2010年1月16日星期六

Be Specific

John Gray自《伪黎明》之后就不停地攻击以美国为代表的所谓“新自由主义”行径,包括减税、私有化、对金融行业放松管制等,一而再再而三地重复类似于下面的话

Deregulating the financial system left banks free to speculate, and they did so with reckless enthusiasm. The result was a build-up of toxic assets that threatened the entire banking system. The government was forced to step in to save the system from self-destruction, but only at the cost of becoming itself hugely indebted. As a result, the state has a greater stake in the financial system than it did in the time of Clement Attlee.

前两天纽约客记者对几位芝加哥经济学家的采访放了出来。采访到John Cochrane时,他的一些说法正好对得上John Gray那些大而空,并且很大程度上是人云亦云的言论:

Talking about “regulation” vs. “deregulation” in the abstract is pointless. We have to talk about specifics if we want to get anywhere. Stuff like, Do you think credit default swaps should be forced on to exchanges? It’s all very boring to your readers, but unless you are specific you don’t get anywhere... If you are vague, it sounds kind of fun: ideology, Chicago versus Harvard, and so on. But to get anywhere you have to be specific.

他在下面不厌其烦地强调要be specific:

If you want to talk about this, we need to talk about specific evidence and how it does or doesn’t match up with specific theories.

...

Again, it is good to be specific.

...

So, again, I say be specific.

我想这也是我们这些对公共事务有发言欲望的人们都应该接受的忠告。

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