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To Spend or to Save? Trick Question花錢還是存錢?難解的問題。

時間:2015-09-05 16:14來源:英文論文網 作者:西方經濟學宏觀經 點擊:
提供西方經濟學宏觀經濟論文(英文論文)范例-To Spend or to Save? Trick Question-節約的悖論,指出在經濟困難時期,個體的理智行為(存錢)可能對整體經濟是有害的。最終,大量的存錢者會失業

To Spend or to Save? Trick Question花錢還是存錢?難解的問題。

 

It’s your fault. Part of it is, anyway. You, the American consumer, spent too much money. You bought too much house, took on too much debt and generally lived beyond your means. Your free-spending ways helped cause the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.
And now you’re going to have to do your part to end the crisis. How? By spending. Enough already with the saving that many of you have suddenly begun doing. This very moment, Congress and President Obama are preparing to send you a tax rebate, to inspire you to stimulate the economy. So go out and stimulate. Spend as if the future of your country depended on it.
John Maynard Keynes, the great 20th-century economist, would have appreciated the apparent absurdity in these mixed messages. He coined a phrase, “the paradox of thrift,” to point out that what was rational for an individual during hard times — saving money — could be ruinous for an entire economy. Eventually, many of the savers may end up out of work because everyone else is saving, too.
It’s enough to make you wonder what exactly you’re supposed to do. At his news conference on Monday night, Mr. Obama was asked directly whether people should spend or save their rebate checks. He ducked the question.
Fortunately, though, it has an answer. There are a few ways to help both your own finances and the country’s.
The first involves figuring out how to spend money now to save money later — which can lift the economy today and help individual households cope with their battered finances in the long run. The second involves realizing that Keynes’s paradox isn’t ironclad. In a financial crisis, when banks may need capital as much as retailers or restaurants need business, many people can save without guilt.
What follows is a guide to spending and saving, both sensibly and patriotically.
Besides developing the most famous prescription for curing downturns, Keynes can also be considered the godfather of behavioral economics, as the columnist David Ignatius recently wrote. While other economists obsessed over statistical models that treated people as hyperrational automatons, Keynes wrote about “animal spirits.” He helped explain how psychology shaped economics.
Psychology-tinged economics — that is, behavioral economics — has taken off over the last two decades, and one of its central findings is that most people do not do a good job of planning for the future. They aren’t nearly as nice to their “future self,” as economists say, as to their “present self.”
They eat just one more doughnut and put off exercising until tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. They fail to set aside enough for retirement. Again and again, they choose a bird in the hand — be it dessert, convenience or a little extra cash — over three or four in the bush.
These habits end up causing a lot of trouble. But they also present an opportunity in a time like this. Most people could save themselves a good bit of money by giving proper respect to their future self. They could spend a little now and save a lot later.
McKinsey & Company recently analyzed household spending on energy, for example, and found enormous waste. People heat their homes when they are not there and, thanks to leaks in their walls and heating ducts, also heat the airspace above their roof.
A programmable thermostat, which adjusts the temperature when people are out of the house or asleep, can cost as little as $50. For less than $1,000, people can buy the thermostat, as well as hire a contractor to fix leaks and replace their light bulbs with more efficient ones. In either case, the spending often pays for itself in just a year or two.
“There is a difference between consuming and investing,” says Ken Ostrowski of McKinsey. “And energy efficiency falls more into the category of investing.”
I asked behavioral economists for some other examples, and they helped me come up with a nice little list. Parents of young children can join Costco and make up their membership fee with just a few months of diaper purchases. Drivers can inflate their tires, change their air and fuel filters and start getting better mileage. Frequent book buyers who don’t mind screen reading can buy the new Kindle. It costs $359, but most new books then cost less than $10. 
Families who shop at rent-to-own stores, which charge ridiculous interest rates, can temporarily pare back and then buy furniture or electronics outright.
People who do a lot of laser printing can purchase a printer that uses only a cent or two of ink per page. (Many use far, far more.)
Purified water drinkers can lay off the Aquafina and buy a water filter. Seltzer drinkers can buy a seltzer maker. My wife and I now have one, and it is a beautiful thing indeed.
In these cases — and, no doubt, many others — the initial investment tends to pay off quickly, sometimes in mere months. That’s why such spending is perfectly suited to the moment. It will keep people employed or create new jobs when the economy needs the help. But it will also shore up households’ finances.
The one big caveat is that some people will feel that they can’t afford to lay out an extra $50 or $100 right now. Millions of workers have already lost their jobs, and many others simply want to cut back. In December, households saved an average of 3.6 percent of their disposable income, up from about 1 percent in recent years.
In a normal recession, this new saving would have a lot more downside than upside, just as Keynes explained. But this recession is different. It has been caused by a financial crisis. If Americans don’t get their finances in better shape — if mortgage defaults keep rising and credit card delinquencies soar — banks will remain afraid to lend, and the recession will linger.
Even more immediately, banks need to get their own finances in order. That’s the whole aim of the new bailout plan announced by the Treasury Department on Tuesday. Some additional personal savings can only help that effort.
“The government is pouring hundreds of billion of dollars into banks,” said Richard Thaler, a University of Chicago economist. “What’s so bad about households pouring some money into banks?”
The ideas here don’t apply only to individuals, either. They apply to the stimulus package as well. The federal government is set to spend $800 billion to stimulate the economy. Much of that money will necessarily go to tax rebates, unemployment benefits and other programs without much long-term benefit. But $800 billion is a lot of money. And the best forms of stimulus are the ones that take effect quickly and bring a long-term payoff. That can mean tax credits for home weatherization or money to pay for the installation of computerized medical records — two programs that are still in the stimulus bill.
Whenever this recession finally ends, our future selves are going to be facing some very big bills. They can use all the help we can give them.

是你的錯。至少部分是。你——美國消費者——花了過多的錢。你買了太大的房子、借了太多的債、花錢超過收入。你的消費無度助長了這次大蕭條以來最嚴重的金融危機。
你現在不得不有所作為、結束這次危機。怎么做?通過消費。多多消費你們突然開始儲蓄的錢。這個時刻,國會和奧巴馬總統正準備給你們減稅,鼓勵你們刺激經濟。那么,出去刺激吧。就像國家的未來取決于此那樣去花錢。
約翰.梅納德.凱恩斯,二十世紀偉大的經濟學家,意識到了在這些混雜消息中傳遞出的謬論。他創造了一個詞“節約的悖論”,指出在經濟困難時期,個體的理智行為(存錢)可能對整體經濟是有害的。最終,大量的存錢者會失業,因為其他人也在存錢。
到底該怎么做,的確讓人左右為難。在周一的記者會上,奧巴馬被問道用減稅支票該消費還是儲蓄時,他沒有正面回答。
幸運的是,有答案。有一些方法既有利于你的財務也有助于國家。
首先,找出現在如何花錢才有利于將來省錢的方法——既可以支撐現在的經濟,也能從長期幫助人們應付倍受打擊的財務狀況。其次,要知道凱恩斯悖論也非無懈可擊。在金融危機中,當銀行需要資金如同零售店和餐館需要顧客那樣迫切的時候,人們就可以無憂地去儲蓄了。
下面是既聰明又愛國的有關消費和儲蓄的指導。
除了開出著名的醫治蕭條的藥方,凱恩斯還被認為是行為經濟學的教父。當其他經濟學家糾纏于把人當做超理性機器的統計學模型時,凱恩斯提出了“活力”的概念。他解釋了心理如何影響經濟。
帶有心理學色彩的經濟學(即行為經濟學)在二十年間取得了很大進展,它的一個主要發現是:大多數人不能很好的計劃未來。他們對自己的未來遠不如對現在那么關心。
他們會多吃一個炸面圈,卻把鍛煉推到明天再明天。他們不能為退休攢足夠的錢。他們選擇已經在手的(不管是甜點、便利或者額外的一點現金)而不是更多還沒有得到的東西。
只顧眼前的習慣導致無數問題。但是在目前這種時刻,它們也會帶來機會。通過為未來打算,人們眼下就能省不少的錢。現在投入一點,將來可能收獲許多。
麥肯錫公司最近分析了家庭在能源上的花費,發現了很多浪費。人們外出時還在為屋子供暖,由于墻壁和熱力管線的散熱,他們也加熱了屋頂上的空間。
程控調溫器最少只賣$50,它可以在主人不在或睡覺的時候調節溫度。花費不到1000塊錢,人們就可以購買程控調溫器,包括雇一個合同工修復熱力泄露,以及把燈泡換成更節能的品種。無論如何,這樣的花銷在一兩年內就能收回成本。
我向行為經濟學家詢問了其他一些例子,他們幫助我做出了一個列表。有小孩的父母可以加入Costco會員商店,只需要幾個月嬰兒尿片的錢就可以支付會費。開車的人可以把他們的汽車充滿氣,更換空氣和燃油過濾器,以獲得更好的費效比。經常購買圖書又不介意使用屏幕的人,可以購買一個亞馬遜的Kindle閱讀器。購買它花費$359,但是以后大多數書籍就可以花不到10塊錢下載了。
在利息奇高的先租后買商店購物的家庭,可以暫時減少購物量,全額買下家具或電器。
大量使用激光打印的人,不妨購買每頁只花一兩分錢的噴墨打印機。
喝純凈水的人可以拋棄百事公司的阿卡菲娜牌瓶裝水,然后買一個水過濾器。喝賽爾脫茲水的人可以買一個蘇打水制造機。我妻子和我有一臺,事實上它棒極了。
在這些實例中,最初的投入會很快收回成本,有時只需幾個月。這就是為何這樣的開支最適合現在的情況。它會使人們繼續保持工作或在經濟需要的時候創造新崗位,也有利于支撐家庭財務。
一個警告是人們感覺他們不能再支出額外的50或100塊了。幾百萬人已經失去工作,其他很多人只想削減開支。去年12月份,家庭儲蓄的可支配收入從近些年的1%增加到了3.6%。
在普通的蕭條中,這些新的儲蓄會有更多的負面影響,就像凱恩斯描述的那樣。但是這次危機不同。這次由于金融危機引發。如果美國人不能使自己的財務好轉(如果抵押貸款違約和信用卡不良行為繼續走高),銀行會害怕放貸,蕭條會逗留不去。
更要緊的是,銀行需要規范自己的財務狀況。這是財政部宣布的救援計劃的全部目的。額外的個人存款只會有助于這一努力。
以上觀點不僅僅適合個人,也適用于刺激計劃。聯邦政府花費八千億美元刺激經濟,大部分的錢必然會流入稅收折扣、失業福利和其他沒有長期效益的項目。八千億是一大筆錢。最好的刺激形式是那些可以快速起效,并且能帶來長期收益的項目。這也許是維修房屋的稅收抵免,或者投資建立計算機化醫療檔案——這是目前仍然在刺激計劃里的項目。
無論這次蕭條何時結束,未來的我們會面臨巨額的賬單。他們會使用我們現在提供的幫助。

 



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