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美国国民收入稳步增长 两极分化日趋严重

LEARNING.SOHU.COM    2005年7月18日09:37   [ 李远 ]  来源:[ 国际在线 ] 
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  Barnes fits snugly into the pattern of America's current economic expansion. The wages of typical workers are treading water, growing roughly at the same rate that inflation eats into their buying power. Last week, the Labor Department reported that average wages for production and nonsupervisory workers in the private sector, about 75 percent of the labor force, reached $16.06 an hour in June, merely 2.7 percent above the level a year earlier.

  Yet in terms of the aggregate effect on the total economy, that statistic does not seem to matter much. Workers' wages may be barely keeping up, but Americans' average incomes are growing briskly. This is the result, in part, of growth in the overall number of jobs, including Barnes's extra one. But it also reflects other forms of income, flowing mostly to the more affluent, which are fueling consumer spending, providing an important pillar of support for economic growth over the last three years.

  "You have a lower half of the wage distribution in the United States that has not experienced any income gains for a long time now," said Barry Bosworth, an economist at the liberal-leaning Brookings Institution. "But from a macro perspective, this doesn't have much impact."

  Even as the average worker's wages are stuck in neutral, profits, professionals' incomes, gains from investments and executive compensation - the kind that frequently comes in the form of stock options - are all surging, supporting healthy gains in the economy.

  "Profit has roughly doubled in the last year on revenue growth of about 40 percent," said Alex Mann, co-owner of Clicktime.com, a company in San Francisco that sells time-sheet applications over the Internet. "The top-line growth was very satisfying. There's been very strong growth in the amount left for compensation of the owners and for profits."

  To be sure, overall income growth has slowed from its torrid pace of last year - year-on-year growth of real disposable income decelerated to 3.7 percent in the first quarter of 2005, from 4.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2004, which enjoyed an extra jolt from Microsoft's extraordinary $3 billion dividend payout.

  But that is still strong enough to support substantial output growth, which is expected to advance about 3.5 percent this year, after accounting for inflation. The income gains have been powerful enough to overcome the headwind of surging oil prices, which have pushed the price of gasoline at the pump to over $2.25 a gallon.

  Surging incomes are also helping the federal government reduce the gaping budget deficit.

  Federal tax receipts in the first eight months of the current fiscal year, which began last October, reached $1.37 trillion, 15 percent more than in the like period of fiscal 2004.

  据《纽约时报》7月14日报道,尽管美国近年来经济逐渐复苏,但普通人的工资并没有明显的增长,大公司的利润大幅度提高以及高层管理人员的薪酬不断增加,使得两极分化日趋严重。

  作为纽约曼哈顿一座大楼的警卫,詹姆斯·巴恩斯的薪水为每周350美元,而一年以来巴恩斯的薪酬从未上涨过。3个月之前,巴恩斯找到了第2份工作,每天凌晨3点到7点送报纸,这能为他带来额外的235美元周薪。巴恩斯的情况清晰地反映出当前美国的经济模式:普通工人的薪水标准在一年多的时间里几乎没有增长,然而与此同时,飞速发展的通货膨胀却让他们口袋里的工资购买力越来越弱。

  上周美国劳工部报告中的数据显示,今年前6个月中,制造业以及非管理层的普通私营公司员工每小时的平均薪水为16.06美元,比去年同期仅上涨了2.7%。分析家表示,平均薪酬的停滞不前与美国最近经济的逐渐复苏形成鲜明的对比,潜藏在工资增长态势萎靡之下的则是总体工作机会的增加,正如巴恩斯第2份工作这样的情况正在普及。布鲁金斯学会经济学家巴里评价说:“很长时间以来,美国国内平均工资水平没有明显提高,不过从宏观角度来看这一情况影响不大。”

  就在普通工人工资止步不前的时候,公司利润、专业人员收入以及投资和管理人才的薪酬却得到了显著的提升,而这也是带动美国经济复苏发展的一大支柱力量。旧金山一家互联网销售商Clicktime经理阿莱克斯兴奋地说:“在过去的一年中,公司的利润翻了一番,而营业收入也得到了40%的增长。”Clicktime公司的惊人利润增长率恰恰是整体美国公司经济的写照。

  高端收入的迅猛增长最终决定了美国整体收入增长的态势,去年第4季度时,微软公司“怪兽”级别的30亿美元年终分红,将该季度平均收入增长率提高到4.7%,而凭借高端收入的强劲走势,今年第一季度仍然迎来了3.7%的增长率,考虑到通货膨胀等因素,最终的增长率仍然保持在3.5%。据分析家表示,这个数字已经足以抵挡能源价格飙升所带来的负面影响。

  快速增长的国民收入进而带动了美国税收,从而帮助美联储弥补日益加剧的财政赤字问题。在本财政年度的头8个月中,美联储的收入税收已经达到了1.37万亿美元,比去年同期上涨了15%。

  

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