日本衰落了吗?

40年前,傅高义一本,Japan, the No.1 不仅仅在美国卖的好,在日本卖的更好!

如今,傅不写日本了,转而写邓小平,写中国。 不仅仅是亚洲,其实全世界都在说着同样的一句话, 哦,你看中国在崛起,GDP世界第二了, 到2038年就能超过美国了。 你看,日本还是没有起色,这都lost 2 decades. 所以ABE也是到了london给全世界打强心针,

日本を戻ります!

日本真的衰落了吗?之前曾经获得Noble经济学奖的,支持Abe经济学的Joseph Stiglitz还特别在NYT发表评论表示,与其说日本衰落了,不如说日本值得美国学习。

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/09/japan-is-a-model-not-a-cautionary-tale/

这篇评论的核心观点就是,如下:

  1. 即使是在主要劳动人群(15-64岁)的人数降低了5.5%的情况下(2001-2010),日本依旧实现了0.78%的经济增长率。

  2. 即使是在安倍经济学之前,而且平均每人的经济成果,增长率都比美国,德国,英国要高。当然,比起1989年之前,依旧是不如往昔。但是日本社会和日本政府致力于避免极端贫困人群的出现,这点就比美国政府要做的好的多得多。

  3. 即使经历了20年的经济停滞stagantion/ malaise, 日本的经济发展都比美国要far superior. 日本的Gini指数,目前是0.33,而美国则是0.38。最富有与最贫困人群的平均收入差距,日本是10.7倍,而美国则是15.9倍。造成这一原因的不是经济必然的结果,而是政治措施。the reasons for these differences are political choices, not economic inevitability. 根据OECD的数据,在税前和转移支付之前,日美的Gini系数水平差不多,0.499日本,0.488美国。但是正是美国政府的不作为,使得收入不平等恶化。25.4%的日本75岁以上人群,生活在相对贫苦中- 收入水平低于国民标准,

  4. 另外还有人均寿命,日本也超过美国;接受高等教育,世界第二位;而失业率常年保持在5.5%,即使过去20年的停滞,也没有超过5.8%。

尽管他的观点后来遭到了很多人的批评,尤其是研究日本的专家,

比如

Yes, obviously inequality has been worsening in Japan over the past two decades. On the other hand, Stiglitz is talking about Japan as a model for the US, not for Europe, and is arguing that growth in labor productivity need not require US levels of inequality.
Of course, given the way European economies are perceived in the US as uniformly bad, pointing to
Europe as a model of equality doesn’t get one very far in a US debate.
Distorting the picture of Japan in order to score points in a US-centric policy debate does not seem to me either helpful or adherence to basic academic standards. By the mid-2000s, Japan had the worst Gini coefficient among 17 high-income OECD countries and, if memory serves, the second highest rate of poverty.

——Richard Katz

但是,不可否认,如何看待日本的现状和过去80年代的黄金年代,目前还是存疑。作为后工业的福利国家,日本依旧有着很多的竞争力。而早在一年前,Gerald L. Curti, 就提出了这样的观点,认为日本的所谓衰落,是相对的,而且所面临的问题,诸如社会老龄化,产业经济面临的挑战,都是OECD每个国家或多或少都在应对的难题。what country does not?

Japan is not alone in having lots of problems to contend with. It is probably a good idea to focus on what they are, how they might be resolved, and what the strengths are that the society has to bring to bear in grappling with them, and put the declinist debate to rest.

而针对所谓中国的崛起,日本的衰落,在他看来,有个很有意思的比较

But if you think about living stands- the quality of the air you breathe, the water you drink and the food you eat, the health care and other social services you receive, and the number of years you can expect to live- it is clearly preferable to live in a ‘declining’ Japan than a rising China.

这就是一个老牌的工业发达国家,哪怕GDP增长率只是高速发展的新兴经济体的个位数,但是前者社会的富庶和生活的便利乃至于自然环境的保护,都远远超过了后者。这没办法,就好比我评价的

In other words, it should be, it is clearly preferable to live in a post-industrialized welfare state than a rising developing large-populated semi-socialist country.

那么中国和印度呢?你愿意住在哪个国家?新德里还是北京?他提出的质疑非常重要,那就是所谓比较,可有比较性呢?

他也继续提到了有关,在劳动人口短缺的情况下,日本还是实现了一定的增长

The declinist narrative exaggerates Japan’s economic so-called decline because it fails to take into account the one indisputable aspect of Japan’s decline- the decline in population.

确实,日本出现了,派遣村,领取生活保护的人也在增长,GINI指数也在恶化。但是比起美国,OECD其他国家,日本并不糟糕(这还是70-80年代,一亿中流的legacy),If is in decline it is not alone.

他更是借3-11来说明日本人,日本社会的活力,好过了日本政府的应对,完全有信心相信他们的能力 self-discipline, restrain, outpouring of good will and corporation that Japanese people showed each other——and the welcoming attitude with which they accepted foreign assistant

而针对日本年轻一代,越来越不愿意走出国门,反而选择留在日本。他提出了有意思的看法,那就是年轻人只是选择去了中国,韩国,以及其他生活费相对较低的英语世界国家而已。 并且并非年轻一代inward,而是他们的父辈。

Japan’s problem is that too many people in the older generations remain inward looking, robbing young people the incentive to take risks and do unconventional things(可惜了,他没有给出相应的数据,这就是经济学家和政治学家的差别么? data speak for themselves.

而对于日本在golobal governance国际社会中的贡献的下降,他又举出了UN维和等等,日本在继续参与(恩,考虑到会费,不好意思说下降的吧)

最后,Curtise 认为这样的争论意义不大。

What can we conclude from deciding that Japan is or is not in decline? Japan is not alone in having lots of problems to contend with. It is probably a good idea to focus on what they are, how they might be resolved, and what the strengths are that the society has to bring to bear in grappling with them, and put the declinist debate to rest.

虽然Curtise的文章,多少有点为日本背书的影子。但是也指出了很关键的一点,如何解读日本过去20年呢?

日本在实现了高速发展后,却出现了经济增长的停滞, 这是毋庸置疑的。而在这一同时,也出现诸多后工业国家的普遍问题,如人口老龄化,阶层固化,收入差距扩大 ,这是双重的impact那么如何走出来呢?我们能相信ABE政府开出的药方吗?

起码有一点需要明确。ABE或许可以从数字上改变日本经济停滞的表象,比如就业率提高,比如GDP增长率提高,但是在社会福利,GINI指数,减少收入差距(GNP),人口老龄化,教育国际排名低下等问题,还会就这样延续下去。

那么改善了生活居住环境,青山变绿,重新调整了发展战略的中国,是否能够在这一轮的跑步比赛中,后来居上呢?

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