下次会不一样吗?

发自芝加哥——卡门·莱因哈特与肯尼思·罗格夫这两位经济学家曾合著了一本关于债务危机的大作,书中认为最危险的说辞莫过于“这次跟以前不同了。”而或许危险程度排名第二的句子则是“下次肯定不会像以往那样。”

每当那些政客和中央银行试图拯救某些陷入麻烦的经济部门时,类似的说辞就会从他们嘴里蹦出来。人们几乎可以猜到讲话内容:“我们明白拯救银行会破坏市场纪律,但你也不能让我们眼睁睁看着整个系统崩溃,让数百万无辜民众受苦受难吧,事已至此,也只能硬着头皮去面对了。不过我保证下次肯定不会像以往那样的。”然后他们就用尽手中一切手段去制止自己当政期间的一切经济损失。

政府的动机其实相当明确。公众总会对他们应对当前问题的作为大加赞赏——无论是兴建堤坝保护洪泛区民居还是拯救那些拥有有毒资产的银行。而倘若政客和中央银行官员们坐视那些始作俑者自食其果的话(这也会导致许多无辜民众受害),他们自己却捞不到什么好处。一个同情心泛滥的媒体将大肆渲染那些失业和无家可归者的辛酸故事,使得那些反对干涉的意见显得残忍且麻木不仁。民主制度总是心太软,而市场和大自然则太过残酷;于是政府便无可避免地挺身而出,填补了双方之间的空白。

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.

required

Log in

http://prosyn.org/GfIukin/zh;
  1. Patrick Kovarik/Getty Images

    The Summit of Climate Hopes

    Presidents, prime ministers, and policymakers gather in Paris today for the One Planet Summit. But with no senior US representative attending, is the 2015 Paris climate agreement still viable?

  2. Trump greets his supporters The Washington Post/Getty Images

    Populist Plutocracy and the Future of America

    • In the first year of his presidency, Donald Trump has consistently sold out the blue-collar, socially conservative whites who brought him to power, while pursuing policies to enrich his fellow plutocrats. 

    • Sooner or later, Trump's core supporters will wake up to this fact, so it is worth asking how far he might go to keep them on his side.
  3. Agents are bidding on at the auction of Leonardo da Vinci's 'Salvator Mundi' Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

    The Man Who Didn’t Save the World

    A Saudi prince has been revealed to be the buyer of Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi," for which he spent $450.3 million. Had he given the money to the poor, as the subject of the painting instructed another rich man, he could have restored eyesight to nine million people, or enabled 13 million families to grow 50% more food.

  4.  An inside view of the 'AknRobotics' Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

    Two Myths About Automation

    While many people believe that technological progress and job destruction are accelerating dramatically, there is no evidence of either trend. In reality, total factor productivity, the best summary measure of the pace of technical change, has been stagnating since 2005 in the US and across the advanced-country world.

  5. A student shows a combo pictures of three dictators, Austrian born Hitler, Castro and Stalin with Viktor Orban Attila Kisbenedek/Getty Images

    The Hungarian Government’s Failed Campaign of Lies

    The Hungarian government has released the results of its "national consultation" on what it calls the "Soros Plan" to flood the country with Muslim migrants and refugees. But no such plan exists, only a taxpayer-funded propaganda campaign to help a corrupt administration deflect attention from its failure to fulfill Hungarians’ aspirations.

  6. Project Syndicate

    DEBATE: Should the Eurozone Impose Fiscal Union?

    French President Emmanuel Macron wants European leaders to appoint a eurozone finance minister as a way to ensure the single currency's long-term viability. But would it work, and, more fundamentally, is it necessary?

  7. The Year Ahead 2018

    The world’s leading thinkers and policymakers examine what’s come apart in the past year, and anticipate what will define the year ahead.

    Order now