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Money:富裕的标准是什么?

作者:stephen    文章来源:方向标英语网    点击数:    更新时间:2009-10-22 【我来说两句

 

The commission divided its work into three parts. The first deals with familiar criticisms of GDP as a measure of well-being. It takes no account of the depreciation of capital goods, and so overstates the value of production. Moreover, the value of production is based on market prices, but not everything has a price. The list of such things includes more than the environment. The worth of services not supplied through markets, such as state health care or education, owner-occupied housing or unpaid child care by parents, is “imputed”—estimated, using often rickety assumptions—or left out, even though private health care and schooling, renting and child-minding are directly measured.

委员会将它的工作划分为三个部分。第一部分处理关于将GDP作为富有测量指标的常见的批评。GDP无视资本商品的贬值,因此会高估产品的价值。而且,产品的价值是基于市场价格的,但是,并不是每样东西都有价格。这样的一份清单所包含的东西要远远超过市场里所真正有的数量。没有通过市场途径提供的服务的价值,诸如,国家健康保健、教育、家政服务以及不被付费的家长对孩子的教育,也被转嫁了—— 采用经常不确定的推测来估计——或者被省略,即使私人健康保健和办学、房租以及孩子照顾被确切地测量过。

The report also argues that official statisticians should concentrate on households’ incomes, consumption and wealth rather than total production. All these adjustments make a difference. In 2005, the commission found, France’s real GDP per person was 73% of America’s. But once government services, household production and leisure are added in, the gap narrows: French households had 87% of the adjusted income of their American counterparts. No wonder Mr Sarkozy is so keen.

报道还提到,政府统计学家们应该关注家庭持有的收入、消费和财富而不是整个的产量。所有的这些调整会产生一定的影响。委员会发现,2005年,法国真正的人均GDP是美国的73%。可是,一旦政府公共服务、家庭财产和空闲时间加进去的话,差距就缩小了:法国的家庭财产是他们的对手美国家庭的可支配收入的87%。萨科奇会如此热心也就不足为奇。
紧跟高品质生活

Next the commission turns to measures of the “quality of life”. These attempt to capture well-being beyond a mere command of economic resources. One approach quantifies people’s subjective well-being—divided into an overall judgment about their lives (a “ladder of life” score) and moment-by-moment flows of positive and negative feelings. For many years researchers had been spurred on by an apparent paradox: that rising incomes did not make people happier in the long run. Recent studies suggest, though, that countries with higher GDP per person do tend to have higher ladder-of-life scores. Exactly what, beyond income, affects subjective well-being—from health, marital status and age to perceptions of corruption—is much pored over. The unemployed report lower scores, even allowing for their lower incomes. Joblessness hits more than your wallet.

Third, the report examines the well-being of future generations. People alive today will pass on a stock of exhaustible and other natural resources as well as machines, buildings and social institutions. Their children’s human capital (skills and so forth) will depend on investment in education and research today. Economic activity is sustainable if future generations can expect to be at least as well off as today’s. Finding a single measure that captures all this, the report concludes, seems too ambitious. That sounds right. For one thing, statisticians would have to make assumptions about the relative value of, say, the environment and new buildings—not just today, but many years from now. It is probably wiser to look at a wide range of figures.

 

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