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“社会主义就是好”的理论分析  

2009-05-16 11:22:43|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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中文博主按:关于曼昆的这个标题,created or saved,在前面一个博文(http://greg-mankiw.blog.sohu.com/111453007.html)中,已经有一篇了。这里说得也很好玩。其实,这种“历史假设”性的问题,是没有答案的。王小波曾经说“社会主义就是好,就是好,就——是——好!”这句话没有逻辑。但是,从逻辑上讲,在一次成型的各种事物中,除了类似的这种话,还真找不到更好的论证。实际上,爱情也是如此。“不爱他,爱别一个,会一会更好一点?”都是没有答案的“好”问题。在独人行驶的单车道上,没有比较,也就没有了答案。 下面是Ernest Mandel总结的一段很好的“Karl Popper VS Karl Marx”的话(Mandel对于Popper有很好的批评):

A more sophisticated objection was advanced by Karl Popper, who denied the very possibility, or rather the scientific nature, of such "laws", calling them "unconditional historical prophecied" to be clearly distinguished from "scientific predictions". "Ordinary predictions in science," says Popper, "are conditional. They assert that certain changes (say, of the temperature of water in a kettle) will be accompanied by other changes( say the boiling of the water)." Popper denies the scientific nature of Capital by asserting that, unlike scientific theories, its hypotheses cannot be scientifically tested. (Karl Marx, Capital, Volumn I, 24)



Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Measuring Jobs Created or Saved


美女同事[译]


Thestimulus bill Congress passed a few months ago apparently requires theCouncil of Economic Advisers to report quarterly on the employmenteffects of the act. That job is, essentially, impossible. Because wehave only one economy, there is no way to know for sure what would havehappened without the stimulus bill. It is like asking a doctor, "Howmuch sicker would this particular patient have been if you had notgiven him treatment up to now?" You can get, as an answer, the doctor'ssubjective professional judgment, but you cannot expect objectivemeasurement.

几个月前国会通过的刺激法案,明确要求经济咨询委员会(CEA),就刺激对就业带来的影响,给出季度报告。本质上,这是一项不可能完成的任务。原因在于,经济体只有一个,而没有两个,所以,根本就没有办法知道:没有刺激法案,经济体会发生什么。这个事儿,就如同问一位医生,“对某个病人,如果没有一直治疗,他会病成什么样子?”你能得到的答案,仅仅是医生主观的职业判断,而不是客观的度量。

 

Click here to read the CEA document describing how they will respond. Click here to read a press briefing on the matter with a senior administration official (who might that be?). The best question and the official's answer follows:

点击这里,读一读CEA的文件,里面有他们的答案。点击这里,看一看某位高级政府官员就此事举行的新闻发布会摘要(会是谁呢?)。下面是一个好问题和此官员的回答。

Q:A lot of this report is based off estimates about what the multipliersof GDP from government spending and from tax cuts, what thosemultipliers are. When you do the reevaluations, are you going to beretesting whether or not those assumptions about the multipliers werereasonable? Will that be part of the –

问题:这个报告的大部分,主要基于一些估计,如采用何种政府支出乘数和减税乘数,以及这些乘数的大小;这样做,不太对头。当进行重新评估时,你们会再次检验这些乘数假设的合理性吗?这些工作,会是后期工作的一部分……

SENIORADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: That would certainly be one of the things thatwe'll be looking at. The other thing we'll definitely be checking arethe spend-out assumptions, because certainly our estimates have beenbased on what we -- how we thought the program was going to spend out.That's something we'll need to check.

高级政府官员:那肯定是我们正在关注的问题之一。另一个问题,也是我们确定正在核对的,那就是支出假设。原因是,当然,我们的估计基于,支出项目是什么――哦,是基于我们当初所认为的项目上的支出方法。那是我们需要核对的事情。

Theother thing that's going to be so nice about getting the directreporting, right, so we can try to say, here's what we thought we weregoing to get, and when we get the numbers back, how do they compare? Itwill inherently be at -- you know, it'll be a two-way test. There areissues involved in how good the numbers we get back are going to be,and it will also be a test of what we were assuming about multipliers.And so, absolutely.

得到直接的报告,这事儿,也还不错。嗯,所以,我们试图说明的:这是我们当初想要得到的东西、现在,我们得到了数据了,应该怎么去比较?这本质上,就是——哈,你知道,这就是双向检验。还有一些问题,如我们得到的数据,会是什么质量,还有,我们在“乘数假设”上,会有一个检验。嗯,这是肯定要做的。

Oneof the things that I try to emphasize in the reports -- because wehaven't yet even had to face a report to Congress -- is, we're going todo it lots of ways but I think -- to make sure that we've covered allour bases, we're going to try estimating it one way, we'll look at thedirect numbers, we'll try some different multipliers, we'll be lookingat other studies, we'll be doing some microeconomic analysis to see if,you know, a county had a whole lot of government spending; does it showup in the county employment data?

这份报告中,我要强调一件事情――由于我们甚至还不用讨论一份提供给国会的报告――但是,我认为,我们有多种方法可以做到,――这件事情就是,要确定我们涵盖了所有的基本情况,我们会用一种办法尽量去估计它,我们将关注直接的数据,我们也会试试其他的乘数,我们也会看看其他的研究,我们会做一些微观经济分析,你知道,看某些县是否有很多的政府支出;这个县的就业数据对此是否有所揭示。

We're just planning to very much go on all fronts to get as complete a picture of what this Act is doing as we possibly can.

我们正计划,通过考察各个领域,尽量得到一张完整画面,以反映这次刺激法案的结果。

Hereis the question I would have asked: "Going forward, what macroeconomicdata would you have to observe before you concluded that the stimulusbill has been a failure? Or will you conclude, no matter how bad thingsget, that the economy would have been in even worse shape without thestimulus? And if the latter is the case, aren't these quarterly reportsjust a bit surreal?"

我想问一个问题,“继续啊,如果你的结论是,这次刺激法案失败了,那么你依据的是哪种宏观经济数据呢?或者,你的结论是,无论事态多么糟糕,都认为没有刺激法案的话经济会更糟?如果结论是后者的话,这些季度报告不是有点可笑吗?”

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