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The Year Ahead 2018

重振公共财富创造

伦敦—站在新年的门口,一个在经济学家之间进行了数十年之久的旧争论再次热门起来:紧缩是帮助还是伤害了经济增长?广泛而言,争论者可以分为两个阵营:保守派要求限制公共支出,亦即小国家;进步派则支持加大公共品投资和服务投资力度,如基础设施、教育和医疗等。

当然,现实要比简单区分更加复杂,即便是正统机构,如国际货币基金组织(IMF),也同意紧缩可能起到适得其反的效果。凯恩斯在20世纪30年代时指出,如果政府在衰退期间削减支出,那么短期的衰退有可能演变为全方位萧条。2008年金融危机后欧洲的紧缩时期正是发生了这种情况。

但进步派日程不可能仅仅局限于公共支出。凯恩斯也要求决策者要有大视角。“对政府来说,一个要点是不要做个人已经在做的事情,”他在1926年的著作《自由放任的终结》(The End of Laissez Faire)中指出,“而是要做现在没人在做的事情。”换句话说,政府应该战略性地思考投资如何帮助决定公民的长期前景。

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