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  • 60 second adventures in Economics.

    60秒趣味經濟學

  • Number one: The Invisible Hand.

    第一章:看不見的手

  • An economy is a tricky thing to control and governments are always trying to figure out how to do it.

    經濟是管理起來十分棘手的系統,而政府總是能出掌控經濟的辦法

  • Back in 1776 economist Adam Smith shocked everyone by saying that what government should actually do is just leave people alone to buy and sell freely among themselves.

    1776年,經濟學家亞當斯密的想法震驚了所有人,認為政府唯一要做的就是什麼都不管,讓人們自由交易買賣

  • He suggested that if they just leave self-interested traders to compete with one another, markets are guided to positive outcomes as if by an invisible hand.

    他認為如果讓這些以自我利益為主的生意人相互競爭,市場就會自然導向正面的結果,就像有隻隱形的手在控制一樣

  • If someone charges less than you, customers will buy from them instead.

    如果有個人販賣的價格比你低,那麼顧客自然會去向他們買東西

  • So you have to lower the price or offer something better.

    所以你必須要降低售價,或是提升產品的品質

  • Whenever enough people demand something, they will be supplied by the market, like spoiled children.

    只要人們有足夠需求,市場就會滿足他們的需求,就像是被寵壞的小孩一樣

  • Only in this case everyone's happy.

    只是在這樣的情況下,人們皆大歡喜

  • Later free marketers like Austrian economist Friedrich Hayek argued that this hands-off approach actually works better than any kind of central plan.

    一些後代的自由主義者像是奧地利籍的經濟學家弗里德里希•哈耶克,認為這種不干涉的方法實際上比任何政府的政策都還好

  • But the problem is economies can take a long time to reach their equilibrium and may even stall along the way.

    但問題是經濟得需要很多時間才能達到出入平衡,而且還有可能什麼進展都沒有

  • And in the meantime people can get a little frustrated.

    所以在這時,人們對這樣的作法可能會有點失望

  • Which is why governments usually end up taking things into their own more visible hands instead.

    這就是為什麼政府到最後通常都會用「看得到的手」進行操控

  • Number two: The Paradox of Thrift.

    第二章:節儉的矛盾

  • Much like a child getting his pocket money, one of the biggest economic questions is still whether it's better to save or spend.

    就像是個剛拿到零用錢的小孩一樣,經濟學有個很大的問題就是不知道儲蓄還是消費哪個比較好

  • Free marketeers like Hayek and Milton Friedman say that even in difficult times it's best to be thrifty and save.

    自由市場主義者像是哈耶克及米爾頓•弗里德曼認為,即使在困難時期,節省及儲蓄仍然是最好的

  • Banks then channel the savings into investment in new plants, skills and techniques that let us produce more.

    這樣銀行就能把儲蓄的錢轉向投資於新工廠、發展新技術以及提高我們的生產效率

  • And even if this new technology destroys jobs, wages will drop and businesses hire more people, so unemployment falls again.

    而即使這樣的新科技可能會減少一些工作機會,但勞資會降低、新創產業會雇用更多人,因此失業率還是會下降

  • Simple, at least in the long run.

    道理很簡單,至少長期看來是這樣沒錯

  • But then a live-fast, die-young kind of chap called John Maynard Keynes cheerfully pointed out that in the long run we're all dead.

    但有個追求及時享樂叫做約翰·梅納德•凱因斯的小夥子,他愉快得指出長期來看其實我們都已經掛了

  • So to avoid the misery of unemployment, the government should instead spend money to create jobs.

    因此為了避免失業帶來的傷痛,政府增加支出來創造工作機會

  • Whereas if the government tightens its belt when people and businesses are doing the same, less is spent, so unemployment gets even worse.

    若政府勒緊腰帶,而民眾及公司行號也一樣不想花錢,支出就會下降,失業問題也會變得更嚴重

  • That is the paradox of thrift.

    這就是節儉的矛盾

  • So instead they should spend now and tax later when everyone's happy to pay.

    因此政府現在正應該要增加支出,要收稅的話就等到人們樂意時再說

  • Though making people happy to pay tax was something even Keynes didn't solve.

    即使讓人們樂意繳稅這件事對凱因斯來說也是不可能的任務

  • Number three: The Phillips Curve.

    第三章:菲利浦曲線

  • Bill Phillips was a crocodile hunter and economist from New Zealand who spotted that when employment levels are high, wages rise faster, people have more money to spend, so prices go up and so does inflation.

    比爾•菲利普斯曾經同時是紐西蘭的鱷魚獵人以及經濟學家,他指出當就業率高時,薪水就會漲得比較快,而當人們有錢花時,物價將會上漲而導致通膨現象的發生

  • And likewise, when unemployment is high, the lack of money to spend means that inflation goes down.

    反之,當失業率高漲時,較低的消費支出也代表通膨的消退

  • This became known as the Phillips Curve.

    這就是十分知名的菲利浦曲線

  • Governments even set policy by the curve, tolerating the inflation when they spent extra money creating jobs.

    政府甚至根據這曲線擬定政策,在他們花大量的支出創造工作機會時會選擇接受通貨膨脹的出現

  • But they forgot that the workers could also see the effects of the curve.

    但他們忘記勞動者也看得到這曲線所帶來的影響

  • So when unemployment went down, they expected inflation and demanded higher wages,

    因此當失業率下降時,人們也會開始期待通膨以及加薪,

  • causing unemployment to go back up, while inflation remained high.

    造成失業率回去原本的水平,而通膨的現象依舊存在著

  • Which is what happened in the 1970s when both inflation and unemployment rose.

    這就是1970年代的狀況,通澎和失業率同時上升

  • Then in the '90s unemployment dropped while inflation stayed low, which all rather took the bend out of Phillips' curve.

    接著在90年代,失業率下降,而通膨依舊保持在很低的水平,像是擺脫了菲利浦曲線的限制

  • But at least part of Phillips' troublesome trade-off lives on.

    但至少這曲線的利弊影響還是持續著

  • When faster growth and full employment return, you can bet inflation will be along to spoil the party.

    當經濟體成長而就業率回升時,你可以確定的是通膨又會過來破壞你對未來的美好期待了

  • Number four: The Principle of Comparative Advantage.

    第四章:比較優勢原則

  • Whether you think economies work best if they're left alone or that governments need to do something to get them working the one thing that can't be controlled is the rest of the world.

    不論你覺得政府有沒有介入經濟體哪個比較好,你不能控制的就是瞬息萬變的全球性市場

  • Fear of foreign competition once led countries to try and produce everything they needed and impose heavy taxes to keep out foreign goods.

    對外國競爭感到的恐懼讓一些國家決定自給自足,自行生產所有產品,並且向國外的商品課相當重的稅

  • However, economist David Ricardo showed that international trade could actually make everyone better off, bringing in one of the first great economic models.

    然而,經濟學家大衛•李嘉圖指出國際貿易時實際上能讓大家都受益,帶出早期偉大的經濟理念之一

  • He pointed out that even if a country can produce pretty much everything at the lowest possible cost, with what economists call an "Absolute Advantage",

    他指出即使一個國家能用最低的成本生產所有東西,也就是經濟學家所說的擁有「絕對利益」

  • it's still better to focus on the products it can make most efficiently, that sacrifice the least amount of other goods and let the rest of the world do the same.

    最好的還是專注於最有效率的生產並放棄其他選項,而讓其他國家也做相同的事

  • By specializing, they can then export these surpluses to each other and both end up better off.

    透過專業化生產,各國可以互相出口其最具有優勢的產品,這樣皆大歡喜

  • This is the principle of comparative advantage and it has persuaded many countries to sign up to free-trade agreements.

    這就是比較優勢原則,它也說服大家簽訂許多自由貿易協定

  • But unfortunately it can take a long time for countries to trade their way to prosperity.

    但不幸的是,要靠貿易致富需要好一段時間

  • And because it's now much easier to move to where the money is, it's increasingly not only goods that cross borders, but people, which has somewhat uprooted Ricardo's theory.

    而因為現在資金的流動與匯集更加便利,不只有商品能夠流通國界,人們也可以,而這在某種程度上來說也衝擊了李嘉圖的理論概念

  • Number five: The Impossible Trinity.

    第五章:三元悖論

  • Most countries trade with one another, which is usually pretty good for all involved.

    大多數的國家彼此間的跨國交易,對彼此來說通常都是良性的

  • But it does mean it's a bit harder for each to keep control of its own finances.

    但是這也代表要控制自己國家的財政狀況變得更難了

  • There are three things that governments are particularly keen on.

    有三個各國政府非常投入心力的目標

  • They like to keep the exchange rate stable so that import and export prices don't suddenly jump around.

    第一點,他們想要保持匯率穩定,這樣進出口的價格就不會變動太大

  • They also like to control interest rates so they can keep borrowers happy without upsetting savers.

    第二,他們也喜歡控制利率,藉此能保證借錢的人開心,而不讓儲蓄的人失望

  • And they like to let money flow in and out of their country without causing too much disruption.

    第三點,他們都喜歡讓資金的流動不要有太多阻礙

  • But there's a problem when you try to do all of these at once.

    但如果你想要同時達成這三個目標,問題就來了

  • Say, for example, the Eurozone tries to lower its interest rate and reduce unemployment.

    舉例來說,歐元使用區試著想要降低利率來減少失業

  • Money flows out to earn higher interest rates elsewhere.

    這樣資金就會流到別的國家來爭取更高的利率

  • Exchange rates drop, which causes inflation, so the Euro interest rate is forced back up again.

    而匯率下降接著出現通膨,因此歐元的利率又得被迫提高到原本的水準

  • You can either fix your exchange rate and let money flow freely across national borders, but have no control over your interest rates, or control your interest and exchange rates, but then you can't stop the capital flowing in and out.

    你只能選擇試著穩定你的兌幣匯率後讓資金在各國自由流通,但無法控制利率變動,或者是選擇控制你的利率及兌幣匯率,而讓資金的流動變得不受控制

  • But, like an overzealous triathlete, you can't do all three at once.

    但就像是鐵人三項活力十足的運動員,你無法同時達成三個目標

  • Number six: Rational Choice Theory

    第六章:理性選擇理論

  • Of all the things to factor in when running an economy, the most troublesome is people.

    在影響經濟的所有因素裡,最麻煩的就是人

  • Now, by and large, humans are a rational lot.

    大致上來說,人們是很理性的

  • When the price of something rises, people will supply more of it and buy less of it.

    當某種東西的價格上升,人們自然會增加生產,然後買的人就會變少

  • If they expect inflation to go up, people will usually ask for higher wages, though they might not get them.

    如果預期通膨會持續高漲,人們就會要求加薪,即使通常希望落空

  • And if they can see interest or exchange rates falling in one country, people with lots of money there will try to move it out faster than you can say double dip.

    如果他們發現一個國家的利率和匯率正在下降,擁有大量資本的人就會迅速將錢轉出去,比你發現這是「二次衰退」的速度還快

  • And governments often decide their economic policies assuming such rational actions.

    而各國通常是在這種「理性」的前提下制定經濟政策的

  • Which would be great, if it weren't for the fact that those pesky humans don't always do what's best for them.

    這樣很好,只是那些討厭鬼總是不做對我們最好的決定

  • Sometimes they mistakenly think they know all the facts, or maybe the facts are just too complicated.

    有時人們會覺得自己無所不知,或是覺得這些真相太過於複雜難以理解

  • And sometimes people just decide to follow the crowd, relying on others to know what they're doing.

    而有時候人們也會隨波逐流,依靠在那些知道自己在做什麼的其他人身上

  • When too many cheap mortgages were being sold in 2007, a lot of people didn't know what was going on and a lot of others just followed the crowd.

    當許多便宜的抵押品在2007年被販售時,有許多人都不知道怎麼一回事,而只是跟著大多數人的步調

  • Some lenders may have rationally believed that when the crunch came, the scale of the problem would force governments to rescue them.

    一些放款的人或許能夠理性認為當金融危機來的時候,情況會緊急到政府願意出手介入

  • Which was true for the banks, if not for all their customers.

    對於銀行來說這是真的,而對普遍顧客來說呢,可不是這樣子的

60 second adventures in Economics.

60秒趣味經濟學

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60 秒經濟學之旅! (60 Second Adventures in Economics combined - CAPTIONED)

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    Eating 發佈於 2015 年 01 月 25 日
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