含有〈收入〉标签的文章(10)

[译文]彩票会改变中奖者命运吗?

The Lottery
彩票

作者:Gregory Cochran @ 2015-04-22
译者:babyface_claire(@许你疯不许你傻)
校对:沈沉(@沈沉-Henrysheen)
来源:West Hunter,https://westhunt.wordpress.com/2015/04/22/the-lottery/

Lotteries can be useful natural experiments; we can use them to test the accuracy of standard sociological theories, in which rich people buy their kids extra smarts, bigger brains, better health, etc.

彩票可以视为一种有用的自然实验。我们可以用它们来检测标准社会学理论的准确度。这些理论认为,富人能给他们的孩子买到额外的智慧、更大的大脑和更健康的身体,等等。

David Cesarini, who I met at that Ch(more...)

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The Lottery 彩票 作者:Gregory Cochran @ 2015-04-22 译者:babyface_claire(@许你疯不许你傻) 校对:沈沉(@沈沉-Henrysheen) 来源:West Hunter,https://westhunt.wordpress.com/2015/04/22/the-lottery/ Lotteries can be useful natural experiments; we can use them to test the accuracy of standard sociological theories, in which rich people buy their kids extra smarts, bigger brains, better health, etc. 彩票可以视为一种有用的自然实验。我们可以用它们来检测标准社会学理论的准确度。这些理论认为,富人能给他们的孩子买到额外的智慧、更大的大脑和更健康的身体,等等。 David Cesarini, who I met at that Chicago meeting, has looked at the effect of winning the lottery in Sweden. He found that the “effects of parental wealth on infant health, drug consumption, scholastic performance and cognitive and non-cognitive skills can be bounded to a tight interval around zero.” 在芝加哥那次会议上我遇到了David Cesarini。他研究了在瑞典中彩票的影响。他发现,“父母的财富对婴儿健康、药品消费、学业表现,以及认知和非认知技能的影响,仅在一个几乎为零的小区间内。” As I once mentioned, there was an important land lottery in Georgia in 1832. The winners received an 160-acre farm. But by 1880, their descendants were no more literate, their occupational status no higher. The families in the top 2/3rds of income managed to hang on to some of their windfall, but lower-income families did not. 我曾经提到过,1832年在佐治亚州有过一次重要的土地抽彩。中奖者们得到了160英亩的农场。但是到1880年,(和未中奖者相比),他们后代的教育水平并不更高,他们的职业地位也不更好。收入在前2/3的家庭设法保住了他们的一些意外之财,而低收入的家庭则没能如此。 This remind of a story by Gerald Kersh, “Whatever Happened to Corporal Cuckoo?” – About a medieval soldier who stumbled into immortality. Someone asks him (in 1945) – why hadn’t he saved his pay?  With compound interest, yaddaa yadda. 这让我想起Gerald Kersh写的一个故事,“Cuckoo下士怎么了?”——讲的是一个无意间获得了永生的中世纪士兵的故事。有人问他(在1945年),为什么不把工资存下来呢?有复利,等等等等。 “Why didn’t I save my pay? Because I’m what I am, you mug! Hell, once upon a time, if I’d stayed away from cards, I could’ve bought Manhattan Island for less than what I lost to a Dutchman called Bruncker drawing ace-high for English guineas!  Save my pay! If it wasn’t one thing it was another. I lay off liquor. Okay. So if it’s not liquor, it’s a woman. I lay off women. Okay. Then it’s cards or dice. I always meant to save my pay; but I never had it in me to save my pay!  Doctor Paré’s stuff fixed me–and when I say it fixed me, I mean, it fixed me, just like I was, and am, and always will be. ” “为什么我没有存下工资? 因为我就是我,你个傻瓜!见鬼,曾几何时,如果我离开了牌局,把和人玩‘A大’赌几尼时输给那个叫Bruncker的荷兰佬的钱省下来,那可是买下曼哈顿岛还有余。存钱!不是这事就是那事。我戒掉了酒。好吧,如果不是酒,那便是女人。我戒掉了女人。好吧,接着就是牌或者骰子。我总是想要存钱,但是我从来就不是存工资的人! Paré医生的药治好了我——当我说它治好了我,我的意思是,它装配好了我,就像我过去,现在,永远都是的那样。” Low leverage of wealth on your children’s traits is something that exists in a particular society, with a particular kind of technology. Back in medieval times, a windfall could have kept your kids alive in a famine, and that certainly had a long-term positive effect on their cognitive skills.  Dead men take no tests. The most effective medical interventions today are cheap – everyone in Sweden and the US already has them – but there are places where those interventions are not universally available. Some families in Mozambique can afford artemisin, some can’t – this must make a difference. 财富对儿童性格的低影响存在于拥有特定技术的特定社会。回到中世纪时代,一笔意外之财可以让你的小孩在饥荒中存活,这必然就会对他们的认知技能有长期的正面影响。死人不能参加测试。当今最有效的医疗干预措施是便宜的——在瑞典和美国人人都已经拥有了——然而还有些地方,这些干预并不是普遍可得的。莫桑比克的一些家庭可以负担得起青蒿素『译注:一种有效的抗疟疾药物』,另一些则负担不起——这肯定会有重大影响。 Suppose we had a method of dramatically improving a kid’s genetic potential for intelligence and success, one that cost five million dollars a pop: then wealth could influence the next generation in ways that it can’t today. In other words, Cesarani’s conclusions are correct for Sweden-now (but not for Sweden in 1700), probably correct for the US today, but maybe not true tomorrow. 假设我们有一种特效药可以显著提高孩子在智力和成就方面的遗传潜力,五百万美元一针;那么财富将可以以现在不能的方式影响下一代。换句话说,Cesarani的结论对今天的瑞典来说是正确的(但不是1700年的瑞典),可能对今天的美国也是对的,但未来却不一定正确。 It is not just wealth that has a small effect on your kid’s potential: playing Mozart doesn’t help either. Other than locking away the ball-peen hammers, it’s hard to think of any known approach that does have much effect – although we don’t know everything, and maybe there are undiscovered effective approaches (other than genetic engineering). For example, iodine supplements have a good effect in areas that are iodine-deficient. We now know (since 2014) that bromine is an essential trace element – maybe people in some parts of the world would benefit from bromine supplementation. 不仅仅是财富对小孩的潜能影响甚微:练习莫扎特也没有什么帮助。除了锁起圆头锤【编注:意思大概是可以防止孩子把自己的脑袋敲破】,很难想象任何已知的方法会有很大的影响——虽然我们不知道所有的事情,或许有未被发现的有效方法(除基因工程以外)。比如,碘补充剂对碘缺乏地区有很好的效果。现在(2014年之后)我们知道,溴也是一种必要的微量元素——或许在这个世界的一些地方人们会受益于溴补充。 What about the social interventions that people are advocating, like Pre-K?  Since shared family effects (family environment surely matters more than some external social program) are small by adulthood, I think they’re unlikely to have any lasting effect.  We might also note that the track record isn’t exactly encouraging. If there was a known and feasible way of boosting academic performance, you’d think that those teachers in Atlanta would have tried it. Sure beats prison. 人们提倡的社会干预怎么样呢,比如学前教育?由于共享家庭的影响(家庭环境肯定比一些外部社会项目更重要)到成年时已经很小,我认为他们不太可能会有持久的影响。我们可能也已注意到这方面的跟踪研究并不那么令人鼓舞。如果有一个已知且可行的方法来提高学习成绩,我想那些亚特兰大的教师们大概已经试过了。当然,肯定比监狱强多了。 Maybe there’s an effective approach using fmri and biofeedback – wouldn’t hurt to take a look.  But even if it did work, it might simply boost everyone equally, and obviously nobody gives a shit about that. 或许有一个有效的方法使用功能性磁共振成像(fmri)和生物反馈——看一看无妨。但是即便可以,它可能只是平等的提高每个人,但显然没有人在乎这一点。 (编辑:辉格@whigzhou) *注:本译文未经原作者授权,本站对原文不持有也不主张任何权利,如果你恰好对原文拥有权益并希望我们移除相关内容,请私信联系,我们会立即作出响应。

——海德沙龙·翻译组,致力于将英文世界的好文章搬进中文世界——

靠彩票发达

【2016-05-24】

@whigzhou: 自由市场制度下,财产的初始分配根本不重要,整个宾夕法尼亚的土地起初全归小威廉·潘恩一人所有,这一事实对该州后来的社会结构有多大影响?彩票发明那么多年了,每年都有人中亿万大奖,你听说过哪个显贵家族是靠祖上中彩票发达的?

@whigzhou: 在《儿子照样升起》第15章里,Clark举了两项有关意外横财是否影响家庭长期命运的研究,结论都是:完全没有统计上可观察的正面影响。其中(more...)

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7191
【2016-05-24】 @whigzhou: 自由市场制度下,财产的初始分配根本不重要,整个宾夕法尼亚的土地起初全归小威廉·潘恩一人所有,这一事实对该州后来的社会结构有多大影响?彩票发明那么多年了,每年都有人中亿万大奖,你听说过哪个显贵家族是靠祖上中彩票发达的? @whigzhou: 在《儿子照样升起》第15章里,Clark举了两项有关意外横财是否影响家庭长期命运的研究,结论都是:完全没有统计上可观察的正面影响。其中一项是佐治亚州切诺基县1830年代的土地抽签,中签者获得的土地按当前币值约值15万美元,但这些人的孙辈数量不比别人多,生活状况也不更好(反而略差些)。  
[译文]劳动报酬正在萎缩吗?

“小小奇迹”不再:美国劳动收入占比下降
A Bit of a Miracle No More:The Decline of the Labor Share

作者:Roc Armenter @ 2015-三季刊
译者:Veidt(@Veidt)
校对:混乱阈值(@混乱阈值)
来源:Business Review,https://www.philadelphiafed.org/-/media/research-and-data/publications/business-review/2015/q3/brq315_a_bit_of_a_miracle_no_more.pdf

How is income divided between labor and capital? Every dollar of income earned by U.S. households can be classified as either labor earnings — wages and other forms of compensation — or capital earnings — interest or dividend payments and rent. The split between labor and capital income informs economists’ thinking on several topics and plays a key role in debates regarding income inequality and long-run economic growth. Unfortunately, distinguishing between labor and capital income is not always an easy task.

收入是如何在劳动和资本之间分配的?美国家庭所赚取的每一块钱都可以被归类为劳动收入(工资或其它形式的劳动补偿)或资本收益(利息、股利和租金等)。收入在劳动和资本之间的分配为经济学家们关于许多经济学议题的思考提供了重要信息,并且在关于收入不平等和长期经济增长这些问题的争论中扮演着核心角色。不幸的是,将劳动收入与资本收入区分开并非总是一件易事。

Until recently, the division between labor and capital income had not received much attention. The reason was quite simple: Labor’s share never ventured far from 62 percent of total U.S. income for almost 50 years — through expansions, recessions, high and low inflation, and the long transition from an economy primarily based on manufacturing to one mainly centered on services.

一直以来,区分劳动收入和资本收入的问题并没有受到太大关注,直到最近才有所改观。原因很简单:在将近50年中,美国劳动收入在总收入中所占的比例从来不会偏离62%这个数字太远——不论经济是在扩张还是衰退,也不论通胀率是高是低,在美国经济从以制造业为基础向主要以服务业为核心的漫长转变过程中,这个比例一直很稳定。

As it happened, the overall labor share remained stable as large forces pulling it in opposite directions canceled each other out — a coincidence that John Maynard Keynes famously called “a bit of a miracle.” But the new millennium marked a turning point: Labor’s share began a pronounced fall that continues today.

劳动收入占比在多种强大力量的反向拉扯和相互抵消之下总体保持了稳定这件事情本身——按照约翰·梅纳德·凯恩斯的著名说法——可以称得上是个“小小奇迹”。但是新千年的到来却标志着一个重要的转折点:劳动收入占比开始明显下降,并且这个趋势一直持续到了现在。

Why did the labor share lose its “miraculous” stability and embark on a steep decline? To investigate this shift, economists must first be sure they are measuring the labor share correctly. Could measurement problems distort our understanding of what has happened to the labor share over time?

为什么劳动收入占比会失去它“奇迹般”的稳定性而开始急剧下降?要研究这一转变,经济学家们的首要任务是确保他们测量劳动收入占比的方法是准确的。测量方法存在问题会歪曲我们对于长期以来劳动收入占比所发生的变化的理解吗?

In this article, I explain the inherent challenges in measuring the labor share and introduce several alternative definitions designed to address some of the measurement problems. As we will see, the overall trend is confirmed across a wide range of definitions.

在这篇文章中,我将解释在测量劳动收入占比时所面临的内在挑战,并介绍几种旨在解决其中一些测量问题的替代性定义。正如我们将看到的,基于一系列不同定义的测量结果都证实了劳动收入占比总体上的下降趋势。

Economists do not yet have a full understanding of the causes behind the labor share’s decline. We can make some progress, though, by noting the impact of wage and productivity trends and shifts between industries. Finally, I discuss several popular hypotheses, based on concurrent phenomena, such as widening wage inequality and globalization, that may account for the labor share’s sharp decline.

经济学家们至今还未能全面地理解劳动收入占比下降背后的原因。即便如此,通过研究工资和生产率的变化趋势以及产业的变迁,我们仍然可以取得一些进展。最后,我将讨论一些流行的假设。这些基于诸如薪资不平等程度加深以及全球化等并发现象的假设也许能解释劳动收入占比的急剧下降。

MEASURING THE U.S. LABOR SHARE
测量美国的劳动收入占比

By construction, all income accounted for in the U.S. economy must be earned either by capital or labor. In some cases, we can easily see whether our income comes from labor or capital: when we earn a wage or a bonus through our labor or when we earn interest from our savings or investment account, which is attributed to capital income, despite the fact that most of us would not think of ourselves as investors.

从定义上说,美国经济中任何的收入要么被资本赚取了,要么就是被劳动赚取了[i]。在一些情形中,我们可以很容易地看出我们的收入是来自于劳动还是资本:当我们通过劳动赚到一份工资或者奖金时,这部分收入显然来自于劳动;虽然我们中的大部分人并不认为自己是投资者,但当我们从储蓄或投资账户中获得利息或投资收益时,这部分收入很明显应该被归为资本收入。

However, it is not always immediately apparent that all income eventually accrues to either capital or labor. For example, when we buy our groceries — creating income for the grocer — we are only vaguely aware that we are also paying the producers, farm workers, and transporters as well as for the harvesters, trucks, trains, coolers, and other capital equipment involved in producing and distributing what we purchase. However, when the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) constructs the national income and product accounts, it combines data from expenditures and income to ensure that every dollar spent is also counted as a dollar earned by either capital or labor.

然而,所有的收入最终都会被归为资本收入或劳动收入这一点并不总是那么显而易见。举个例子,当我们从杂货店里买东西时——这显然为杂货店主创造了收入——我们仅仅模糊地意识到我们所付的钱同样也为货物的生产者、农场工人、运输工人创造了收入,除此以外,我们还为投资于收割机、卡车、制冷装置和其它一些参与我们所购买货物的生产和分销过程的设备的资本创造了收入。而国家经济分析局(BEA)在构建国民收入和生产账户时将来自支出和来自收入的数据合并在一起,以保证任何一美元的支出也同样要么被资本赚取,要么被劳动赚取。

Of course, nothing is ever so simple economic statistics. First, we lack the detail necessary to split some components of the income data between labor and capital returns. As I (more...)

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“小小奇迹”不再:美国劳动收入占比下降 A Bit of a Miracle No More:The Decline of the Labor Share 作者:Roc Armenter @ 2015-三季刊 译者:Veidt(@Veidt) 校对:混乱阈值(@混乱阈值) 来源:Business Review,https://www.philadelphiafed.org/-/media/research-and-data/publications/business-review/2015/q3/brq315_a_bit_of_a_miracle_no_more.pdf How is income divided between labor and capital? Every dollar of income earned by U.S. households can be classified as either labor earnings — wages and other forms of compensation — or capital earnings — interest or dividend payments and rent. The split between labor and capital income informs economists’ thinking on several topics and plays a key role in debates regarding income inequality and long-run economic growth. Unfortunately, distinguishing between labor and capital income is not always an easy task. 收入是如何在劳动和资本之间分配的?美国家庭所赚取的每一块钱都可以被归类为劳动收入(工资或其它形式的劳动补偿)或资本收益(利息、股利和租金等)。收入在劳动和资本之间的分配为经济学家们关于许多经济学议题的思考提供了重要信息,并且在关于收入不平等和长期经济增长这些问题的争论中扮演着核心角色。不幸的是,将劳动收入与资本收入区分开并非总是一件易事。 Until recently, the division between labor and capital income had not received much attention. The reason was quite simple: Labor’s share never ventured far from 62 percent of total U.S. income for almost 50 years — through expansions, recessions, high and low inflation, and the long transition from an economy primarily based on manufacturing to one mainly centered on services. 一直以来,区分劳动收入和资本收入的问题并没有受到太大关注,直到最近才有所改观。原因很简单:在将近50年中,美国劳动收入在总收入中所占的比例从来不会偏离62%这个数字太远——不论经济是在扩张还是衰退,也不论通胀率是高是低,在美国经济从以制造业为基础向主要以服务业为核心的漫长转变过程中,这个比例一直很稳定。 As it happened, the overall labor share remained stable as large forces pulling it in opposite directions canceled each other out — a coincidence that John Maynard Keynes famously called “a bit of a miracle.” But the new millennium marked a turning point: Labor’s share began a pronounced fall that continues today. 劳动收入占比在多种强大力量的反向拉扯和相互抵消之下总体保持了稳定这件事情本身——按照约翰·梅纳德·凯恩斯的著名说法——可以称得上是个“小小奇迹”。但是新千年的到来却标志着一个重要的转折点:劳动收入占比开始明显下降,并且这个趋势一直持续到了现在。 Why did the labor share lose its “miraculous” stability and embark on a steep decline? To investigate this shift, economists must first be sure they are measuring the labor share correctly. Could measurement problems distort our understanding of what has happened to the labor share over time? 为什么劳动收入占比会失去它“奇迹般”的稳定性而开始急剧下降?要研究这一转变,经济学家们的首要任务是确保他们测量劳动收入占比的方法是准确的。测量方法存在问题会歪曲我们对于长期以来劳动收入占比所发生的变化的理解吗? In this article, I explain the inherent challenges in measuring the labor share and introduce several alternative definitions designed to address some of the measurement problems. As we will see, the overall trend is confirmed across a wide range of definitions. 在这篇文章中,我将解释在测量劳动收入占比时所面临的内在挑战,并介绍几种旨在解决其中一些测量问题的替代性定义。正如我们将看到的,基于一系列不同定义的测量结果都证实了劳动收入占比总体上的下降趋势。 Economists do not yet have a full understanding of the causes behind the labor share’s decline. We can make some progress, though, by noting the impact of wage and productivity trends and shifts between industries. Finally, I discuss several popular hypotheses, based on concurrent phenomena, such as widening wage inequality and globalization, that may account for the labor share’s sharp decline. 经济学家们至今还未能全面地理解劳动收入占比下降背后的原因。即便如此,通过研究工资和生产率的变化趋势以及产业的变迁,我们仍然可以取得一些进展。最后,我将讨论一些流行的假设。这些基于诸如薪资不平等程度加深以及全球化等并发现象的假设也许能解释劳动收入占比的急剧下降。 MEASURING THE U.S. LABOR SHARE 测量美国的劳动收入占比 By construction, all income accounted for in the U.S. economy must be earned either by capital or labor. In some cases, we can easily see whether our income comes from labor or capital: when we earn a wage or a bonus through our labor or when we earn interest from our savings or investment account, which is attributed to capital income, despite the fact that most of us would not think of ourselves as investors. 从定义上说,美国经济中任何的收入要么被资本赚取了,要么就是被劳动赚取了[i]。在一些情形中,我们可以很容易地看出我们的收入是来自于劳动还是资本:当我们通过劳动赚到一份工资或者奖金时,这部分收入显然来自于劳动;虽然我们中的大部分人并不认为自己是投资者,但当我们从储蓄或投资账户中获得利息或投资收益时,这部分收入很明显应该被归为资本收入。 However, it is not always immediately apparent that all income eventually accrues to either capital or labor. For example, when we buy our groceries — creating income for the grocer — we are only vaguely aware that we are also paying the producers, farm workers, and transporters as well as for the harvesters, trucks, trains, coolers, and other capital equipment involved in producing and distributing what we purchase. However, when the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) constructs the national income and product accounts, it combines data from expenditures and income to ensure that every dollar spent is also counted as a dollar earned by either capital or labor. 然而,所有的收入最终都会被归为资本收入或劳动收入这一点并不总是那么显而易见。举个例子,当我们从杂货店里买东西时——这显然为杂货店主创造了收入——我们仅仅模糊地意识到我们所付的钱同样也为货物的生产者、农场工人、运输工人创造了收入,除此以外,我们还为投资于收割机、卡车、制冷装置和其它一些参与我们所购买货物的生产和分销过程的设备的资本创造了收入。而国家经济分析局(BEA)在构建国民收入和生产账户时将来自支出和来自收入的数据合并在一起,以保证任何一美元的支出也同样要么被资本赚取,要么被劳动赚取。 Of course, nothing is ever so simple economic statistics. First, we lack the detail necessary to split some components of the income data between labor and capital returns. As I will show, the foremost example is the income of self-employed workers, who simply collect the income of their business without distinguishing whether it resulted from their work or their investment. In addition, the housing and the government sectors have their total income arbitrarily assigned as labor and capital income, respectively, in the national income accounts. 当然,经济统计中从来不会有这么简单的事情。首先,我们缺乏将收入数据的某些组成部分划分为劳动或资本回报的一些必要细节。正如我将说明的,这其中最典型的例子就是那些个体经营者的收入,他们仅仅从自己的生意中获得收入,而不区分这些收入是自己的劳动成果还是投资收益。此外,住房部门和政府部门在划分各自国民收入账户中属于劳动收入和资本收入的部分时也都很随意。 The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) publishes the most widely used estimate of the labor share, which combines several data sources and estimates in order to get around some of the measurement problems. However, these problems remain significant enough that economists routinely create alternative definitions and compare results across them, since a single definition of the labor share is unlikely to fit all purposes. 目前使用最广泛的关于劳动收入占比的估计是由国家劳动统计局(BLS)发布的,它将来自多个数据源的数据和估值放在一起,以规避一些测量方法上的问题。但即便如此,这些测量上的问题还是带来了足够明显的影响,这使得经济学家们通常会创造一些对于劳动收入占比的不同定义,并将这些定义下的结果进行比较,因为单一的定义方法不可能适合所有的测量目的。 And what would these purposes be? First, workers and investors respond differently to the same economic conditions and policies. So if we wish to understand how aggregate output will respond, we need to know how to weigh the responses of workers and investors. 那么测量劳动收入占比的目的又有哪些呢?首先,劳工和投资者对于相同的经济状况和政策的反应是截然不同的。所以如果希望了解某种经济状况和政策将如何影响加总的产出,我们就需要知道如何分别衡量劳工和投资者的反应的权重。 Second, assets are notoriously unevenly distributed across households; hence, an increase in the share of income earned by capital contributes to income inequality, as richer households would receive an even larger share of total income. 其次,资产在家庭之间的不均分布一直以来都饱受诟病,而资本收入占比的上升会加深收入不平等的程度,因为更富裕的家庭会在总收入中获得更大的比例。 Third, the tax code treats labor and capital income differently. Labor income is subject to payroll taxes and the usual income tax rate schedule. Corporate profits (the main source of capital income) are subject to corporate taxes as well as dividends and capital gains taxes when profits are distributed to households. A shift in the labor share will impact not only tax revenues but also how the burden of taxation is distributed across households. 第三,税法在对待劳动收入和资本收入时所采用的税收政策是不同的。劳动收入所适用的是工资税和普通的所得税率表。公司利润(资本收入最重要的来源)所适用的则是公司税。而当公司利润被分配给家庭时,这部分利润所适用的则是股利和资本利得税。劳动收入占比的变化不仅将会影响税收的总额,而且还会影响到不同家庭所承担税赋的份额。 Economists also need an estimate of the labor share when determining how much of economic growth can be attributed to labor force growth, capital accumulation, or technological changes — which in turn are key inputs for long-term growth forecasts. 此外,经济学家们也需要对劳动收入占比进行估算来确定经济增长分别在多大程度上可归因于劳动力增长、资本积累以及技术进步——这些因子又都是对长期经济增长进行预测所需的重要变量。 Components of income 收入成分法 The BEA measures output, or gross value added, two different ways in its national income and product accounts (NIPA). The expenditure approach aims to measure the total amount spent on goods and services throughout a year; the income approach instead adds up all the income earned by households. In theory, both measures should yield the same number. In practice, alas, they do not. The discrepancy is due to data limitations and measurement error, though the discrepancy is quite small. 国家经济分析局使用两种方法来测量国民收入和产出账户(NIPA)的总产出(也称总附加值)[ii]。支出法的目标是测量一年中花费在产品和服务上的总支出额;而收入法则将家庭部门的所有收入加总在一起。理论上,两种方法所得到的最终数值应该是相同的。但遗憾的是,实际并非如此。两者间的差异是由数据局限和测量误差所导致的,虽然这个差异其实很小。 The labor share is measured using the income approach. Every dollar of output must be earned by factors of production and distributed to households. What exactly is a factor of production? Were we to measure the output of a factory, we would count as factors of production the workers and managers, all the equipment, the building and land occupied by the factory as well as the electricity, security service, and all the other intermediate inputs used. 劳动收入占比这个指标是使用收入法测得的。总产出中的每一美元都会被各种生产要素所赚取,并最终分配到家庭手中。而生产要素到底是什么呢?在测量一家工厂的产出时,我们会把工人和经理人,所有的设备,工厂所占据的建筑和土地,以及电力,安保服务和所有其他中间投入都当作生产要素。 But because we are measuring the output of the whole economy, we must recognize that the intermediate goods, utilities, and services were produced by some other firm, which in turn uses its own factors of production. Were we to check with, say, the firm producing electricity, we would once again find some workers and managers, equipment, and so on. Now, we could try to track each and every input of production in the U.S., but we would quickly realize that the only factors of production whose income accrues directly to households are labor and capital. 但是由于我们所测量的是整个经济的总产出,我们必须认识到那些中间产品、设施和服务实际上都是由另外的一些企业生产的,而那些企业在生产过程中又会用到它们自己的生产要素。如果我们去看看另一家企业——比如说生产电力的公司——的生产要素,我们会再一次找到一些工人和经理人,生产设备以及其它种种要素。我们可以尝试去追踪美国经济产出中的每一项投入,但是我们会迅速意识到,只有两种要素——劳动和资本——产生的收入将直接归属于家庭收入。 The BEA classifies output into seven groups, as detailed in the table. The second column provides the share of each component relative to the total for 2013. The classification of most income sources as capital or labor income is quite unambiguous. For example, compensation of employees clearly accrues to labor, while corporate profits, rental income, and net interest income are returns to capital. Of the three remaining components, the main challenge is proprietor’s income. 国家经济分析局将产出分为7个大类,如下表所示。表的第二列提供了2013年各个大类占总体的比重。将大多数的收入来源归为劳动收入或资本收入的这种分类方法实际上是相当明确的。举例来说,对雇员的劳动补偿很显然应该归为劳动报酬,而企业利润、租金收入和净利息收入都属于资本收入。在剩下的三个大类中,最主要的挑战是如何界定经营者收入的性质[iii]#95-6 Proprietor’s income is defined as the income of sole proprietorships and partnerships — in other words, the income of self-employed individuals. There is no question that their income is the result of both labor and capital. For example, a freelance journalist may work long hours to document and write a story using a computer and a camera that she or he financed through savings. However, self-employed individuals have no need, economic or fiscal, to distinguish between wages and profits. However, economists do. 经营者收入被定义为个人独资以及合伙企业的收入——换句话说,也就是个体经营者的收入[iv]。毫无疑问,他们的收入同时是劳动投入和资本投入的结果。举例来说,一名自由记者可能会为了撰写一篇报导工作很长时间,而他使用的电脑和相机则是用自己的积蓄购买的。但是,个体经营者完全没有经济或财务上的理由将自己的收入区分为工资和利润。遗憾的是,经济学家们却需要这么做。 The main BLS measure 国家劳动统计局的主流测量方法 The BLS is well aware of these problems and goes to great lengths to disentangle proprietor’s income into its labor and capital income components. First, the BLS uses its data on payroll workers to compute an average hourly wage. The BLS then assumes that a self-employed worker would pay himself or herself the implicit wage rate. Then, using data on hours worked by self-employed workers, it obtains a measure of the labor compensation for self-employed individuals simply by multiplying the average hourly wage by the number of hours worked by the self-employed. The result is then assigned to labor income. The rest of the proprietor’s income is considered capital income. 国家劳动统计局对这些问题心知肚明,它在如何将经营者收入分解为劳动收入部分和资本收入部分这个问题上走得更远。首先,它使用领薪劳工的数据计算出一个平均时薪。然后假设一名自雇者将会按照这个时薪来给自己发工资。之后,使用自雇工人工作时长的数据并通过简单地将自雇者的平均时薪和工作时长相乘,国家劳动统计局就获得了对自雇者劳动报酬的测量数据。这个结果会被归为劳动收入,而这名经营者收入中的剩余部分则被认为是资本收入[v]。 Figure 1 plots the BLS’s headline labor share at an annual frequency from 1950 to 2013. Up until 2001, the labor share displayed some ups and downs, and perhaps a slight downward trend, but it never strayed far from 62 percent. From 2001 onward, though, the labor share has been steadily decreasing, dropping below 60 percent for the first time in 2004 and continuing its fall to 56 percent as of 2014. 图1描述了按国家劳动统计局主流方法计算出的自1950年到2013年的年度劳动收入占比[vi]。直到2001年,劳动收入占比一直都在一个很轻微的下行趋势中起起落落,但是它从来没有离62%这个数字太远。但自2001年以后,劳动收入占比一直在持续下降,在2004年首次跌破60%,并一直持续跌落到2014年的56%[vii]#95-7 An alternative measure 一种替代测量方法 Michael Elsby, Bart Hobijn, and Aysegul Sahin have pointed out that some of the fall in the labor share in the past 15 years is due to how the BLS splits proprietor’s income. Indeed, until 2001, the BLS’s methodology assigned most of proprietor’s income to the labor share, a bit more than four-fifths of it. Since then, less than half of proprietor’s income has been classified as labor income. Michael Elsby, Bart Hobijn和Aysegul Sahin指出,劳动收入占比在过去15年中的下降可部分归因于国家劳动统计局分割经营者收入的方法。事实也的确如此,直到2001年,国家劳动统计局都将经营者收入中的大部分归为劳动收入,比例略高于五分之四。而2001年之后,经营者收入中仅有不到一半的比例被归为劳动收入。 How important is this shift? It is fortunately very easy to produce an alternative measure of the labor share in which a constant fraction of proprietor’s income accrues to labor. Setting that fraction to its historical average prior to 2000 — 85 percent — we can figure out what would be the current labor share under this alternative assumption. 这一变化的影响有多大?幸运的是,我们可以很容易地用一种替代测量方法来对劳动收入占比进行估值,这种方法就是把业主收入按照一个固定比例计算为劳动收入。如果将该比例设定为2000年以前的历史平均值——85%——我们就能计算用该替代方法测量的当前的劳动收入占比。 Figure 2 contrasts the previous headline number against this alternative measure from 1980 onward. 图2对比了国家统计局公布的自1980年以来的劳动收入占比和使用替代方法得到的同时期劳动收入占比。 #95-8 First, we confirm that through 2000, both the headline and the alternative measure pretty much coincide. Since 2001, though, they diverge, with the drop being noticeably smaller in the alternative measure. Indeed, this divergence suggests that at least one-third and possibly closer to half of the drop in the headline labor share is due to how the BLS treats proprietor’s income. 首先,我们确认直到2000年,按国家劳动统计局的主流方法和这里的替代方法得到的结果基本是吻合的。而自从2001年开始,两者之间的差异开始扩大。按替代方法计算的结果中,劳动收入占比的下降幅度明显要小得多。两者间的差异事实上表明,按国家经济统计局的主流方法计算所得的结果中至少三分之一,甚至很可能接近一半的劳动收入占比降幅是由该方法对待经营者收入的方式所引起的。 Alternatively, we can also proceed by the centuries-tested scientific method of ignoring the problem altogether and compute the compensation or payroll share instead of the labor share. That is, we can assume that none of proprietor’s income accrues to labor. 另外,我们还可以采用一种经过多个世纪检验的“科学方法”——彻底忽略以上不同测量方法的问题,仅仅计算受雇劳工获取的劳动报酬占比,而不计算劳动收入占比。那么,我们就可以假设,经营者的所有收入都不会被归为劳动收入。 This is actually a quite common approach, since detailed payroll data exist for all industries, allowing us to pinpoint which sectors of the economy are responsible for the dynamics of labor income. The compensation share is, obviously, lower than the labor share — but its evolution across time is very similar: stable until the turn of the millennium and a decline since then. 实际上这也是一种很常用的方法。由于所有的行业都有非常详细的工资单数据,这让我们能够详细地查明经济中的哪些部门对劳动收入的变化产生了影响。劳动报酬收入占总收入的比重显然要低于总的劳动收入,但是它随时间变化的轨迹与劳动收入占比的变化轨迹非常相似:在新千年到来之前一直都很稳定,而从那以后就开始持续下降。 Yet another measure 另一种替代测量方法 There is yet another possible way to circumvent the ambiguity regarding proprietor’s income. The data allow us to zoom in to the non-financial corporate business sector. By law, corporations must declare payroll and profits separately for fiscal purposes, so there is actually no proprietor’s income. The downside is, of course, that we are working with only a subset of the economy, albeit a very large one. 还有另外一种可能的方法可以绕过处理经营者收入时面临的模棱两可问题。数据让我们可以更仔细地观察非金融企业部门。在法律上,由于财务方面的原因,公司必须分开报告工资单和利润,因此实际上这里就不存在经营者收入这个概念。但这个方法的缺点在于,我们只能研究整体经济中的一个子集,尽管这是一个相当大的子集[viii]。 Figure 3 plots the BLS headline measure and the labor share of income of the non-financial corporate sector from 1950 to the latest data available. The two series overlap for most of the period, though the headline labor share was consistently about 1 percentage point below that of non-financial firms from 1980 onward. In any case, the message since 2000 is unmistakable: The large drop in the headline measure is fully reflected in this alternative measure. 图3描述了从1950年开始到最近可获取数据的时间段内,分别使用国家劳动统计局的主流方法和非金融企业部门的劳动收入占比数据所得到的结果。虽然自1980年开始,主流方法测得的的劳动收入占比相对非金融企业中的劳动收入占比一直都低了1%左右,但在大多数时间段内,两条曲线的走势都是趋同的。不论在哪种情形下,2000年以来的数据所传递的信号都是明确无误的:主流方法中劳动收入占比的巨大降幅在这种替代方法中也得到了完全的反映。 #95-9 So, despite the inherent measurement problems, the data are clear: First, the labor share was stable from 1950 to at least near the end of the 1980s. Second, it has fallen precipitously since 2001. While the exact magnitude of the drop may be open to debate, there is no doubt that the downward trend in the labor share since 2001 is unprecedented in the data and, at the time of this writing, shows no signs of abating. 所以如果将这些测量方法所固有的问题放在一边,数据的含义是非常清晰的:首先,从1950年到至少1980年代末,劳动收入占比一直都保持了稳定。第二,从2001年开始,劳动收入占比开始急剧下降。虽然精确的降幅到底是多少仍然有待讨论,但毫无疑问的是,从数据看来,2001年之后的劳动收入占比下降趋势是前所未有的。而直到撰写本文时,这个趋势也丝毫也没有减弱的迹象。 A BIT OF A MIRACLE: 1950-1987 “小小奇迹”:1950-1987 We now take a closer look at the period in which the labor share was stable — roughly from the end of World War II to the late 1980s — by breaking it down by sector. In doing so, we will understand the logic behind the “bit of a miracle” quip. The cutoff date is necessarily 1987, since the industry classification changed in that year. Fortunately, it is also the approximate end date of the stable period for the labor share. 大约从二战结束一直到1980年代末这一时期的美国劳动收入占比一直都很稳定。现在我们来分阶段地仔细审视一下这个时期。这将有助理解这个“小小奇迹”背后的逻辑。我们只能将这一时期的终点选在1987年,因为在1987年,行业的划分标准发生了变化。幸运的是,这一年也恰好几乎是劳动收入占比保持稳定的时代终结的年份。 Since the end of WWII, the U.S. has gone through large structural changes to its sectorial composition. The most significant was the shift from manufacturing to services. In 1950, manufacturing accounted for more than two-thirds of the non-farm business sector. By 1987, manufacturing was just half of the non-farm business sector. Over the same period, services increased from 21 percent to 40 percent of the non-farm business sector. 自从二战结束后,美国经济的产业构成经历了巨大的结构性变化。最明显的变化是经济从制造业向服务业的转型。在1950年,制造业在非农经济中占据的比重超过了三分之二。而到1987年,制造业在非农经济中仅仅占据了一半的比重。同一时期,服务业在非农经济部门中所占的比重则从21%提升到了40%[ix]。 The reader would not be surprised to learn that different sectors use labor and capital in different proportions. In 1950, the manufacturing sector averaged a labor share of 62 percent, with some sub-sectors having even higher labor shares, such as durable goods manufacturing, with a labor share of 77 percent. Services instead relied more on capital and thus had lower labor shares: an average of 48 percent. 对于不同的经济部门中劳动和资本的构成比例不同这一点,相信读者们并不会感到吃惊。在1950年,制造业部门中的平均劳动收入占比是62%,而其中某些子部门的劳动收入占比还要更高,例如在耐用品制造业中,劳动收入占比到了77%[x]。与之相反,服务业则更加依赖于资本,因而其劳动收入占比也更低:平均水平是48%。 Thus, from 1950 to 1987, the sector with a high labor share (manufacturing) was cut in half, while the sector with a low labor share (services) doubled. The aggregate labor share is, naturally, the weighted average across these sectors. Therefore, we would have expected the aggregate labor share to fall. But as we already know, it did not. 也就是说,从1950年到1987年间,劳动收入占比较高的部门(制造业)在经济中的占比下降了接近一半,而劳动收入占比较低的部门(服务业)在经济中的占比则上升了一倍。加总的劳动收入占比很自然地应该等于不同部门劳动收入占比的加权平均值。既然如此,我们应该可以预期,加总的劳动收入占比会下降。但正如我们已经知道的,它并没有下降。 The reason is that, coincidentally with the shift from manufacturing to services, the labor share of the service sector rose sharply, from 48 percent in 1950 to 56 percent in 1987. Education and health services went from labor shares around 50 percent to the highest values in the whole economy, close to 84 percent. In manufacturing, the labor share was substantially more stable, increasing by less than 2 percentage points over the period. 而其中的原因则是在经济从制造业向服务业的转型过程中,服务业中的劳动收入占比却巧合地经历了大幅的上升,从1950年的48%上升到了1987年的56%。教育和医疗服务业中的劳动收入占比从50%左右上升到了整个经济各部门中的最高水平,接近84%[xi]。制造业中的劳动收入占比则持续保持稳定,在整个期间内上升了不到2%。 And this is the “bit of a miracle” — that the forces affecting the labor share across and within sectors just happened to cancel each other out over a period of almost half a century. 而这就是所谓的“小小奇迹”——在接近半个世纪的时间内,部门间和部门内影响劳动收入占比的各种力量恰恰抵消了各自的影响。 A BIT OF A MIRACLE NO MORE: 1987-2011 “小小奇迹”不再:1987-2011 I start by repeating the previous exercise, now over the period 1987 to 2011. As it had from 1950 to 1987, the manufacturing sector kept losing ground to the service sector, albeit at a slower rate. 下面我首先会采取和之前相同的方法来分析美国经济的劳动收入占比,只是将时间段换成1987年-2011年。和1950年-1987年间一样,尽管速度有所下降,但制造业部门在经济中的占比仍然持续被服务业部门所抢占。 By 2011, services accounted for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic output and an even larger fraction of total employment. However, the differences in the labor share between the two sectors were much smaller by the early 1990s, and thus the shift from manufacturing to services had only small downward effects on the overall labor share. 到2011年,服务业在美国经济总产出中所占的比重已经超过了三分之二,而在总就业中的占比甚至更高。然而这两个部门之间劳动收入占比的差异相比1990年代初却缩小了不少,因此,经济从制造业向服务业的转型对总体劳动收入占比仅仅会造成很小的下行作用。 We readily find out which part of the economy is behind the decline of the labor share once we look at the change in the labor share within manufacturing, which dropped almost 10 percentage points. Virtually all the major manufacturing sub-sectors saw their labor shares fall; for non-durable goods manufacturing it dropped from 62 percent to 40 percent. The labor share within the service sector kept increasing, as it had before 1987, but very modestly, only enough to cancel the downward pressure from the shift across sectors. Indeed, had the labor share of income in manufacturing stayed constant, the overall labor share would have barely budged. 只要看看在制造业中劳动收入占比的变化,我们就能很容易地发现经济中的哪一部分是造成劳动收入占比下降的主因。在制造业中,劳动收入占比下降了接近10个百分点。基本上所有主要的制造业子部门都经历了劳动收入占比的下降。在非耐用品制造业中,劳动收入占比从62%下降到了40%。而服务业部门的劳动收入占比相对1987年之前的水平仍然保持了增长,但是增幅非常缓慢,仅仅足够抵消掉由经济从制造业向服务业转型所产生的下行压力。的确,假如制造业中的劳动收入占比能够保持不变,整体经济中的劳动收入占比就几乎不会下降。 Note that in one sense, the bit of a miracle actually continued from 1987 onward: As manufacturing continued to shrink, decreasing the share of income accruing to labor, services picked up the slack by increasing their share of income accruing to labor, albeit more modestly than before. What ended the “miracle” was the precipitous decline in the labor share within manufacturing. 从这个意义上说,“小小奇迹”实际上在1987年之后也得到了延续:制造业在整体经济中占比的持续收缩减少了总收入中劳动收入的比例,而服务业则在一定程度上通过提升部门内的劳动收入占比收拾了残局,虽然提升的速度相比之前已经减缓了许多。终结“奇迹”的实际上是制造业内部劳动收入占比的急剧下降。 Wages and productivity 工资与劳动生产率 It is worth investigating a bit further what determinants are behind the fall in the labor share within manufacturing, since it played such an important role in the decline of the overall labor share. To this end, note that the change in the labor share in a particular sector is linked to the joint evolution of wages and labor productivity. 由于制造业内部的劳动收入占比下降在整体劳动收入占比的下降中发挥了如此重要的作用,更深入地研究其中的决定因素就显得很有价值了。从这个意义上说,我们需要注意到,某个特定部门内的劳动收入占比是与工资和劳动生产率的联合演化联系在一起的。 Consider a machine operator working in a factory for one hour to produce goods that will have a gross value to the factory owner of $100. If he is paid $60 per hour, labor’s share is approximately 60 percent. For the labor share to change, there are only two possibilities: Either the value of the goods produced must change or the hourly wage must. Conversely, for the labor share to stay constant, the value of the goods and the hourly wage have to move in unison. 假如一名机器操作员在工厂中工作一小时能够生产出对于工厂主而言价值100美元的产品,如果他的时薪是60美元,那么劳动收入占比就大约是60%。一旦劳动收入占比发生变化,仅仅有两种可能的情况:要么是产出的价值发生了变化,要么是操作员的时薪发生了变化。反过来说,如果劳动收入占比保持不变,产出的价值和操作员的时薪就必须总是等比例变化[xii]。 So which one — productivity or wages — brought down the labor share in manufacturing? Fortunately, we do have reliable data on output, wage rates, and hours worked in manufacturing. Figure 4 displays the evolution of labor productivity (that is, output per hour) and wage rates from 1950 onward. Both series are set such that their value in 1949 equals 100. 那么在生产率和工资水平中,究竟是哪一项将制造业中的劳动收入占比拖了下来呢?幸运的是,我们拥有制造业中关于产出,单位时间工资和工作时长的可靠数据。图4显示了自1950年以来劳动生产率(也就是每小时产出)和单位时间工资的演化过程[xiii]。两条曲线都将1949年的水平设定为100[xiv]#95-10 Once again we see two clearly separate periods. Until the early 1980s, labor productivity and wages grew at a very similar rate — if anything, the wage rate out-paced productivity, which, as described earlier, implies that the labor share in manufacturing inched up. By mid-1985, labor productivity took off, while wage growth was very sluggish. Since then, the gap between productivity and wages has kept growing, depressing the labor share. 我们又一次地看到了两个被明显分隔开的时期。直到上世纪80年代早期,劳动生产率和工资都一直在以很接近的速度增长——如果有不同的话,也是工资的增长速度超过了劳动生产率。按照之前的描述,这意味着制造业中的劳动收入占比提高了。到上世纪80年代中期,劳动生产率开始突飞猛进,而工资的增长则变得非常缓慢。从那以后,劳动生产率和工资之间的差距就开始持续扩大,从而不断压低劳动收入占比。 Because an index is used to scale both series, it is a tad difficult to grasp from the figure whether labor productivity accelerated or wage rates stagnated from the 1980s onward. The answer is both things happened. In the 1980s, productivity grew at about its long-term trend rate, but wages were virtually flat, growing less than half a percentage point a year on average over the decade. Wage growth recovered in the 1990s, but productivity actually took off, further increasing the gap. Overall, though, it appears that the fall in the labor share is explained mainly by the sluggish growth of wages rather than above-trend labor productivity. 由于我们使用同一个坐标来衡量两条曲线的变化,想要从图中分辨出1980年后究竟是劳动生产率的增长加速了还是单位时间工资的增长停滞了似乎有些困难。答案是两件事情都发生了。在1980年代,劳动生产率的增长速度基本上等于它的长期平均增长率,但是工资增长则相当平缓,这十年中的年均增长率不到0.5%。工资的增长在1990年代有所恢复,但是生产率的增长则突飞猛进,让两者间的差距越来越大。但是整体看来,劳动收入占比的下降更为主要的原因还是缓慢的工资增长速度,而不是增长的劳动生产率。 CONCURRENT PHENOMENA 一些并发的现象 What is the ultimate cause behind the decline of the labor share in the U.S.? The honest answer is that economists have several hypotheses but no definite answer yet. Rather than go over the sometimes-intricate theories behind these hypotheses, I will discuss the main observation or phenomenon anchoring each one. 美国劳动收入占比下降背后的终极原因到底是什么?诚实的回答是,经济学家们目前只是提出了一些假说,但还没有得到确定的答案[xv]。在本文中,我并不准备把这些假说背后的那些有时看起来错综复杂的理论复述一遍,而将讨论与每个假说相关的主要观察结果或现象。 Capital deepening 资本深化 This is by far the most popular hypothesis: Workers have been replaced by equipment and software. Who has not seen footage of robots working an auto assembly line? Older readers may remember when live tellers and not ATMs dispensed cash at banks. Software is now capable of piloting planes and, even more amazingly, doing our taxes! 这是至今为止最流行的假说:工人正在不断地被设备和软件所替代。今天谁还没有见过机器人在汽车流水线上的身影呢?年纪大一些的读者们可能还记得,在过去银行是使用出纳员而不是ATM机来分发现金的。当时的软件还不具备为飞机导航的能力,而更令今人惊讶的是,它们甚至还无法计算我们的税单! There is more behind this hypothesis than anecdotes. Loukas Karabarbounis and Brent Neiman document a fall in equipment prices. Lawrence Summers proposes that capital should be viewed as at least a partial substitute for labor — more and more so as technology develops. In both models, the idea is similar: Better or cheaper equipment replaces workers and redistributes income from labor to capital. The result is that production becomes more intensive in capital, which is why these theories are often referred to as capital deepening. 这个假说背后有着远比这些旧日轶闻深刻得多的内容。Loukas Karabarbounis和Brent Neiman证明了设备价格的下降趋势。Lawrance Summers则提出,资本至少应该被看作劳动力的一种部分替代——而随着技术的发展,替代的程度也越来越高。在这两个模型中,观点是相似的:更好或者更便宜的设备替代了工人的劳动,并且将之前属于劳动的一部分收入重新分配给了资本。结果就是生产过程的资本密集程度越来越高,这也是这些理论通常被人们称为“资本深化”的原因。 It is important to understand that the capital deepening mechanism must operate at the level of the overall economy. So, when we see a robot replace, say, five workers, we need to remember that the production of the robot itself involved workers, so we are swapping auto assemblers with robot assemblers. It is, of course, still possible that the robot tilts income toward capital, but it is not a foregone conclusion. 重要的是,我们必须懂得资本深化机制只有在整体经济的尺度上才能发挥作用。所以当我们看到一个机器人替代了5名工人时,我们应该记住,机器人的生产本身也需要工人,所以我们只是把汽车装配工换成了机器人装配工而已。当然,机器人的确很有可能会让收入的天平向资本倾斜,但这并非已成定局。 The main challenge to capital deepening is that if a sector is substituting robots for workers to save money or improve the quality of the good being produced, the remaining workers should therefore become more productive and, overall, the sector should be expanding. In other words, capital deepening can reduce the labor share of income, but it does so by making labor productivity accelerate rather than making wages stagnate. As we saw earlier, this does not fit the actual picture of the manufacturing sector at all. 对资本深化理论的主要挑战是,如果某个部门通过使用机器人代替工人来节省成本或者提高所生产的产品质量,那么剩下的工人的生产效率就应该变得更高,而在整体上,这个部门应该会在扩张之中。换句话说,资本深化会降低劳动在总收入中所占的比例,但这是通过让劳动生产率获得提升来完成的,而不是让工资的增长停滞。就像我们之前所看到的,这与制造业所呈现的实际图景完全不相符[xvi]Income inequality 收入不平等 The increase in income inequality in the U.S. has lately received a lot of attention. The decline of the labor share is a force toward income inequality because capital is more concentrated across households than labor is. 最近,美国收入不平等的加剧获得了大量的关注。劳动收入占比下降显然是一种加剧收入不平等的力量,因为相比劳动力,资本在家庭间的分布集中度显然更高[xvii]。 It should be noted, though, that the main driver of the increase in income inequality is not capital income but rather wages themselves, particularly at the very top of the pay ladder. As Elsby and his coauthors document, the increase in top wages has actually sustained the labor share. In other words, the decline in the labor share actually understates the increase in income inequality. 但值得一提的是,收入不平等加剧的主要驱动力并不是资本收入,而是工资收入本身,尤其是在工资收入阶梯的顶端[xviii]。正如Elsby和他的合作者们所证明的,顶端工资的增长实际上会起到维持劳动收入占比的作用。换句话说,劳动收入占比的下降实际上还低估了收入不平等程度的加剧。 An interesting question is whether whatever is driving up inequality is also driving down the labor share. Several economists have proposed that technological change is skill biased — that is, it augments productivity more for highly skilled workers than for low-skilled workers. Combined with the idea that capital helps highly skilled workers be more productive but makes unskilled workers redundant, skill bias can explain both the increase in wage inequality and the decline in the labor share. 一个有趣的问题是,任何加剧收入不平等程度的因素是否也同样会降低劳动收入占比呢?一些经济学家提出,技术进步对于工人技能的影响是有偏的——也就是说,相对于低技能的工人,技术进步会更大地提升那些高技能工人的生产力。与之前得出的资本在帮助高技能工人提高生产力同时,让低技能工人变得冗余的观点相结合,“技能偏好”能够同时解释工资收入不平等程度的加剧和劳动收入占比的降低[xix]。 Let us return once more to the car manufacturer example. The robot may be replacing five unskilled workers but may require a qualified operator. The demand for unskilled workers falls, and so do their wages; but the demand for qualified operators increases, and so do their wages. So it is possible to have an increase in wage inequality while factories undergo capital deepening. 让我们再次回到汽车制造商的例子。机器人可能会替代掉5名不熟练的工人,但同时却会需要一名合格的操作员。对不熟练工人的需求下降了,他们的工资收入也会同时下降;但是对合格的操作员的需求和他们的工资水平则会同步提升。所以随着工厂经历资本深化的过程,工资收入的不平等程度也很可能会加剧。 Globalization. 全球化 Another popular hypothesis links the fall in the labor share with the advent of international trade liberalization. There is no question that there has been a substantial increase in trade by U.S. firms in the past few decades. In particular, firms have shifted parts of their production processes to foreign countries to take advantage of cheaper inputs — which, from the perspective of a country like the U.S. that has more capital than other countries, means cheap labor. Industries that are more intensive in labor, such as manufacturing, will be more likely to outsource their production processes abroad, and thus the remaining factories are likely to be the ones that rely more on capital. 另一个流行的假说将劳动收入占比的下降与国际贸易自由化的出现联系在了一起。毫无疑问,在过去的几十年中,美国公司所进行的国际贸易经历了非常显著的增长。尤其值得一提的是,许多美国公司都将它们的一部分生产流程转移到了国外以利用更加便宜的生产要素——对于美国这样一个比他国拥有更多资本的国家来说,也就是劳动力。劳动力更加密集的那些行业,例如制造业,将更有可能将生产流程外包到国外,而那些留在国内的工厂则更可能属于那些对资本依赖程度较高的行业。 Surprisingly, there is not a lot of evidence to support this view. The main challenge to the hypothesis is that U.S. exports and imports are very similar in their factor composition. That is, were trade driving down the labor share, we would observe the U.S. importing goods that use a lot of labor and exporting goods that use a lot of capital. Instead, most international trade involves exchanging goods that are very similar, such as cars. 令人吃惊的是,并没有多少证据能够支持这个观点。这一假说所面临的主要挑战是,美国的进口和出口在要素构成上其实非常相似。也就是说,如果说国际贸易降低了美国的劳动收入占比,那么我们会观察到美国所进口的产品的生产要素中包含大量的劳动,而出口产品的生产要素中则包含大量的资本。但实际上,大多数的国际贸易中所交换的产品都非常相似,例如汽车[xx]。 Another prediction of the globalization theory is that countries the U.S. exports to should see their labor shares increase and — as noted in the accompanying discussion, it appears that the decline in the labor share is a global phenomenon. 支持全球化降低了美国劳动收入占比的理论所作出的另一项预测是,那些从美国进口多于向美国出口的国家的劳动收入占比应该会上升——而我们在之前的讨论中已经提到过,劳动收入占比下降似乎是一个全球性的现象。 Some studies, though, do support this hypothesis. Elsby and his coauthors find some evidence that the labor share fell more in sectors that were more exposed to imports. There is a large body of literature on the impact of trade on wage inequality that only recently has started to consider the impact on the labor share. 事实上,也的确有一些研究支持这个假说。Elsby和他的合作者们发现了一些证据证明在那些受进口冲击更强的行业内,劳动收入占比的确下降得更厉害。已经有大量的文献研究国际贸易对于工资收入不平等的影响,而直到最近,人们才开始考虑它对于劳动收入占比的影响[xxi]CONCLUSIONS 结论 Despite several measurement issues and alternative definitions associated with the labor share, the message is quite clear: The 2000s witnessed an unprecedented drop in the labor share of income. Exploring the early period, we saw that the U.S. economy had been able to accommodate the surplus workers from manufacturing only until the late 1980s. 除了一些测量方法上的问题,以及与劳动收入占比相关的一些不同定义之外,我们所获得的信号是非常清晰的:21世纪的前十年见证了美国劳动收入占比的一场史无前例的急剧下降。通过对更早的时期进行研究,我们发现直到1980年代末期,美国一直都能够容纳制造业中多余的劳动力。 We also saw that the stagnation of wages, rather than accelerated labor productivity, has been behind the drop in the labor share from 2000 onward. The review of possible hypotheses behind the decline in the U.S. labor share was, admittedly, quite inconclusive: Economists do not yet have a full grasp of the underlying determinants. 我们还发现,工资增长的停滞,而不是劳动力产出的提升,才是2000年之后劳动收入占比下降的主要原因。需要承认的是,对于一些可能解释美国劳动收入占比下降的假说的回顾并没有得出什么明确的结论:经济学家们仍然没能完整地把握这一现象背后的那些潜在因素。
[i] 收入中的一小部分实际上直接被政府获取了,我将在之后更详细地讨论这一点。 [ii] 关于NIPA,国家经济分析局提供了多种入门级别的指导教程,可通过访问http://www.bea.gov轻松获得。 [iii] 折旧和税收也分别会遇上一些测量方法上的问题,但我们可以安全地规避它们:本文附带的讨论《其它测量方法上的挑战》对这些额外的问题进行了简要的描述。还可参阅Paul Gomme和Peter Rupert发表于2004年的论文,以获得对所有劳动收入测量方法问题的完整描述。 [iv] 实际上其中还包括一些其它的小成分:例如非盈利机构的收入等。 [v] 国家劳动统计局所采用的方法实际上远非完美:例如,一些岗位上受雇佣劳工的比例可能远高于自雇人员,而这可能导致一些误导性的结果。 [vi] 国家劳动统计局使用的主流劳动收入占比,也被称为“头条劳动收入占比”,包含了所有行业的劳动收入占比数据。可访问http://www.bls.gov/lpc/lpcmethods.htm以了解该测量方法的构建细节。 [vii] 劳动收入占比也会表现出一定的弱周期性,在经济下滑时劳动收入占比通常会上升。但本文关注的焦点是劳动收入占比的长期趋势。 [viii] 需要说明的是,我们只考虑非金融企业。金融部门的收入不稳定是众所周知的,并且存在一些与其自身相关的测量问题——即股票期权和类似的一些支付手段常常被作为支付劳动报酬的方式。 [ix] 这里的占比数据指的是占总经济增加值的比重。与此同时,就业人口的比例结构也发生了类似幅度的转变。在这个时期内,农业部门也经历了相当严重的收缩。 [x] 数据来源于Michael Elsby, Bart Hobijn,和Aysegul Sahin三位作者2013年的论文。这里的劳动收入占比指的是所有受雇劳工的劳动报酬占总经济增加值的比例。 [xi] 服务业中劳动收入占比的提升与William Baumol提出的“服务业的支出病”这一可追溯到上世纪60年代的概念有关,它指的是生产率在服务业中提升的难度本身就较高。可参阅Baumol 2012年的论文获取他最新的观点。 [xii] 这里的计算忽略了之前所提到过的对经营者收入的分解。不过对于制造业部门来说,经营者的收入本来也不会很高。 [xiii] 单位时间“工资”实际上也包含了福利和奖金,它们在总的劳动报酬中所占的比重一直在增加。 [xiv] 图4采纳了Susan Fleck, John Glaser和Shawn Sprague 2011年发表的论文中使用的方法,按照制造业产出的隐含价格指数对于产出的数值进行调整,并按照消费者价格指数对工资率的数值进行调整。 [xv] 一些同行可能会认为“还没有”这个说法并不是很诚实,因为对于经济学家们而言,在他们面临的任何问题面前,他们总是会提出一系列的假说,而得不到确定性的答案。 [xvi] 公平地说,上世纪90年代的情形并不是很符合这个理论,因为劳动生产率的提升在这个阶段的确加速了,而劳动收入占比的下降主要发生在本世纪的前十年中。参阅原文第6页对于技术和工资差异把高技能劳工和低技能劳工区分开来的讨论。 [xvii] 可参阅Margaret Jacobson和Filippo Occhino 2012年的论文对于劳动收入占比对收入不平等影响的研究。 [xviii] 可参阅Thomas Piketty和Emmanuel Saez 2003年的论文以及Facundo Alvaredo, Anthony Atkinson, Piketty和Saez 2013年的论文。 [xix] 学术界关于技术进步对于工人技能的有偏影响以及技能和资本的互补关系这两个论题已经作了大量的研究,Lawrance Katz和Kevin Murphy 1992年的论文,Per Krussel及合作者2002年的论文是这些领域重要的参考文献,但是两篇文章的技术性都很强。可以参阅Keith Sil 2002年发表在《商业评论》上的文章,以获得关于这些问题的更易于理解的讨论。 [xx] 最初观察到这个现象的是Wassily Leontif。可参阅Daniel Trefler 1993年的论文以获得使用更新的数据对国际贸易的要素内容的评估结果。然而,也有一些研究结果挑战他得到的结论,例如可参阅John Romalis 2004年的文章。 [xxi] Avraham Ebenstein及其合作者2013年的论文是一个典型的例子。若想获得对于之前研究结果的综述,可参考Stephen Golub 1998年的论文。 (编辑:辉格@whigzhou) *注:本译文未经原作者授权,本站对原文不持有也不主张任何权利,如果你恰好对原文拥有权益并希望我们移除相关内容,请私信联系,我们会立即作出响应。

——海德沙龙·翻译组,致力于将英文世界的好文章搬进中文世界——

[译文]中产阶级在哪里死得最惨?

Where the Middle Class Goes to Die
哪里的中产阶级没活路?

作者:Kevin D. Williamson @ 2014-9-18
译者:Marcel ZHANG(@马赫塞勒张)
校对:史祥莆(@史祥莆),慕白(@李凤阳他说)
来源:National Review,http://www.nationalreview.com/article/388336/where-middle-class-goes-die-kevin-d-williamson

In progressive Manhattan, inequality is maxed out.

在进步主义盛行的曼哈顿,不平等已达到空前程度。

A new report being released today by the Census Bureau finds that Manhattan has the highest level of income inequality in the United States. That is not entirely surprising, though it would also not have been surprising if it had been San Francisco or another progressive fiefdom.

美国人口调查局(Census (more...)

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Where the Middle Class Goes to Die 哪里的中产阶级没活路? 作者:Kevin D. Williamson @ 2014-9-18 译者:Marcel ZHANG(@马赫塞勒张) 校对:史祥莆(@史祥莆),慕白(@李凤阳他说) 来源:National Review,http://www.nationalreview.com/article/388336/where-middle-class-goes-die-kevin-d-williamson In progressive Manhattan, inequality is maxed out. 在进步主义盛行的曼哈顿,不平等已达到空前程度。 A new report being released today by the Census Bureau finds that Manhattan has the highest level of income inequality in the United States. That is not entirely surprising, though it would also not have been surprising if it had been San Francisco or another progressive fiefdom. 美国人口调查局(Census Bureau)今天发表的一份报告显示,曼哈顿是全美收入差距最悬殊的地方。而这并不怎么出人意料,就算是出现在旧金山或其他进步主义大本营也不会令人吃惊。 For all the rhetoric about wicked 1 percenters and inequality, progressivism is a luxury good, and progressive-dominated enclaves are generally pretty okay places to live if you have a fair amount of money, but sort of stink if you’re in the middle or at the lower end of the earnings curve. 不论怎样夸张描绘那可恶的“1%”【译注:在近年来美国有关贫富差距和反全球化的抗议(比如“占领华尔街”运动)中,抗议者常自称为“99%”,而将最富裕阶层称为“1%”】和收入差距,进步主义都是一种奢侈品。此外,如果你手头有些钱的话,这些由进步派主导的地方都是很不错的安居之地;但若你处于收入曲线的中段或末端的话,那就有点不妙了。 Because most Americans experience New York City as tourists or in television shows and movies, it is easy to forget that the hometown of Wall Street and a very large population of obnoxious celebrities is a poor city: New York City is not only poorer than the New York State average, its median household income is, in absolute dollar terms, lower than that of such dramatically less expensive areas as Austin, Texas, or Cleveland County, Okla., where the typical household income is a few thousand dollars a year more than in New York City but the typical house costs less than a third of what the typical New York City home costs — and 17 percent of what the average Manhattan home costs. (And it’s a house, not a two-room coop.) 由于大多数美国人都只是到纽约旅行过,或是在电影电视中了解的纽约,所以很容易忘了,这个华尔街的故乡,这个充斥着众多令人生厌的名流的城市,其实是个“穷人之城”——在富裕程度方面,纽约市不仅低于纽约州的平均水平,而且其家庭中位数收入(以不变价美元计算)甚至还低于诸如德克萨斯州的奥斯汀和俄克拉何马州的克里夫兰县这样物价远低于纽约市的地区,这些地区的典型家庭年收入比纽约市高出几千美元,但是其一般房价却不足纽约一般房价的三分之一,甚至仅相当于曼哈顿房屋均价的17%。(而且这可是独栋屋,不是两居室公寓。) Inequality per se is a relatively minor and generally misunderstood issue, inasmuch as if New York’s median household earned four times what it does now but its top–5 percent households earned ten times what they do, there would be more income inequality but a much higher overall standard of living for rich and middle-class alike. 不平等本身其实是个相对次要并且被广泛误解的问题,因为如果纽约的家庭中位数收入是现有水平的四倍,但收入排名前5%的家庭收入是现在的10倍,那么收入差距就会更加悬殊,但是富裕阶层和中产阶层的总体生活水平却大大提高了。 What is particularly salient about the progressive governance of places such as New York City and San Francisco is not the income inequality coincident with it — which has many causes, only some of which are directly related to public policy — but the myriad ways in which misgovernment makes these cities such hostile places to live for people of relatively modest means. 像纽约和旧金山这种城市的进步主义治理模式,其最显眼的地方,不是与这种治理模式相伴的收入不平等(收入不平等的原因有很多,而只有一部分与公共政策有关),而是对于相对不富裕的人群来说,这些城市处处表现出敌意,而那都是由于治理不善的缘故。 As indicated above, the income figures by themselves hardly tell the story. The median household income in the city of New York is a few hundred dollars a year more than the median household income in the state of Texas, but in practical terms the average New York City household is much worse off. 正如上文所指出,收入数据本身并不能解释一切。纽约的家庭中位数年收入比德州高出几百美元,但实际上纽约普通家庭的状况要差得多。 The most obvious issue is the cost of housing, which for New Yorkers is about four times what it is for Texans. Housing prices are a function of supply and demand, and demand for New York City housing is relatively high, a fact that probably does not have very much to do with public policy. I have lived in New York City for some time, and I have never met anybody who says he moved here because it is so well governed. 其中最明显的问题就是住房成本,纽约人的住房成本大约是德州人的四倍。房价乃供求使然,而且纽约的住房需求相对较高,这个事实恐怕跟公共政策没多大关系。本人在纽约住过一段时间,而我从未听闻有人说搬到这是因为这儿的治理有多么好。 On the other hand, supply is highly restricted, and that is a direct consequence of bad public policy, an economic reality that is obvious even to such sympathetic progressives as Matt Yglesias, who sensibly notes that limitations on the number of new housing units in places such as Washington, D.C., bias construction toward high-priced luxury homes, while hostile zoning codes in places such as San Francisco prevent markets from responding to demand and lead to “deliberately underutilized” mass-transit arteries. 另一方面,住房供给却是被严格限制的,而这就是不良政策的直接后果了,这个经济现状非常显而易见,就连Matt Yglesias这样抱同情之心的进步派人士都说,在像华盛顿这样的地方对新建住房单位数量加以限制,会导致高价豪宅数量增多,而在旧金山等地实施的限制措施则阻碍了市场对需求的回应,从而导致了“蓄意不充分利用的”公交要道的产生。 In New York City, housing prices are kept artificially high by draconian restrictions on new construction, rent control and the less aggressive “rent stabilization,” political interference with development financing, onerous union rules that drive up construction prices, byzantine regulation that imposes enormous compliance costs, and more. Even in a city in which four of the five boroughs are located on islands, there are vast tracts of underused real estate, the development of which could alleviate housing expenses for the middle class and the poor. 在纽约,房价被人为抬高的原因有很多:针对新建房屋的严苛限制、租房管制以及不那么激进的“租房稳定措施”、政治因素对开发融资的妨碍、抬升造价的繁冗的工会规定、错综复杂的监管规章带来的巨大合规成本,如此等等不一而足。即使是在这个五个行政区中有四个都坐落在岛屿上的城市,也有大片的地产都未被充分利用,对这些地产的开发,将能够减轻中产和贫困阶层的住房负担。 There is also the problem of the 13th month’s rent in New York City. 纽约市还有个第13个月房租的问题。 If you earn the median income of $52,223 in New York City and you live within the city limits — not just in Manhattan but in the distant Bronx and Staten Island, too — you pay the city nearly $1,800 a year in additional income tax for the privilege. 在纽约市,如果你能赚到该市的中位数收入52,223美元,并且住在纽约市区里(不仅仅是曼哈顿,还包括布朗克斯和史泰登岛),那么你就要为这项特权支付每年近1,800美元的附加所得税。 You can basically forget about owning a home — the median house price in the city is more than a half a million dollars — but renting won’t be easy, either: Applying New York landlords’ prevailing 40-times-the-rent rule, you can afford about $1,300 a month; not impossible if you’re single, but a substantial challenge for a family. 你基本可以不用想买房子的事了,因为这个城市的房价中位数已经不止50万美元,但租房住也不容易:套用盛行于纽约房东之间的“40倍房租规则”,你仅能负担不到每月1,300美元的房租,如果你是单身的话,这个数目不至于完全租不到够你住的房子,但这点钱要想租到够一家人住的房子,那就难咯。 But in any case, you’ll be paying a 13th month’s rent and change to the city for the privilege of residing within its boundaries. Assuming you are single, taxes and rent would consume between 50 percent and 60 percent of your income. Move to Houston, and you’d get a $3,000-a-year discount before even accounting for the lower cost of housing. 但无论如何,你都要为了居于城内这项特权支付这第13个月的租金给这座城市。假设你是单身,那么光缴税缴租都要花掉你收入的五到六成。如果搬到休斯敦,你就能每年少付3,000美元,就这还没算更低的住房成本呢。 If you are truly concerned about inequality, then that matters a great deal, because income inequality is only one kind of economic inequality, and one of the less important kinds: Wealth inequality is more significant. If the majority of your income is being consumed by taxes and rent, saving and investing becomes hard. 如果你果真对不平等耿耿于怀的话,那这就是关乎要害的大事了,因为收入不平等只是经济不平等的一种,而且还是不那么重要的一种——财富不平等更加重要。如果你的大部分收入都用来缴税缴租了的话,那就很难进行储蓄和投资。 And given progressives’ abysmal record in providing key municipal services such as effective law enforcement and decent public schools to low-income communities, there are powerful incentives to take on additional expenses by paying the premium for living in a better neighborhood or enrolling your children in private schools. 而且考虑到进步派在提供关键市政公共服务上(比如有力的执法和面向低收入社群的适宜的公立学校)的糟糕记录,那你就有很强动机想要居住在更好的街区,或让你的孩子就读于私立学校,但这就要支付额外的费用。 When it comes time to pay for college or to leave behind a bequest for children or grandchildren — an important means of building wealth within families — you’re almost certainly better off in San Antonio or Provo than in New York or San Francisco. 一旦到了该支付大学学费或为你的子孙后代留下遗产(这是一种积累家族财富的重要方式)的时候,那么几乎可以肯定的是,如果你住在圣安东尼奥或普罗沃的话,会比住在纽约或旧金山的情况要好。 Highly skilled, highly educated people are likely to do well wherever they are, and creative, dynamic, global cities such as New York are gold mines for them. But not everybody is going to be an investment banker or a tech entrepreneur. If you want to get a picture of what progressive policies look like for everybody else, try living in New York City for a year with an average New York City income — and try it with a family. 高技能水平、高学历人群可能在哪里都会过得不错,而且像纽约这样富有创意和活力四射的国际大都市对于他们来说更是一座金矿。但并不是每个人都能成为投行家,或创办一家科技企业。如果你想了解一下在其他人眼中进步主义政策是怎么样的,那就试试在纽约市拿着平均收入生活一年,而且要拖家带口。 Kevin D. Williamson is roving correspondent at National Review. Kevin D. Williamson,《国家评论》杂志流动通讯记者 (编辑:辉格@whigzhou) *注:本译文未经原作者授权,本站对原文不持有也不主张任何权利,如果你恰好对原文拥有权益并希望我们移除相关内容,请私信联系,我们会立即作出响应。

——海德沙龙·翻译组,致力于将英文世界的好文章搬进中文世界——

[译文]夹缝中的中产阶级

The Middle-Class Squeeze
夹缝中的中产阶级

编辑:Jennifer Erickson @ 2014-9-24
译者:松旭斋天胜(@松旭斋天胜)
校对:安德(@ HuZhenbo)、带菜刀的诗人(@带菜刀的诗人)
制图:amen(@治愈系历史)
来源:美国进步中心(Center for American Progress),https://cdn.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/MiddeClassSqueeze-INTRO.pdf

A Picture of Stagnant Incomes, Rising Costs, and What We Can Do to Strengthen America’s Middle Class
面对收入停滞、生活费高涨的局面,怎么做才能巩固中产阶级

【插图】
America’s middle class is being squeezed by stagnant—and in many cases declining—incomes and rising costs.
美国的中产阶级正被停滞甚至往往是减少的收入和高涨的生活费压得喘不过气。

Why the middle-class squeeze matters
为何需要关注中产阶级重压

The American middle class is in trouble.

美国中产阶级有麻烦了。

The middle-class share of national income has fallen, middle-class wages are stagnant, and the middle class in the United States is no longer the world’s wealthiest.

美国中产阶级收入在国民收入中占比减少,薪资停滞,他们已不再是世界上最富有的中产。

But income is only one side of the story. The cost of being in the middle class—and of maintaining a middle-class standard of living—is rising fast too. For fundamental needs such as child care and health care, costs have risen dramatically over the past few decades, taking up larger shares of family budgets. The reality is that the middle class is being squeezed.

但收入只是问题的一方面。做一个中产阶级、并维持中产阶级生活品质的成本,正在飞涨。过去几十年中,儿童保育和医疗保障等基本生活需求的费用迅速飙升,在家庭预算中比重增大。现实告诉我们,中产阶级正被压得喘不过气来。

As this report will show, for a married couple with two children, the costs of key elements of middle-class security—child care, higher education, health care, housing, and retirement—rose by more than $10,000 in the 12 years from 2000 to 2012, at a time when this family’s income was stagnant.

正如本报告随后将展示的那样,对于一对育有两个子女的夫妇而言,从2000年到2012年的12年间,界定中产阶级的那些关键元素的花费,即儿童保育、高等教育、医疗保障、住房和退休保障的成本,上涨了10000美元,而与此同时,家庭收入却停滞不前。

As sharp as this squeeze can be, the pain does not stop at one family, or even at millions of families. Because of the critical role that middle-class consumers play in creating aggregate demand, the American economy is in trouble when the American middle class is in trouble. And the long-term health of the U.S. economy is at risk if financially squeezed families cannot afford—and smart public policies do not support—developing the next generation of America’s workforce. It is this workforce that will lead the United States in an increasingly open and competitive global economy.

如此严峻的挤迫并不止于一个家庭,或者甚至是百万个家庭。因为中产阶级消费者在创造总需求中扮演着关键角色,当中产阶级出问题,美国经济也随之陷入麻烦。进一步来说,如果经济承受重压的家庭无法负担培养美国下一代劳动力的费用,公共政策也不提供适时的辅助,那么美国经济的长期发展也将处于危险之中。毕竟,未来是由这一代劳动力在更加开放、竞争也更激烈的全球经济体系中领导美国。

This report provides a snapshot of the American middle class and those struggling to become a part of it. It focuses on six key pillars that can help define security for households: jobs, early childhood programs, higher education, health care, housing, and retirement. Each chapter is both descriptive and prescriptive—detailing both how the middle class is doing and what policies can help it do better.

本报告提供了美国中产阶级和正为之而奋斗的人们的一幅速写。它将重点放在对家庭保障起决定作用的六根重要支柱上:就业、儿童保育、高等教育、医疗保障、住房和退休保障。每一部分都在描述现象之余提供建议,不仅详细阐述中产阶级目前的状况,也详尽分析怎样的政策可帮其改善现状。

Defining the middle class
定义中产阶级

Statistically, when we talk about the middle class, we generally mean the middle three quintiles of American households by income—those making between the 20th and 80th percentiles of the income distribution. In reality, however, being middle class in America is at its core about economic security.

统计学上,当我们讨论中产阶级时,一般是指全美收入水平处于中间60%的家庭,即落在20%到80%区间内的家庭。但实际上,美国中产阶级的核心在于家庭经济保障能力。

As Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) wrote in the 2011 report “Saving the American Dream,” “Most of us don’t expect to be rich or famous, but we do expect a living wage and good American benefits for a hard day’s work.”

正如参议员Tom Harkin(民主党,爱荷华州)在其2011年题为《挽救美国梦》的报告中写道:“我们中的大部分不求成为富翁或是出名,但我们都希望每日的辛勤工作可以换来足以负担生活开支的工资和良好的社会福利保障。”

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The Middle-Class Squeeze 夹缝中的中产阶级 编辑:Jennifer Erickson @ 2014-9-24 译者:松旭斋天胜(@松旭斋天胜) 校对:安德(@ HuZhenbo)、带菜刀的诗人(@带菜刀的诗人) 制图:amen(@治愈系历史) 来源:美国进步中心(Center for American Progress),https://cdn.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/MiddeClassSqueeze-INTRO.pdf A Picture of Stagnant Incomes, Rising Costs, and What We Can Do to Strengthen America’s Middle Class 面对收入停滞、生活费高涨的局面,怎么做才能巩固中产阶级 【插图】 America's middle class is being squeezed by stagnant—and in many cases declining—incomes and rising costs. 美国的中产阶级正被停滞甚至往往是减少的收入和高涨的生活费压得喘不过气。 Why the middle-class squeeze matters 为何需要关注中产阶级重压 The American middle class is in trouble. 美国中产阶级有麻烦了。 The middle-class share of national income has fallen, middle-class wages are stagnant, and the middle class in the United States is no longer the world’s wealthiest. 美国中产阶级收入在国民收入中占比减少,薪资停滞,他们已不再是世界上最富有的中产。 But income is only one side of the story. The cost of being in the middle class—and of maintaining a middle-class standard of living—is rising fast too. For fundamental needs such as child care and health care, costs have risen dramatically over the past few decades, taking up larger shares of family budgets. The reality is that the middle class is being squeezed. 但收入只是问题的一方面。做一个中产阶级、并维持中产阶级生活品质的成本,正在飞涨。过去几十年中,儿童保育和医疗保障等基本生活需求的费用迅速飙升,在家庭预算中比重增大。现实告诉我们,中产阶级正被压得喘不过气来。 As this report will show, for a married couple with two children, the costs of key elements of middle-class security—child care, higher education, health care, housing, and retirement—rose by more than $10,000 in the 12 years from 2000 to 2012, at a time when this family’s income was stagnant. 正如本报告随后将展示的那样,对于一对育有两个子女的夫妇而言,从2000年到2012年的12年间,界定中产阶级的那些关键元素的花费,即儿童保育、高等教育、医疗保障、住房和退休保障的成本,上涨了10000美元,而与此同时,家庭收入却停滞不前。 As sharp as this squeeze can be, the pain does not stop at one family, or even at millions of families. Because of the critical role that middle-class consumers play in creating aggregate demand, the American economy is in trouble when the American middle class is in trouble. And the long-term health of the U.S. economy is at risk if financially squeezed families cannot afford—and smart public policies do not support—developing the next generation of America’s workforce. It is this workforce that will lead the United States in an increasingly open and competitive global economy. 如此严峻的挤迫并不止于一个家庭,或者甚至是百万个家庭。因为中产阶级消费者在创造总需求中扮演着关键角色,当中产阶级出问题,美国经济也随之陷入麻烦。进一步来说,如果经济承受重压的家庭无法负担培养美国下一代劳动力的费用,公共政策也不提供适时的辅助,那么美国经济的长期发展也将处于危险之中。毕竟,未来是由这一代劳动力在更加开放、竞争也更激烈的全球经济体系中领导美国。 This report provides a snapshot of the American middle class and those struggling to become a part of it. It focuses on six key pillars that can help define security for households: jobs, early childhood programs, higher education, health care, housing, and retirement. Each chapter is both descriptive and prescriptive—detailing both how the middle class is doing and what policies can help it do better. 本报告提供了美国中产阶级和正为之而奋斗的人们的一幅速写。它将重点放在对家庭保障起决定作用的六根重要支柱上:就业、儿童保育、高等教育、医疗保障、住房和退休保障。每一部分都在描述现象之余提供建议,不仅详细阐述中产阶级目前的状况,也详尽分析怎样的政策可帮其改善现状。 Defining the middle class 定义中产阶级 Statistically, when we talk about the middle class, we generally mean the middle three quintiles of American households by income—those making between the 20th and 80th percentiles of the income distribution. In reality, however, being middle class in America is at its core about economic security. 统计学上,当我们讨论中产阶级时,一般是指全美收入水平处于中间60%的家庭,即落在20%到80%区间内的家庭。但实际上,美国中产阶级的核心在于家庭经济保障能力。 As Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) wrote in the 2011 report “Saving the American Dream,” “Most of us don’t expect to be rich or famous, but we do expect a living wage and good American benefits for a hard day’s work.” 正如参议员Tom Harkin(民主党,爱荷华州)在其2011年题为《挽救美国梦》的报告中写道:“我们中的大部分不求成为富翁或是出名,但我们都希望每日的辛勤工作可以换来足以负担生活开支的工资和良好的社会福利保障。” At the Center for American Progress, our work has focused on the importance of both strengthening and growing America’s middle class. So while the middle three quintiles will always be just that, it is our goal to ensure that as many Americans as possible have the cornerstones of the American Dream, including access to education, health care, housing, and the ability to retire. 在美国进步中心(Center for American Progress),我们致力于巩固和发展美国的中产阶级。因此,虽然统计学角度的中产只是那60%的人群,但我们志在让尽可能多的美国人拥有美国梦的基本条件,包括受教育的机会、医疗、住房和养老保障。 So even as this report measures what has been happening to the middle class, we articulate our hopes for all Americans. To be clear, having more than 46 million Americans in poverty is both contrary to our national character and to our economic aspirations. So too is having millions of young people unemployed and underemployed and 11 million aspiring Americans living in the country without legal status. 因此,即便这篇报告的主体是美国中产阶级,我们却是怀着对所有美国人的希望而发声。更直白地说,让4600万人陷入贫困不仅不符合我们的民族特质,也不符合我们的经济发展志向。我们同样关注那几百万失业或半失业的年轻人,以及1100万拥有抱负却没有合法身份的美国人。 Having more workers in good jobs—who have access to good education; affordable child care, health care, and housing; and the ability to retire with dignity—is our clear objective. The closer we get to this reality, the better it will be for all of our families and the sustainable growth of our economy. 我们的目标很明确:让劳动者适得其所,拥有受教育的机会,有能力支付儿童保育、医疗保障和住房的费用,最终有保障、有尊严地退休。我们离实现这个目标越近,对所有家庭以及经济的可持续发展就越有利。 What’s more, we know that areas with larger middle classes and less inequality also have more economic mobility. And opportunity is what America is about: 97 percent of Americans believe that every person should have an equal opportunity to get ahead in life. We all have an interest in a strong and growing middle class. 另外,我们已经知道,一个地区中产阶级越多、贫富差距越小,该地区的经济流动性就越高。美国最珍视的是机会:97%的美国人相信每个人都应当有平等的机会获得成功。更强大且持续增长的中产阶级,是我们共同的目标。 Squeeze part I: A snapshot of incomes 重压之第一部分:收入概况 When we think about the golden age of the American middle class, we often think of the decades following World War II. To be sure, the mid-20th century legislated unequal treatment and therefore limited opportunities for many Americans, but even with that marked and deep-rooted inequality, the economic statistics from that period tell a story of growing wealth and security for America’s middle class. 提到美国中产阶级的黄金时代,人们通常会想到二战后的几十年。诚然,20世纪中期的立法并不平等,也限制了许多美国人的机会,但即使在如此显著且根深蒂固的不平等之下,那一时期的经济数据仍表明当时美国的中产阶级财富增长,且拥有家庭保障。From 1948 to 1973, America experienced a period in which growing compensation tracked growing worker productivity: A worker in 1973 was almost twice as productive as a worker in 1948 and earned nearly twice as much. This golden age built the middle class as prosperity was increasingly shared. The economy grew by an average of 3.9 percent from 1948 to 1973, and the bottom 90 percent of families reaped 68 percent of the gains. 1948年到1973年间的美国,见证了劳动报酬与生产率齐头并进的时期:1973年劳动者的生产率几乎是1948年劳动者的两倍,且收入也几乎是其两倍。这一普遍繁荣的黄金时期造就了当时的中产阶级。从1948年到1973年,经济总量平均每年增长3.9%,金字塔底部的90%家庭获得了总收入的68%。 However, around 1973, American productivity growth slowed, increasing about half as quickly between 1973 and the early 1990s as it had during the previous 25 years. Furthermore, compensation started to decouple from productivity, growing about one-third as quickly as before. 然而,到了1973年左右,美国的生产率增速放缓,1973年到1990年代早期的增速只有之前25年的一半。此外,劳动报酬开始落后于生产率,增长速率则只有之前的三分之一。 【插图】 As the 1990s tech boom progressed and the economy heated up, productivity accelerated again: Productivity growth from 1991 to 2012 averaged 2.2 percent per year, yet compensation growth only averaged 1 percent per year. A worker today is almost 60 percent more productive than a worker in 1991 but has seen only half of that productivity growth translate into higher compensation. And the vast majority of this wage growth took place toward the end of the 1990s tech boom, as real wages and benefits jumped about 16 percent between 1995 and 2001. 因九十年代科技业繁荣和经济升温,劳动生产率再次加速:1991年到2012年间,生产率年平均增幅为2.2%,而劳动报酬增幅却仅为每年1%。现在的工人几乎比1991年高效60%,但仅有一半的生产率增长转化为了劳动报酬。并且,大部分薪资增长发生在九十年代科技业繁荣的末期——1995年到2001年,扣除通胀影响的实际薪资增长了约16%。【编注:此处存在一个误解(或误导),劳动生产率的提高未必反映工人的“生产效率”有任何提高,而完全可能仅由要素组合变化或该组合中非劳动要素的改进所带来,比如某项生产中,一台原本产能为每天5件的机器换成了产能每天10件的机器,同时其操作方法完全不变,此时工人的禀赋和表现皆无任何变化,但劳动生产率大幅提高了。】 Real compensation growth has slowed further since the start of the 21st century. What’s worse, health insurance premiums over this period ate into even modest compensation gains. Therefore, many Americans saw stagnant or declining take-home pay even as productivity continued to rise. 实际的劳动报酬增长速率从21世纪伊始便继续放缓。更严重的是,医疗保险费用在此期间将仅有的一点劳动报酬增长也侵吞殆尽。正因为如此,许多美国人发现虽然生产率持续提高,劳动者实际领回家的钱一直没变,甚至还有减少。 In other words, American workers have been squeezed for decades when it comes to take-home pay, even before 2007 and the Great Recession. The financial crisis and the Great Recession itself then took a catastrophic toll on millions of Americans, as unemployment skyrocketed and trillions of dollars in household wealth vanished. And while the economy has picked up since bottoming out in 2009, and private-sector job growth began to bounce back in 2010, the gains from this postcrash period have been strikingly unequal. Ninety-five percent of all income gains since the start of the recovery have accrued to the top 1 percent of U.S. households. 换言之,2007年和经济大衰退之前,美国劳动者数十年来真正拿到手里的钱已经一直在减少。随后的金融危机和经济大衰退又给了美国人一记重击,失业率急速增长,数以万亿美元的家庭财富蒸发。虽然2009年经济触底后开始恢复,2010年私营企业就业率反弹,但经济危机后的收入分配却极其不平等。危机后的几年,新增收益的95%都聚集在前1%的家庭中。 The trends in rising inequality are also striking when measured by wealth. Among the top 20 percent of families by net worth, average wealth increased by 120 percent between 1983 and 2010, while the middle 20 percent of families only saw their wealth increase by 13 percent, and the bottom fifth of families, on average, saw debt exceed assets—in other words, negative net worth. 按财富计,不平等的上升趋势也同样惊人。资产净值前20%的家庭在1983年到2010年间平均财富增长为120%,中间20%的家庭只增长了13%,最下层20%家庭的平均负债超过了资产,即资产净值为负。 Families of color have fallen further behind white families in building wealth: A survey that tracked white and African American families between 1984 and 2009 found that the wealth gap between them nearly tripled, from $85,000 to $236,500. Homeowners in the bottom quintile of wealth lost an astounding 94 percent of their wealth between 2007 and 2010. 有色人种家庭在创造财富上愈发逊于白人家庭:一项跟踪调查显示,从1984年到2009年,白人家庭和非洲裔家庭的财富差距扩大了将近三倍,从85000美元变为236500美元。财富排名最末20%的家庭在2007年到2010年间,失去了高达94%的财富。
The importance of the middle class to economic growth 中产阶级对经济增长的重要性 Rising inequality is not simply a question of distribution; it also poses real questions for how our economy operates. The increasing resources available to the wealthiest Americans have created demand for such luxuries as private jets—which creates jobs building those jets—but the declining purchasing power of middle-class Americans means that there is less demand for goods and services more broadly in the economy. 不平等加剧不只是个分配问题,它也是为经济运转方式带来了问题。最富有美国人的财富持续增长催生了私人飞机等奢侈品需求,当然,这创造了更多飞机制造业的职位,但是中产阶级购买力下降意味着商品和服务的总需求减少了。 A recent analysis showed that giving $1 to a low-income household produces three times as much consumption as giving $1 to a high-income household. And it is certainly true that increasing the concentration of wealth means more jobs managing finances and fewer jobs making the goods that middle-class consumers once bought in numbers that drove much of our economic growth. 近期的一项分析显示,低收入家庭收入每增加1美元所产生的消费是高收入家庭的三倍。财富集中意味着更多的理财业务职位【编注:这一断言并无道理,财富集中可能增加也可能减少理财职位,要看集中的结果是增加还是减少了财富规模达到需要理财的程度的人数】,和更少的制造业职位,这些工作曾为所制造的产品曾被中产阶级消费者大量购买,而正是这些消费极大地推动了经济增长。 CAP outlined the economic importance of a strong and growing middle class—and the concerns for our economy from growing inequality—in a 2012 report, “The American Middle Class, Income Inequality, and the Strength of the Economy.” The report details the importance of the middle class to human capital, stable demand, entrepreneurship, and support for institutions. 美国进步中心曾在2012年一份题为《美国中产阶级、收入不均及经济实力》的报告中概述了强大且持续增长的中产阶级对于经济的重要性,也说明了扩大的贫富差距对经济造成的问题。该份报告详尽分析了中产阶级对人力资本、稳定的需求、创业的重要性,以及对现行社会制度的支持。【编注:此处institutions含义不明,可能是指制度,也可能是指组织机构
Squeeze part II: A snapshot of rising costs 重压之第二部分:成本上升情况速览 While real incomes have been stagnant or declining in recent years, the other side of the story is the increase in the costs of various items that define a middle-class standard of living. Not only have families’ costs for things from higher education to health care increased rapidly relative to overall consumer inflation, but these costs are also consuming a growing share of family budgets, leaving less and less room for discretionary spending and saving. 近年来实际收入停滞甚至减少的同时,定义中产阶级生活标准的各元素成本却在增长。在家庭支出中,高等教育和医疗保障等项的支出不仅相对消费者物价指数急速增长,它们在家庭预算中比重也在扩大,给自由消费和存款留下的空间越来越少。 When looking at the changes in consumer price indices for core elements of middle-class security, it is painfully easy to see the squeeze in action; prices for many cornerstones of middle-class security have risen dramatically at the same time that real incomes have fallen. 令人心痛的是,在一份与中产阶级经济保障能力相关元素的价格指数变动图表中,可以非常直观地看到压力的存在。对中产阶级经济保障能力至关重要的各项物价飙升,但与此同时,实际收入却在减少。 【插图】 As stark as the data appear when comparing stagnant or falling incomes to rising prices, they are even worse than the Consumer Price Index above might suggest. 虽然停滞或减少的收入和飞升的物价在数据上已十分明显,但实际情况比上图中消费者物价指数所显示的更糟糕。 Let’s consider what has happened to the finances of a typical middle-class family since 2000. 让我们来看看对于一个普通中产阶级家庭来说,2000年以来都有哪些变化。 The median family saw its income fall by 8 percent between 2000 and 2012. Even when we look at just married couples with two children—a type of family that tends to have higher incomes—median income was virtually frozen between 2000 and 2012. 处于中间的家庭在2000到2012年间收入降低了8%。即便我们只把目光放在通常有更高收入的育有两个子女的夫妇上,处于中间的家庭收入在2000到2012年间也仅是持平。 At the same time, this type of family also faced a severe middle-class squeeze as the costs of key elements of security rose dramatically, including child care costs—which grew by 37 percent—and health care costs—both employee premiums and out-of-pocket costs—which grew by 85 percent. 与此同时,这一类家庭也面临着巨大压力:中产保障关键元素的价格急剧升高,儿童保育费用上涨了37%,医疗保障(包括就业医保和自费医疗)费用上涨了85%。 In fact, investing in the basic pillars of middle-class security—child care, housing, and health care, as well as setting aside modest savings for retirement and college—cost an alarming $10,600 more in 2012 than it did in 2000. 事实上,2000到2012年,花费在中产保障关键元素(儿童保育、住房、医疗保障以及为退休和大学存款)上的费用上涨了令人震惊的10,600美元。 Put another way, in 12 years, this household’s income was stagnant—rising by less than 1 percent—while basic pillars of middle-class security rose by more than 30 percent. As the cost of basic elements of middle-class security rose, the money available for everything else—from groceries to clothing to emergency savings—fell by $5,500. 换句话说,12年间,家庭收入没变,或仅提高不到1%,而花费在中产保障上的钱却多了30%。随着各项基本元素的成本上涨,留给其他花销的钱——比如食品杂货、衣服和应急存款等,减少了5500美元。 And while for the purposes of this example we have assumed this household kept retirement savings constant, data about worryingly low savings confirm that for millions of families, their retirement funds are bearing much of the pain of the squeeze. 然而,虽然我们在上述例子中假定该家庭每年留给退休保障的钱维持不变,但令人担忧的低储蓄数据却表明,对于数以百万计的家庭而言,退休保障承受着大部分压力。 【插图】 注:因四舍五入,数据可能略有偏差。2000年至2012年数据根据现有最准确数据估算。详见本系列报告的方法论部分。 来源:见系列报告的方法论部分。 The data paint a clear picture: The middle class is being squeezed. So it should come as no surprise that in a 2014 Pew Research Center survey, 57 percent of Americans responded that they think their incomes are falling behind the growing cost of living, up from 47 percent in 2006. In fact, the percentage of Americans who identify themselves as middle class has fallen to 44 percent, down from 53 percent in 2008. 数据清晰地描绘出这样的图景:中产阶级正受到重压。2014年皮尤研究中心(Pew Research Center)的一项调查显示,57%的美国人认为他们的收入赶不上生活成本的增长速度,而2006年如此认为的人只占47%。这样的结果在意料之中。事实上,认为自己属于中产阶级的美国人由2008年的53%降低到了如今的44%。 Policies to alleviate the squeeze 减轻重压的政策 Understanding that middle-class families are clearly squeezed—with adverse effects on our entire economy—we must craft policies to alleviate the squeeze. This requires two things: growing incomes and containing costs. 既然已经了解了中产阶级面临的困难和它将对我们整个经济带来的负面影响,我们必须设计出合理的政策减轻他们的压力。这包括两方面:增加收入和限制支出。 Jobs 就业 Given that the majority of middle-class families derive their incomes from jobs—as opposed to investments—improving our lackluster jobs picture is the first task to address the middle-class squeeze. To do this, we need to invest in a dynamic economy powered by skilled workers who operate in an environment that lets them and their businesses compete at home and abroad. 鉴于大部分中产阶级收入来源于就业而非投资,减轻压力的第一步便是改善就业环境。我们需要构建一个由技术劳动者支撑的、充满活力的经济环境,让劳动者和企业无论是在本国还是在国际上都具有竞争力。 Doing so will require myriad policies outlined in depth in CAP’s long-term growth strategy, 300 Million Engines of Growth: A Middle-Out Plan for Jobs, Business, and a Growing Economy. Five areas that would directly help the jobs and income pictures in the shorter term include policies to: 为此,美国进步中心在题为《促进增长的三亿个发动机:中产阶级辐射计划,就业、企业和繁荣经济》的长期发展战略中列举了多项政策。
  • Boost aggregate demand, including through extending federal unemployment insurance; raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour; strengthening the Earned Income Tax Credit by expanding it for workers without children and lowering the eligibility age from 25 to 21; and making long-term investments in our economic growth that will also pay dividends now in the form of expanding high-quality early childhood education and infrastructure
  • 刺激总需求:延长联邦失业保险;将联邦最低工资提高为每小时10美元;将劳动所得税扣抵制度的适用对象扩大到无子女劳动者和25岁以下、21岁以上的劳动者,以加强其效力;通过开办高质量早教机构、建设基础设施造福当下,促进经济增长
  • Foster inclusive capitalism that will see more gains shared with workers, including through expanding tax incentives that transfer ownership or at least a share of profits from capital ownership to employees; offering grants to regional inclusive capitalism centers; stopping policies that inhibit the growth of sharing programs; and promoting existing best practices through an Office of Inclusive Capitalism
  • 促成包容性资本主义,与劳动者分享更多收益:给将所有权转让给劳动者或将不少于一股的资本收益赠予劳动者的公司以税收优惠;为包容性地区资本中心提供补助;停止妨碍分享项目发展的政策;通过设立包容性资本办公室鼓励促进目前的最佳实践
  • Ensure basic workplace protections to maximize workforce participation, including through developing a federal paid family and medical leave program to ensure working families have access to wage replacement when they need it most, via the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act, or the FAMILY Act, as well as establishing a national paid sick days standard via the Healthy Families Act
  • 确保基本工作场所保护以最大化劳动者参与:通过家庭与医疗保险假期法案(简称FAMILY法案),由联邦建立家庭与医疗假期资助项目来确保在劳动者家庭在最需要时可获取工资替代【编注:此处工资替代似乎是指让雇员选择以医疗保障代替部分工资报酬】;通过健康家庭法案创立全国性带薪病假标准
  • Strengthen unions, including by modernizing the union election process; ensuring that all workers, regardless of their occupation or location, have the right to join a union if they so desire; better protecting workers who choose to unionize by making the right to join a union a civil right; and establishing more meaningful penalties and remedies for workers who are fired or discriminated against for exercising their right to organize
  • 强化工会:推进工会选举制度现代化;确保任何职业、处于任何地点的劳动者都有权自愿加入工会;最好促使加入工会的权利成为一项基本民权以更好地保护选择加入工会的劳动者;为因行使工会组织权利而遭解雇或歧视的劳动者提供更多有意义的处罚或矫正措施
  • Improve education and workforce-development programs, including a dramatic expansion of apprenticeship programs in high-growth sectors, by creating a $1,000 federal tax credit for each apprentice hired; establishing competitive grants to support promising apprenticeship partnerships in new high-wage, high-growth occupations; improving apprenticeship marketing to businesses; leveraging the federal workforce and federal contracting to support apprenticeships; and improving the portability of apprenticeships by offering grants for employers to come together to write national guideline standards for apprenticeships in key high-growth occupations
  • 改善教育和劳动力发展项目:在高增长行业设立1000美元/位的联邦抵税额,以大幅扩展这些行业的学徒项目;创立竞争性补助金以支持前景好的新兴高报酬、高发展职业的学徒合伙项目;努力将学徒推销给企业;促使联邦劳动者和联邦合同支持学徒;给协同编写有关学徒的全国性指导标准的新兴行业雇主提供补助金,以促进学徒项目的可移植性
Early childhood programs 儿童保育项目 High-quality early childhood programs—including both child care and preschool programs—are critical for workers with young children who hope to remain in the workforce. Research shows that these programs are also critical educational investments in the children themselves. 高质量的儿童保育项目——包括儿童照料和学前教育——对育有子女且想继续工作的劳动者十分重要。调查表明,这些项目也是对儿童自身非常重要的教育投资。 So with two generations relying on the existence and affordability of high-quality programs, it is critical to address the high cost of child care, which rose dramatically from 2000 to 2012. To do so, we recommend policies that would: 这样,两代人都将仰赖可负担的高质量教育资源,所以关键是要解决儿童保育的高成本问题,如我们所见,这项成本在2000到2012年间急剧增长。为此,我们推荐以下政策:
  • Provide high-quality preschool to all 3- and 4-year-olds through a partnership between the federal and state governments
  • 通过联邦和州政府合作,向3至4岁儿童提供高质量学前教育
  • Expand and reform the child care subsidy system, which is currently insufficient to reach even a majority of low-income working parents, let alone those struggling to stay in the middle class, by both providing additional resources to help families access high-quality child care and ensuring that child care assistance declines gradually as parents earn more money, rather than cutting off abruptly
  • 扩大和改革儿童保育补贴制度目前连大部分低收入劳动者父母都无法受惠于该项目,更别提中产阶级了。通过提供额外资源以帮助家庭获得高质量儿童保育的机会,使儿童保育援助随着父母收入增加逐渐减少,而非突然被取消
  • Reform the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit by making it refundable and raising the amount that can be claimed to cover more of the actual cost of child care
  • 改革受抚养人抵税额政策,使其变为可退税部分,同时提高征税额度,用于补贴儿童保育的实际开支
  • Expand Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships building on the initial investment already made and reaching additional children
  • 扩大早期启蒙幼儿资助合作计划,在原有投资的基础上,让更多儿童受益
Higher education 高等教育 Increases in higher-education costs are a huge part of the middle-class squeeze. These costs affect what parents can do to help their children pay for college and what students can bear in terms of debt as they enter an uncertain job market. 高等教育费用增长是造成中产阶级压力的一大原因。这项费用影响着父母为子女支付大学学费的能力和学生本身在工作未定情况下的负债能力。 What’s more, the real and perceived costs of higher-education affect who applies for and who goes to college—representing a real constraint on economic mobility, which carries a cost for individuals and for the economy. To help alleviate the middle-class squeeze in higher education, we propose policies that would: 进一步而言,大学的实际学费和感知成本影响着学生是否申请、是否入学的问题。这极大地限制着经济流动性,从而让个体和经济付出代价。为减轻高等教育给中产阶级带来的压力,我们提出以下政策建议:
  • Promote consumer choice by establishing a student-record system that can be used to create improved consumer-choice tools that highlight outcomes such as graduation rates and labor-market outcomes, and by creating a federal accountability system with institutions placed in broad categories, rather than rankings, which indicate their performance across key metrics
  • 优化消费者选择:建立学生档案系统,提供毕业率、就业信息等资料;设立联邦审核系统,将大学按照在各关键指标的表现分成大类,而非提供综合排名
  • Restore public investment in higher education, including through increasing funding for the Pell Grant program to help low- and lower-middle-income students; creating a competitive federal grant program to support public institutions—matched with state funds—to support state policies that promote on-time completion and that significantly lower the cost of postsecondary education
  • 振兴公共教育投资:增加佩尔助学金项目(Pell Grant program)的经费,用以帮助低收入和中低收入学生;设立有竞争性的联邦补助金项目,用以支持公立机构;设立相对应的州补助金项目,用以支持按时结业的和显著降低高等教育费用的州级政策
  • Innovate to bring down costs and improve quality through increasing support for the First in the World Fund; using experimental site authority to give institutions flexibility from existing federal requirements in exchange for a commitment to implement innovative programs that reduce costs for students; creating an alternative to accreditation where institutions could choose to focus exclusively on improving the learning outcomes of their students; and increasing investment in research and development.
  • 通过创新降低费用并提高教育质量:加强对“世界第一”基金(First in the World Fund)的支持;通过使用实验性场地增加教育机构的灵活性,设立帮助学生减轻学费的创新项目;设立全新的评价机制,让教育机构能够转而更专注于学生的学习成果;增加对科研和发展项目的投资
Health care 医疗保障 Access to affordable health care is critical for all American households, and the rising costs of health care in recent decades have kept a basic underpinning of middle-class security out of reach for too many. 对于每个美国家庭来说,获得平价医疗保障至关重要。然而,保障中产阶级的基础医疗支出近几十年来出现的增长让太多家庭负担不起。 While the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, has already made a difference for millions of Americans—from the ability of children under age 26 to remain on their parents’ health insurance plans to a prohibition on exclusion from coverage based on pre-existing conditions—more needs to be done to bend the cost curve and to ensure that people have access to high-quality coverage. A single health event should not wipe out a person’s savings. To help lower costs, we therefore propose policies to: 虽然平价医疗法案(Affordable Care Act,ACA)已经改变了几百万美国人的生活——该项法案允许未满26岁的子女留在父母的医保方案中,并禁止保险公司因投保前已存在病情而设立不保事项——要进一步扭转费用增长、让人们获得平价医疗的机会,能做的还有更多。疾病或意外不应当把人们的存款消耗殆尽。为了降低费用,我们提出以下政策:
  • Accelerate the use of alternatives to fee-for-service payment to reduce costs and improve care coordination, with Medicare leading the way by encouraging private payers to participate in alternative payment methods, especially bundled payments
  • 促进按服务计酬模式以外的替代收费方式的使用;降低成本、改善医疗分配;由医疗保险制度牵头,鼓励独立付款人使用其他付费方式,尤其是捆绑付费
  • Leverage insurance exchanges to improve access to lower-cost, high-quality insurance products, including through state marketplace officials using their broad authority to exclude low-value plans and reward plans that offer more value to consumers
  • 利用保险交易市场,使人们有机会购买低价高质量的保险产品;州市场监管人员运用他们的权威排除价值低的产品,奖励能给消费者提供更高价值的产品
  • Increase transparency to allow consumers to choose high-quality, lower-cost providers and services via the Department of Health Human Services, ensuring that the ACA’s requirement to provide cost-sharing information is implemented in a consumer-friendly way. Congress should also modify the ACA’s cost-sharing disclosure requirements so that the plan’s quoted costs for episodes of care are guaranteed
  • 增加透明度:消费者可以通过卫生及公共服务部(Department of Health Human Services)选择性价比更高的医保公司,保证ACA法案中对成本信息公开的要求得到落实;国会也应当修改法案中对成本信息公开的要求,使每项保险的报价得以固定
  • Reform restrictive state scope-of-practice laws to maximize use of nonphysician providers, with the federal government providing bonus payments to states that meet scope-of-practice standards delineated by the Institute of Medicine
  • 改革各州的限制性适用范围法律,以最大化对非医师保险供应商的使用;联邦政府给符合美国医学研究所(Institute of Medicine)有关适用范围规定的州提供奖金
  • Address cost shifting to employees by encouraging employers to share health care savings with employees via more transparency, with employers providing annual notices about how much the employer expects to pay, on average, for health care benefits per employee, as well as how much the employer expects the employee will spend, on average, for health care during the upcoming year
  • 保证员工知悉费用变化:鼓励雇主更透明地向员工分享医疗保障存款信息;雇主每年定期通知员工每年平均应缴医疗保障费用,及雇主对员工来年医疗消费平均预估值
Housing 住房 Having an affordable place to call home is out of reach for far too many families, putting the most basic piece of middle-class security in doubt. New mortgages are at their lowest level in 17 years, millions of Americans still owe more than their homes are worth, and half of all renters spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing. 对于太多家庭来说,想以平实的价格换来一处能被称作“家”的地方太难了。这极大地威胁了中产阶级经济保障能力。新的住房贷款起码要17年才能还清,上百万的美国人负债比他们的房产价值还高,一半的租客起码将收入的30%用在房租上。 The federal government has a huge role to play in steering the country out of the housing crisis and building a stronger and more equitable housing-finance system. To do so, we suggest policies that would: 联邦政府在引导国家走出住房危机,以及建立一个更强大、更公平的住房财政系统上,可发挥巨大作用。为此,我们提出以下政策:
  • Require Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to support a healthier and more equitable housing market by increasing access to and affordability of mortgages, providing struggling borrowers with better loan modifications that include principal reductions, and capitalizing the National Housing Trust Fund and Capital Magnet Fund
  • 要求联邦国民按揭贷款协会(Fannie Mae,又称房利美)和联邦住房抵押贷款公司(Freddie Mac,又称房地美)扶持更公正的住房市场:增加住户取得住房贷款的机会;给有困难的贷款人提供包括房贷本金减免的优惠调整;资本化国家住房信托基金(National Housing Trust Fund)和磁性资本基金(Capital Magnet Fund)
  • Reform the housing-finance system to realign incentives, enable broader access to affordable and sustainable mortgages, and support the creation of more affordable rental housing
  • 改革住房财政系统:调整优惠政策,使人们有更多机会获取费用更低、更持久的住房贷款;建造更多廉租房
  • Track cash investor activity in the single-family rental market and monitor its potential impact on tenants, rents, neighborhoods, and homeownership opportunities
  • 跟踪单一家庭租房市场中现金投资人的活动:监测此类投资对住户、房租、社区和获得房屋所有权机会的潜在影响
Retirement 退休保障 Among the top concerns of middle-class Americans is whether they will be able to afford to retire. Unfortunately for many, saving for retirement has become much more difficult in recent decades as families have struggled to find money to save and as the workplace-retirement-plan environment has fundamentally changed. 美国中产阶级的一大担忧是退休保障问题。很不幸的是,对于许多人来说,最近几十年为退休而存款已变得越来越难:家庭很难存下什么钱,在职退休储蓄计划的大环境也发生了根本性的改变。 As incomes have stagnated and as employers have shifted away from pensions to 401(k)-style plans, employees have been forced to shoulder far more risk and to invest what little they can set aside in savings vehicles that are often designed to take advantage of their lack of investment experience. With approximately half of all American households in danger of having insufficient savings for retirement, we propose policies that would: 随着收入停滞,雇主停止提供类似401(k)的退休金计划,职工不得不自己承担风险,向原本就利用他们投资经验缺乏的理财产品投资。几近一半的美国家庭都面临着退休金不足的危险。我们提出以下建议:
  • Encourage the adoption of hybrid retirement plans such as CAP’s Safe, Accessible, Flexible, and Efficient, or SAFE, Retirement Plan at both the state and national levels
  • 鼓励混合型退休金计划:例如美国进步中心提出的“安全、方便、灵活、高效”或简称SAFE的联邦和州级退休金计划
  • Increase access to existing alternative savings options such as the low-cost Thrift Savings Plan which—by allowing all workers the ability to join—would not only give many a chance to save through a workplace plan but also would provide them with access to one of the best 401(k) plans available
  • 增加其他退休存款计划的曝光度:例如低费用的互助存款计划(Thrift Savings Plan)。允许所有劳动者加入该计划后,它不仅能给许多人提供工作地退休计划账户,还提供最好的401(k)计划之一
  • Require 401(k) and IRA plans to be more transparent about fees and investment practices through the adoption of a retirement label on all qualified plan options that informs consumers about the high risks of fees and lets them know how the fees in a given plan compare with fees in other plans of the same type
  • 要求401(k)计划和个人退休金账户(IRA)缴费、投资更加透明。为告知消费者缴费风险,以及本计划与其他同类计划费用对比的计划添加标识。
  • Make tax incentives for saving simpler and fairer by replacing the complex web of tax deductions that disproportionately benefit the wealthy with a Universal Savings Credit that would turn all existing deductions into a single, streamlined credit, as well as by potentially introducing a progressive match for low-income savers’ contributions
  • 给更简单、公平的计划提供税收优惠。用通用存款抵税额替代复杂且更利于有钱人的抵税机制。为低收入存款者提供更先进的计划匹配方式
Conclusion 结论 To have a strong and growing economy, we need a strong and growing middle class. The longer the middle-class squeeze continues unabated, the more these trends will continue to affect both families across the country and our economic prospects as a nation. 只有强大且持续增长的中产阶级才能造就强大且持续增长的经济。中产阶级承受重压的时间越长,对全国的家庭和经济形势影响就越大。 We know what policies would help reverse the middle-class squeeze. Now, we just need to act. 我们已经知道怎样的政策能够减轻中产阶级的压力。现在,只待行动。 (编辑:辉格@whigzhou) *注:本译文未经原作者授权,本站对原文不持有也不主张任何权利,如果你恰好对原文拥有权益并希望我们移除相关内容,请私信联系,我们会立即作出响应。

——海德沙龙·翻译组,致力于将英文世界的好文章搬进中文世界——

[译文]哗众取宠的财富不平等数据

Shocking data on wealth inequality
哗众取宠的财富不平等数据

作者:Scott Sumner @ 2015-5-18
译者:Veidt       校对:小聂
来源:Library of Economics and Liberty,http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2015/05/shocking_new_da.html

Imagine living in a country where the top 30% of the population had roughly 25 times as much wealth per person as the bottom 30% of the population. That seems pretty unequal, doesn’t it?

设想一下,你生活在这样一个国家,其中最富有的30%人口的个人财富大约是最贫穷的30%的人口的25倍。看起来挺不平等的,不是吗?

Now suppose the same statistics applied, but every person at any given age had exactly the same wealth. All 18 year olds had the same wealth as other members of their cohort, as did all 60 year olds. But 18 year olds had much less wealth than 60 year olds.

现在假设同样的统计结果,并且所有年龄相同的人拥有的财富也相同。所有18岁的人和他们的同龄人拥有一样多的财富,所有60岁的人也都拥有相同的(more...)

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Shocking data on wealth inequality 哗众取宠的财富不平等数据 作者:Scott Sumner @ 2015-5-18 译者:Veidt       校对:小聂 来源:Library of Economics and Liberty,http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2015/05/shocking_new_da.html Imagine living in a country where the top 30% of the population had roughly 25 times as much wealth per person as the bottom 30% of the population. That seems pretty unequal, doesn't it? 设想一下,你生活在这样一个国家,其中最富有的30%人口的个人财富大约是最贫穷的30%的人口的25倍。看起来挺不平等的,不是吗? Now suppose the same statistics applied, but every person at any given age had exactly the same wealth. All 18 year olds had the same wealth as other members of their cohort, as did all 60 year olds. But 18 year olds had much less wealth than 60 year olds. 现在假设同样的统计结果,并且所有年龄相同的人拥有的财富也相同。所有18岁的人和他们的同龄人拥有一样多的财富,所有60岁的人也都拥有相同的财富。但是18岁的人所拥有的财富相比60岁的人则少得多。 Now how would you feel about the data? Does that sort of society seem highly unequal? Not to me, indeed in a sense there'd be no inequality at all; each person would experience the exact same wealth trajectory over the course of their life. 现在你对该数据又会做何感想呢?这样的社会看起来是高度不平等的吗?我不这么认为,实际上从某种意义上说,这里完全不存在任何不平等,每个人在他的整个生命历程中的财富轨迹都是完全相同的。 Of course we don't live in that sort of society, there are large differences in wealth at any given age. But even if we did have that sort of equality, the aggregate wealth data would look shockingly unequal. 当然,我们并不生活在这样的社会里,在任何年龄的人群中都均在巨大的贫富差距。但是即使在相同年龄的人群中财富分配是均等的,合计起来的财富数据还是会呈现出惊人的不平等。 Here's some Census data for the US, showing that the median person in the over 55 age group holds about 25 times as much wealth as in the 18 to 35 group: 下图中是一些来自美国人口普查的数据,其中显示年龄超过55岁人群的财富中位数是年龄在18到35岁之间人群的财富中位数的大约25倍。 So could we solve this measurement problem by getting wealth inequality data for each age cohort? Not even close, because wealth is a poor measure of economic well-being. 那么我们是否可以通过对各个年龄段的人口分别计算财富的不平等程度来解决这个测量方法上的问题呢?还差得远,因为财富并不是一个衡量经济福利的好指标。 Suppose you had two people who each earned $100,000/year in wage income. Over the course of their life they both eventually spent all of their wealth on consumption goods. Both ended up with an identical level of total consumption, in present value terms. But one person spent all his money as it was earned, and then relied on Social Security, while the other saved 1/2 of his wage income, spending much more in his later years. 假设有两个人每年都获得十万美元的工资收入,在他们的一生中,他们也都最终将所有的财富用于消费。从现值的意义上说,两个人一生的总消费水平是相同的。但是其中一个人在赚到钱之后马上就把钱花掉了,之后依赖社保;另一个人则在获得工资收入后将其中的一半用于储蓄,将更多的钱用于晚年的消费。 By age 65 the thrifty guy might have several million dollars in wealth, while the other guy had almost nothing, even though (by assumption) they were equally well off in economic terms, they simply had different preferences as to when to spend their money. 在65岁时,那个懂得储蓄的人大概会拥有数百万美元的财富,而另一位则几乎没有任何财富,从经济意义上说,他们享受到的福利是相同的,区别只是他们在何时花掉赚来的钱这一点上有着不同的偏好。 I was recently at a NGDP conference in West Virginia, and noticed this in the local paper's advice column: 我最近在西弗吉尼亚参加一次关于名义GDP(NGDP)的会议,在当地报纸的建议栏目里,我注意到了如下对话:
Dear Dave, My wife and I have just started getting on track with our money. We have $2,000 in savings, and the only debt we have is our house and two cars. I work in the oil and gas industry and make about $180,000 a year, but things are pretty volatile right now. We're upside down on both vehicles, and we owe $39,000 on one and about $48,000 on the other. Under the circumstances, should we go ahead and build a fully funded emergency fund or work on paying off the cars? Kendall 亲爱的Dave,我和妻子才刚刚开始赚钱。我们有两千美元的储蓄,仅有的债务是我们的房贷和两辆车的车贷。我在油气行业工作,每年的收入大约有18万美元,但现在形势很不稳定。为了买这两辆车我们已经把钱都花光了,在其中一辆车上我们欠了39,000美元,另一辆车则欠了48,000美元。在这种情况下,我们是应该把赚来的钱用于设立一个充足的应急基金呢,还是用来偿还两辆汽车的欠款呢?Kendall Dear Kendall, Are you kidding me? Sell the cars, dude! You need to go to Kelly Blue Book's website right now, and find out what your cars are really worth. Then, put them on the market as a private sale. You'll get thousands more selling them that way than you will at a dealership. You'll have to talk to a local credit union or bank for a small loan to cover the difference, plus a little bit more so you guys can get a couple of little beaters to drive for a while. 亲爱的Kendall, 你不是在跟我开玩笑吧?赶快把车都卖了吧,我的朋友! 你现在要做的是去Kelly蓝皮书的网站查一下你的车到底值多少钱,然后以私人销售的名义把它们挂到汽车交易市场上。以这种方式出售,你得到的钱会比你通过汽车经纪商出售多几千美元。你还需要去找一家本地信用合作社或者银行谈谈,借一笔小额贷款来弥补差额,并让你们能够买两辆小“甲壳虫”暂时开一段时间。【译注:此处beaters疑为beatles之讹。
I'm going to go out on a limb and guess there aren't very many similar letters in China. Like the advice columnist "Dave", I have a temperament that makes it easy to save. But as a libertarian I favor allowing people like Kendall to spend their money when and how they wish. 这里我想斗胆猜测一下,中国应该不会有太多类似的读者来信。和上面那位建议专栏的作者Dave一样,我在性格上倾向于储蓄。但是作为一名自由意志主义者,我倾向于允许Kendall这样的人按自己的意愿去决定何时、如何花自己的钱。 The only qualification is that I think people should be forced to save enough to cover the things that society would otherwise have to pay (basic retirement, medical, etc.) 我认为唯一合理的限制是,假如因为人们因自己的储蓄不足,而需要整个社会来付出代价时,强制性储蓄才是必须的(例如基本的退休工资,医疗保障等)。 If we believe that people should be free to choose when to spend their wealth, we will end up with far more wealth inequality than if we try to force everyone to consume the "right amount" of each year's income. But I don't see how that sort of wealth inequality could be considered a problem. 如果我们相信人们拥有选择何时花掉自己所拥有财富的自由,那么相比强制所有人都花掉每年收入中“正确比例”的钱,最终的财富不平等程度会高得多。但我完全不觉得这种原因导致的财富不平等会是个问题。 Inevitably some will misconstrue what I am saying here. Just to be clear, even accounting for all the factors I mentioned (age, saving preferences, etc) there is still lots more inequality due to big differences in lifetime earnings (or inherited wealth.) So this post is not trying to suggest that inequality is not a problem. 难免有人会误解我的意思,所以我要澄清一下,即便考虑了上面提到的所有这些因素(年龄、储蓄偏好等)之后,由人们生命周期中巨大的收入差异(或是财产继承上的差异)所造成的不平等仍然是巨大的。这篇文章并不是想说不平等不是个问题。 Rather I'm suggesting that if inequality is a problem, we would not be able to know that from the wealth inequality data that is presented in the media. And that's because even if wealth inequality were not a problem at all, the actual inequality of wealth would look shocking large, with 100 to 1 disparities easily accounted for by nothing more than differences in age and saving propensities. 实际上我更想表达的是,假如不平等的确是一个问题,我们并不能从媒体上出现的那些有关财富不平等的数据里得知这一点。因为即使在那些财富不平等根本不算个问题的情况下,实际数据上的财富不平等程度看起来也会很惊人,仅仅是年龄和储蓄偏好上的一些差异就能轻易地造成100比1这样的差距。 The only data that truly gets at the inequality question is consumption inequality, which is very rarely discussed in the media. 对于不平等问题,唯一切中要害的数据,其实是消费的不平等,但有关后者却极少在媒体上被讨论。 (编辑:辉格@whigzhou) *注:本译文未经原作者授权,本站对原文不持有也不主张任何权利,如果你恰好对原文拥有权益并希望我们移除相关内容,请私信联系,我们会立即作出响应。

——海德沙龙·翻译组,致力于将英文世界的好文章搬进中文世界——

[饭文]贫富差距的现实含义

贫富差距的现实含义
辉格
2014年1月14日

近年来美国媒体上有关贫富差距扩大的报道时有所闻,最近皮尤研究中心的一份报告也认为美国的贫富差距达到了过去八十多年来的最高点,收入排名前1%的家庭获得了10.8%的税前总收入,前10%获得了50.4%,前20%的总收入高达最后20%总收入的16.7倍;2011年美国的基尼系数已达0.48,现在可能更高。

对于收入差距扩大、基尼系数提高,许多人第一反应是:穷人状况恶化了,至少是相对地恶化了,然后他们会为这种“恶化”寻找根源和谋划对策,而他们所能找到的对策,无非是最低工资、强化税收再分配、改善穷人福利之类,据说一些民主党议员早已(more...)

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贫富差距的现实含义 辉格 2014年1月14日 近年来美国媒体上有关贫富差距扩大的报道时有所闻,最近皮尤研究中心的一份报告也认为美国的贫富差距达到了过去八十多年来的最高点,收入排名前1%的家庭获得了10.8%的税前总收入,前10%获得了50.4%,前20%的总收入高达最后20%总收入的16.7倍;2011年美国的基尼系数已达0.48,现在可能更高。 对于收入差距扩大、基尼系数提高,许多人第一反应是:穷人状况恶化了,至少是相对地恶化了,然后他们会为这种“恶化”寻找根源和谋划对策,而他们所能找到的对策,无非是最低工资、强化税收再分配、改善穷人福利之类,据说一些民主党议员早已开始以收入差距扩大为由在推动这些政策了。 不过,在急于寻找药方之前,我们最好先看看,有关贫富差距的统计数字背后,究竟可能对应了些什么社会现实;首先需要澄清的是,收入差距扩大未必意味着穷人状况恶化,因为收入并不全部用于消费,而衡量生活状况的恰当指标是消费条件和消费能力,所以,假如一个社会产出的全部消费品中,穷人消费的份额和总量都没有减少,价格相对于可支配收入也没有上涨,那么,穷人的状况就没有恶化。 个人的消费水平不会随着收入提高而无限提高,最富裕的那些人,当收入高到一定程度,再增加收入通常已不会影响个人消费水平;所以假如收入差距扩大只是因为这样的最富裕阶层收入提高了,那么消费品的分配状况就没有变化;要判断实际情况是不是这样,我们需要一个消费基尼系数,但目前可以看到的只有收入基尼系数。 除了消费水平的差距,要衡量富人收入相对提高对穷人状况的影响,还要看富人将新增收入花在什么地方,这些开支是挤压了大众消费,还是相反,改善了大众的消费条件;大致可以区分四种情况,第一种是富人将新增收入用于消费,并且这些消费与大众消费构成资源竞争关系,比如增加饮酒量,会抬高粮食价格,多打高尔夫球,会抬高郊区住宅用地价格。 第二种是将新增收入用于消费,但这些消费品和服务的生产过程几乎不额外使用任何大众消费品生产所需要的资源,因而不会抬高大众消费品价格,比如雇佣更多仆人用为自己梳妆打扮、养花喂狗、挖土修坟。 第三种也是将新增收入用于消费,但这些消费行为不但没有挤占大众消费资源,而且还为社会带来很多正的外部性,比如购买艺术品,富人为艺术品所出高价养活了很多艺术家,而他们的作品通常大众也能欣赏到;许多新型消费品在形成规模化生产之前能够被设计开发出来并在市场上存活下来,都得益于乐意尝鲜的富人愿意为新东西支付高价。 第四种是将新增收入投资于生产性活动,而在市场机制的引导下,这些活动的最终目标都指向消费条件的改善:要么是更好的产品、更便利的服务,要么是更低的产品价格,结果是这些投资所针对的消费条件改善了;从生产的角度看,此类投资所产生的社会效果,和它所需要的资本掌握在多少人手里是没有关系的,但假如掌握这些资本的人数减少了,统计上就表现为基尼系数提高,但实际上大众消费状况反而改善了。 所以,衡量收入差距扩大会多大程度上恶化大众和穷人的生活状态,要看富人会将新增收入更多的用在哪方面;按经验,至少在发达社会,最富裕阶层的消费提升很少表现在数量上,也较少表现为对实物资源的消耗,而更多表现在形式、质量、档次和品位上,这样,挤压大众消费的第一类活动就很少。 近些年美国的收入差距扩大,很可能是因为生产领域创新活动的增加,理论上,每次大规模的创新浪潮都会扩大收入和财富差距,因为在此过程中,市场机制会对那些带来创新的发明家和基于创新而重新组织资源、改造产业结构的企业家,作出巨额奖励,造就一批暴富新贵,结果当然会扩大贫富差距,但只要这些新贵不将新近获得的财富大量用于上述第一类消费,那么这一结果对大众和穷人就不是坏事,这可能也解释了,为何美国的基尼系数和中国的一样高,但美国大众对贫富问题的抱怨却少得多,只有47%的民众认为贫富差距是个严重问题。 最近这轮以信息革命和电子商务为代表的创新浪潮,其一大特征是更扁平的产业结构和更大的规模经济,一家互联网企业可以免除大量中间结构而直接面向规模极大的消费群体,这一过程造就了一大批规模空前的新巨富,同时也消灭了许多传统中小企业和中间商,以及相应的大量白领工作岗位,所以这一轮浪潮中,作为一个阶层整体上受损的,大概就是中产阶级了,他们中的许多人需要在新的产业结构中为自己找到新位置。 评价贫富差距是否构成严重的社会问题,不能只看基尼系数,假如一个社会中的富人整天都在琢磨着如何为大众提供更好的商品和服务(好让自己从中赚到更多的钱),而且事实上也将多数财富投入这样的活动中,这样的贫富差距就是健康的,因为这种差距只是表明:市场机制发现,掌管巨额财富去改善民众生活这件事,只需要很少人去打理。 相反,假如一个社会中的大量人口整天都在想着怎么更好的满足少数权贵的需求,比如怎么把金字塔修的更高,好让法老看了高兴,结果多数稀缺资源都围绕着极少数人的需求和意志而配置,这样的贫富差距才是可怕的,即便其基尼系数和前一种社会差不多。  
[微言]财务自由

【2012-11-08】

@方三文:【视频:投资能否通向财务自由】 http://t.cn/zlsEZFR

@whigzhou: “财务自由”的可操作定义是“剩余生命期的任一时刻的预期可支配现金量超出弹性低于某个规定值的低弹性需求所需的现金量”,按此定义,实现财务自由的途径之一是增加预期现金流,途径之二是降低需求或让它变得更有弹性

@whigzhou: 所以,一种让你实现财务自由的方法,最好是在让你赚钱的同时尽量不提高需求,但大部分赚钱方法同时也是提高需求的方法,首先,赚钱的事实本身会提高你的需求,这一点无法消除,(more...)

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4696
【2012-11-08】 @方三文:【视频:投资能否通向财务自由】 http://t.cn/zlsEZFR @whigzhou: “财务自由”的可操作定义是“剩余生命期的任一时刻的预期可支配现金量超出弹性低于某个规定值的低弹性需求所需的现金量”,按此定义,实现财务自由的途径之一是增加预期现金流,途径之二是降低需求或让它变得更有弹性 @whigzhou: 所以,一种让你实现财务自由的方法,最好是在让你赚钱的同时尽量不提高需求,但大部分赚钱方法同时也是提高需求的方法,首先,赚钱的事实本身会提高你的需求,这一点无法消除,其次,赚钱过程通常让你更多的与有钱人打交道或同处一圈,这个可以消除,比如一个宅男股民可以避免混进有钱人圈子... @whigzhou: 结论是,炒股票的确可以是较有优势的实现财务自由方法,另外,收垃圾和做包工头可能也不错,比较悲剧的可能是理财和私人银行部门... @冬冬丁: 哈,这广告就是想忽悠人去他们的聪明人社区 @whigzhou: 嗯,所以上雪球网肯定不是实现财务自由的好方法,哈哈 @冬冬丁: 捡垃圾的不知道,包工头真不行 @whigzhou: 为啥?要么开个老年痴呆富翁疗养院吧?可以整天想着:瞧你那么多钱也享受不了有个鸟用,多爽 @陈乃章: 包租婆肯定行,可预期的支出渠道主要是打麻将和购物. @whigzhou: 嗯,屌丝群租房包租婆  
[微言]经济发展与贫富差距

【2012-04-13】

@猪头非:由昨天的事件,想到三个问题.第一问关于媒体:媒体竞争的环境下,牺牲客观严谨的吸引眼球是否是必需之举?第二问关于制度:制度性问题更多地成为普通人成功的真实阻碍还是更多地成为不努力奋进的借口?第三问关于贫富差距:在”实际的经济发展”中,所有人绝对收入的提高是否必然伴随贫富差距的扩大?

@小小nopainkiller:1. 传统媒体吸引眼球是本性,客观严谨性现在逐渐可以靠自媒体来弥补。2. 应该是两者都会有,无法比较。3. 在比较好的制度条件下的自然经济增长,贫富差距过大应该是必然的,毕竟不管做什么成功的终归是少数,富人里巨富也是极少数,如果人类可以自发的共富的话,那纪传体史书估计这个星球都放不下了

@whigzhou: 1)这对大众媒体的生存是必需的;2)这两个选项不排斥,反倒可以相互加强;3)问错了,任何“必然”性都不存在于“实际”中

@小小nopainkiller: 回复@whigzhou: 辉总觉得第三个应该怎么问?或者应该怎么答?

@whigzhou: 要么问:在经济发展中,所有人绝对收入的提高是否必(more...)

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【2012-04-13】 @猪头非:由昨天的事件,想到三个问题.第一问关于媒体:媒体竞争的环境下,牺牲客观严谨的吸引眼球是否是必需之举?第二问关于制度:制度性问题更多地成为普通人成功的真实阻碍还是更多地成为不努力奋进的借口?第三问关于贫富差距:在"实际的经济发展"中,所有人绝对收入的提高是否必然伴随贫富差距的扩大? @小小nopainkiller:1. 传统媒体吸引眼球是本性,客观严谨性现在逐渐可以靠自媒体来弥补。2. 应该是两者都会有,无法比较。3. 在比较好的制度条件下的自然经济增长,贫富差距过大应该是必然的,毕竟不管做什么成功的终归是少数,富人里巨富也是极少数,如果人类可以自发的共富的话,那纪传体史书估计这个星球都放不下了 @whigzhou: 1)这对大众媒体的生存是必需的;2)这两个选项不排斥,反倒可以相互加强;3)问错了,任何“必然”性都不存在于“实际”中 @小小nopainkiller: 回复@whigzhou: 辉总觉得第三个应该怎么问?或者应该怎么答? @whigzhou: 要么问:在经济发展中,所有人绝对收入的提高是否必然伴随贫富差距的扩大?,要么问:在"实际的经济发展"中,所有人绝对收入的提高是否都伴随着贫富差距的扩大? @猪头非: 回复@whigzhou:严格地说,我想表述的是在"有实际可行性"的经济发展模式中。绝对收入增长和贫富差距缩小在理论上是可能同时存在的 @whigzhou: 嗯,这样的话,我觉得还是可能的,比如资源发现型增长:某国人民突然发现自己原来坐在一大块油田上,而当时的土地全都私有且分割得较均匀... @whigzhou: 另一个例子是汇入型增长,某国穷人大量外出打工,并将很大一块收入汇给国内家人。不过这样的例子确实不多,多数增长模式至少在早期通常会扩大收入差距。 @猪头非: 那就得凭运气了。因为这个问题是西方右派左派长期争论的问题,到底是以绝对财富的增长为主要目标还是以缩小财富差距为主要目标。几十年来,好像没有行之有效的同时包容两个目标的路线 @whigzhou: 是吗?身为右派,我不觉得这种事情有任何争论的价值,增长而非再分配带来的贫富扩大,与处境分化无关 @whigzhou: 巴菲特的成功提高了基尼系数,但他从穷人那里挤走的资源是否比一个普遍高收入者多呢?他多吃了多少鸡蛋牛排?多住了几套房?多开了几部车?多娶了几个老婆? @whigzhou: 在某个极限消费水平之上,富人收入比例扩大不影响相对生存处境,这个道理似乎很简单,可是... 【后记】我关于贫富差距的两篇旧文:“税收无法有效调节收入差距”,“收入差距本身不是问题”  
饭文#M0: 税收无法有效调节收入差距

税收无法有效调节收入差距
辉格
2010年6月10日

继打压房价之后,收入差距和分配问题似乎已成为另一个政策焦点;近日,国家税务总局下发了《关于进一步加强高收入者个人所得税征收管理的通知》,无论是《通知》正文的第一句,还是该局负责人在随后接受记者采访时说的第一段话,都明确表示了,这一措施所针对的,是收入差距问题;而舆论中也确实有一些希望通过税收和转移支付来缩小收入差距的声音。

我国的收入差距和贫富分化确实已到了异常严重的程度,但这一罕见的状况,是由许多早已暴露无遗的制度性弊端所造成的,其中最突出的是,个人权利和财产权缺乏保障,市场准入机会的不平等(more...)

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税收无法有效调节收入差距
辉格
2010年6月10日

继打压房价之后,收入差距和分配问题似乎已成为另一个政策焦点;近日,国家税务总局下发了《关于进一步加强高收入者个人所得税征收管理的通知》,无论是《通知》正文的第一句,还是该局负责人在随后接受记者采访时说的第一段话,都明确表示了,这一措施所针对的,是收入差距问题;而舆论中也确实有一些希望通过税收和转移支付来缩小收入差距的声音。

我国的收入差距和贫富分化确实已到了异常严重的程度,但这一罕见的状况,是由许多早已暴露无遗的制度性弊端所造成的,其中最突出的是,个人权利和财产权缺乏保障,市场准入机会的不平等,国有部门内部私分巨额垄断利润,公务部门不受约束的超水平福利,等等;回避这些显而易见的问题,却指望用税收来缩小收入差距,是缺乏说服力的;而且,无论是理论还是经验都无法支持,贫富差距可以靠税收调节来解决。

简单的说,每个人的收入是他把他所拥有的要素投入到生产中,然后从产出中取得的一份报酬,工人投入人力资源,资本家投入资本,当然还有一种特殊的要素,是给生产过程制造障碍的能力,也可获得相当的报酬;参与生产的各方所得报酬的高低,取决于各种要素在组合的比例,和它们的稀缺性。

低收入阶层通常只有人力资源可供出租,而劳动报酬低则是反映了要素市场上劳动力太多而资本太少,所以,提高广大劳动者收入的途径,无非是促进投资,让更多的资本来雇佣工人,从而使得市场中资本变得更充裕而人力变得更稀缺,这也是所有发达国家经济起飞过程中所发生的情况。

那么,是否可以通过税收来改变要素收入的分配比例呢?可以考虑两种税收,第一种是对要素收入征税,比如从资本家的资本利得中拿走一块,分给工人,这是流量再分配;该方法在当期是有效的,直接改变了分配比例,但等到下一次劳资双方议价时,议价基础改变了,转移支付会被双方都事先纳入议价考虑之中,最终,分配比例将回归到要素组合和稀缺性所决定的那个均衡水平上;唯一的变化将是,征税所带来的交易费用将压低生产规模,并相应的减少劳资双方的收入。

比如一家商店,原先店员拿毛利的20%,老板拿80%,现在他知道老板的20%收入会转移给他,为何不接受一份工资为零的雇佣合约呢?把问题扩展到整个经济,结果也类似,如果转移税率低于工人原本所得比例,那么重新议价将使分配比例回归原有水平,如果转移税率高于该比例,则意味着工人必须倒贴钱才能找到工作,这当然不会发生,实际结果将是大量资本退出生产,退出过程将一直继续到将资本稀缺度拉高到资本家再次有利可图为止,在新的均衡点上,工人的收入绝不会比以前更高。

第二种是直接对要素征税,即通过财产税直接从资本家手里拿走一部分非人力要素,分配给工人,这是存量再分配;同样,存量再分配在短期内也是有效的,但在长期,一旦财产税成为稳定预期,人们的行为便会随之而改变,积累财富的动力会削弱,奢侈消费得到了鼓励,有条件者更会寻找转移财产的可能性,总的投资额将会下降,最终减少对劳动的雇佣;这两个效果相抵之后,穷人收入是否增加,将取决于税收的绝对水平,和资本转移的可能性。

在整个经济生态中,越是处于食物链上游的、金融化程度高的资本,越是容易流动和转移,而在从穷人、中产者到食利者、资本家的贫富谱系上,越是富裕者,越容易克服在不同税收领域和辖区之间转移资产所面临的障碍;所以,对于最富裕那些人——比如所谓的达沃斯一族,只要在别处还存在着低税收地区,存量再分配是很难作用到他们头上的,真正被再分配的,将是那些勉强超出平均线的中产阶级。

全球化更削弱了这种可能性,不仅是因为全球化促进了要素和资本流动,更是因为大量新型的合约形式、商业模式和金融工具,以及要素组合中比例越来越高的无形资产,使得产业内的要素再配置变得更容易;在以前,你把资产转移出一个地区,便意味着你要放弃那里的生意,现在不是了,借助外包、租赁、授权和恰当的股权结构安排,跨国企业可以极低的境内净资产运营规模庞大的业务,而把大部分要素留在境外。

即便不考虑资产转移问题,税收的转移支付能力也是有限的,税收会抑制生产和投资,当税率高到一定程度,其转移支付效果将完全丧失,在越过拉斐尔曲线的最高点之后,甚至税收绝对值也开始下降;目前我国的税负水平已经很高了,而且近年来始终在以四五倍于GDP的增长速度在快速增加,但我们并未看到任何转移支付效果,收入差距仍在快速拉大。

近年来,随着劳动市场、汇率、土地、管制等运营条件的全面恶化,多数中小企业都处于勉强维持的状态,除了税负,他们还要面对准入障碍、行政干预、腐败和国企挤压等种种负担,此时对资产存量征税形同釜底抽薪,极可能成为压垮他们的最后一根稻草;很难相信在这种条件下,再分配将产生正的转移支付,它或许会缩小贫富差距,但那将是通过把富人赶走或让他们变得更穷来达到的。

实际上,有一个现成且无害的要素存量再分配的选择,它不会带来负面激励,那就是把国有资产分给穷人,把土地分给农民和居住在它上面的市民,既然我们有一个如此庞大的可供再分配的资产存量,又何必去剥夺那些辛苦挣下一点产业的中产者和小业主们呢?