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超硬核!全国总决赛破题详解来了,这条思路越早打开越好!

翻翻日历,第九届NSDA全国总决赛马上就要打响啦!在几个月前,NSDA君就公布了本次总决赛辩题:

Resolved: "In developing countries, government energy subsidies are more beneficial than harmful."

在发展中国家,政府能源补贴利大于弊。

经济学是一门研究人类行为以及如何将有限或者稀缺资源进行合理配置的社会科学,在欧美国家被普遍认为是适合从小开始的通识教育的一种。

美国著名经济学家曼昆曾在他的经典经济学入门教材《经济学原理》中给出了三个学习经济学的原因:第一,它有助于你理解你所生活其中的世界;第二,它将使你更精明地参与经济;第三,它将使你更好地理解经济政策的潜力与局限性。

因此,我们相信通过这道辩题,能够启发辩手们换一种思考方式,用经济学思维重新认识世界,同时为未来急速变化的全球化做准备。

以下是NSDA China教研总监Gordon Peer对本届辩题的简要介绍及解析:

1、General Framing

Energy subsidy’ is an elusive and contentious concept. There is no universally agreed definition of ‘energy subsidies’, nor is there a consensus on the best methodology to measure them. As a result, estimates of the size of energy subsidies vary tremendously. Energy subsidies, in the simplest terms, are government policies to support the producers or consumers of energy. Governments can provide support directly through budgetary transfers (e.g., cash payments, grants, loans, or loan guarantees) as well as through tax expenditures (that is, deviations from standard tax rules in the form of tax deductions, reductions, credits, or deferrals) (Van de Graaf & van Asselt).

“能源补贴”是一个难以捉摸且倍受争议的概念。大众对于“能源补贴”并没有一个普遍的定义,对于衡量它们的最佳方法也没有达成共识。因此,能源补贴规模的估计差异非常大。能源补贴,简单来说,就是政府支持能源生产者或消费者的政策。政府可以通过预算转移(例如,现金支付、赠款、贷款或贷款担保)和税收支出(即以税收减免、减免、抵免或延期的形式偏离标准税收规则)直接提供支持。(Van de Graaf & Van Asselt)

The adverse effects of energy subsidies have been widely documented. While recent decreases in international oil prices have provided a welcome respite, past experience has highlighted the need for caution. While energy subsidies are a problem in both advanced and developing countries, the underlying cause in developing countries is somewhat different. In many developing countries, domestic consumer prices are directly controlled by governments and only adjusted on an ad hoc basis, typically in response to mounting fiscal pressures. While such price controls reduce the volatility of domestic energy prices, this volatility is simply transmitted to the budget, disrupting budget planning and execution, and crowding out more productive public spending (Coady).

能源补贴的不良影响已经是众所周知。尽管最近国际油价下跌提供了一个可令人鼓舞的喘息机会,但过去的经验突显了小心谨慎的必要性。虽然发达国家和发展中国家都存在着能源补贴的问题,但导致发展中国家能源补贴问题的根本原因却与发达国家略有不同。在许多发展中国家,其国内的消费价格是由政府直接控制的,通常只有在国家面临日益增加的财政压力时,才会在特定的基础上实行能源补贴。然而这种对于价格的控制虽然降低了国内能源价格的波动性,但这种波动最终也会反应到国家预算中,从而干扰预算的规划和执行,压缩本应更有成效的公共支出。

2、PRO 'FRAMING'

In the PRO World, Debaters can highlight the temporary nature of subsidies to avoid the negatives presented by the Con. For example, the recent decline in international prices has presented countries with another opportunity to adopt a permanent solution to the burden of energy subsidies. As highlighted in a recent IMF book, transforming this temporary respite into a permanent solution will require advance planning and foresight on the part of policymakers. And there may be a case for some cautious optimism.

在正方的视角里中,辩手可以强调补贴的只是临时的,以规避反方提出的负面影响。例如,最近国际价格的下跌为各国提供了另一个机会,以采取一种永久性的解决能源补贴负担的办法。正如IMF最近的一本书所强调的那样,将这种暂时的“喘息”转变为永久的解决方案,需要决策者提前规划和预见。或许我们有理由保持一些谨慎的乐观。

The PRO can effectively approach subsidies as a reasonable option as long as proper mechanisms are put in place. Even after removing current subsidies, many countries will be reluctant to make the big jump to complete price deregulation. For such countries, an attractive interim solution may be to adopt an automatic pricing mechanism with some domestic price smoothing formally built into the mechanism. A number of countries (including Chile, Peru, and Mauritius, as well as a number of countries in sub-Saharan Africa) already have adopted such mechanisms. This approach essentially shares international price volatility between domestic consumers and the budget. By allowing both price increases and decreases, but capping these changes, it ensures full pass through of international price movements to domestic consumers over the medium term while protecting domestic consumers from sudden sharp increases and avoiding an escalating subsidy bill (Coady).

只要有适当的机制,正方便可以有效地将补贴视为一种合理的选择。即使在取消目前的补贴后,许多国家也不愿大幅放开价格管制。对于这些国家来说,一个有吸引力的临时解决方案可能是采用一种自动定价机制,在该机制中正式加入一些国内价格平滑。一些国家(包括智利、秘鲁和毛里求斯,以及撒哈拉以南非洲的一些国家)已经采用了这种机制。这种方法基本上分担了国内消费者和预算之间的国际价格波动。通过允许价格上涨和下跌,但限制这些浮动,它确保国际价格波动在中期完全传递给国内消费者,同时保护国内消费者免受突然大幅上涨的影响,并避免补贴不断提高(Coady)。

Furthermore, subsidies are typically implemented with the justification of alleviating poverty, redistributing national wealth or promoting economic development by supporting energy-consuming industries. In many emerging economies, the primary objective behind fuel subsidy policies has been the promotion of industrialization. Examples include Nigeria and Brazil, where the key objective in maintaining low energy prices was to facilitate industrialization by conferring an advantage on domestic energy-intensive firms. Status Quo subsidies may prove too beneficial for consumers to change. The mixed track record of past reform attempts – a number of which resulted in violent street protests – illustrates how difficult reforms are in practice (Rentschler). Indeed experience shows that political economy obstacles can be immense, further illustrating the consumer demand for subsidies regardless of CON’s arguments.

此外,补贴的实施目的通常是为了减轻贫困、重新分配国家财富或通过支持能源消耗行业促进经济发展。在许多新兴经济体,燃料补贴政策背后的主要目标一直是促进工业化。这方面的例子包括了尼日利亚和巴西,两国维持低能源价格的主要目的是通过给予国内能源密集企业优势来促进工业化。对消费者来说,补贴政策显然是更有利的。过去的改革尝试好坏参半——其中一些尝试导致了街头暴力抗议,这表明改革在实践中是多么困难(伦茨勒)。经验表明,政治经济障碍可能是巨大的,这进一步说明了消费者对补贴的需求。

3、CON 'FRAMING'

In times of rising international oil prices, energy subsidies often quickly escalate and become a major fiscal headache. When international prices increase, there is a temptation to perceive these as temporary and therefore not to pass them onto domestic consumers. But if international prices are sustained, then the domestic price increases required to eliminate subsidies quickly become more politically challenging resulting in policy inertia and escalating subsidies. The large domestic price increases that are eventually required when faced with fiscal realities serve only to further politicise the setting of domestic energy prices. While countries such as Egypt, Indonesia, and Iran have recently implemented large energy price increases to substantially decrease subsidies, they have yet to address the core problem of direct government price fixing. These subsidies crowd-out higher priority public spending (e.g., on education, health, and public infrastructure), benefit mostly higher-income groups, and cause substantial local and global environmental damage (Coady).

在国际油价不断上涨的时期,能源补贴往往会迅速升级,成为财政上的一大难题。当国际油价上涨时,人们很容易认为这是暂时的,因此不会转嫁给国内消费者。但如果国际价格得以维持,那么消除补贴所导致的国内价格上涨很快就会在政治上变得更具挑战性,从而引发政策惯性和补贴增加。面对财政现实,最终需要国内价格大幅上涨,但这只会使国内能源价格的设定进一步政治化,埃及就是一个前车之鉴,印尼和伊朗最近大幅提高了能源价格,以减少补贴,但它们尚未解决政府直接操纵价格的核心问题。这些补贴挤占了本应更优先的公共支出(如教育、卫生和公共基础设施),而且主要惠及的对象是高收入群体,并造成当地和全球环境的严重破坏(Coady)。

Additionally, subsidies engender excessive energy use, and perpetuate inefficient technologies and behaviour. In the longer term, this reduces private sector competitiveness, thus having an adverse effect on the overall growth prospects. Overall, soaring oil prices have turned fossil-fuel subsidies into an unsustainable financial burden to governments. Ukraine, Venezuela and Uzbekistan allocate approximately 10%, 20% and 30% of their annual GDPs to fossil-fuel subsidies, respectively (Rentschler).

此外,补贴也造成了过度的能源使用,并使低效率的技术和行为永续存在。从长期来看,这降低了私营部门的竞争力,从而对整体增长前景产生不利影响。总体而言,飙升的油价已使化石燃料补贴成为政府不可持续的财政负担。乌克兰、委内瑞拉和乌兹别克斯坦分别将其年gdp的10%、20%和30%用于化石燃料补贴(Rentschler)。

4、CLOSING THOUGHT

Energy subsidies are usually established by national or subnational governments, yet they raise important questions for international trade, climate change, energy security, and economic development. The points presented above show that this introduction is merely scratching the surface of a promising area for debaters.

能源补贴通常由国家或地方政府设立,但它对国际贸易、气候变化、能源安全、经济发展等都有着重要影响。以上提出的观点对于辩手来说也只不过是触及了这个话题的表面而已。

撰文 | Gordon Peer,编译 | Hilaire

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