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经济学人下载:代代叠加:庞氏骗局(1)

Source: Economist    2018-02-09  我要投稿   论坛   Favorite  

Samuelson's paper was seminal but not wholly original.
萨缪尔森的论文是开创性的,但不是完全原创的。

A similar model was described in 1947 by Maurice Allais, then working in a bureau of mining statistics in Paris, but his contribution had the “misfortune to be written in French”, as one scholar has noted.
1947年,类似的模型曾由当时正在巴黎的一个矿业统计机构工作的莫里斯·阿莱(Maurice Allais)对其做过描述。但是,正如一位学者指出的那样,他的贡献“的不幸是用法语写成的”。

The neverendingness of these models plays havoc with a lot of economic common sense.
这类模型的无穷无尽干扰了许多经济学共识。

Economists know in their bones that budget constraints eventually bind and that accounts must be settled at the end of the day.
经济学家从骨子里知道,预算约束终将收紧,账户必须要在当天结清。

But what if the end never quite arrives?
但是,如果这种终结永不到来呢?

Such parables may seem too contrived to be illuminating.
这类寓言似乎太过勉强而不具有启发性。

Surely the islanders benefit from a Ponzi scheme only because the story arbitrarily denies them any way to save for their future.
的确,岛民们从庞氏骗局中获益,仅仅是因为这个故事武断地否决了他们为未来存钱的任何办法。

If the young could instead acquire a durable asset, they could take care of themselves in their old age by selling it for the things they need.
如果年轻人可以获得某种持久的资产作为代替,他们就可以通过为了自己所需要的东西而出售这种资产的方式,在自己老了的时候照看自己。

Instead of eating a cacao fruit, islanders could plant it to grow a new tree, which they could later rent or sell to young climbers when they retire.
代之以吃掉恒星数的果实,岛民们可能将果实种在地中,让其长成一棵在他们退休时可以将其租赁或是卖给年轻的攀树者的新树。

In most cases, this kind of saving and investing does indeed serve people far better.
在大多数情况下,这类储蓄和投资在为人们服务方面要好很多。

Capital accumulation enlarges the economy's productive capacity, thereby creating wealth, unlike Ponzi schemes, which merely spread it around.
资本积累扩大了经济体的生产能力,因而,创造了财富,这是它与仅仅是让财富流转庞氏骗局的不同之处。

Saving and investing both store value and add to it, turning one cacao fruit into a whole tree.
储蓄和投资都是储值和增值,把一粒恒星果实变成了一棵大树。

Retirees can therefore expect to get more out of their investment than they put in.
因而,退休之人就可以预期从他们的投资中收获比当初投入的还要多的东西。

In some unusual cases, however, other factors may weigh in the Ponzi scheme's favour.
然而,在某些不常见的情况下,其他一些要素可能在庞氏骗局的恩惠中占据重要地位。

First, saving and investing may run into sharply diminishing returns.
首先,储蓄和投资可能遭遇大幅减少的回报。

If a society is eager to transfer resources into the future, it will accumulate a large stock of capital, which may depress the return on further investment.
如果某个社会急于将资源转移至未来,它将积累大量的资本,这些资本可能压制进一步投资的回报。

Think of an orchard too densely packed with trees, each getting in the others' light and denuding their soil.
想像一个被过密地种上了树的果园,每一棵数都在争夺其他的树的阳光,掠夺其他的树的土壤。


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