技术,及其运作方式已经改变了工作的本质。正如戴维·奥托(David Autor)和戴维·多恩(David Dorn)两位学者的研究指出,许多中等技能中等收入的中产阶级职位已经消失。已经出现的新工作对那些受过高等教育的人回报甚丰,而对只受过高中教育的人来说则相当苛刻。一个主要的表象——但只是一个表象——就是那些高薪工厂职位的消亡。从2004~2014年间美国制造业的就业人数减少了近200多万,目前仅占总就业人数的8%多一点 ——这也延续了自1950年代以来的持续下降趋势。

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