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贫富一线间(Poor by definition) [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2011-12-7 14:08:45 |Display all floors

China’s government offers relief to the poor and to the economy

SINCE 1978 China has liberated more people from poverty than any other country in history, partly because China before 1978 consigned more people to poverty than anywhere else in history. But this week China added over 100m to the ranks of the poor. This was not the result of some economic calamity, but of the government’s welcome decision to relax its definition of rural poverty. About 128m Chinese countryfolk earning less than 2,300 yuan ($361) a year will now be deemed poor, compared with the 26.9m who fell beneath the previous poverty line of 1,196 yuan.


China has a tradition of defining destitution abstemiously, perhaps in an effort to keep the poverty count low and the relief bill down. But this week’s decision raises China’s poverty line close to or even above the World Bank’s global standard of $1.25 per day. That standard is widely misunderstood. It is calculated not at market exchange rates, but at purchasing-power parity rates, which take account of the lower prices prevailing in poor countries. China’s new, higher line qualifies 100m more people for a variety of benefits. That is good news for China’s poor, and also good news for China’s slowing economy. An official measure of manufacturing activity, based on surveys of purchasing managers, dropped to 49 on December 1st, its lowest reading since January 2009 (see chart). Managers feel business worsened or stagnated in November, compared with the month before.


Europe’s woes must account for much of this disappointment. The rest of the blame probably lies with the government’s efforts to fight inflation by tightening the supply of money and credit. For the past couple of months it has been “fine-tuning” this policy, easing up on some things, but not on others. On November 30th it opted for something more dramatic, cutting the amounts that banks must keep in reserve at the central bank by 0.5 percentage points.

That should ease the credit crunch that hurt many businesses over the summer. The fear, however, is that freeing the banks could lead to a lending spree like the one that rescued China from the previous crisis. That lending saddled many local governments with debts they are struggling to repay. These loans will be rolled over once, according to reports. But if local governments still need a bail-out after that, they will have to cede some of their budgetary freedoms to Beijing. That is how fiscal federalism works—as Europe is about to discover.

If China’s slowdown remains modest, the government may get away with modest monetary measures: loosening the reins on the banks, without letting go. But if the economy deteriorates sharply, the government may lean more heavily on fiscal remedies. The central government is flush with cash, taking in 28% more in revenue this year than over the same period last year. And excessive lending to the banks’ traditional borrowers (state-owned enterprises and local governments) will help the economy less than extra spending on neglected constituencies, such as the 128m rural poor. If China is worried about the economic winter ahead, it should fatten up its skeletal welfare programmes, not its bloated banking system.

中国政府的经国济世之举

1978年至今,中国的脱贫人数空前绝后,当然这也得益于1978年之前中国贫困人口的举世无双。但是本周,中国突然有一亿人口重返贫困线。倒不是经济遭遇了什么浩劫,而是因为中国提高了农村的贫困线的标准,此举受到广泛认可。现在年收入低于2300元(361美元)的中国农村户口居民都算作贫困人口,总计达一亿两千八百万人。而此前的贫困标准是年收入1196元以下,当时的贫困人口就只有两千六百九十万人。

  中国历来不喜欢把贫困线定高,这样既能调低贫困人口充胖子,又不必打肿脸,可以省下不少福利救济金。但本周中国制定的贫困线标准一举超过了世界银行的国际标准(日收入1.25美元)。请特别注意很多人都误解了此标准,决不能只看汇率,各国国内不同的消费力水平也必须考虑在内,穷国的物价水平是总体偏低的。中国贫困线的此次提高惠及一亿多人。它不仅普惠于穷苦百姓,更是有利于中国经济。根据各地采购部经理提供的数据,官方做出了最新的生产力统计(见下图),图中显示到12月1日指数已跌至49,这是自2009年1月以来的最差表现。不少经理都表示,与10月相比,11月的经济状况有停滞甚至退化的感觉。


    欧洲的萧条景况自然是经济萎靡的原因之一,除此以外政府为对抗通货膨胀而采取从紧的金融信贷政策也是难辞其咎。最近几个月中中国政府一直在相对放宽该政策,对各类事务采取了松紧结合的灵活手段。直到11月30日才突发猛招,将存款准备金率下调了0.5个百分点。

    夏季被贷款难题折磨蹂躏的许多公司终于得以机会喘息。但仍有很多人害怕历史重演,中国上次走出困境,靠的就是银行肆无忌惮地发放贷款,最终导致许多大企业债台高筑迟迟无力偿还。据报道这种贷款风潮极有可能再现。如果地方政府在这种情况下仍需中央拨款,那么代价就是将自主制定预算的部分权力交还中央。欧洲早晚会明白,财政联邦制度只有这样才玩的转。

如果中国经济稳步放缓,那么政府只需采取一些温和的措施便可化解困局,比如适当放宽金融监管。但如果经济衰落趋势加剧,那么政府将倾向于采取更加严厉的财政措施救市。中央政府资金充裕,财政收入比去年同期高出了28%。与其让银行向其老客户们(主要是国营企业和地方政府)提供大额贷款去挽救经济,还不如把钱花在那些长期被忽视的边缘民众上,也就是花在那那一亿两千八百万农村贫困人口身上。中国若要平安度过不久将至的经济寒冬,就该养胖那皮包骨头的福利制度,而不是加肥已经富的流油的银行系统。

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Post time 2011-12-12 00:15:20 |Display all floors
no clue how the government controll the market economy.

as it is true this year the cost of real estate goes down.
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