新浪博客

中国的国有企业真的很烂吗?

2021-01-27 08:01阅读:

张化桥

12

关注
西方人,你们不要再指手划脚!
今天张化桥在《日经亚洲论坛》Nikkei Asian Review 英文版发表一篇文章,呼吁西方学者和官民不要再对中国的国有企业说三道四,不要再试图向中国输出西方资本主义模式。
文章说,中国改革开放以来,外国评论员一直有一个预测:国企一定会被民企打败;国企一定会被陆续卖掉。可他们反复被证明是错的,现在海内外自由派人士的一致说法是:民企已经占中国经济的2/3,新的就业机会也都是民企创造的。此文反驳了这种论调。
文章指出,国企依然占统治地位。而且,现在大家看到的多数国企都是最近十到二十年才创办的。中国的私有化开了倒车:开倒车好!
90年代,中国确实卖掉过一些国有企业,但那都是无足轻重的餐饮业、小零售、小化肥、小纺织。而国民经济的命脉从来就在政府手中。文章的第二个观点是:国企看得更长远,更能牺牲短期利益,更能创造就业。这比西方国家的直升飞机撒钱以及零利率也许更好。
英国教授Mariana Mazzucato认为,即使在欧美国家,政府在研发、基础设施、市场稳定等方面的贡献,至关重要。2008年的全球金融危机以及这次的新冠肺炎显示,政府对于市场经济起到了稳定器作用。欧美在这个时候只知道撒钱,让那些失业的人,有一份工资。而零利率推高了资产价格,恶化了贫富悬殊。但是中国是通过国企来实现这些目标的,似乎更加有效、公平。
中国官民经常公开谴责国企的低效和腐败,但是民企在官民心中的地位还不如国企。虽然经历了43年的繁荣,民企为什么还是这样“低贱”呢?这个问题值得深思。西方学者比较中国国企与民企的净资产回报率ROE之后,说:你看国企就是不行。但是他们忽略了一个问题。每年几十万民企倒闭。它们就从统计数字中消失了,所以这个比较有偏差。A survival bias。而且,他们忘了社会回报率。他们还说,国企在信贷和其它方面享有特权。这是事实。可是这也正好说明,比较两个板块的回报率是没有意义的。
在第三世界穷国,资金十分短缺。可是比资金更加短缺的是组织能力、企业治理。国企的巨大贡献就是:它为一无所有的亿万人民提供了一个组织。在国企的大旗下,几亿人得以就业,直接的、间接的;上亿人得以创业、投资。
西方国家的传教士该闭嘴了。学学中国吧。中国早在八十年代新已经放弃输出意识形态!
Hybri
d capitalism is serving China well
What the West keeps missing when it maligns China's state-owned enterprises
Joe Zhang
January 27, 2021 05:00 JST、
Joe Zhang is the author of “Party Man, Company Man: Is China’s State Capitalism Doomed?” He was chief operating officer of state-owned enterprise Shenzhen Investment from 2006-08.
“When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?”
John Maynard Keynes is credited for having said this. While economists the world over claim to respect Keynes, many do not seem to follow his teachings — at least not when it comes to analyzing China. Since China embarked on its economic reforms 43 years ago, Western analysts have maintained two predictions.
First, that China would sell most of its state-owned enterprises and allow the private sector to prevail. Along the way, it was thought, China would become a Western-style democracy. But as time has gone by, these analysts have become increasingly frustrated by their mistakes. China does not fit their chosen ideological mold.
In the 1990s, China did sell a large number of SOEs including retailers, restaurants and small manufacturers of fertilizers, pesticides, clothing and footwear. But China has maintained control over virtually all important sectors of the economy including finance, oil, energy, aviation, education, telecoms, autos, transport infrastructure and medical care.
Ironically, most SOEs we see today were created during the past 10 to 20 years. There has actually been a massive reversal of the initial privatization program. This is on top of the large numbers of private-sector businesses that have been acquired by the state. Outsiders taking a close look at China’s economy would be shocked to see the growing dominance of the state sector. In banking and finance, for example, virtually all of the 4,000-odd institutions — banks, trust companies, leasing, insurance, asset management and securities companies — are state-owned and have been built up in recent years.
Western economic thinking dictates that the private sector must be more efficient than the state sector. But the metrics Western analysts use are deeply flawed. Each year, for example, hundreds of thousands of private-sector businesses go bust and drop out of the statistics, leading to a survival bias.
Confronted with this inconvenient truth, Western analysts argue that SOEs enjoy unfair competitive advantages in China because they have greater access to finance at lower interest rates. Sure, that is all true. But comparing the private sector with the state sector based on return on equity — or other measures — is a pointless exercise. Additionally, simple comparisons on ROEs ignore social returns and the spillover effects to society at large.
Some analysts draw comfort from private sector standouts such as Ping An Insurance Group and China Vanke. But are they really private-sector enterprises? Of course not. They started out with government money and the state remains a significant shareholder. The fact that they have been given more autonomy does not make them private-sector entities.
By the same token, the fact that many companies are listed does not make them private-sector entities either. One has to ask who is calling the shots? It is true that some of the big technology companies are all private-sector owned. But the likes of Alibaba Group Holding, Tencent Holdings and JD.com and their ecosystems remain a relatively small part of China’s economy. And they have benefited hugely from lax regulations on personal data and unnecessarily tight rules on their incumbent competitors as well as zero taxes on online sales.
In terms of research and development, the dominance of the state sector is even more noticeable. With a few exceptions, China’s thousands of universities and polytechnic colleges are all state-owned and state-funded, and they shoulder most R&D projects.
Roads, railways and ports have always been constructed by the state, and this has helped private-sector enterprises thrive. Across China, urban infrastructure projects employ hundreds of millions in various forms. It is there that workers have their wages and pension contributions reliably paid, safety and dignity protected, and essential training provided. It is there that large numbers of private-sector businesses have been able to become feasible, including catering, hotels, personal care and retail, not to mention the suppliers of raw materials and components.
Mariana Mazzucato, professor in the economics of innovation and public value at University College London, has demonstrated that the real driver of innovation is not lone geniuses but state investment. This is true not just in Europe and the U.S. but everywhere.
Both the global financial crisis in 2007-08 and the pandemic in 2020 have highlighted how critically important the state is to the stability, and even survival, of capitalism. It is just that China has chosen to provide the safety net through SOEs rather than the helicopter money and zero interest rates favored by the West. Still, the jury is out as to which approach is more efficient and equitable.
When it comes to China, some Western analysts have turned themselves into missionary-like figures. But they have little to show for their stubborn efforts over the past four decades. Twisting definitions of the private sector does not make the private sector’s performance any better looking. While many Chinese officials and members of the public openly criticize the bloated and corrupt state sector, their view of the private sector is even dimmer.
The truth of the matter is that 43 years into the current age of prosperity, China’s private sector has credibility issues. Western scholars ought to see the uniqueness of China’s historical path and admit exporting Western capitalist ideas to China is a lost cause.
Unlike the West, China has long stopped trying to export its ideology. China does not blow its own trumpet to other third-world countries on how to grow an economy, or how to develop a society. The West should do the same. One thing I have learned as a student of development economics is that, in poor countries, capital is scarce, but organization — or governance — is even rarer. China’s state sector has provided that crucial organization for economic activities to happen.

我的更多文章

下载客户端阅读体验更佳

APP专享