طبیعت بشر و سیاست اقتصادی: درس هایی برای اقتصادهای در حال گذار
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|24420||2004||16 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||7917 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : The Journal of Socio-Economics, Volume 33, Issue 6, December 2004, Pages 679–694
Both economic regulation in market economies and state ownership and control of the means of production in socialist economies have been interpreted as means of protecting people from economic exploitation by the owners of capital. In this paper, I argue against this interpretation, suggesting that both sets of institutions are more plausibly viewed as protecting people from destructive competition amongst themselves.
The United Technologies Corporation once ran an ad in the Wall Street Journal saying that “when forty million people believe in a dumb idea, it's still a dumb idea.” Just such an idea was used to justify the economic role of the state in both the capitalist and Marxist economies of the twentieth century. In each system, the state was seen as an essential force for protecting people from the economic exploitation said to characterize unfettered private markets. Of course, the actual methods by which the state pursued this goal differed dramatically in the two systems. Communist states assumed direct ownership of the means of production, whereas capitalist governments have imposed sweeping regulations on the owners of capital. But the motivating idea in each case was the same – to protect the downtrodden from exploitation by powerful economic elites. On the experience in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, it appears that state ownership is not a viable way to protect people from exploitation, or indeed from any other harm. By comparison, the regulatory approach of modern Western economies has proved a more effective way of organizing economic life. And yet this approach, which is also based on an uncritical acceptance of the exploitation argument, is itself deeply flawed. I will argue that our current understanding of economics and human nature supports a fundamentally different, but no less important, role for the state in economic life. This role is to protect people not from exploitation by the owners of capital, but from destructive competition amongst themselves. A clear understanding of the logic of this role is especially important at a moment in history when most Eastern European countries are being urged to model their emerging economies after the economies of the West. There are many undeniably attractive features of Western economic institutions; but for Eastern Europe to adopt these institutions in toto would be to miss an opportunity that is not likely to be repeated.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
As noted at the outset, both the capitalist and communist countries of the twentieth century saw their primary economic role as that of protecting citizens from exploitation by powerful economic elites. I have argued that the problems that led to this view are the result not of exploitation at all, but of positional arms races between individuals. This interpretation suggests that the emerging market economies of Eastern Europe would be much better advised to eschew the regulatory approach adopted by most Western countries in favor of the alternative of taxing positional consumption. By directly attacking the incentive problem that led to the conditions erroneously attributed to exploitation, the taxation approach achieves the desired results at the lowest possible cost.