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  • 09Feb

    本人雖然沒有直接參與閣下的行動,卻完全認同您們的義憤,並對您們的身體力行由衷地表示敬意。然而,在「主流意識」超強的今天,「反對資本主義」這一空泛的口號極難起到任何實質的作用。我們必須做的,是提出一系列具體的社會和經濟改革方案,並呼籲大眾(包括傳媒)對它們作出討論。只有這樣,我們才有機會引發必需的改革,力挽狂瀾於既倒。

    由於目的主要在於刺激思考,以下的建議沒有嚴謹的系統性。其間的層次、顛覆性、涵蓋面、可行性、迫切性和優先次序等皆各有不同(其間一些甚至可能互相矛盾)。但這無礙於它們挑戰現行制度(status quo)、刺激建設性創新思維的共同性質。這些建議包括︰

    1. 在所有化石燃料(煤、石油、天然氣)的第一生產點或第一進口點(first point of sale or port of entry)按量徵稅,而所得收入則全數按人頭分配給人民(Dr. James Hansen的Carbon Fee & Green Check方案);

    2. 訂立逐年提高的「碳稅」(carbon tax),並以所得稅款大量補貼可再生能源產業,以求在最短時期內取締化石燃料的使用(留意1與2是兩個相近但不相同的方案;我們當然也可以設計一個結合兩者優點的方案。);

    3. 與民主制度「一人一票」的原理看齊,實行人人平等的碳排放配額制度(carbon quota system)(一個類似的建議是引入人人平等的「肉食配額」制度);

    4. 取消個人入息稅而代之以「碳足印稅」(carbon footprint tax);

    5. 把聯合國環境署(United Nations Environmental Programme)正式升格為好像世界衛生組織(WHO)一樣的「世界環境組織」(World Environment Organization),統籌、協調和規範一切有關環境保護的事宜;

    6. 徹底改革會計制度,推行把各種重大「外部效應」(externalities)計算在內的企業會計新制度;

    7. 取消企業(特別是跨國企業)的「法人」(legal person)地位 —— 如果公司做了嚴重損害社會利益的事情,公司的擁有人和管理階層必須負上刑事責任;

    8. 嚴格執行「反托勒斯」(anti-trust)與「反卡特爾」(anti-cartel)的反壟斷和反商業串謀的監管條例。我們的口號應該是︰「捍衛自由經濟、伸張社會公義!」;

    9. 取消利得稅(profit tax)而把一切企業盈利納入個人入息稅(personal income tax);

    10. 把企業的廣告開支納入可課稅部分;

    11. 落實「生產者延伸責任」(extended producer responsibility)制度,推動生產者對用畢的產品作全面回收的營運模式;

    12. 仿效大自然的「零廢料、零垃圾」原理,推動「從搖籃到搖籃」(cradle -to-cradle)的「零廢料生產」(zero-waste manufacturing)工業模式;

    13. 創立一個更全面地反映社會和諧與繁榮的指標來取代GDP;

    14. 以縮減貧富懸殊和創造充份就業 —— 而非簡單定義的「物質經濟增長」 —— 以作為社會發展的首要目標;

    15. 以法例和稅務優惠大力推動「社會企業」(social business enterprises),使它成為與傳統企業並立的兩大社會經濟支柱;

    16. 以法例和稅務優惠大力推動「員工所有制」(employee ownership system),使企業裡的員工成為公司法共同主人和決策者。(北歐的一些國家已在推行類似的制度。);

    17. 規限企業之內的最高薪酬與最低薪酬之間的最大比例;

    18. 開發服務全球貧苦大眾 —— 卻也同時可以盈利 —— 的 「金字塔底部」(Bottom of the Pyramid)企業;

    19. 鼓勵節約並推行「可加可減」的水費、電費和垃圾清理費制度,亦即高於「標準人均量」的部分會按「累進原則」增加收費,而低於此量的部分則會按「累退原則」減費;

    20. 大力限制車牌數目,並在快捷舒適的公共運輸系統之上,再以超級方便廉宜的出租車以取代私家車;

    21. 規定每人每年至少種一棵樹以盡公民責任;

    22. 設立「公民最低生活保障金」(citizen’s income)制度;

    23. 對遺產的繼承設立上限;

    24. 嚴格區分「商業銀行」(存貸銀行)和「投資銀行」的運作與擁有權(「投資銀行」應不能再稱為銀行,而只能稱作「投資公司」);

    25. 嚴格規限「商業銀行」的「存貸比例」;

    26. 嚴格規限借貸所收取的最高利息;

    27. 對短期買賣的股票交易徵收「累進性」的「投機稅」;

    28. 對國際流動的資金(所謂「熱錢」)進行徵稅(數十年前已被提出的Tobin tax),並把所得的稅款(一個驚人的數目)用在扶貧之上;

    29. 對過度「金融化」的全球經濟進行大幅度的「去金融化」(de-financialization);而剩餘的部分則透過政策引導發展為「綠色金融」(green finance),以為對抗全球暖化服務(其中一項可行的措施是推出「綠色債券」(green bonds),一方面可以集資以推動綠色產業,另一方面也可為人民提供一個長遠而穩定的投資機會。);

    30. 取消中央銀行(或大幅改革中央銀行的運作模式),以後所有貨幣皆由政府(或受人民監督的中央銀行)直接發行。在進行重大的公、私合營的公共建設時,政府可以推出「零利息」(interest free money)的貸款計劃;

    31. 大力推動「城市農耕」(urban farming)和「垂直農耕」(vertical farming);令青年人以身為「城市農夫」而自豪;

    32. 打破全球農產企業(agribusiness)對糧食生產的壟斷;重建農民的自尊與自主權,扭轉長期以來過度發展的「以農養工」和「以農養城」發展模式;

    33. 大力開展人造肉的研究,以期在本世紀完結之前,人類不用再宰殺其他動物以裹腹(天馬行空嗎?荷蘭已經宣布了一個計劃,就是到了二零四零年,全國40%的肉食將由人造肉所提供。);

    34. 嚴禁與食物有關的投機金融活動(例如大豆、大米、玉米等的期貨期權);

    35. 擴大聯合國安全理事會(UN Security Council)的席位(至少應加入印度、德國、日本、巴西和埃及)以增加其代表性,進而加強聯合國的功能,大力扶助貧困國家的發展。

    「繁榮反思小組」召集人李偉才

    二零一二年一月三十日

    〔附錄〕

    向香港政府提出的四點減排及相關環保建議

    主要原則︰

    1. 所有政策必須以「成效為本」(outcome oriented),因此即使要循序漸進,也必須有清晰的「終極目標」、「路線圖」(包括各種中期目標)與「時間表」。這些當然不應一成不變而應按照形勢不斷作出調整。

    2. 無論是「終極目標」、「路線圖」與「時間表」都應先由專家仔細制定,然後交由公眾(包括環保團體)作出廣泛的討論。其間有關的專家必須充份地參與討論和作出解釋。也就是說,我們必須堅持「真理(即使其間涉及利益衝突)愈辨愈明」的「尚智文化」,而摒棄「民可使由之,不可使知之」的「反智文化」。

    3. 在推行以下的政策時,必須充份照顧基層市民的利益,例如透過各種補貼(如資助券)以減輕他們的負擔。

    具體建議︰

    1. 有賞有罰的用電、用水和垃圾收費

    香港主要溫室氣體的排放源為本地兩間電力公司,佔總排放量近七成。

    為鼓勵全港市民及商界節約用電,政府應立例引入有賞有罰的用電機制︰對用電低於特定標準的家庭(*香港的人均年用電量約為五千七百度),提供具獎勵性的累退式電費扣減;而對用電量高於「人均標準」的家庭,則累進式地徵收懲罰性的附加費。至於商界方面,也可引用類似原則(例如制定每單位面積的耗電量),具體應用於一般的辦公室之上。總的原則是「多排放者付更多」而「少排放者付更少」。

    同樣的原則也可用於「耗水量」和「垃圾廢棄量」之上。具體的安排應由政府作出研究。

    2. 有賞有罰的汽車徵費

    香港第二大溫室氣體排放源是運輸,佔總排放量的18%。同樣按照「多排放者多付」的原則,政府應盡快制定累進及累退式的汽車首次登記稅及每年牌照費,對私用及商用車輛,按行駛里數、載客量、載貨量等標準,以二氧化碳的單位排放量定為「極高排放」、「高排放」、「中等排放」、「低排放」、和「極低排放」五大類別,以賞罰制度促使運輸的碳排放逐步下降,並鼓勵「低排放」甚至「零排放」車輛(如電動車)的使用。

    3. 所有政府部門帶頭推行「節能減排」和「綠色採購」

    要推動環保,政府所有部門必須以身作則,帶頭「節能減排」(例如減低用紙量、規定適當的辦公室空調溫度、減少不必要的乘搭飛機外訪等)。此外,所有部門必須嚴格執行「綠色採購」,亦即只採購市面上造成最少環境破壞和資源消耗的各種產品(如再造紙、環保磚、省電照明、電動車輛、電熱聯產裝置等)。作為本港一個最大的採購商,政府這樣做不但符合環保,更可大力帶動和促進有關產業的發展。

    執行上,政府必須盡快定出適用於各部門以至所有法定和資助機構(包括大學、官校和津校等)的「綠色採購法」,以便所有機構有所依從。

    4. 盡快開發「可再生能源」作為本地的供電來源

    香港每年的人均二氧化碳排放量約為六公噸,僅略低於一些歐洲發達國家。雖然政府於二零零九年的施政報告中,承諾於二零三零年將能源強度(energy intensity)自 二零零五年的水平減低四分之一,但隨著人口和經濟的增長,這對減低二氧化碳排放總量的成效將十分有限。要真正達至減排效果,政府應該盡快制定「可再生能源法」,以「有賞有罰」的稅務政策促使兩間電力公司盡快與廣東省的有關部門和企業合作,共同開發風能和太陽能等可再生能源。這不但可以在對抗全球暖化和氣候災變的事業上作出貢獻,也會大大改善香港的空氣質素,保障市民的健康。

    必須指出的是,大力推動環保可以在各個階層創造大量的就業機會,這當然亦是政府把「環保產業」列為香港六大優勢產業的原因之一。有關的範圍實在十分廣闊,除了上述針對「節能減排」的四大建議外,還包括了廢料回收、循環再造、廚餘處理、天台綠化、垂直綠化、垂直農耕等。關鍵在於,在借助市場的調節力量時,政府必須定立強有力的、系統化的和長遠的指導和扶助政策。否則,如果繼續迷信單靠市場可以解決問題,環保產業將永遠無法真正蓬勃起來。

    李偉才(傑出青年協會前主席 2002-03)

    麥永開(傑出青年協會前主席 2009-10)

    二零一一年十一月十四日

    Posted by Eddy WC Lee @ 4:21 pm

3 Responses

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  • gukzik lau Says:

    李先生,

    你這篇改革建議何其豐富,讀來令人眼前一亮,如一道光束自我們活著的這個小地方(世界地圖上一小點)放射出去,使這顆目前混亂昏黯的星球霎時有了一種悅目的亮光閃動。我為這光的出現感到開心,感到希望,作為同是小點上的居民,感到說不出的,與有榮焉。

    我是做視藝創作的,最近在計劃一個自製圖書展覽,約於六月中在英國展出。我想把先生這篇改革文章用手書寫在我的自製書籍的冊頁上,當然我會清楚註明出處和你的名字。

    又由於我打算以中英雙語書寫,請問你這篇文章有沒有英譯呢?可否給我英譯一份呢?

    我的電郵地址是gukziklau@yahoo.com

    如果得到你的允許和譯文,我萬分感激。

    謝謝你!

    劉掬色

  • 李逆熵 (Eddy Lee) Says:

    Dear Mr. Lau,

    Many thanks for your encouraging words. Of course I have no objection in your use of my recommendations in your artistic work. Alas I don’t have any English version available. However, if you could find somebody to come up with a draft translation, I’d be happy to vet it.

    I do have an abridged translation of my article published in the January 2012 issue of 《信報財經月刊》(I think you could find the magazine in the public library). I have subsequently sent this as a letter to SCMP in mid-Janaury. Unfortunately, the letter was never (as far as I can tell) published.

    A Letter to the Editors of SCMP

    What Kind of Prosperity Do We Want?

    An Appeal to the future Chief Executive of the HKSAR,
    and the people of Hong Kong

    It is now more than 3 years since the Global Financial Meltdown of 2008. The foremost concern of most economic experts is when the economy would fully recover, and whether or not there will be another more severe recession. We, the newly formed ‘Rethinking Prosperity Group’, also hold this as our major concern. Yet, we are even more concerned with whether or not the world has truly learned the lesson of the crisis, and would reform its ways so that history will not repeat itself.

    Sadly, it has been shown in the past three years that most of us, including leaders of major nations, the general public, and even economists, have not taken to heart the true lesson of the crisis. The majority of us soon lapsed into our old ways of thinking and behaving. Given this, it is only a matter of time that humankind shall repeat the mistake, and pays an even greater price for it.

    The truth is that for decades, the world has been dominated by a false economic creed of ‘the market knows best’. The doctrine that this creed promotes is to treat the economy as if it were a pie: the bigger the pie, the better it is not only for the rich, but also for the poor, the logic being that even if the poor do not get a larger share, they will still be getting a bigger piece. The conclusion is that the best way to eradicate poverty is not via the building of a fairer society (which will only make everybody worse off), but by pursuing greater and greater economic growth. And in order to grow the economy, we must ‘leave it all to the invisible hand of the market’, and live with the necessary evil of an ever widening gap between the rich and the poor. This school of thought has been labelled ‘trickle-down economics’, the “trickle” referring to the fruits of economic growth.

    The facts, however, proved otherwise. Decades of practising this free market economics (called variously by the name of Thatcherism, Reaganomics, and Neoliberalism) has led to a torrential ‘trickle-up’ instead of down. Wealth has become ever more concentrated in the hands of the few, and the gulf between the rich and the poor has become staggering. As a result of this, societies are becoming more and more disharmonised, and both national and international economies more volatile and unstable. The 2008 Global Financial Meltdown and the “Occupy Wall Street” movement are but the latest manifestations of the unsustainability of this path of development.

    Even worse, the ‘cold logic’ of economic growth dictates that we must continue to consume. The incessant drive of consumerism has wreaked havoc on the natural environment of the entire planet. In terms of the depletion of natural resources and the degradation of the environment, we are about to, if not already, reached a point of no return. To take just one example: if global warming is not stopped dead in its track (by substituting all use of fossil fuel with clean renewaable energy), the impending climate catastrophe may just wipe clean all that humankind has strived for in the past centuries.

    ‘Rethinking Prosperity’ thus appeal to you as a citizen of your country, and of the world: ‘Business-as-Usual’ is tantamount to collective suicide. It is high time that the misguided ideology which has done us so much disservice be cast aside, that ‘economy booms as community goes bust’ no longer be the way our societies develop. In their place we urgently need to start a society-wide discourse on ‘What kind of prosperity do we want?’ Then, and only then, is there hope that a truly sustainable and harmonious commonwealth emerge out of the present chaos.

    Ahead of all of us lies a daunting task. To arrive at a correct understanding of a problem is undoubtedly the first step towards solving it. As Albert Einstein so aptly said “A problem could not be solved by the same level of thinking that has created it in the first place.”As such, we have used the $6,000 payout by the Government to buy and mail the following books (two copies per title) to the three candidates of the forthcoming HKSAR Chief Executive election:

    1. “Prosperity Without Growth – Economics for a Finite Planet” by Tim Jackson;
    2. “The Necessary Revolution – Working Together to Create a Sustainable World” by Peter Senge etal;
    3. “The Spirit Level: Why Equality Is Better For Everyone” by K. Pickett & R. Wilkinson;
    4. “The Great Disruption: How the Climate Crisis will Transform Global Economy” by Paul Gilding; and
    5. “The Price of Civilization – Economic and Ethics after the Fall” by Jeffrey Sachs.

    We plead to you the candidates of the CE, the mass media, and the people of Hong Kong: either by reading these books or via other means, equip yourselves with a good understanding of the nature and scale of the problem. Then start an informed and rational public discourse on “What Kind of Prosperity Do We Want?”, ultimately arriving at a society-wide consensus upon which we should set our policies and supervise their effective implementation. The future of our children depends on what we are going to do today.

    Lee Wai Choi
    Convenor, “Rethinking Prosperity Group”
    13 January 2012

    *An Unsustainable World:

    • The current level of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere is at its highest in the last 800,000 years, and will continue to rise as we keep burning up fossil fuel en masse.

    • The wealthiest 15% of the world’s population owns almost 80% of the wealth on this planet, and generates more than two-third of the total pollution at the same time.

    • The cold logic of environmental constraints against exponential economic growth means that at some point, our culture of consumerism will take a sharp turn. Whether or not this turning around is made consciously and in an orderly fashion will determine if civilization will go through an orderly transition, or face a catastrophic collapse.

  • gukzik lau Says:

    李先生,

    非常感謝你的回覆,並容許我引用你的著作,先生的信任是我的榮幸。

    我需要進一步思量如何採用你的材料,我此時的創作還在摸索中,形狀未顯現,不過主題早已在許多年前定了,是在描述一種未知的但可以逐漸從人的想象和對自己/世界的期許中,產生新景象,換走現實的千孔百瘡,是對生存在地球上的反省和願望,希望人人起願改進,起身執行。

    起願改進過去的謬誤種種,起身執行必須的各項建設。

    但一講到建設,我認為就要有知識有方法,不可空口講白話,淨講希望世界和平之類的口號,而係需要有切實可行的計策。所以當我讀到先生的建議時,真的如獲至寶。我沒有這方面的知識,也缺乏在此方面研究的條件和熱情,特別係熱情,因為對經濟一竅不通,勉强去讀都只會係拉牛上樹,更不會讀出熱情來。我所能做的就只能是同視藝有關的事,或索性就係做視藝的東西來表態。

    我的這件作品內容大致是:「你就是你活在其中的世界,愛這個世界等於愛你自己。」

    我讀先生的一書時極其佩服先生的勇氣和識見,身體力行四出呼籲要救地球,你關愛世界的熱切是眾人的榜樣,我要向你敬個禮。

    然後讀到你的blog上貼的給occupy movement的青年的建議信,就覺得事情是不可以再旁觀了,我於是想到自己可做的,可能就是在創作介面上和先生連線,這反映我近年來的觀察、學習、反省與思考,所以有這創造的打算。

    暫時想到這裹,我再有多些東西想出來再寫信向你請教。

    日安

    掬色

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