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委内瑞拉的反面教训
Venezuela shows how not to run a socialist government

来源:FT中文网    2017-08-07 06:56



        “Venezuela shows that socialism always fails” is perhaps one of the most common and least interesting reactions to the collapse of that country into economic and political chaos.        有人说,“委内瑞拉的例子表明社会主义总是会失败”,这或许是对该国陷入经济和政治混乱最常见且最无趣的反应之一。
        Without doubt, radical leftism accompanied by massive state intervention in the economy has a terrible record in Latin America, and indeed elsewhere — though whether that constitutes the entirety of “socialism”, given the prevalence of successful centre-left, self-styled socialist parties in western Europe, is highly tendentious.        毫无疑问,与政府大规模干预经济相伴随的激进左倾主义在拉美(实际上还有其他地方)有着糟糕的记录——尽管鉴于西欧有很多取得成功的、自称为社会主义政党的中左翼党派,它是否构成完整的“社会主义”具有极大的争议性。
        More interesting is whether progressive redistributive governments can ever succeed in poor countries marked by deep inequality. This particularly applies to those rich in minerals and hence vulnerable to the “resource curse” that unbalances their economies and poisons their politics.        更令人感兴趣的是,推行再分配政策的进步主义政府能否在不平等现象非常严重的穷国取得成功?这尤其适用于那些矿产资源丰富、从而容易遭受“资源诅咒”的国家,“资源诅咒”让这些国家的经济失衡,政治腐化。
        Venezuela shows what happens when it all goes wrong. Possession of the world’s largest proven oil reserves during the decade of high global hydrocarbon prices after 2005 gave the former president Hugo Chávez and his successor Nicolás Maduro plenty of rope to strangle their country. True, social spending increased, but money was sprayed around with huge inefficiency — and oil prices could not forever defy gravity.        委内瑞拉的例子表明在出错的时候会发生什么。在2005年后的十年里,全球碳氢化合物价格保持高位,而委内瑞拉拥有世界上最丰富的已探明石油储量,这让前任总统乌戈•查韦斯(Hugo Chávez)及其继任者尼古拉斯•马杜罗(Nicolás Maduro)能够为所欲为,窒息国家发展。没错,社会支出增加了,但资金配置极度缺乏效率,而油价不可能永远涨上天。
        Meanwhile, hundreds of companies were nationalised and often run into the ground by the regime’s cronies. Multiple exchange rates were used to dole out hard currency to favoured recipients, a currency black market flourished and the basic functioning of the economy collapsed.        与此同时,数百家公司被国有化,而且往往被与政权关系密切的人士搞得一团糟。委内瑞拉还推出复汇率制,用于向受青睐的对象发放硬通货,外汇黑市兴起,经济基本功能崩溃。
        Meanwhile Bolivia, another, much poorer, South American country, has shown that it is perfectly possible to use oil and gas revenue to achieve widescale redistribution. In the 11 years that Evo Morales has served as Bolivia’s president — and despite a similar line in frothy revolutionary rhetoric to Messrs Chávez and Maduro — he has managed to reduce the poverty rate in the country by a third while maintaining economic stability.        同时另一个更穷的南美国家玻利维亚的情况表明,利用石油和天然气收入来实现全面再分配是完全有可能的。在埃沃•莫拉莱斯(Evo Morales)担任玻利维亚总统的11年里——尽管他所发表的空洞革命性言论中也有与查韦斯和马杜罗类似的措辞——他成功地在保持经济稳定的情况下让该国的贫困率下降了三分之一。
        Mr Morales must be one of the world’s few presidents who inveighs fervently against the iniquities of global capitalism while receiving regular plaudits from the International Monetary Fund. Like Mr Chávez, he has increased social spending, though not always efficiently. Unlike Venezuela, Bolivia has maintained fiscal buffers, cushioning public spending from falls in the oil and gas price.        世界上只有少数几个总统在猛烈攻击全球资本主义不平等现象的同时还能时不时获得国际货币基金组织(IMF)的赞誉,莫拉莱斯必定是其中之一。与查韦斯一样,他加大了社会支出,尽管效率并不总是很高。与委内瑞拉不同,玻利维亚维持了财政缓冲,减轻了油气价格下跌对公共支出的影响。
        Meanwhile, although the rest of the economy remains under-developed, Mr Morales’s government has been restrained in taking over private businesses, including those owned by foreign investors, and the currency has been pegged against the dollar at a reasonably competitive rate with free movement of capital.        与此同时,尽管其他经济领域依然发展不足,但莫拉莱斯的政府一直克制着不去收购私人企业,包括那些由外国投资者所有的企业,而且还实施了以颇具竞争力汇率的盯住美元的汇率制度,并允许资本自由流动。
        The point is not that Mr Morales is a technocratic wizard who has come up with an unprecedented way of managing natural resources. He has simply been one of the few leaders who has — thus far — managed to stop a mineral-rich country becoming an all-out scramble for loot.        重点不在于莫拉莱斯是一个提出史无前例的管理自然资源方法的技术能手。他简直是迄今成功阻止一个矿产资源丰富的国家沦为一个混乱劫掠场的少数领导人之一。
        Botswana has performed a similar trick in sub-Saharan Africa using its diamond wealth, and kept it going for more than half a century. Whether this can endure in Bolivia is very unclear. There are serious reasons for concern about the political situation, including Mr Morales’s plans to ignore a referendum barring him from seeking a fourth term in office, and some high-profile instances of corruption.        撒哈拉以南非洲地区的博茨瓦纳利用其钻石资源财富实施了类似的策略,并保持了逾半个世纪。玻利维亚能否持续这种模式目前尚不清楚。有理由对玻利维亚的政治局势感到担忧,包括莫拉莱斯无视公投结果仍计划谋求第四个任期,以及一些备受瞩目的腐败事件。
        But economically, there is no particular reason that Bolivia’s redistributive model, whether or not called socialism, must collapse. True, if low oil prices persist, there will have to be some retrenchment in government spending and Bolivia will need to find other sources of growth to continue the process of reducing poverty. But the buffers that have been built up means this can be done gradually.        但从经济上来说,没有任何具体理由表明玻利维亚的再分配模式——无论是否被称为社会主义——必定崩盘。的确,如果低油价持续,政府支出将不得不削减,玻利维亚将需要找到其他增长源来继续扶贫进程。但已经建立起来的财政缓冲意味着可以慢慢做这些事情。
        Venezuela is what happens when a corrupt and thuggish socialist regime gets hold of oil revenues and then destroys the economy. But it does not follow that large-scale income redistribution in a natural resource state must necessarily end in disaster.        当一个腐败而且野蛮的社会主义政权控制石油收入,随后又摧毁经济的时候会发生什么情况?委内瑞拉就是例子。但这并不意味着,在自然资源丰富的国家,大规模收入再分配必定会以灾难结束。
        alan.beattie@ft.com        译者/裴伴
                
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