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2008年11月14日 (金)

前代未聞の制度

(Mainichi Japan) November 13, 2008

The wastefulness of government in spending other people's money

余録:前代未聞の「制度」

Human beings are most irresponsible when spending other people's money on other people, said the deceased Nobel laureate economist Milton Friedman. The ideas of the grand old man of free market economics have fallen out of favor recently, but his insight into spending other people's money is quite perceptive.

 人間が一番いいかげんな金の使い方をするのは他人の金を他人のために使う時だ--そう指摘したのは先年亡くなったノーベル賞受賞経済学者のM・フリードマンである。昨今はとかく評判の悪い市場競争万能の経済思想の大御所だが、この指摘は鋭い

People who spend their own money on themselves aim to be both economical and efficient. When people spend their own money on others, they are less concerned about efficiency. When they spend other people's money on themselves, they are not as economical. And when they spend other people's money on other people, they don't pay heed to either being economic or efficient. Spending other people's money on other people is precisely what bureaucrats do.

▲自分の金を自分のために使う人は節約と効率の双方を心がける。自分の金を他人に使う時は効率に関心が薄くなる。他人の金を自分のために使う際はあまり節約しない。他人の金を他人のために使う人は節約も効率も考えないというわけだ

Friedman was a critic of the wastefulness of big government and at the vanguard of the policy shift toward market principles that began in the 1980s. But things have come full circle, and today we are raising questions about the government's response to the economic crisis brought on by markets that were allowed to run wild.

▲他人の金を他人のために使うのは役人だ。フリードマンは「大きな政府」のムダを突き、80年代からの市場競争重視の政策潮流をリードした。だが時代はひと巡りし、その市場の暴走が招いた経済危機への政府の対応が問われる今日である

Naturally enough, the Aso Cabinet's 2-trillion-yen cash disbursement plan has attracted unwanted attention to the way that the government spends money. But as the politicians squabble over whether to "disburse the cash to all households" "to set income caps," or "to urge the rich to decline the payments," and over whether "local government offices are incapable of distributing the cash," a public opinion poll revealed that 60 percent of the public believes that the cash disbursements are not needed.

▲当然ながら政府の金の使い方にいやでも注目が集まるところに飛び出たのが、麻生政権の2兆円給付金だ。だが「全世帯給付」「所得制限すべきだ」「窓口は対応不能」「金持ちは辞退しろ」などすったもんだするうちに、6割がそんな政策は「不要」という世論調査結果まで出た

What is coming down the pike is an unprecedented system of cash payments. The rich will be asked to voluntarily forgo the payments. It is only natural to be concerned about the confusion that may occur as the money is being doled out. This policy spreads other people's money around while making no attempt to seriously consider issues such as efficiency and economy.

▲結局きょうにも固まりそうなのは、所得制限を設けずに高額所得者には受け取り辞退を促すという前代未聞の「制度」である。支給の際の混乱も懸念されて当然だ。どだい他人の金をばらまく政策に、効率や節約の真剣な検討は無縁だった

While there may be many people out there who are looking forward to the disbursements and who think that they can put the money to better use than the government, all people in Japan are going to foot the bill for this massive handout of cash. Even though the markets have been disastrous, it appears that it won't be the government that fills the breach by becoming that much smarter. What a shame that we could be hearing the guffaws of a Nobel laureate coming down to us from heaven. ("Yoroku," a front-page column in the Mainichi Shimbun)

▲「政府よりは上手に使ってやる」と支給を待つ方も多かろうが、巨額の給付費用も国民払いだ。市場が失敗したからといって、その分政府が賢くなるわけでもないらしい。天国のノーベル賞学者の高笑いが聞こえそうで情けない。

毎日新聞 20081112日 004

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