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阿马蒂亚·森的评论(1):酒罢问君三语  

2009-04-10 12:02:57|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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中文博主按:这个小标题是我加的。信手得来。是《天龙八部》里讲虚竹征婚时的标题。巧的是,森也正好问了三个问题。


Capitalism Beyond the Crisis

By Amartya Sen

1.

2008 was a year of crises. First, we had a food crisis,particularly threatening to poor consumers, especially in Africa.Along with that came a record increase in oil prices, threatening alloil-importing countries. Finally, rather suddenly in the fall, came the globaleconomic downturn, and it is now gathering speed at a frightening rate. Theyear 2009 seems likely to offer a sharp intensification of the downturn, andmany economists are anticipating a full-scale depression, perhaps even one aslarge as in the 1930s. While substantial fortunes have suffered steep declines,the people most affected are those who were already worst off.

2008,整一个危机年!先是食物危机,对贫穷的消费者,特别有杀伤力,对非洲的贫穷消费者,尤有杀伤力。同时而来的,还是油价的历史性增长,威胁到全部的石油进口国。最后是秋天,突如其来地爆发了全球经济下滑,至今依然在以惊人的速度加快着它的步伐。2009年,似乎将会带给大家一个更加剧烈的下滑,许多经济学家,认为是全方位的萧条,烈度可能会与1930年代的大萧条差相仿佛。随着巨额财富急速缩水,那些早已境遇恶化的人们,将会受到最大的影响。

The question that arises most forcefully now concerns thenature of capitalism and whether it needs to be changed. Some defenders ofunfettered capitalism who resist change are convinced that capitalism is beingblamed too much for short-term economic problems—problems they variouslyattribute to bad governance (for example by the Bush administration) and thebad behavior of some individuals (or what John McCain described during thepresidential campaign as "the greed of Wall Street"). Others do,however, see truly serious defects in the existing economic arrangements andwant to reform them, looking for an alternative approach that is increasinglybeing called "new capitalism."

而今,在人的心头产生的最激烈的问题,就是:资本主义本质究竟是什么?我们是否要改变这个本质?一些拥护自由资本主义(unfetteredcapitalism)的人,他们拒绝改变,他们相信:因为短期的经济问题来责备资本主义,实在是太过了。他们的说法不相统一,但是,他们认为,这些问题的原因是:坏政府(如布什政府)和个人的坏行为(或John McCain在竞选总统时说的“华尔街的贪婪”)。然而,其他的人,却看到了现有经济安排中的真正严重的缺陷,并且想改变这种经济安排,他们希望寻找另一种方式。人们越来越多地称之为“新资本主义”(new capitalism)。

The idea of old and new capitalism played an energizingpart at a symposium called "New World, New Capitalism" held in Paris in January andhosted by the French president Nicolas Sarkozy and the former British primeminister Tony Blair, both of whom made eloquent presentations on the need forchange. So did German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who talked about the old Germanidea of a "social market"—one restrained by a mixture ofconsensus-building policies—as a possible blueprint for new capitalism (though Germanyhas not done much better in the recent crisis than other market economies).

新旧资本主义的观点,在1月巴黎的“新世界、新资本主义”的论坛上,扮演着活跃的角色。这次研讨会的主持人是法国总统Nicolas Sarkozy和英国前首相Tony Blair,他们二位在雄辩的演讲中,呼吁制度改变。德国首相Angela Merkel,翻新了“社会市场”这个古老的德国说法。所谓“社会市场”,即指由共识性政策(consensus –building policies)的组合来约束的市场。她认为新资本主义的一个可能的前景(虽然,在目前的这个危机中,德国并不比其他的市场经济体,做得更好。)

Ideas about changing the organization of society in thelong run are clearly needed, quite apart from strategies for dealing with animmediate crisis. I would separate out three questions from the many that canbe raised. First, do we really need some kind of "new capitalism"rather than an economic system that is not monolithic, draws on a variety ofinstitutions chosen pragmatically, and is based on social values that we candefend ethically? Should we search for a new capitalism or for a "new world"—touse the other term mentioned at the Parismeeting—that would take a different form?

在长期内,要改变当前的社会组织,这种想法显然是必需的,这不仅仅是因为要采取策略来应对当前危机。我从诸多可能的问题,分离出三个问题。第一个问题是:我真的需要某一种“新资本主义”吗?我们原来的经济体系,并不是铁板一块式的经济体系,它建立的基础是实践中产生的各色各样的制度,它的社会价值,是我们可以从道德上进行辩护的。我们应该去寻找另一种形式的“新资本主义”或“新世界”(借用巴黎会议提到的这个名词)?

The second question concerns the kind of economics that isneeded today, especially in light of the present economic crisis. How do weassess what is taught and championed among academic economists as a guide toeconomic policy—including the revival of Keynesian thought in recent months asthe crisis has grown fierce? More particularly, what does the present economiccrisis tell us about the institutions and priorities to look for?

第二个问题,与经济学的类型有关,这是我们今天所需要的,从当前的经济危机的角度来看,尤是如此。我们如何来评估理论经济学家们所教的、所倡导的、用于指导经济政策的思想呢?这要包括这几个月里、在危机越加暴戾的时期复活了的凯恩斯主义思想。更加突出地,当前的经济危机,对我们所寻求的制度和要优先考虑的东西,有什么样的启示?

Third, in addition to working our way toward a betterassessment of what long-term changes are needed, we have to think—and thinkfast—about how to get out of the present crisis with as little damage aspossible.

第三个问题是,除了要努力对长期变化进行更好的评估之外,我们还要思考——而且,要快速思考——如何以尽可能小的损失来摆脱当前的危机。


(待续)

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