Monthly Archives: July 2010

一个利用网络访问量数据作的经济研究

前几天写了一篇博闻,介绍google提供搜索结果的网站以及对可能对经济研究的帮助(http://zuyeyeblog.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!41919DE4E9624322!702.entry)。今天的journal of international economics发表了一篇用AOL公布的网站访问结果作的实证研究。(The determinants of international investment and attention allocation: Using internet search query data)
 
每个国家的居民都喜欢把大部分投资放在自己国家。这和分散风险的投资原则相违背。所以在国际金融研究中,存在着home equity bias puzzle.有人用信息不对称来解释这个现象:由于更了解自己的国家,大家更倾向于投资在本国。今天的JIE文章作了个实证研究来支持这种观点。作者用网站访问量来衡量人们对一个国家的了解程度。下面图显示了对一个国家的访问量和在这个国家的投资成正比。当然这里存在一个鸡生蛋蛋生鸡的问题。也许并不是由于对一个国家网站访问量高才去投资,而是由于投资在了这个国家,不得不经常访问他们的网站来更新自己的信息。作者用了一些instrument变量来解决这个问题,尽管对我来说,并不是很convencing.
 
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“bashing China to appreciate its currency is counterproductive”

according to a Standford professor, Ronald McKinnon. If I remember it correctly, Ronald is the advisor of Nan Li at the OSU (link: http://www.nanliweb.com/).
 
文章摘要:中国南方的罢工反映了中国工资上涨的压力。中国工资的上涨有两个好处:1。减少和发达国家工资的差异,从而降低贸易保护主义的压力;2。增加居民收入从而增加消费,减少对出口的依赖。在工资调整的过程中,为减少没必要的动荡,中国应该保持稳定的汇率。然后作者用日本为例子说明当时日元升值对日本工资调整造成的负面影响。
 
我的评价:文章反映了国际金融里的一个基本争论焦点:国际相对价格通过汇率调节还是通过价格自己调节更有效。价格,包括工资,通常在短期内是固定的,所以不一定能及时反映当时的经济情况,比如生产效率的改变等。传统国际宏观理论认为,在价格固定的情况下,浮动利率能帮助调整进出口产品的相对价格。所以浮动汇率制度更好。
 
浮动利率真的能帮助自动调节进出口相对价格么?这个说法不是很让人信服。首先,浮动汇率制度下,汇率变动非常大,很难想象经济基础,如生产效率等能改变这么频繁。其次,汇率对相对价格的影响受很多其他因素的影响,比如以什么货币定价。如果中国出口到美国的产品都以人民币定价,当人民币升值时,产品的美元价格也升值。但现实中,中国的出口基本都以美元定价,人民币升值对出口产品的美元价格短期没什么影响。另外还有很多其他因素,比如公司也不会把所有由于汇率变动引起的成本变化转移到价格中。这些都使汇率对价格的影响大打折扣。在对汇率对价格影响的研究中,基本发现从汇率对价格的传导很有限。10%的汇率变化,对进出口价格的影响低于5%,对最终消费品价格不到1%。所以很多知名经济学家对汇率能帮助调整进出口价格持疑问态度。推荐Charles Engel(Journal of International Economics 主编)一篇通俗易懂的文章(链接:http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/~cengel/WorkingPapers/staff0902.pdf)。
 
回到Ronald文章的主题。Ronald的一个观点是,中国出口产品都是以美元计价,但工资以人民币计价。如果人民币紧盯美元,厂家就比较容易估算自己同种货币下的收入和成本是多少。如果成本,比如工资,显然被低估了,比较容易计算提高到什么程度才是合适的。举个简单例子。我卖一产品到美国,价格$100。我只有人工成本,500人民币。如果汇率是1美元等于7块人民币。我知道我赚200块。如果发现工人更难雇用了,我要提高工资,并且清楚知道只有工资低于700我就有赚头。但如果汇率是变动的,我就不确定自己到底能赚多少人民币,在提高工资的时候,就不清楚提高多少是合适的。也就是说汇率变动给价格调整反而增加了更多的不确定因素,使价格的调整更缓慢。
 
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Below is the article from Ronald on today’s WSJ:
 
Ronald McKinnon: Wage Increases: The Win-Win Answer on China Trade

29 July 2010

Recent Chinese labor strikes — particularly in the heartland of manufactured exports in Guangdong and the Pearl River Delta — have taken most observers by surprise. Labor shortages in and around Shanghai and Beijing are also widespread. Many local governments, especially on the developed eastern seaboard, have increased minimum wages by 15% to 20% this year.

A wage explosion fed by labor militancy is obviously disconcerting to Beijing. But in the long term China’s wage increases should reflect its remarkably high productivity growth in manufacturing. Higher wage growth would have two great advantages for China and the rest of the world.

First, Chinese wages would become closer to those in the more mature industrial countries, thus reducing protectionist pressures. Second, higher wage settlements would reverse labor’s declining share in China’s national income. With a shift away from business profits — which have become exorbitantly high in recent years — to greater household disposable income, consumption would naturally rise and reduce China’s trade surplus.

For wages to grow less erratically, what should China’s long-term exchange-rate policy be? Much of the world, particularly Asia, is on a dollar standard. Most Chinese exports and imports are invoiced in dollars, as are international financial flows. China’s net saving surplus is manifested mainly in a huge buildup of liquid dollar claims. In this dollar-based world, a fully credible fix of the yuan/dollar rate is the key to encouraging sustained high growth in Chinese wages that matches productivity growth.

In contrast, bashing China to appreciate its currency is counterproductive. If Chinese employers fear that the yuan will be higher in the future, then they become loath to grant large wage increases in the present. Producers of export products could be bankrupted if they granted high wage claims in yuan only to find out afterward that the yuan had also ratcheted upward, making the effective wage increases much larger in dollar terms.

In a world where competing goods from other countries (including the U.S.) are all invoiced in dollars, a safely fixed yuan/dollar rate allows a Chinese employer to estimate more precisely what wage increases are commensurate with expected future growth in labor productivity. If any one employer offers less, others could well bid away his most prized workers.

The earlier experience of Japan shows the importance of the yen/dollar rate in determining wage growth. After the inflationary chaos and disorganization following World War II, in 1949 the Japanese government with American financial assistance unified the battered currency (got rid of multiple exchange rate and payments restrictions) and fixed the central rate at 360 yen per dollar.

With this dollar anchor, the postwar Japanese miracle unfolded: From the early 1950s to 1971, GDP and labor productivity in manufacturing began to grow by about 9% per year while growth in money wages was in excess of 10%, more than twice as high as in the U.S. With stable wholesale prices, trade was roughly balanced and so was international competitiveness.

But in August 1971, President Richard Nixon shocked the world by forcing the other industrial countries — Japan, Canada and those in Western Europe — to appreciate against the dollar. Nixon imposed a tariff on all industrial imports until the other industrial countries agreed to appreciate, which they all did by the following December. Japan appreciated by 17%. As early as 1970, the expectation of dollar depreciation caused huge hot money flows out of the U.S. Foreign central banks intervened heavily to buy dollars to prevent their currencies from appreciating more than what was agreed to with Nixon. The result was a world-wide loss of monetary control, great inflation, large business cycle fluctuations, and slow economic growth in the 1970s into the ’80s.

Because Japan had by then emerged as America’s foremost industrial competitor, the U.S. mistakenly began "bashing" Japan to force further yen appreciation. The yen rose to a high of 80 per dollar in April 1995 from 360 per dollar in August 1971. Hot money inflows first contributed to land- and stock-market bubbles in Japan in the late 1980s. But after these burst in 1990 and the overvalued yen rose even further, the economy was thrown into a deflationary slump from which it has yet to recover. By the end of the 1970s, money wage growth had slumped to less than in the U.S. — and Japanese wages are actually falling in 2010.

What is the lesson for China? Exchange rate appreciation and money wage growth are substitutes in the long term. But an erratically appreciating exchange rate with the associated hot money flows does long-term damage to the economy. Best to keep the exchange rate safely fixed near 6.83 yuan/dollar — as it had been for two years through mid June. Then gently explain to would-be China bashers that Beijing fully respects — and even encourages — workers to bargain in good faith for higher wages to match high productivity growth in manufacturing, which Chinese employers can more readily accept if they expect the yuan/dollar rate to remain stable.

Nevertheless, the U.S. Congress is again threatening to impose punitive tariffs on imports from China unless the yuan is appreciated. To contain the political risks from trade protectionism, the People’s Bank of China bowed to this pressure on June 19 and depegged the yuan in favor of managed floating against an (unspecified) basket of foreign currencies. Whether this ambiguous "float" will succeed in defusing U.S. protectionist pressure remains to be seen.

But any systematic yuan appreciation — or threat thereof — will immediately restart the hot money inflows and, in the longer term, slow money wage growth. Moreover, a discrete sharp appreciation won’t defuse the situation because it would be unlikely to reduce China’s trade (i.e., net saving) surplus on which the Americans are so focused.

Behind this unnecessary political crisis is a widely held but false economic belief: that the exchange rate can be used to control any country’s trade balance — the difference between its saving and investment. The imbalance actually arises from a large saving deficiency in the U.S. — with very large fiscal deficits and low personal saving — coupled with "surplus" saving in China from high business profits and buoyant government revenue.

The yuan/dollar debate that continues in Washington is more than a distraction. The threat of appreciation may well impede the natural process by which Chinese wages rise as fast as labor productivity in manufacturing, leading to greater unrest and perhaps even a Japan-like Chinese bubble.

Mr. McKinnon is a professor at Stanford University and a senior fellow at the Stanford Institution for Economic Policy Research.

嗨。。。

向AEA提交了一个session proposal,今天杯具了。根据据信,只有大概25%的session被接受了。这也太变态了罢,又不是发表论文。多让些人去happy一下有什么不好?嗨。。。

iphone 4

上个星期突然心血来潮要把自己的3G升级成iphone 4。由于以前没有在苹果店预订,去了几次都扑了个空。今天终于被我逮住了。和以前的3G相比,主要增加了摄像机的功能,并且在这个基础上可以实现视频电话。另外照相机增加了zoom功能。显示屏也清晰了很多。以前也没有觉得3G的显示屏不清楚。今天用了一会儿4之后,到3G上查个以前的东西,感觉从高清电视回到了显象管电视时代。目前还没有注意到传说中的天线问题,希望不要出现。在网上order了苹果提供的免费case,如果有问题,应该也能应付了。

胡晓炼: 汇率体制改革与货币政策有效性

胡的这篇讲话很不错,讲出了目前人民银行的无奈。今天WSJ也报道说国际货币基金组织声称人民币被严重低估(substantially undervalued)。看来人民币升值已经是箭在弦上了。今年年初就预料到会有这样的结果,转了一笔钱到中国去。尽管人民币的升值对我个人有好处,但我仍然不得不提提它的危害。
 
首先看看胡晓炼文章的摘要:1。货币政策(通过调整货币供应量)对宏观经济调整很重要。2。由于中国的固定汇率制度和高额经常项目顺差,人民银行对货币供应量的调整受到很大限制。3。继续目前的固定汇率制度可能引发恶性通胀或者房地产等金融泡沫。然而通过增发央行票据或者提高存款准备金来控制通胀会挤垮商业银行的正常运作。4。人民币升值能帮助缓解通胀压力。放弃固定汇率制度后,中国的货币政策就可以更灵活,经济抗冲击性增强。
 
很明显,目前真正造成中国货币政策困境的是高额的经常项目顺差。由于固定汇率制度下,中央银行必须以固定汇率买下这些顺差。随着外汇的涌入,人民银行要发行同等数量的人民币来吸收这些外币。这就是胡提到的人民银行控制货币供应量时所面临的挑战。如果经常项目顺差真的是人民币低估造成的,人民币升值可以减少顺差,从而解决人民银行的困境。
 
然而问题并不那么简单。中国的顺差是经济结构失衡的结果,汇率作为一个名义变量,对经济的影响只是暂时的,而且作用也有限。国有经济在过去几年靠垄断大赚了一笔,然后赚来的钱没有渠道分红给大众,全部都存了起来。我以前的文章中提到过,在中国经常项目大幅度增加的时候,居民储蓄率并没增加。真正增加的是政府和企业的储蓄率。这些结构失衡不解决,靠人民币升值根本解决不了中国的经常项目顺差的问题。我敢和你打赌,人民币再升值30%,甚至50%中国的经常项目仍然顺差。只是人民币的升值对劳动密集型的底端企业短期内必然受到冲击,底层劳动力的生活水平降低。不少学者和愤青鼓吹中国可以正好趁人民币升值实现产业升级。一个最好的词来形容这些身在精英阶层的人就是“out of touch“。产业升级是一个渐进的过程,是一个水到渠成的过程。不是政府扶持一下,愤青在网上大吼两声就能实现的。中国的现实就是大批高中都还没毕业的低技术工人,这些人没办法从事你认为很体面的高新产业。你总要给这些人一些饭吃吧。
 
还有一个问题就是升值究竟能不能解决通胀问题。很多人强调(包括胡)通胀对底层人民的危害最大。通过升值可以控制通胀,所以低收入人群的收益是最大的。我觉得这种说法真的很扯。升值短期内能降低进口产品的价格,对通货膨胀有帮助。但你看看所有关于exchange rate pass-through的实证研究,汇率对CPI的影响基本为零。即使有影响,分部也是不均匀的。高档进口产品(如汽车,高档化妆品等)的价格确实可以降低一点儿。但有多少低收入的人群能消费起这些进口产品呢?所以他们的收益是有限。但人民币升值后他们的工作可能没了倒是血淋淋的现实。
 
 
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汇率体制改革与货币政策有效性

胡晓炼

 

随着中国经济规模日益扩大,市场化水平不断提高,对外开放更加深化,面临的经济形势更加复杂。为保持我国经济平稳较快可持续增长,宏观调控的能力和作用就十分重要,货币政策的有效性也更加重要。结合中国的特殊发展阶段,货币政策需要兼顾物价稳定、经济增长、充分就业和国际收支平衡四大宏观经济目标。汇率政策不仅关系到达到上述宏观经济目标,还涉及国际竞争力、国际经贸关系以及优化资源配置实现等。完善人民币有管理的浮动汇率制度,逐步增强汇率灵活性,有助于增强货币政策的灵活性和有效性,改善宏观调控能力。

一、货币政策是我国宏观经济调控的重要手段

金融是现代经济的核心。作为宏观经济调控的重要手段,我国的货币政策通过金融体系传导实现对整体经济的调控。货币政策不局限于调控单一领域或行业,而是作用于宏观经济的各个领域,影响到各个微观主体的经济行为。因此,相对于汇率目标而言,货币政策有着更为全局性的影响和系统性的重要意义。我国有些条件跟其他国家有所不同,特别是我国属于发展中的大国,并且处于改革转轨阶段,经济形势复杂多变,宏观经济政策需兼顾改革和发展等多项目标。我国货币政策也采用多目标制,既关注通胀,又要考虑经济增长、国际收支平衡、就业等问题,还要推动金融改革。在这种现实国情下,货币政策的灵活性和有效性显得尤为重要。

2008年下半年以来,我国经济经受了国际金融危机的严峻考验。面对极其复杂的国内外形势,我国坚持积极的财政政策和适度宽松的货币政策,全面实施并不断完善应对国际金融危机的一揽子计划,率先实现了经济形势总体回升向好。针对复杂变化的形势,中央提出当前经济工作的重点是在促进发展方式转变上下功夫,真正把保持经济平稳较快发展和加快经济发展方式转变有机统一起来,在发展中促转变,在转变中谋发展。应看到,随着我国经济较快复苏增长,外汇流入较快,流动性增加较多,采取积极的对冲操作后流动性依然十分充裕,存在着通胀预期强化和资产价格投机等潜在风险。因此,正确处理好保持经济平稳较快发展、调整经济结构与管理好通胀预期的关系是现阶段摆在宏观经济决策者面前的重要任务。

从各国的历史经验教训来看,通货膨胀及其治理不仅是宏观经济研究领域一个永恒话题,而且也是关系到社会以及政治稳定的重要问题。按照诺贝尔经济学奖获得者米尔顿·弗里德曼的说法,通货膨胀是一种疾病,一种危险的有时甚至会致命的疾病,如不及时制止会摧毁整个社会。从中国的现实来看,受通货膨胀损害最大的是低收入群体,尤其是我国4000多万的城镇低收入群体和近亿人的农民工,处理不当容易对社会公平和稳定造成影响。对于中央银行而言,首要的责任是币值的稳定,防止产生高通胀的风险。货币政策是管理通胀的最重要和最有效的宏观经济政策,应不断增强货币政策的有效性,确保实现物价稳定并以此促进经济增长的目标。

二、近年来我国货币政策的有效性面临挑战

从我国的情况来看,近年来货币政策的自主性和有效性受到外汇占款较快增长的严峻挑战。1993年以前,我国经常项目、资本和金融项目顺差交替出现,1994年之后,国际收支“双顺差”格局出现。尤其是2001年我国加入世界贸易组织以后,经常项目顺差显著扩大,成为国际收支顺差的主要来源。在保持汇率水平相对固定的前提下,国际收支顺差的持续增长和外汇的不断流入直接导致人民银行以外汇占款的形式被动投放基础货币。

近年来,人民银行根据党中央、国务院的统一部署,深入贯彻落实科学发展观,不断加强和完善宏观调控能力。针对国内外经济金融形势和外汇流动的变化情况,以加强银行体系流动性管理作为货币政策调控的主要内容,搭配使用公开市场操作和存款准备金等对冲工具,大力对冲外汇占款增长,回收银行体系过剩流动性,但流动性水平过高的压力难以从根本上缓解。从近年来我国基础货币的来源结构来看,央行对金融机构贷款的占比呈不断下降趋势,外汇占款成为基础货币供应的主渠道。货币政策的自主性受到影响,货币供给呈现出较强的内生性特征。近年来,虽然我国CPI基本稳定在较低的水平,但广义价格水平,如PPI(生产者价格指数)、房地产等资产价格都有较大幅度上涨。此外,随着银行体系流动性增加,央行票据的大量发行和存款准备金的频繁调整等也对商业银行的经营行为乃至金融体系的运行效率造成一定影响,央行的对冲成本也在逐渐加大。

三、更加灵活的汇率制度有助于增强货币政策的有效性

根据传统国际金融学中“不可能三角”的观点,对于一个开放经济体来说,“资本自由流动”、“独立的货币政策”和“汇率稳定”这三项政策目标,不可能同时实现,一般只能同时实现其中两项。小型的开放市场经济体可以为了实现汇率目标而放弃国内货币政策。例如,香港特别行政区采取货币局制度,港币汇率严格地钉住美元,其利率的调整完全跟随美联储。新加坡则选取汇率作为货币政策调控的中介目标,主要通过汇率工具而不是利率来进行宏观经济调控。对于拥有十三亿人口的大国而言,我们不应受制于其它国家经济政策而放弃自身的货币政策目标。从我国整体利益最大化出发,实行更加灵活的汇率制度,实现维持通胀水平的长期稳定、促进增长方式的转变等长远利益要远远超过部分行业调整、淘汰落后产能等短期成本。

从我国当前的现实来看,更加灵活的汇率制度有助于抑制通货膨胀和资产泡沫。例如,在通货膨胀压力高企的时候,本币适度升值一点,进口的东西就相对便宜一些。特别是对于我们这种资源比较缺乏的国家,需要大量进口初级商品,汇率调整更有助于缓解“输入型”通胀压力。

实现经济结构调整和经济增长方式转变,既是一项紧迫的战略任务,也是一个长期努力的过程。在这过程中,我国贸易发展应更趋于平衡,适当通过汇率等价格手段调节贸易不平衡和国际收支失衡有利于缓解外汇流入和储备积累过快的压力,实现经济更加平稳、可持续的发展及货币供给平稳有序的增长。

国际经验告诉我们,作为国与国之间货币的比价,灵活的汇率制度有助于直接应对各类外部经济冲击,有助于增强一国应对外部冲击的能力以及宏观经济的“韧性”。二十世纪90 年代以来国际上发生的多次金融危机都表明,僵化的汇率体制容易受到投机力量的攻击,可能引发所谓“自我实现”的货币危机。

汇率的灵活性还有助于改善货币政策传导机制。从2005年以来的实践来看,遵循“主动性、渐进性、可控性”原则的人民币汇率形成机制改革,使得企业、商业银行等微观主体主动适应汇率浮动的意识增强,应对市场变化的灵活性和能力提高。货币市场、外汇市场进一步发展,市场深度和广度都有了很大的提高。金融机构在适应汇率灵活性的同时,加强了风险管理,改善了金融服务,加快了产品创新。这些都在一定程度上夯实了货币政策传导的微观基础和市场基础,货币政策传导机制的改善对增强货币政策有效性具有积极意义。(完)

Laurence Kotlikoff: Uncle Sam has worse woes than Greece

Laurence Kotlikoff of Boston University warned of US fiscial conditions in an article published on today’s FT. This is going to be a hard time and a hard decision for policymakers to make: on the one hand, the economy is in a shaddy condition and may need more stimulus. On the other hand, the government debt is in a bad shape and additional spendings could trigger fisical catastrophy. Below is the article of Laurence:
 
Laurence Kotlikoff: Uncle Sam has worse woes than Greece

July 25 2010

The spectre of Greek default continues to rattle global financial markets. Greek long-term government bond yields are running 700 basis points above comparable US Treasuries. The inference is that America is in far better fiscal shape than Greece. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Greek debt totals 120 per cent of gross domestic product, twice the US figure. But debt alone tells us little about a country’s fiscal condition. Economists call this the labelling problem, because governments can describe receipts and payments in any way they like. Payroll taxes to fund pensions and healthcare can, for instance, be labelled as borrowing, with the future benefits called repayment less a future tax. Measured thus, the US budget deficit is 15 per cent of GDP, not 9 per cent.

Chile’s pension reform of the early 1980s re-labelled that country’s deficits in this way. Receipts, which had previously been called taxes, were funnelled into private pension funds, from which the government then borrowed to cover the pensions themselves. Voilà. The same money was still flowing from workers to retirees but was now called borrowing. The economists’ change in language let them block spending, including on an aircraft carrier, claiming “the” deficit was too high. So Chile’s long-term fiscal position improved, despite reporting more debt.

Argentina subsequently “reformed” its pensions, albeit with no underlying fiscal tightening. Recently it nationalised its pension funds, calling the confiscated assets revenue, while keeping the future liabilities off the books. Thus Argentina sold IOUs for current cash. Greece did much same in selling anticipated fees from airports and proceeds from lotteries. But then so did France, when it confiscated France Télécom pension assets (while retaining the pension obligations) to meet the deficit criteria to join the euro.

But all these countries have something to learn from the real labelling master: Uncle Sam. During the past half-century, the US has sold tens of trillions of unofficial IOUs, leaving it with liabilities to pay Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits that total 40 times official debt. So is US debt actually 40 times larger than reported? Is this year’s deficit 15 per cent of GDP or 9 per cent? It’s your pick, since we are in a fiscal wonderland of measurement without meaning.

In economics, as in physics, certain concepts are not well defined. In physics it is absolute time and distance, whose measurement depends on direction and speed through space. This frame of reference determines how we perceive the time of day or the length of a desk. In economics, every dollar a government takes in or pays out can be referenced with different words or labels, to produce almost any level of official debt one wishes to present. As a result, using debt levels to assess a country’s fiscal sustainability, as the Group of 20 nations just did, is like driving in Los Angeles with a map of New York.

Fortunately, theory suggests a label-free measure of fiscal status: the fiscal gap, or the present value difference between all future expenditures and receipts. The Greek fiscal gap is staggering. Calculations developed with my colleagues at Freiberg University put it at 11.5 per cent of the value of Greece’s future GDP. And this huge figure already incorporates Greece’s recently legislated fiscal policy retrenchment. But the US figure, based on the Congressional Budget Office’s just-released projections, is even larger: 12.2 per cent.

Clearly, Greece is in terrible fiscal shape. To get its books in order it would have to pull in its belt each year by another 11.5 per cent of GDP. This provides new meaning to the word draconian. But the US is in much worse shape, because the CBO’s projections that reveal the 12.2 per cent fiscal gap already assume a 7.2 per cent of GDP belt-tightening by 2020.

But the assumptions underlying this 7.2 per cent adjustment are highly speculative, including a substantial rise in the share of taxpayers facing the Alternative Minimum Tax, once called the “millionaires tax” for targeting only the rich. The CBO also assumes that real wage growth will push all workers into much higher tax brackets, and that Congress will slash discretionary spending as well as greatly limit growth in Medicare and Medicaid benefits. Each supposition runs counter to recent experience.

Wishing won’t fix America’s fiscal mess. The US is one foot away from a deep and permanent economic grave. It is far past time to do meaningful long-term fiscal planning, level with the public, and implement radical reforms that permanently put America’s fiscal house in order.

The writer is professor of economics at Boston University. The analysis underpinning this article was developed along with Christian Hagist, Stefan Moog and Bernd Raffelhüschen, all at Freiburg University

中国成为全球最大能源消费国

国际能源组织前两天宣布,根据他们得计算,中国已经赶上美国成为世界第一大能源消费国。中国政府昨天跑出来回应,说根据中国自己的计算,目前美国仍然是世界最大的能源消费国,中国只是第二。看了这个回应,自己在心里狠狠骂了一句SB。这个做决定去争当什么老二的人真是够二的了。
 
首先,是不是第一其实没什么实质性区别。中国政府自己报的数据比国际能源组织只少了5%左右,比美国能源消费少1%。也就是说,中国目前能源消费总量和美国大概基本持平,所谓的第一第二只是一个文字游戏。在这种细节上纠缠,毫无意义。中国的过份纠缠反而给了西方记者作文章的机会。这两天各大报纸都在报道中国能源消费的问题。话题只有一个,中国是第一还是第二。经过中国这么一辩护,全球第一成了一件很不光彩的事儿。似乎中国成了第一就对不起全球人民了。中国成为全球最大能源消费国是迟早的事儿。不知道政府里哪个SB现在给中国先下个套儿。严重怀疑该人是帝国主义派进中国政府玩儿潜伏的。哈哈。
 
其次,中国有很多很好的理由成为世界第一大能源消费过。中国政府应该在这些地方作文章而不是去纠缠什么第一第二的问题。比如中国人口多,随着经济发展,能源消费当然增加。不行了,咱们比人均消费。说实话,中国家庭在能源消费方面已经够节约了。去年父母来看我们时,经常批评我们浪费水电。前段时间在北京,晚上和一老外在外面逛。她问我说为什么看起来很多住宅的灯都熄着,是不是这些地方没人住。我告诉她有些可能是没人住,但大部分有人。没灯市因为中国人节约,看电视时往往把灯熄了。而且一般如果房间没人,都会及时关灯。所以从外面看,似乎很多窗户都是黑着。朋友听了很是赞,然后和我一起把美国浪费资源的行为批了个遍。比如夏天空调温度太低,到教室去往往要带件外套。最发指的是我以前读书时,有一次发现自己办公室里暖气和空调在冬天时是同时开着的。下面是暖气片儿冒热气,上面空调出风口在呼呼吹风。现在巴马政府整天忽有什么新能源。依我看,如果教育美国人能有中国人一半儿的节约精神,效果要比什么新能源见效快多了。首先,把室内温度冬天调低几度,夏天调高几度,就不知道要节约多少能源了。
 
另外,中国目前是世界上最大的制造业基地。制造业是高能耗的行业,当然消费能源多了。但不要忘记,很多中国产品都出口到了其他国家,这些能耗算在中国头上当然是不对的。中国政府真要纠缠,就搞些数据出来,看看多少能耗是用在出口产品上了。刨掉后,中国真正消耗的是多少。然后点名其他国家公布相关数据来PK。这要比非去争当个什么老二震撼多了。不得不感慨,中共的执政能力真的有待提高阿。