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。

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