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暴利税应该向“垄断企业”征收  

2009-03-29 18:51:06|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Obama's View of Oil Markets

I have attimes praised Barack Obama for having a good grasp of economic principles.But this passage fromRuth Marcus suggests otherwise:

以前,我还时不时地表场过奥巴马呢,他对经济原理,有不错的掌握。但是,下面的一段话,却要受到批评

suggests otherwise=suggests that Obama does not have a good grasp of eco principles. 下面的一段话却提示他对经济学原理没有很好的掌握。
Eugene Chen 评论


Are oil companies, Iask, more morally culpable than other industries that would not be subject toObama's proposed [windfall profits] tax?

我问:是不是石油公司,比那些不受制于老奥的“暴利税”的行业,更需要得到道德的谴责?

"Not in the view ofmost economists," Obama replies. "I'm well aware of the argument(about) singling out oil companies rather than soda pop manufacturers," hesays.

老奥说:“大部分经济学的观点,是‘非也’。我很清楚,这个观点是把石油公司弄了个典型,像汽水(soda pop)的企业,就没事。”

Yes, but what does Obamahimself believe?

没错。但是,老奥自己是怎么想的呢?

"I think oilcompanies are amoral. They want to make as much money as they can for theirshareholders, which is what corporations do," he says. "Thedifference is the nature of the kind of outsized profits they make that mayhave no relationship to their investments or their production. The fact, forexample, the shortage of refinery capacity could actually increase theirprofits so the less they invest the more they make indicates that you are notdealing with someone making widgets out there."

“我认为,石油公司是非道德的。他们想为股东多赚点钱,公司都是这样做的。差别在于:他们弄到的超大规模的利润,实质上,与他们的投资或产品,是无关的。有个事,譬如,提炼能力就不足,这实质上增加他们的利润。在这上面,他们投资越少,赚钱就越多。这个事儿,说明了:你现在面对的这个人,可不是个制造小饰品的人。”

Obamais right about the amorality (not immorality) of oil companies. But he seems tosuggest that oil markets are fundamentally different than others. In fact, inall markets, reduced production capacity would increase prices and, sometimes,would increase profits as well. That is why farmers can benefit from policiesthat induce them to leave land fallow. (I can't say about widgets--empiricalstudies of that market are hard to come by.)

 

石油公司是非道德的(而不是“不道德的”),这句话,老奥说得很对。但是,他似乎在说:石油市场,本质上与其他市场,是不同的。实际上,在所有的市场上,降低产能,就会增加价格,有时,也会提高利润。这就是农民会从“抛荒政策”(fallow)中得益的原因。(我不能说“小饰品”——关于这个玩艺的市场的实证研究,很难搞到。)


Maybe Obama is saying that the forces of competition are absent in the oilmarket and that the deliberate decision by oil companies to keep capacity belowcompetitive levels is the reason for today's high prices. That would be alogically coherent story, but not an empirically plausible one. It is not lackof competition that is keeping oil prices high but, rather, the basic forces ofsupply and demand. Even if you blame OPEC for noncompetitive behavior, thatfact would hardly provide a rationale for taxing domestic oil producers, asSenator Obama is proposing.

也许老奥说的是:在石油市场上,缺乏竞争力;石油公司的有意控制使产能低于竞争水平,这是造成高油价的原因。这在逻辑上是一致的,但是,却不具有实证的说服力。并不是因为缺少竞争,才使得油价高企,而是因为基本的供需之间的力量。即使你怪罪OPEC,说他们是“非竞争的”,但是,这个事实,却不是向国内石油生产商征税的证据。

 

暴利税应该向“垄断企业”征收 - 曼昆 - N·格里高利·曼昆的博客

 

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