China’s post-Mao economic boom has occurred only to the extent that the country became capitalist. With “Made in China 2025,” Beijing’s 2015 anticapitalist plan for an industrial policy under which the state would pick “winners,” China has taken a step back from capitalism. (It recently dropped the “Made in China 2025” name, though the policy remains.)
中国在后毛泽东时代的经济繁荣已经到了让它成为一个资本主义国家的程度。随着北京2015年制定的反资本主义产业政策《中国制造2025》出台,中国从资本主义的道路上后退了一步,根据该政策,将由国家挑选“优势企业”。(中国最近放弃了“中国制造2025”这个名字,但该政策仍然有效。)
It won’t work, but China’s new industrial policy has worked one marvel — namely, scaring many American conservatives into believing that the main driver of economic growth isn’t the market but bureaucrats invested with power to control the allocation of natural and financial resources.
它是不会奏效的,但中国的新产业政策却成就了这样一个奇迹——吓得许多美国保守派人士相信,经济增长的主要驱动力不是市场,而是有权控制自然和金融资源配置的官僚。
Exhibit A is a report just out from the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, headed by Marco Rubio of Florida, on how to counter Beijing’s plan.
证据之一来自佛罗里达州的马可·卢比奥(Marco Rubio)领导的美国参议院小企业与创业委员会(Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship)刚刚发布的一份报告,内容是如何对抗中国的计划。
The report echoes widespread fears about China’s plan to use top-down, nonmarket means such as tariffs, subsidies and capital restrictions to pursue global dominance in 10 industrial sectors like clean-energy cars, robotics and aerospace. The Rubio report asserts that such dominance “would be an unacceptable outcome for American workers.”
报告呼应了人们的普遍担忧,即中国计划利用关税、补贴和资本限制等自上而下的非市场手段,在清洁能源汽车、机器人和航空航天等10个工业领域寻求全球主导地位。卢比奥的报告称,这种主导地位“对美国工人来说将是不可接受的结果”。
广告
Mr. Rubio’s somewhat surprising response is to in effect call for the United States to adopt its own industrial policy. It would include prioritizing manufacturing, protecting American companies in industries China wants to make headway in, restrictions on investments and capital flows, tax changes that encourage United States tech companies to spend more on research and development rather than on buybacks, and support for small businesses.
卢比奥的回应多少有些出人意料,他实际上是在呼吁美国采取自己的产业政策,其中包括优先发展制造业;在那些中国希望发展的行业中保护美国公司;限制投资和资本流动;进行税收改革,鼓励美国科技公司将更多资金用于研发而非股票回购;以及对小企业的支持。
China’s economic growth and sheer size are something to reckon with. Yet that doesn’t mean that authoritarian methods will enable China to attain economic dominance. I thought we learned this lesson after many American intellectuals, economists and politicians were proven spectacularly wrong in predicting that the Soviet Union would become an economic rival.
中国的经济增长和庞大规模是需要考虑的因素。然而,这并不意味着威权主义方法能使中国获得经济主导地位。许多美国知识分子、经济学家和政界人士认为,苏联将成为我们的经济竞争对手,这些预言被证明大错特错,我想我们之后已经得到了这个教训
State planning will darken China’s economic prospects. Its resources are limited, so any expansive government investment in one, two or 10 sectors of its economy diverts resources from other sectors, threatening their future growth.
国家计划将使中国经济前景黯淡。中国的资源是有限的,因此政府对其经济中一个、两个或十个部门的任何扩张性投资,都会从其他部门转移资源,威胁到这些部门未来的增长。
Free-market proponents usually understand that, plagued by ignorance of all-important localized knowledge, government officials cannot outperform the market at picking winners. In practice it ends up picking losers or hindering the abilities of the winners to achieve their greatest potential. Central planning is antithetical to innovation, as is already visible in China.
自由市场的支持者通常明白,由于对至关重要的本地化知识缺乏了解,政府官员在挑选优势企业方面的作用无法超越市场。在实践中,它最终会选择劣势企业,或阻碍优势企业实现其最大潜力的能力。中央计划与创新是对立的,这一点在中国已经可以看到
You can give Senator Rubio some points for consistency: Believing that top-down government planning works in China, he now believes it also works in America. Still, the same obstacles that limit the carrying out of many government policies in the United States — for example, the initial failure to open and maintain the HealthCare.gov website — will ensure that many of Beijing’s plans will fail.
你得承认卢比奥的观点是自洽的:他相信自上而下的政府规划在中国行得通,现在他相信这一套在美国也行得通。尽管如此,在美国,令许多政府政策执行遭到限制的障碍——例如HealthCare.gov网站最初未能得到开放和维护一事——在中国也会导致北京的许多计划失败。
But even if this time really is different and China becomes “the global leader in innovation and manufacturing,” it still doesn’t follow that the United States government should respond with more of its own interventions. First, the law of comparative advantage still holds and so it would continue to be beneficial for China to import products that are produced more efficiently elsewhere. Second, the United States has instituted industrial policies in the past out of unwarranted fears of other countries’ industrial policies. The results have always imposed great costs on consumers and taxpayers and introduced significant economic distortions.
但即便这次真的不一样,中国会成为“创新与制造领域的全球领袖,”也不能因此就推断美国政府也应拿出自己的干预措施予以回应。首先,比较优势法则仍然有效,当一些产品在别的地方生产更高效时,选择进口就依然对中国有好处。其次,美国过去曾因对它国产业政策毫无根据的恐惧而制定了产业政策。结果总是给消费者和纳税人造成巨大成本,并导致了相当大的经济扭曲。
广告
Conservatives — who take pride in their respect for history — should learn about the failed United States industrial policies of the 1980s, which were responses to the Japanese government’s attempt to dominate key consumer electronics technologies. These efforts worked neither in Japan nor in the United States.
自诩尊重历史的保守派,应该了解1980年代美国产业政策的失败,那是对日本政府主导关键消费者电子技术的企图所作的回应。些尝试无论在日本还是在美国都没能奏效。
The past has taught us that industrial policies fail often because they favor existing industries that are well connected politically at the expense of would-be entrepreneurs and start-ups offering more innovative solutions.
过去教导我们,产业政策失败往往是因为它们青睐有着发达政治脉络的现有产业,却损害了能提出更创新的解决方案的未来创业者和创业公司。
And so contrary to the Rubio report, we should not prioritize manufacturing, to cite one example. Yes, manufacturing generates the majority of export revenues in rich countries. But despite popular opinion, trade’s benefits are not measured by the amounts that are exported. As economists since Adam Smith have pointed out, the ultimate goal of trade is to receive as many imports as possible.
因此——试举其中一个例子——与卢比奥的报告相反,我们不应该优先发展制造业。诚然,富国绝大部分出口收益出自制造业。但尽管民意如此,贸易利益的衡量却不在于出口额。如亚当·斯密(Adam Smith)以降的经济学家们所指出的,贸易的终极目标在于获得尽可能多的进口。
Also, Mr. Rubio’s report errs in concluding that because manufacturing wages are high, policymakers should work to increase employment in manufacturing. Wages in manufacturing are high because labor-saving innovations have increased workers’ productivity and, thus, their wages. But any workers artificially shifted into manufacturing would be redundant — and being redundant, their productivity and their wages would be low.
此外,卢比奥的报告错误地得出结论,称因为制造业工资高,政策制定者应努力增加制造业的就业。制造业工资高是因为节省劳动力的创新已经提高了工人的生产力,因此也提高了他们的待遇。但一旦任何工人被人为转到制造业,他们会变的多余——而多余也就意味着他们的生产力、他们的薪资会变低。
This doesn’t mean there’s no role for government. In fact, the Clinton years should have taught politicians that the most effective industrial policy is to clear and protect spaces for innovation, as was done in 1997 with the administration’s Framework for Global Electronic Commerce. This posture of “permissionless innovation” for digital commerce kick-started the development of the American-led commercial internet.
这并不代表政府就不起作用。事实上,克林顿时代应该已经给政治人士们上了一课,即最有效的产业政策是腾出并保护创新空间,如1997年这届政府的《全球电子商务框架》(Global Framework for Electronic Commerce)所做的那样。这种对数字商务所采取的“无需许可的创新”态度开创了美国引领的商业互联网的发展。
The same lesson applies to the competition for 5G technology (mentioned only twice in the Rubio report). China might end up leading in 5G patents and hardware production. This possibility raises privacy concerns — for instance, that China would influence the worldwide convergence on 5G standards to aid it to spy on users. Still, it’s difficult to believe that the Chinese could impose an anti-privacy standard with so many privacy watchdogs at the table. If there are national security issues, they should be addressed with national security means, not economic policy.
同样的教训也适用于5G技术的竞争(卢比奥报告中仅提到过两次)。中国最终可能会在5G专利和硬件制造上领先。这一可能性引发了隐私顾虑——例如,担心中国将影响世界范围内对5G标准的整合,以帮其监视用户。但有这么多隐私监督机构从旁监视,很难相信中国可以施加反隐私的标准。如果存在国家安全问题,那么应当通过国家安全渠道予以解决,而不是通过经济政策。
广告
We shouldn’t allow fear-mongering to hobble America’s free enterprise system. That system has proved remarkable at delivering what consumers care about, like speed, broadband services and applications. The researcher Brent Skorup lays out many simple ways the government could encourage 5G development in the United States. For starters, Mr. Skorup notes, the federal government could free up underused parts of the federal radio spectrum for new uses like 5G. Then, the federal government should work with states and cities to repeal statutes that prohibit homeowners from freely installing 5G equipment on their own property (which would expand broadband access). Local officials should see the 5G rollout not as a mere revenue generator but as a national campaign for a more innovative and dynamic economy.
我们不应该让危言耸听阻碍美国的自由企业体系。事实证明,这一体系非常善于拿出消费者所关心的速度、宽带服务和应用程序。研究员布伦特·斯科拉普(Brent Skorup)给出许多政府鼓励美国发展5G的简单方式。首先,斯科拉普指出,联邦政府可以空出联邦无线电频谱中未充分使用的部分,用于5G这样的新用途。其次,联邦政府应与州、市一级展开合作,废除禁止户主在属于自己的房产中自行安装5G设备的法令(这将扩大宽带接入容量)。当地官员应将5G铺设工作视为不单是收益来源,也是增强经济创新力和活力的全国行动。
China’s economic future is bright, but only as long as it rejects large-scale industrial policy and instead recommits to competitive markets. We shouldn’t copy its recent command-and-control playbook. Rather, we should stick with the time-honored policies that have made the United States the titan to topple in the first place: free trade, competitive markets, reasonable regulations and the rule of law. Maybe China will decide to mimic more of our behaviors instead.
中国经济的未来是光明的,但只有在它反对大规模产业政策、转而重新投身竞争市场时才会如此。我们不应复制它近年来的“命令与控制”的游戏规则。确切地说,我们应该坚持那些历久弥新的政策,美国之所以能成为一个让别人想击倒的巨人,首先就是因为这些政策:自由贸易、竞争市场、合理监管和法治。说不定,中国会转而决定更多模仿我们的行为。