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广州投资翻译公司:美国亟需加大基础设施投资

作者: 来源: 日期:2016-09-21 8:28:24

Building the case for greater infrastructure investment

美国亟需加大基础设施投资

 

广州投资翻译公司:萨默斯:不管大选结果如何,美国总统和美国国会应该在2017年春季出台一项大规模的基础设施投资计划。

 

There is a consensus that the US should substantially raise its level of infrastructure investment. Economists and politicians of all persuasions recognise that this can create quality jobs and provide economic stimulus without posing the risks of easy-money policies in the short run. They also see that such investment can expand the economy’s capacity in the medium term and mitigate the huge maintenance burden we would otherwise pass on to the next generation.

目前存在一个共识,美国应大举扩大基础设施投资。各种意识形态的经济学家和政治人士都承认,这可以在短期内不构成宽松货币政策风险的情况下,创造高质量的就业并提供经济刺激。他们还认为,此类投资可以扩大美国经济的中期产能,并缓解我们传给下一代的巨大维修负担。广州投资翻译公司。

 

The case for infrastructure investment has been strong for a long time, but it gets stronger with each passing year, as government borrowing costs decline and ongoing neglect raises the return on incremental spending increases. As it becomes clearer that growth will not return to pre-financial-crisis levels on its own, the urgency of policy action rises. Just as the infrastructure failure at Chernobyl was a sign of malaise in the Soviet Union’s last years, profound questions about America’s future are raised by collapsing bridges, children losing IQ points because of lead in water and an air traffic control system that does not use GPS technology.

长期以来,基础设施投资的理由一直充分,但年复一年,这种理由变得越来越充分,因为政府借款成本下滑,同时持续的忽视提高了增量支出增加的回报率。随着情况变得更加明朗:经济增长不会靠自己重返金融危机前的水平,采取政策行动的紧迫性加大了。就像切尔诺贝利核电站的基础设施失效突显苏联在最后几年的衰败一样,垮塌的桥梁、儿童智商因自来水含铅而下降,以及至今尚未采用全球定位系统(GPS)的空中交通管制系统,引发了有关美国未来的深远问题。

 

The issue now is not whether the US should invest more in infrastructure but what the policy framework should be. There are five key questions.

现在的问题不是美国是否应该加大对基础设施的投资,而是应该采取什么样的政策框架。这里有5个关键问题。广州投资翻译公司。

 

How much more do we need to invest? For the foreseeable future, there is no danger that the US will overinvest in infrastructure. An increase in investment of 1 per cent of gross domestic product over a decade would total $2.2tn and permit substantial steps both to catch up on deferred maintenance and embark on new projects.

我们需要再投资多少?在可预见的将来,美国不会出现基础设施投资过度的风险。10年期间增加相当于国内生产总值(GDP) 1%的投资,总额将达到2.2万亿美元,那将足以采取重大举措,一方面赶上延后的维修,另一方面上马新项目。

 

What is the highest priority? The fastest, highest and safest returns are likely to be found where maintenance has been deferred. Maintenance outlays do not require extensive planning or regulatory approvals, so they can take place quickly. And they tend naturally to take place in areas where infrastructure is most heavily used.

最优先的任务是什么?在维修延后的领域,投资回报可能最快、最高也最安全。维修支出不需要广泛规划或监管批准,因此可以快速到位。自然,维修往往发生在基础设施利用率最高的地方。

 

How should investment be financed? There is a compelling case that infrastructure investments pay for themselves by expanding the economy and increasing the tax base. The McKinsey Global Institute has estimated a 20 per cent rate of return on such investments. If the return is only 6 per cent and the government collects about 25 cents on every dollar of GDP, it will earn 1.5 per cent on investments. This far exceeds the real cost of borrowing even over a horizon of 30 years. Debt financing of new infrastructure investment would be entirely reasonable. And if there is a desire to generate revenue to finance infrastructure investments, the best approaches would involve user fees. Thus, increased landing fees could help finance airports; tolls or taxes on miles driven could fund road improvements.

投资应如何融资?一个颇具说服力的主张是,基础设施投资会通过扩张经济和提高税基,为自己“买单”。麦肯锡全球研究所(McKinsey Global Institute)估计,此类投资的回报率为20%。如果回报率仅为6%,而政府税率大致为GDP25%,那么其赚得的投资收益为1.5%。这远远超过了30年期的实际借款成本。新基础设施投资采用债务融资完全是合理的。如果人们渴望创造收入为基础设施投资项目融资,那么最好的方法涉及用户收费。因此,提高起降费可以帮助为机场融资;根据行驶里程收取公路通行费或税费可以帮助道路修缮。广州投资翻译公司。

 

What about the private sector? Some infrastructure priorities, such as replacing coal-fired power plants with renewables, expanding broadband networks or building pipelines, are clearly the responsibility of the private sector. Policy frameworks that streamline regulatory decision-making and reduce uncertainty could spur investment in these sectors. There is a case for experimenting with mobilising private capital for use on infrastructure that has been a public-sector preserve, such as airports and roads. But, the reality that government borrowing costs are much lower than the returns demanded by private-sector infrastructure investors should lead to caution. It would be unfortunate if, in an effort to avoid deficits, large subsidies were given to private financial operators. Only when private-sector performance in building and operating infrastructure is likely to be better than what the public sector can do is there a compelling argument for privatisation.

私营部门呢?一些基础设施优先项目,例如用可再生能源取代燃煤电厂、扩大宽带网络或者修建管道显然是私营部门的责任。简化监管决策并减少不确定性的政策框架,能够刺激对这些行业的投资。在此前一直是公共部门专属的基础设施领域,如机场和道路,尝试利用私营部门资金是合理的。但是,政府借款成本远远低于私营部门基础设施投资者要求的回报,这一现实值得警惕。如果为了避免赤字而向私营资金运营商发放巨额补贴,那将是不幸的。只有在私营部门在建设和运营基础设施方面的表现很可能优于公共部门时,私有化才有说服力。

 

How can we be sure investment is carried out efficiently? There is legitimate scepticism about this, and there is no silver bullet for this problem. Transparency of the type adopted for the Obama administration’s fiscal stimulus should become the norm. Additionally, progressive advocates of more investment should compromise with conservative sceptics and, in the context of increased spending, accept regulatory streamlining, as well as requirements that projects undergo cost-benefit analysis. Minimising cost should be the objective of infrastructure procurement.

我们如何能确保投资高效率实施?人们有正当的理由对此表示怀疑,而这个问题确实没有灵丹妙药。奥巴马政府在财政刺激中实行的那种透明度应成为常态。另外,支持加大基础设施投资的进步人士,应该与保守的怀疑派达成妥协,并在支出增加的背景下,接受监管流程简化以及项目应接受成本-收益分析的要求。基础设施采购的目标应该是将成本降至最低。广州投资翻译公司。

 

Every year that we allow our infrastructure to decay raises the burden that our generation places on the next. We will not always be able to borrow for the long term at a near zero interest rate. However the election turns out, a major infrastructure investment programme should be adopted by the president and Congress in the spring of 2017.

我们允许我国基础设施老化的每一年,都会加重我们这代人留给下一代人的负担。我们不可能永远以接近零的利率长期借款。不管大选结果如何,美国总统和美国国会应在2017年春季出台一项大规模基础设施投资计划。

 

The writer is Charles W Eliot university professor at Harvard and a former US Treasury secretary

本文作者是哈佛大学(Harvard)查尔斯•W•艾略特校级教授(Charles W. Eliot University professor),曾担任美国财长

 

广州投资翻译公司

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